Effects of Emerging Pollutants on Ecological Health in Aquatic Environment

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Quality and Contamination".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 December 2022) | Viewed by 17019

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Marine College, Shandong University, Weihai, China
Interests: aquatic toxicology; environmental risk assessment; bioinformatics; endocrine disruption; molecular mechanism

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Today, the health of the aquatic environment is deteriorating due to various kinds of pollutants, changes in environmental factors, and their coupling effects. The aquatic environment, as an important component of the biosphere, has been termed “the ultimate sink” for traditional and emerging contaminants. Given the finite supply of water available, the continued chemical contamination of the aquatic environment may pose a significant environmental health hazard. We sincerely invite investigators to contribute original research articles as well as review articles that will stimulate the continuing efforts to understand the adverse effects and toxicological mechanisms of chemical contaminants (heavy metals, POPs, etc.) in an aquatic environment and encourage discussing the relationship between the toxic effects of environmental pollutants and changes in environmental factors. The Special Issue will become an international forum for researchers to summarize the most recent developments and ideas in the aquatic environmental health. We are particularly interested in articles about new monitoring techniques and novel molecular mechanisms of aquatic toxicology in recent years. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Toxicology of water emerging contaminants on various organisms;
  • Mechanisms of interactions between environmental factors and aquatic toxicology;
  • New technologies and methods in aquatic toxicology.

Prof. Dr. Zhihua Li
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • environmental pollutants
  • aquatic toxicology
  • molecular mechanism
  • environmental factor
  • ecological health risk

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 3379 KiB  
Article
Integration of Transcriptomics and Metabolomics for Evaluating Changes in the Liver of Zebrafish Exposed to a Sublethal Dose of Cyantraniliprole
by Lijuan Zhao, Hong Zhang, Zhidan Niu, Dandan Wei, Suyue Yan, Jianhua Bai, Lei Zhang and Xiaojing Shi
Water 2023, 15(3), 521; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15030521 - 28 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1801
Abstract
Diamide insecticides are a class of insecticides with high efficiency, a broad spectrum, and environmental and ecological safety. However, their effect on the environment cannot be ignored, especially the chronic environmental effects of sublethal doses. In this study, we evaluated the influence of [...] Read more.
Diamide insecticides are a class of insecticides with high efficiency, a broad spectrum, and environmental and ecological safety. However, their effect on the environment cannot be ignored, especially the chronic environmental effects of sublethal doses. In this study, we evaluated the influence of cyantraniliprole on zebrafish and provided data for evaluating the risk of cyantraniliprole in water. An acute toxicity test was used to obtain LC50, while 1/10 LC50 was selected to study the toxicity of the sublethal dose of cyantraniliprole on the transcription and metabolism of zebrafish liver. Our results showed that after exposure to a sublethal dose of cyantraniliprole for 30 days, the expression of various functional genes (elovl6, cpt1ab, eci1, fabp6, etc.) was abnormal and the content of various metabolites (Taurine, 1-Acyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, phosphatidylserine, betaine, sarcosine, etc.) was altered. In addition, transcriptional and metabolic correlation analysis revealed that sublethal doses of cyanobacteria could affect the fatty acid metabolism-related pathways of zebrafish liver (fatty acid elongation, metabolism, and degradation), as well as the PPAR pathway related to fat and the ABC pathway related to drug metabolism and transport. In conclusion, sublethal doses of cyantraniliprole caused abnormal liver metabolism in zebrafish by affecting fatty acid metabolism, up-regulating the PPAR pathway and down-regulating related genes and metabolites in the ABC pathway, which eventually led to liver damage. Full article
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12 pages, 1586 KiB  
Article
The “Journey” of Microplastics across the Marine Food Web in China’s Largest Fishing Ground
by Rijin Jiang, Zhaochao Deng, Jingjing Li, Yi Xiao, Yongjiu Xu, Jing Wang, Tiejun Li and Chunfang Zhang
Water 2023, 15(3), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15030445 - 22 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2854
Abstract
Microplastics in marine environments are becoming a hot topic since they can be transferred through the marine food web and may finally be consumed by humans. Here, we investigate the distribution characteristics of microplastics in marine organisms at different trophic levels through their [...] Read more.
