Temperature-dependent toxicities of nano zinc oxide to marine diatom, amphipod and fish in relation to its aggregation size and ion dissolution

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-35
Journal / PublicationNanotoxicology
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Online published13 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


This study, for the first time, concurrently investigated the influence of seawater temperature, exposure concentration and time on the aggregation size and ion dissolution of nano zinc oxides (nZnO) in seawater, and the interacting effect of temperature and waterborne exposure of nZnO to the marine diatom Skeletonema costatum, amphipod Melita longidactyla and fish Oryzias melastigma, respectively. Our results showed that aggregate size was jointly affected by seawater temperature, nZnO concentration and exposure time. Among the three factors, the concentration of nZnO was the most important and followed by exposure time, whereas temperature was less important as reflected by their F values in the three-way analysis of variance (concentration: F3, 300 = 247.305; time: F2, 300 = 20.923 and temperature: F4, 300 = 4.107; All p values <0.001). The aggregate size generally increased with increasing nZnO concentration and exposure time. The release of Zn ions from nZnO was significantly influenced by seawater temperature and exposure time; the ion dissolution rate generally increased with decreasing temperature and increasing exposure time. Growth inhibition of diatoms increased with increasing temperature, while temperature and nZnO had an interactional effect on their photosynthesis. For the amphipod, mortality was positively correlated with temperature. Fish larvae growth rate was only affected by temperature but not nZnO, while the two factors interactively modulated the expression of heat shock and metallothionein proteins. Evidently, temperature can influence aggregate size and ion dissolution and thus toxicity of nZnO to the marine organisms in a species-specific manner. © 2014 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Chlorophyll a fluorescence, Heat shock protein, Metallothionein, Nanomaterial, Toxicity