Main content area

Nanoplastics impaired oyster free living stages, gametes and embryos

Tallec, Kevin, Huvet, Arnaud, Di Poi, Carole, González-Fernández, Carmen, Lambert, Christophe, Petton, Bruno, Le Goïc, Nelly, Berchel, Mathieu, Soudant, Philippe, Paul-Pont, Ika
Environmental pollution 2018 v.242 pp. 1226-1235
Crassostrea gigas, abnormal development, dose response, embryogenesis, genotoxicity, germ cells, marine environment, median effective concentration, metamorphosis, oceans, oysters, plankton, plastics, polystyrenes, reproductive success, wastes
In the marine environment, most bivalve species base their reproduction on external fertilization. Hence, gametes and young stages face many threats, including exposure to plastic wastes which represent more than 80% of the debris in the oceans. Recently, evidence has been produced on the presence of nanoplastics in oceans, thus motivating new studies of their impacts on marine life. Because no information is available about their environmental concentrations, we performed dose-response exposure experiments with polystyrene particles to assess the extent of micro/nanoplastic toxicity. Effects of polystyrene with different sizes and functionalizations (plain 2-μm, 500-nm and 50-nm; COOH-50 nm and NH2-50 nm) were assessed on three key reproductive steps (fertilization, embryogenesis and metamorphosis) of Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas). Nanoplastics induced a significant decrease in fertilization success and in embryo-larval development with numerous malformations up to total developmental arrest. The NH2-50 beads had the strongest toxicity to both gametes (EC50 = 4.9 μg/mL) and embryos (EC50 = 0.15 μg/mL), showing functionalization-dependent toxicity. No effects of plain microplastics were recorded. These results highlight that exposures to nanoplastics may have deleterious effects on planktonic stages of oysters, presumably interacting with biological membranes and causing cyto/genotoxicity with potentially drastic consequences for their reproductive success.