3 years ago

Effects of Microcystis on development of early life stage Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes): Comparative toxicity of natural blooms, cultured Microcystis and microcystin-LR

Freshwater cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CyanoHABs) caused by algae in the genus Microcystis have been increasing in frequency and severity in recent decades. Microcystis blooms threaten aquatic organisms through effects associated with the rapid increase of biomass and the production of the hepatotoxin microcystin (MC) by toxic strains. Among fish, effects of blooms are likely to be more severe for early life stages, and physiological impacts on this life stage could significantly impact recruitment and fish populations. This study explores the effects of Microcystis blooms on the development of fish using the model organism, the Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) under realistic exposure conditions. Medaka embryos were exposed to natural blooms collected from New York City (USA) lakes, lab cultures of Microcystis, and MC-LR solutions. Field collected samples were more toxic than lab cultures (even when compared at the same algal density or MC concentration), causing decreased survival, premature time to hatch, reduced body length, yolk sac edema, and decreased heart rate, while lab culture exposures only resulted in bradycardia. Heart rate was the most sensitive endpoint measured, being depressed in embryos exposed to both lab cultures and field collected blooms. Generalized linear model analysis indicated bradycardia was statistically associated with both cell densities of blooms and MC concentrations, while single factor analysis indicated that MC concentrations had a stronger correlation compared to cell densities. However, MC exposure could not fully explain the effects observed, as exposures to MC-LR solutions alone were not able to reduce heart rate as severely as algal exposures. Collectively, these experiments indicate that factors beyond exposure to MC or even isolated Microcystis strains influence heart rate of fish exposed to Microcystis blooms. Enhanced mortality, depressed heart rate, and abnormal development observed in response to environmentally realistic exposures of Microcystis blooms could affect success of fish at both individual or population levels.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0166445X17303132

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