Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Newts and Nanoparticles: Small product, big problem?

Presenter Information

Austin SpenceFollow

Class

Article

Department

Biology

Faculty Mentor

Susannah French

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Metal nanoparticles can pollute aquatic ecosystems, and have toxic effects on a variety of organisms, especially microbes and invertebrates. To date, little research has been done to investigate the effects of nanoparticles on amphibians, especially caudates. This experiment investigated the effects of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles on the rough skinned newt, Taricha granulosa, at different life-history stages. Chronic and acute toxicity were tested on eggs and larvae. For eggs, chronic exposure caused higher mortality at 10 and 100 mg/L compared to 0, 0.1, and 1 mg/L, with sublethal effects including developmental deformities, decreased time to hatching, and smaller size at hatching. Incubation decreased by 5 days and larvae had a decreased developmental stage when given an acute exposure during late embryonic development. Chronic and acute exposure of larvae both increased mortality up to 75% at both 10 and 100 mg/L, and exhibited sublethal effects, including slower growth and development. These results suggest nanoparticles can have lethal and sublethal effects on amphibians. Assessment of the safety of nanoparticles and their potential effects in aquatic ecosystems needs to be prioritized as these chemicals become more prevalent in the environment.

Start Date

4-9-2015 11:00 AM

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Apr 9th, 11:00 AM

Newts and Nanoparticles: Small product, big problem?

Metal nanoparticles can pollute aquatic ecosystems, and have toxic effects on a variety of organisms, especially microbes and invertebrates. To date, little research has been done to investigate the effects of nanoparticles on amphibians, especially caudates. This experiment investigated the effects of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles on the rough skinned newt, Taricha granulosa, at different life-history stages. Chronic and acute toxicity were tested on eggs and larvae. For eggs, chronic exposure caused higher mortality at 10 and 100 mg/L compared to 0, 0.1, and 1 mg/L, with sublethal effects including developmental deformities, decreased time to hatching, and smaller size at hatching. Incubation decreased by 5 days and larvae had a decreased developmental stage when given an acute exposure during late embryonic development. Chronic and acute exposure of larvae both increased mortality up to 75% at both 10 and 100 mg/L, and exhibited sublethal effects, including slower growth and development. These results suggest nanoparticles can have lethal and sublethal effects on amphibians. Assessment of the safety of nanoparticles and their potential effects in aquatic ecosystems needs to be prioritized as these chemicals become more prevalent in the environment.