Student Authors

Andrea J. Sitton '14, Gettysburg College

Taylor B. Bury '16, Gettysburg College

Laura L. Lee '15, Gettysburg College

Kevin T. Lerner '17, Gettysburg College

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Department 1


Department 2



Engineered nanoparticles are aquatic contaminants of emerging concern that exert ecotoxicological effects on a wide variety of organisms. We exposed cetyltrimethylammonium bromide–capped spherical gold nanoparticles to wood frog and bullfrog tadpoles with conspecifics and in combination with the other species continuously for 21 d, then measured uptake and localization of gold. Wood frog tadpoles alone and in combination with bullfrog tadpoles took up significantly more gold than bullfrogs. Bullfrog tadpoles in combination with wood frogs took up significantly more gold than controls. The rank order of weight-normalized gold uptake was wood frogs in combination > wood frogs alone > bullfrogs in combination > bullfrogs alone > controls. In all gold-exposed groups of tadpoles, gold was concentrated in the anterior region compared with the posterior region of the body. The concentration of gold nanoparticles in the anterior region of wood frogs both alone and in combination with bullfrogs was significantly higher than the corresponding posterior regions. We also measured depuration time of gold in wood frogs. After 21 d in a solution of gold nanoparticles, tadpoles lost >83% of internalized gold when placed in gold-free water for 5 d. After 10 d in gold-free water, tadpoles lost 94% of their gold. After 15 d, gold concentrations were below the level of detection. Our finding of differential uptake between closely related species living in similar habitats with overlapping geographical distributions argues against generalizing toxicological effects of nanoparticles for a large group of organisms based on measurements in only one species.



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