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Toxicity of PAHs and jelly protection of eggs in the Common frog Rana temporaria

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Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are damaging for aquatic organisms such as amphibians. In this study, toxicity of a mixture of three PAHs (naphthalene (2 rings), phenanthrene (3 rings) and pyrene (4 rings)) was tested on Common frog (Rana temporaria) embryos. The protective role of the jelly coat surrounding the eggs was studied by exposing embryos with and without jelly coat to PAHs dissolved in an aqueous solution without organic solvent. Results showed that the mixture of these three PAHs significantly increase embryonic mortality rate after a few hours of exposure. Embryos with jelly coat tend to suffer a lower mortality rate than embryos without jelly. The jelly surrounding eggs is filled by water of the breeding site, which can contain pollutants. Because jelly characteristics vary among species, sensitivity to environmental pollutants and levels of embryonic protection could be different among amphibian species.


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