Natália Martins Feitosa , 2 , Emiliano Nicolas Calderon 5 , Rhennã Nascimento da Silva 1 , Sônia Lopes Rezende de Melo 3 , Jackson Souza-Menezes 1 , Rodrigo Nunes-da-Fonseca 1 , Márcia Vieira Reynier 4
14 April 2021
The fish embryo test (FET) is an alternative to the classic freshwater toxicity test used to assess environmental hazards and risks to fish. This test has been standardized and adopted by the Organization for Economic and Cooperation and Development (OECD). As salinity may affect the substances’ toxicity, we describe the development of an alternative euryhaline test species for embryonic ecotoxicological tests: the Brazilian silverside Atherinella brasiliensis (Quoy & Gaimard, 1825). This species is broadly distributed along the coast of South America and is able to inhabit a broad range of environmental and saline conditions. Ours is the first study on the maintenance of a native South American species for natural reproduction and the generation of embryos for tests. The embryos used are transparent and possess fluorescent cells which have only been seen in a few species and which may be used as markers, making it an alternative assessment tool for the lethal and sublethal substances in marine and estuarine environments. We provide a detailed description and analysis of embryonic development under different salinities and temperatures. The embryos and larvae developed in similar ways at different salinities, however as temperatures increased, mortality also increased. We considered the effects of the reference toxicants Zn 2+ and SDS using a protocol similar to the FET that was standardized for zebrafish. Brazilian silverside embryos are as sensitive as freshwater, or euryhaline fish, to the surfactant but are more resistant to metals prior to hatching. We were able to show the advantages of the Brazilian silverside as a model for a marine fish embryo test (FETm) with high levels of reproducibility and little contaminated waste.