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To further understand the complexity of developmental toxicity of dispersed oil and importance of exposure timing on fish early life stages, Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) were exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations through two embryonic developmental windows: the first period occurred during the epiboly process (named as "early embryonic exposure") and the second period overlapped the ontogenesis and cardiogenesis processes (named as "late embryonic exposure"). Following 72 hour oil exposure, embryos were transferred to clean seawater and a toxicity screening was performed in the yolk-sac larvae until first-feeding stages (56 days). The current study demonstrated that the exposure timing is essential for the development of toxic effects of crude oil in Atlantic halibut. Neither embryonic exposures (early or late) showed notable acute toxicity during exposure, yet both showed global latent teratogenic effects during yolk sac stages. Fish exposed during organogenesis (late) displayed stronger and more severe toxic effects than fish exposed during epiboly process (early), including reduced condition, severe craniofacial deformities and cardiovascular disruptions. The uptake level of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons into larval tissue and metabolic activity were greater following the late embryonic exposure and remained high during the depuration period at the highest exposure concentration. Overall, the long yolk sac stage development timing of Atlantic halibut makes this species a good candidate for evaluation of embryonic crude oil toxicity and its mechanisms. Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Prescilla Perrichon, Carey E Donald, Elin Sørhus, Torstein Harboe, Sonnich Meier. Differential developmental toxicity of crude oil in early life stages of Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus). The Science of the total environment. 2021 May 20;770:145349

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PMID: 33517012

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