Toxicity of mercury on in vitro development of parthenogenetic eggs of a freshwater cladoceran Daphnia carinata
Khangarot, B.S.; Das, S.
Journal of Hazardous Materials 161(1): 68-73
Chronic toxicity test duration of 21 days for daphnid is time consuming and expensive. Therefore, the developmental stages of Daphnia carinata eggs that could be used as potential endpoints for sublethal and chronic toxicity tests have been investigated and defined. Daphnid egg test is simple, easy to conduct and handle in the laboratory, and cost-effective. The 72h 'egg arrest' bioassay system could be an alternative to the classic 21-day chronic test with neonates of daphnid. The main aims of the study were to establish easy to identify stages of D. carinata egg that could be used as potential endpoints for toxicity tests with in vitro cultures of daphnid parthenogenetic eggs. Commonly available Indian freshwater cladoceran Daphnia carinata parthenogenetic eggs in vitro were exposed to water borne mercury concentrations, ranging from 0.1 to 32microgl(-1). Adult female cladoceran D. carinata have eight main developmental stages of parthenogenetic reproduction based on the release of external and internal membranes, formation of cephalic and body regions, appearance of secondary antennae, presence of two pink eyes, than a single black eye, and finally caudal or shell spine separation and finally free-swimming neonate within 65-72h. At 1, 3.2 and 10microgl(-1) of Hg concentrations; the 25, 50 and 70% embryonic developmental arrests were observed. The lower concentrations of Hg (0.32, 1, and 3.2microgl(-1)) tested in the present study are not generally harmful to the neonates and adults daphnid species, but the same are highly toxic to the embryos of D. carinata. The 48h and 72h EC50s and their 95% confidence limits for survival and hatchability were lower than previously reported 48h EC50s for Daphnia magna immobilization assay. The egg of D. carinata turned out to be a suitable alternative model for ecotoxicological and water quality assessment studies.