Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8402
Title: Confirmation of stormwater bioretention treatment effectiveness using molecular indicators of cardiovascular toxicity in developing fish
Author: J. K. McIntyre, R. C. Edmunds, M. G. Redig, E. M. Mudrock, J. W. Davis, J. P. Incardona, N. L. Scholz
Publication Year: 2016
Journal: Environmental Science & Technology
Keywords: stormwater,Zebrafish,green infrastructure,PAHs,
Abstract:

            Urban stormwater runoff is a globally significant threat to the ecological integrity of aquatic habitats.  Green stormwater infrastructure methods such as bioretention are increasingly used to improve water quality by filtering chemical contaminants that may be harmful to fish and other species.  Ubiquitous examples of toxics in runoff from highways and other impervious surfaces include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).  Certain PAHs are known to cause functional and structural defects in the developing fish hearts.  Therefore, normal or abnormal heart development in fish can be a sensitive measure of clean water technology effectiveness.  Here we use the zebrafish experimental model to assess the effects of untreated runoff on the expression of genes that are classically responsive to contaminant exposures, as well as heart-related genes that may underpin the familiar cardiotoxicity phenotype.  Further, we assess the effectiveness of soil bioretention for treating runoff, as measured by prevention of both visible toxicity (reduced heart rate, abnormal cardiac looping, pericardial edema) and corresponding gene regulation.  We find that contaminants in the dissolved phase of runoff (e.g., PAHs) are causing cardiotoxicity, and that soil bioinfiltration protects against these harmful effects.  Molecular markers were more sensitive than visible toxicity indicators, and several cardiac-related genes show promise as novel and sensitive tools for evaluating the effectiveness of evolving stormwater mitigation strategies. 

Notes: McIntyre, J.K., Edmunds, R.C., Mudrock, E., Brown, M., Davis, J.W., Stark, J.D., Incardona, J.P. and Scholz, N.L. (2016). Confirmation of stormwater bioretention treatment effectiveness using molecular indicators of cardiovascular toxicity in developing fish. Environmental Science and Technology, In press
Theme: Habitats to Support Sustainable Fisheries and Recovered Populations
Foci: Assess the impacts of toxic chemicals and other pollutants across biological scales, and identify pollution reduction strategies that improve habitat quality.
Official Citation:

McIntyre, J.K., Edmunds, R.C., Mudrock, E., Brown, M., Davis, J.W., Stark, J.D., Incardona, J.P. and Scholz, N.L. 2016. Confirmation of stormwater bioretention treatment effectiveness using molecular indicators of cardiovascular toxicity in developing fish. Environmental Science and Technology, 50:1561-1569.