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Organohalogenated contaminants in plasma and eggs of rockhopper penguins

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Subtitle:does vitellogenin affect maternal transfer?
Although many studies have investigated organohalogenated contaminants (OHCs) in yolk, little is known about the mechanisms and timing of transfer of OHCs from the female to the egg. Vitellogenin, a yolk precursor, has been suggested to play a role in this transport. We here report for the first time the temporal changes in OHC and an index of vitellogenin concentrations in female plasma from the pre-laying period to clutch completion in free-living birds: the southern rockhopper penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome chrysocome) breeding in the Falkland/Malvinas Islands. In addition, OHC concentrations in the corresponding clutches were analysed. OHC concentrations in female plasma and in the yolk of both the first (A-) and the second (B-)eggs followed a similar pattern, with hexachlorobenzene (HCB) > Sigma polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) > Sigma dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs) > Sigma methoxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (MeO-PBDEs) > Sigma chlordanes (CHLs) > Sigma polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) approximate to Sigma hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs). The higher concentrations of MeO-PBDEs compared to PBDEs indicate a diet containing naturally-produced MeO-PBDEs. All OHC compounds except for PBDEs increased from the pre-laying period to A-egg laying and subsequently declined from A-egg laying to B-egg laying, and female plasma vitellogenin showed the same pattern. For EPCBs and Sigma MeO-PBDEs, we found positive correlations between female plasma during A-egg laying and both eggs, and for HCB between female plasma and A-eggs only. During pre-laying, only Sigma MeO-PBDEs correlated between both eggs and female plasma, and no correlations between OHC concentrations in eggs and female plasma were found during B-egg laying, highlighting that maternal transfer of OHCs is time- and compound specific. Finally, female vitellogenin concentrations did not significantly correlate with any OHC compounds in either female plasma or eggs, and our results therefore did not confirm the suggested role of vitellogenin in the maternal transfer of OHC molecules into their eggs. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Journal: Environmental Pollution
ISSN: 0269-7491
Volume: 226
Pages: 277 - 287
Publication year:2017