Friday, 24 May 2013

Gulf Killifish Show Defects from Crude Oil Exposure

Jacqueline Conciatore, National Science Foundation
Date: 22 May 2013 Time: 09:31 PM ET
This Research in Action article was provided to LiveScience in partnership with the National Science Foundation.

New research shows that a signal species of fish in the Gulf Coast was harmed by exposure to crude oil toxins nearly a year after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster occurred.

Using wire minnow traps, the researchers — from Louisiana State University, Clemson University and the University of California, Davis — collected Gulf killifish (Fundulus grandis) from oil-contaminated Grande Terre, La., and from reference sites in Mississippi and Alabama — sites that were not contaminated — during four trips between May 2010 and August 2011.

Analyses of the Grande Terre fish revealed abnormal gene expression in their liver and gill tissues. Furthermore, embryos that were exposed in the lab to Grande Terre sediments failed to hatch or were smaller and showed "poor vigor." The embryos also suffered edema, or excessive fluid buildup, around the heart and in the yolk sac.


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