Microplastics in marine environments are becoming a hot topic since they can be transferred through the marine food web and may finally be consumed by humans. Here, we investigate the distribution characteristics of microplastics in marine organisms at different trophic levels through their digestive tracts (entire organisms for zooplankton and zoobenthos). A total of 124 fish and 22 crustaceans from 10 fish and 3 crustacean species, as well as a few zooplankton and zoobenthos, were captured from the Zhoushan fishing ground, i.e., China’s largest ocean fishing ground. The abundance of microplastics ranged from 0.74 ± 1.29 to 4.71 ± 2.19 items per sample in fish species and from 0.83 ± 1.07 to 1.00 ± 0.93 items per sample in crustacean species. Among the detected microplastics, fiber was the most dominant type (i.e., 67%), transparent microplastics were the most frequently detected (i.e., 49%), and the majority of the microplastics were identified as natural particles (cellulose). The abundance of microplastics was positively correlated with the trophic level (correlation coefficient = 0.717; p < 0.05). Our results show that microplastics are widespread in the marine organisms of the Zhoushan fishing ground, and they might accumulate in marine organisms at higher trophic levels of the marine food chain. Full article
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12 pages, 4066 KiB  
Article
Thyroid-Disrupting Effects of Cadmium and Mercury in Zebrafish Embryos/Larvae
by Liqiao Zhong, He Zhang, Luyin Wu, Huijun Ru, Nian Wei, Fan Yao, Zhaohui Ni, Xinbin Duan and Yunfeng Li
Water 2023, 15(1), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15010135 - 30 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1485
Abstract
Cadmium (Cd2+) and mercury (Hg2+) are two kinds of non-essential heavy metals. Cd2+ and Hg2+ can cause thyroid disruption, but very few researchers have investigated the thyroid-disrupting effects of these metals on fish, specifically during their early [...] Read more.
Cadmium (Cd2+) and mercury (Hg2+) are two kinds of non-essential heavy metals. Cd2+ and Hg2+ can cause thyroid disruption, but very few researchers have investigated the thyroid-disrupting effects of these metals on fish, specifically during their early developmental transition stage from embryos to larvae. In this study, wild-type zebrafish embryos were exposed to varying concentrations (contents) of Cd2+ (0, 10, 100, and 1000 μg/L) and Hg2+ (0, 0.1, 1, and 10 μg/L) for 120 h. Thereafter, the thyroid hormone contents and transcriptional changes in the genes, including thyroid stimulating hormone-β (tshβ), thyroglobulin (tg), sodium-iodide symporter (nis), thyroid peroxidase (tpo), transthyretin (ttr), thyroid hormone receptor-α and -β (thrα, thrβ), types I and II iodothyronine deiodinase (dio1, dio2), and uridine diphosphate glucuronosyltransferase 1 family a, b (ugt1ab) associated with the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis were measured. Results showed that zebrafish embryos/larvae malformation rates were significantly higher in the Cd2+ and Hg2+ groups. A significant increase in the thyroxine (T4) concentration and a decrease in the triiodothyronine (T3) concentration were observed in the Cd2+-exposed zebrafish embryos/larvae. On the other hand, the T4 and T3 concentrations were observed to be significantly increased after Hg2+ exposure. Additionally, changes were noted in the expression patterns of the HPT axis-linked genes after Cd2+ and Hg2+ exposure. Based on the results of the principal component analysis (PCA), it was concluded that Cd2+ exposure significantly affected the thyroid endocrine system at a concentration of 100 μg/L, whereas Hg2+ exposure led to a thyroid disruption at a low concentration of 0.1 μg/L. Thus, this study demonstrated that exposure to Cd2+ and Hg2+ metal ions induced developmental toxicity and led to thyroid disruption in zebrafish embryos/larvae. Full article
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11 pages, 1553 KiB  
Article
Sulfide Treatment Alters Antioxidant Response and Related Genes Expressions in Rice Field Eel (Monopterus albus)
by Liqiao Zhong, Fan Yao, He Zhang, Huaxiao Xie, Huijun Ru, Nian Wei, Zhaohui Ni, Zhong Li and Yunfeng Li
Water 2022, 14(20), 3230; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14203230 - 13 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1383
Abstract
Sulfide is considered as an environmental factor and toxicant with a wide distribution in aquatic environments. At present, the toxic effects of sulfide stress on rice field eel (Monopterus albus) are poorly understood. To ascertain these effects, the juvenile rice field [...] Read more.
