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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 256:293-300 (2003)  -  doi:10.3354/meps256293

Long-term and transgenerational effects of nonylphenol exposure at a key stage in the development of Crassostrea gigas. Possible endocrine disruption?

Helen E. Nice1,2,*, David Morritt1, Mark Crane1, Mike Thorndyke1,3

1School of Biological Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, United Kingdom
2Present address: Science and Technology, Sydney Water, 51 Hermitage Road, West Ryde, New South Wales 2114, Australia
3Present address: Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Kristineberg Marine Research Laboratory, 450 34 Fiskebäckskil, Sweden

ABSTRACT: The widespread aquatic pollutant nonylphenol has been found to induce long-term and transgenerational effects in the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas that have not previously been reported. Evidence is provided demonstrating that when larvae are exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of nonylphenol for a single 48 h exposure at a key stage in their development, long-term sexual developmental effects are induced. Data provided by this study suggest that exposure to 1 and 100 µg l-1 nonylphenol at Days 7 to 8 post-fertilization results in a change in the sex ratio towards females and an increase in the incidence of hermaphroditism (10 mo later, up to 30% of the resulting adults were fully functional hermaphrodites). Gamete viability is also affected, resulting in poor embryonic and larval development (up to 100% mortality) of the subsequent generation.

KEY WORDS: Crassostrea gigas · Nonylphenol · Endocrine disruption · Transgenerational · Critical exposure period · Larval development · Hermaphrodite · Aquaculture · Oyster

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