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Since the expansion of plastic production at the global level the concerns regarding rising plastic pollution in our environment has become an emerging topic of interest. The purpose of this experiment was to observe where microplastic accumulation occurred in 5 dpf zebrafish larvae (Danio Rerio) and if the size of the microplastic affects the distribution where they accumulate in the larvae. Microplastics of all sizes were observed to accumulate, following rinsing, in the gut and on the back, sides and tail of larvae. All sizes of microplastics were also observed to indicate translocation into the tissues. Small microplastics appeared to have the most fluorescence and accumulation of microplastics in the tissue. A mortality assay was performed to find the lethal concentration of small microplastics on larval zebrafish. At higher concentrations, small microplastics were found to impact the survivability of larval zebrafish. Our findings indicate the translocation of microplastics from the gut to tissues in zebrafish larvae, as well as higher microplastic concentrations can induce mortality. Implications of these findings point to the possibility of microplastics being hazardous to marine organisms and, potentially travelling up the food chain into the diets of humans.
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McDonald, Dylan Rose, "Accumulation and Distribution of Polystyrene Microplastics in Danio Rerio Larvae" (2019). Senior Projects Spring 2019. 70.
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