Embryotoxicity of Great Lakes lake trout extracts to developing rainbow trout

Aquatic Toxicology
By:  and 



Planar halogenated hydrocarbons (PHHs), such as polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans, and biphenyls are present in aquatic systems, and are known to produce adverse effects in fish. This study investigated the embryotoxicity of PHH mixtures through the nanoinjection of environmental extracts into newly fertilized eggs from two strains of rainbow trout. Organic extracts were obtained from whole adult lake trout collected from Lake Michigan in 1988 and Lake Superior in 1994. The graded doses of the final extracts used for injection were quantified as 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin toxic-equivalents (TEQs) based on the concentrations of dioxins, furans and non-o-PCBs in each, and as equivalent amounts found in the eggs of the original lake trout (eggEQ). Total TEQs in the lake trout were 14.7 pg TEQ/g in the Lake Michigan sample and 7.3 pg TEQ/g in the Lake Superior sample. The extract of the Lake Michigan lake trout was embryotoxic to rainbow trout; LD50 values were 35 eggEQ (15–90, 95% F.L.) in the Arlee strain and 14 eggEQ (5–99, 95% F.L.) in the Erwin strain of rainbow trout. The LD50 values of the Lake Michigan extract in either of these strains of rainbow trout fall within the actual range of TCDD LD50values based on TEQs. This indicates that an additive model of toxicity is appropriate to quantify PHHs in relation to early life stage mortality in fish. Gross lesions characteristic of exposure to PHHs (i.e. yolk-sac edema, craniofacial deformities, and hemorrhaging) increased in a dose-related manner. The lowest observable adverse effect concentrations (LOAEC) for these gross lesions and cumulative mortalities suggests that current concentrations of PHHs in lake trout from Lake Michigan are above a threshold for adverse effects and these compounds may have implications on the lack of recruitment in certain Great Lakes lake trout populations.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Embryotoxicity of Great Lakes lake trout extracts to developing rainbow trout
Series title Aquatic Toxicology
DOI 10.1016/S0166-445X(99)00010-7
Volume 47
Issue 2
Year Published 1999
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description 16 p.
First page 77
Last page 92
Country Canada, United States
Other Geospatial Great Lakes
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