Sulfide is considered as an environmental factor and toxicant with a wide distribution in aquatic environments. At present, the toxic effects of sulfide stress on rice field eel (Monopterus albus) are poorly understood. To ascertain these effects, the juvenile rice field eels were exposed to sub-lethal concentrations of Na2S (0, 0.2154, 2.154, and 21.54 mg/L) for 7, 14, and 28 days. Antioxidant parameters such as catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and malondialdehyde (MDA) as well as the related gene (including sod, cat) expressions were measured. The expressions of metallothionein (mt) and heat shock protein 90 (hsp90), which are used as physiological stress indices, were also detected. The results showed that exposure to sulfide altered the antioxidant response and related gene expressions in rice field eel. The activities of SOD were inhibited and the MDA contents were increased after exposure to sulfide. The activities of CAT and GPx were increased at 7 days and decreased at 28 days after treatment with sulfide at the highest dose. The expressions of sod, cat, and hsp90 were upregulated at 7 days and downregulated at 14 and 28 days after exposure to high doses of sulfide. The expression of mt was significantly downregulated in all sulfide treated groups. The toxic effects caused by sulfide were in dose-dependent and time-dependent manners. In short, oxidative stress and physiological stress were caused in rice field eel after the exposure to sulfide. Full article
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9 pages, 9840 KiB  
Article
Chronic Toxic Effects of Waterborne Mercury on Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) Larvae
by Ya-Jun Wang, Cheng-Zhuang Chen, Ping Li, Ling Liu, Yi Chai and Zhi-Hua Li
Water 2022, 14(11), 1774; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14111774 - 31 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2105
Abstract
Mercury (Hg) is a kind of heavy metal pollutant widely existing in the aquatic environment, and it is also recognized to have a highly toxic effect on fish. In this study, silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) larvae were exposed to 0 (control), [...] Read more.
Mercury (Hg) is a kind of heavy metal pollutant widely existing in the aquatic environment, and it is also recognized to have a highly toxic effect on fish. In this study, silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) larvae were exposed to 0 (control), 1, 5, and 10 μg/L Hg2+ for 2 weeks. Antioxidant ability, neurotoxicity, and thyroid hormones (THs) content were evaluated. In comparison with the control, the superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and the glutathione (GSH) activity were lower in silver carp exposed to 10 μg/L Hg2+. The lowest catalase (CAT) activity was found in the 10 μg/L Hg2+, while malondialdehyde (MDA) content was not significantly different among all groups. Compared with the control, monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity and nitric oxide (NO) content were significantly higher in the 10 μg/L Hg2+, while acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity significantly decreased. Compared with the control, triiodothyronine (T3) content was significantly higher in the 1 μg/L Hg2+ and significantly lower in the 10 μg/L Hg2+; the 1 μg/L and 5 μg/L Hg2+ groups had significantly higher thyroxine (T4) content than the other groups. In the 1 μg/L Hg2+, the integrated biomarker response (IBR) index value was the highest. In summary, exposure to Hg could decrease the antioxidant ability, cause changes in neurotoxic parameters, and induce disorders of the thyroid hormone system in silver carp larvae. The results of this study may contribute to the understanding of the adverse effects of chronic mercury poisoning on fish. Full article
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11 pages, 2677 KiB  
Article
Spatiotemporal Response of Fish Aggregations to Hydrological Changes in the Lower Pearl River, China, during the Main Spawning Season
by Zhi Wu, Shuli Zhu, Yuefei Li, Yuguo Xia, Yingqiu Zhang, Xinhui Li and Jie Li
Water 2022, 14(11), 1723; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14111723 - 27 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1735
Abstract
The Pearl River is a global hotspot of fish biodiversity, yet has the most threatened endemic fish species in China. Since the establishment of the Changzhou Dam in the lower reach, changes in hydrological rhythm have negatively impacted fish downstream of the dam, [...] Read more.
