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Aquat Toxicol. 2017 Dec;193:50-59. doi: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2017.10.003. Epub 2017 Oct 7.

Alterations to Juvenile Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Swim Performance after Acute Embryonic Exposure to Sub-lethal Exposures of Hydraulic Fracturing Flowback and Produced Water.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2R3, Canada. Electronic address: efolkert@ualberta.ca.
2
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2R3, Canada.
3
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2R3, Canada; National Institute for Nanotechnology, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2M9, Canada.

Abstract

Hydraulic fracturing flowback and produced water (FPW) is a wastewater produced during fracturing activities in an operating well which is hyper saline and chemically heterogeneous in nature, containing both anthropogenic and petrogenic chemicals. Determination of FPW associated toxicity to embryonic fish is limited, while investigation into how embryonic exposures may affect later life stages is not yet studied. Zebrafish embryos (24hrs post fertilization) were acutely exposed to 2.5% and 5% FPW fractions for either 24 or 48hrs and returned to freshwater. After either 24 or 48h exposures, embryos were examined for expression of 3 hypoxia related genes. Erythropoietin (epoa) but not hypoxia inducible factor (hif1aa) nor hemoglobin -ß chain (hbbe1.1) was up-regulated after either 24 or 48h FPW exposure. Surviving embryos were placed in freshwater and grown to a juvenile stage (60days post fertilization). Previously exposed zebrafish were analyzed for both swim performance (Ucrit and Umax) and aerobic capacity. Fish exposed to both sediment containing (FPW-S) or sediment free (FPW-SF) FPW displayed significantly reduced aerobic scope and Ucrit/Umax values compared to control conditions. Our results collectively suggest that organics present in our FPW sample may be responsible for sub-lethal fitness and metabolic responses. We provide evidence supporting the theory that the cardio-respiratory system is impacted by FPW exposure. This is the first known research associating embryonic FPW exposures to sub-lethal performance related responses in later life fish stages.

KEYWORDS:

Aerobic scope; Hydraulic fracturing; Swim performance; Toxicity; Zebrafish

PMID:
29035725
DOI:
10.1016/j.aquatox.2017.10.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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