Waterborne exposure to highly persistent microplastic pollutants is a major concern for aquatic species worldwide. There are still gaps in knowledge on microplastics’ potential transgenerational effects on offspring generation. Using zebrafish, this study investigated the survival and early development of offspring through a 21-day continuous parental treatment with polystyrene microplastics. The results showed that continuous waterborne exposure to high concentrations (>100 μg/L) of polystyrene microplastics (1 μm) for 21 days resulted in notable microplastic accumulation in adult fish intestines. Exposure at microplastic concentrations greater than 100 μg/L also induced significant changes in steroidogenic mRNA expression in zebrafish gonads. However, no significant changes in the cumulative number of eggs spawned and fertilization rate were observed at any parental exposure concentrations when compared to the control. Early development of derived offspring, in terms of hatching rate, body length, malformation rate and mortality rate, did not significantly differ from that of the control. This study showed that transgenerational effects of parental exposure to polystyrene microplastics in zebrafish might be negligible or recoverable. This study provided new results and insights on the transgenerational effects of microplastics on a freshwater fish species and can help to understand impacts of microplastics on freshwater ecosystems. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc.
CitationQiang, L., Lo, L. S. H., Gao, Y., & Cheng, J. (2020). Parental exposure to polystyrene microplastics at environmentally relevant concentrations has negligible transgenerational effects on zebrafish (Danio rerio). Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 206. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2020.111382
- Early development