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Microplastics have been frequently detected in both marine and freshwater ecosystems. Their impact on aquatic organisms has raised much concern. This study investigated the impact of microplastics on zebrafish embryos and larvae, with a special focus on their swimming competence. The zebrafish embryos were exposed to microplastics starting from 4 h post fertilization. Microplastics first adhered to the embryo chorion, then entered the stomach and intestinal tract of the larvae later. In the free swimming test, exposure to 1000 μg/L (around 1.91 × 10 particles/L) of microplastics led to a significant decrease in both swimming distance and speed of zebrafish larvae under the dark condition by 3.2% and 3.5% respectively. In the alternating light-to-dark photoperiod stimulation assay, exposure to 100 and 1000 μg/L (around 1.91 × 10 and 1.91 × 10 particles/L) of microplastics caused a 4.6% and 2.6% decrease in swimming distance, and reduced the active speed by 4.9% and 2.8%, possibly as a result of inhibited dark avoidance in treated zebrafish larvae. At the molecular level, exposure to microplastics induced upregulated expression of inflammation (il1b) and oxidative stress (cat) related genes. This study demonstrates that exposure to microplastics significantly decreases larvae swimming competence, which may have significant impacts on its population fitness in the aquatic environment and further ecological consequences.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Ecotoxicology and environmental safety
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The free-swimming larval forms of parasites found in an intermediate host.
Proteins obtained from the ZEBRAFISH. Many of the proteins in this species have been the subject of studies involving basic embryological development (EMBRYOLOGY).
A superorder of marine CRUSTACEA, free swimming in the larval state, but permanently fixed as adults. There are some 800 described species, grouped in several genera, and comprising of two major orders of barnacles: stalked (Pedunculata) and sessile (Sessilia).
Excavations or containment structures filled with water and used for swimming.
A moderate-growing, photochromogenic species found in aquariums, diseased fish, and swimming pools. It is the cause of cutaneous lesions and granulomas (swimming pool granuloma) in humans. (Dorland, 28th ed)
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