Chronic perchlorate exposure causes morphological abnormalities in developing stickleback



Few studies have examined the effects of chronic perchlorate exposure during growth and development, and fewer still have analyzed the effects of perchlorate over multiple generations. We describe morphological and developmental characteristics for threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) that were spawned and raised to sexual maturity in perchlorate-treated water (G1,2003) and for their offspring (G2,2004) that were not directly treated with perchlorate. The G1,2003 displayed a variety of abnormalities, including impaired formation of calcified traits, slower growth rates, aberrant sexual development, poor survivorship, and reduced pigmentation that allowed internal organs to be visible. Yet these conditions were absent when the offspring of contaminated fish (G2,2004) were raised in untreated water, suggesting a lack of transgenerational effects and that surviving populations may be able to recover following remediation of perchlorate-contaminated sites. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2011; 30:1468–1478. © 2011 SETAC