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Effects of waterborne zinc on reproduction, survival and morphology of Gyrodactylus turnbulli (Monogenea) on guppies (Poecilia reticulata)

Gheorghiu, Cristina, Cable, Joanne, Marcogliese, David J. and Scott, Marilyn E. 2007. Effects of waterborne zinc on reproduction, survival and morphology of Gyrodactylus turnbulli (Monogenea) on guppies (Poecilia reticulata). International Journal for Parasitology 37 (3) , pp. 375-381. 10.1016/j.ijpara.2006.09.004

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Recent reviews indicate that pollutants in the surrounding macroenvironment directly influence the population dynamics, distribution and dispersal of fish ectoparasites, often leading to increased parasitism. The aim of the current study was to explore the effects of sublethal concentrations of waterborne zinc (up to 240μg Zn/L) on survival, reproduction and morphometrics of Gyrodactylus turnbulli, a viviparous monogenean infecting the skin and fins of the guppy, Poecilia reticulata. Parasite survival and reproduction on the fish were recorded daily for individual parasites maintained in isolated containers. Both survival and reproduction were reduced in 30 and 120μg Zn/L, compared with 0, 15, and 60μg Zn/L indicating direct toxic effects of Zn on the parasite. However, as generation time was unaffected by Zn, we attribute the reduced reproduction to the shorter lifespan. Parasite survival off the fish was monitored hourly. Average lifespan of the detached parasites decreased linearly from 19.5h in 0μg Zn/L to 17.3h in 240μg Zn/L, further supporting the direct toxic effect of Zn to the parasite. In addition, temporal dynamics of parasite morphometrics were monitored from mini-epidemics sampled after 1, 5, 10, and 15 days exposure to various Zn concentrations. All morphological parameters decreased significantly in response both to concentration and duration of exposure to waterborne Zn. Together these data clearly indicate that concentrations as low as 120μg Zn/L are directly toxic to G. turnbulli.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0020-7519
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 06:39

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