Quantifying maternal and dietary sources of 2,2′,4,4′,5,5′Hexachlorobiphenyl deposited in eggs of the ring dove (Streptopelia risoria)

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Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry





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The influence of maternal versus dietary sources of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) deposited to eggs of ring doves (Streptopelia risoria) was investigated. Mature birds that lay a clutch of two eggs every 12 to 15 d were fed a diet of pellets spiked with 2,2′,4,4′,5,5′-hexacholorobiphenyl (unlabelled isotope designated as [12C]PCB153) for 25 d. The birds were subsequently switched to a diet containing isotopically labeled [U-13C12]PCB153 at similar concentrations for an additional 63 d. The toxicokinetics of [12C]PCB153 and [13C]PCB 153 were followed in egg and carcass samples with time. Isotopic ratios of PCB153 in yolk lipids were identical to those in carcass lipids after introduction of diet 2, and they did not resemble those of the food at the time of egg formation. The data indicate that the PCB composition of eggs directly reflects the composition of maternal tissues, not the diet, at the time of yolk formation. Egg yolk:carcass lipid concentration ratios for the two isotopes were significantly less than one, averaging 0.33 ± 0.02 (mean ± standard error). Lipid normalized egg:maternal tissue contaminant concentration ratios for persistent organochlorine chemicals in the literature were reviewed for other avian species. The results provide a preliminary data set that suggests egg maternal tissue contaminant concentration ratios vary among species, particularly among species that invest different quantities of lipids to a clutch of eggs. The results support the hypothesis that dilution of contaminants in egg lipids relative to maternal lipids is related to the reproductive strategy employed by the species.