Aroclor@ 1254 in Eggs of Sheepshead Minnows: Effect on Fertilization Success and Survival of Embryos and Fry

The effect of the polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), Aroclor 1254, in eggs of the sheepshead minnow, Cyprinodon variegatus, on fertilization success and survival of embryos and fry was investigated. Adult fish were exposed for four weeks to 0.1,0.32, 1.0,3.2 or 10.0 ug/l of PCB, then injected twice with 50 lU of human chorionic gonadotrophin to stimulate egg production. The eggs were fertilized, placed in PCB-free flowing seawater and observed for mortality. Fertilization success was unimpaired by concentrations in eggs as high as 201 ug/g but survival of embryos and fry was reduced. Usually, fry from eggs containing 7.0 ug/g or more began dying 24-48 hours after hatching. If this PCB affects other species similarly, then populations of fish that presently have comparable concentrations in their eggs may be endangered.

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