Trophic transfer, bioaccumulation and transcriptomic effects of permethrin in inland silversides, Menidia beryllina, under future climate scenarios

Andrew P. Derby, Neil W. Fuller, Kara E. Huff Hartz, Amelie Segarra, Richard E. Connon, Susanne M. Brander, Michael J. Lydy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Global climate change (GCC) significantly affects aquatic ecosystems. Continual use of pyrethroid insecticides results in contamination of these ecosystems and concurrent GCC raises the potential for synergistic effects. Resistance to pyrethroids has been documented in Hyalella azteca, a common epibenthic amphipod and model organism. Resistant H. azteca can bioconcentrate elevated amounts of pyrethroids and represent a threat to consumers via trophic transfer. In the present study, a predator of H. azteca, the inland silverside (Menidia beryllina), was used to examine the impacts of GCC on pyrethroid bioaccumulation via trophic transfer from resistant prey organisms. M. beryllina were fed 14C-permethrin dosed pyrethroid-resistant H. azteca for 14 days at three salinities (6, 13 and 20 practical salinity units (PSU)) and two temperatures (18 and 23 °C). Fish were analyzed for total body residues, percent parent compound and percent metabolites. Gene expression in liver and brain tissue were evaluated to assess whether dietary bioaccumulation of permethrin would impact detoxification processes, metabolism, and general stress responses. M. beryllina bioaccumulated significant amounts of permethrin across all treatments, ranging from 39 to 557 ng g−1 lipid. No statistically significant effect of temperature was found on total bioaccumulation. Salinity had a significant effect on total bioaccumulation, owing to greater bioaccumulation at 6 PSU compared to 13 and 20 PSU, which may be due to alterations to xenobiotic elimination. Permethrin bioaccumulation and the interaction with temperature and salinity elicited significant transcriptional responses in genes relating to detoxification, growth, development, and immune response. Given the increased prevalence of pesticide-resistant aquatic invertebrates, GCC-induced alterations to temperature and salinity, and the predicted increase in pesticide usage, these findings suggest trophic transfer may play an important role in pesticide bioaccumulation and effects in predatory fish.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116545
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
StatePublished - Apr 15 2021


  • Bioaccumulation
  • Global climate change
  • H. azteca
  • M. beryllina
  • Permethrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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