The Pearl River is a global hotspot of fish biodiversity, yet has the most threatened endemic fish species in China. Since the establishment of the Changzhou Dam in the lower reach, changes in hydrological rhythm have negatively impacted fish downstream of the dam, but their spatiotemporal distribution in response to flood alteration has received little attention. In this study, hydroacoustic surveys were undertaken monthly in 2016 to monitor the distribution and behavior of fish. Fish densities were higher during the water discharge rising stage than during the falling stage, indicating that the fish aggregate during flooding (coefficient of variation [CV] > 100%) and depart after flooding (CV < 100%), especially aggregations of large fish. The target strength (TS) was allocated to two groups as per their frequency distributions, defined as small fish (−55 dB < TS < −40 dB) and large fish (TS > −40 dB). The sizes of both groups were significantly larger during the rising stage when compared to those during the falling stage (p < 0.01). Comparatively more fish were present with a greater average TS, and a substantially greater proportion of large fish was detected during rising stages. Hydrological variation importantly influences fish aggregations, including the numbers and sizes present, with the differences being particularly pronounced between the rising and falling stages. Combined with relevant studies, it is suggested that water releases from the Changzhou Dam should be regulated to satisfy fish spawning and migration demands during the main breeding season. Full article
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12 pages, 1262 KiB  
Article
Distribution and Risk Assessment of Toxic Pollutants in Surface Water of the Lower Yellow River, China
by Zhi-Hua Li, Ze-Peng Li, Xue Tang, Wen-Hao Hou and Ping Li
Water 2021, 13(11), 1582; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111582 - 3 Jun 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4414
Abstract
The lower reaches of the Yellow River is known for the rapid development of industry and agriculture, which has also led to some pollution. However, information about the level of toxic contaminants in the surface waters is lacking in this area. Therefore, five [...] Read more.
The lower reaches of the Yellow River is known for the rapid development of industry and agriculture, which has also led to some pollution. However, information about the level of toxic contaminants in the surface waters is lacking in this area. Therefore, five sampling points were set in the lower Yellow River to investigate the distribution of various pollutants and analyze the potential risks. The presence of heavy metals (Heavy metals tested for in this study were: Mercury (Hg), Arsenic (As), Copper (Cu), Chromium (Cr), and Zinc (Zn)) and antibiotics (Antibiotics tested for in this study were: Enrofloxacin (ENR), Ciprofloxacin (CIP), and Norfloxacin (NOR)) in water samples taken from the lower Yellow River were measured to reveal the spatial distribution and risk potential of the compounds. Various water quality parameters (Water quality parameters used in this study were: chemical oxygen demand (COD), biological oxygen demand (BOD5), total phosphorus (TP), and total nitrogen (TN)) were also tested. Study results showed the main surface water pollution components were COD, BOD5, TN, and TP. The average levels were 37.79 mg/L, 16.64 mg/L, 4.14 mg/L, and 0.42 mg/L, respectively. Among the detected metals from the water samples, Hg (LOD-0.1 μg/L) levels were only in line with the surface water class III or worse. Both fish and water samples contained antibiotics. According to an ecological risk assessment conducted along the river, the distribution of pollutants in the waters exhibited a spatial relationship with the land-use pattern in the study region and the Kenli site was the most polluted. Research shows that up-to-date data on the residual levels and distribution characteristics of pollutants in the lower Yellow River could provide valuable baseline data and technical support for relevant government departments and their management going forward. Full article
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