Sensitivity of a Model Reptile, the Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina), to In Ovo Exposure to 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-Dioxin and Other Dioxin-Like Chemicals

Jon A. Doering, Markus Brinkmann, Maria Lucio, Serena Stoeck, Alex Vien, Stephanie Petersen, Turk Rhen, Paul D. Jones, Markus Hecker, Anthony Schroeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Reptiles represent the least-studied group of vertebrates with regards to ecotoxicology and no empirical toxicity data existed for dioxin-like chemicals (DLCs). This lack of toxicity data represents a significant uncertainty in ecological risk assessments of this taxon. Therefore, the present study assessed early-life sensitivity to select DLCs and developed relative potencies in the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) as a model reptile. Specifically, survival to hatch and incidence of pathologies were assessed in common snapping turtle exposed in ovo to serial concentrations of the prototypical reference congener 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), and three other DLCs of environmental relevance, namely, 2,3,4,7,8-pentachlorodibenzofuran (PeCDF), 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzofuran (TCDF), and 3,3',4,4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB 126). In ovo exposure to TCDD, PeCDF, TCDF, and PCB 126 caused a dose-dependent increase in early-life mortality, with median lethal doses (LD50s) of 14.9, 11.8, 29.6, and 185.9 pg/g-egg, respectively. Except for abnormal vasculature development, few pathologies were observed. Based on the measured LD50, common snapping turtle is more sensitive to TCDD in ovo than other species of oviparous vertebrates investigated to date. The potencies of PeCDF, TCDF, and PCB 126 relative to TCDD were 1.3, 0.5, and 0.08, respectively. These relative potencies are within an order of magnitude of World Health Organization (WHO) TCDD-equivalency factors (TEFs) for both mammals and birds supporting these TEFs as relevant for assessing ecological risk to reptiles. The great sensitivity to toxicities of the common snapping turtle, and potentially other species of reptiles, suggests a clear need for further investigation into the ecotoxicology of this taxon. Environ Toxicol Chem 2022;41:175-183. © 2021 SETAC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-183
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Jon A. Doering received support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellowships program. Markus Brinkmann was supported by the Global Water Futures program that is funded through the Canada First Research Excellence Funds. Markus Hecker was supported through the Canada Research Chairs program. Special thanks to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for permitting the collection of common snapping turtle eggs.

Funding Information:
Jon A. Doering received support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellowships program. Markus Brinkmann was supported by the Global Water Futures program that is funded through the Canada First Research Excellence Funds. Markus Hecker was supported through the Canada Research Chairs program. Special thanks to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for permitting the collection of common snapping turtle eggs.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 SETAC

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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