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Chemosphere. 2009 Jun;75(11):1500-5. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2009.02.013. Epub 2009 Mar 5.

Evidence for bioamplification of nine polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners in yellow perch (Perca flavascens) eggs during incubation.

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  • 1Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, 401 Sunset Ave., Windsor, ON, Canada N9B 3P4.


This study investigated bioamplification of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in yellow perch (Perca flavescens) eggs resulting from nutrient utilization by developing embryos during incubation. Newly fertilized eggs containing trace levels of PCBs via maternal deposition were collected from an aquaculture pond in which adult broodstock had been reared over their natural lives. The eggs were incubated using a flow through system that received the same pond water at in-situ temperatures from which they were spawned. Replicate samples of eggs were collected at six time points throughout incubation, ranging from day 0 (newly fertilized eggs) to post-hatch larvae (2-d old). Congener specific PCB fugacities in pooled egg samples showed increases over the incubation period. Just prior to hatching, incubated eggs averaged 2.7-fold higher PCB fugacities compared to fresh eggs. The increase in PCB fugacity with egg incubation time was independent of chemical K(OW). After hatching, PCB residues were lost from the larvae, attenuating the maximum chemical fugacity achieved in late-incubated eggs. However, the rate of PCB elimination in the early larvae stages was K(OW) dependent such that a significant larvae/egg fugacity ratio was still evident for intermediate and highly hydrophobic compounds 2 d post-hatching. This study provides the first evidence of in-ovo PCB bioamplification in eggs of an aquatic species and suggests that incubating fish embryos are exposed to higher chemical fugacities in-ovo than would be predicted by maternal deposition alone.

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