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  • Multi-Stressors in Freshwater and Transitional Environments: from Legacy Pollutants to Emerging Ones
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Adverse effects of fly ashes used as immobilizing agents for highly metal-contaminated soils on Xenopus laevis oocytes survival and maturation—a study performed in the north of France with field soil extracts


Amphibians are now recognized as the most endangered group. One of this decline causes is the degradation of their habitat through direct contamination of water, soil leaching, or runoff from surrounding contaminated soils and environments. In the North of France, the extensive industrial activities resulted in massive soil contamination by metal compounds. Mineral amendments were added to soils to decrease trace metal mobility. Because of the large areas to be treated, the use of inexpensive industrial by-products was favored. Two types of fly ashes were both tested in an experimental site with the plantation of trees in 2000. Aim of the present work was to investigate the effects of extracts from metal-contaminated soils treated or not for 10 years with fly ashes on Xenopus laevis oocyte using cell biology approaches. Indeed, our previous studies have shown that the Xenopus oocyte is a relevant model to study the metal ion toxicity. Survival and maturation of oocyte exposed to the soil extracts were evaluated by phenotypic approaches and electrophysiological recordings. An extract derived from a metal-contaminated soil treated for 10 years with sulfo-calcic ashes induced the largest effects. Membrane integrity appeared affected and ion fluxes in exposed oocytes were changed. Thus, it appeared that extracted elements from certain mineral amendments used to prevent the mobility of metals in the case of highly metal-contaminated soils could have a negative impact on X. laevis oocytes.

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We are indebted to the Research Federation FRABio (Univ. Lille, CNRS, FR 3688, FRABio, Biochimie Structurale et Fonctionnelle des Assemblages Biomoléculaires) for providing the scientific and technical environment conducive to the achievement of this work. Sylvain Slaby is a recipient for a doctoral fellowship from French Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation.

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Correspondence to Matthieu Marin.

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Marchand, G., Demuynck, S., Slaby, S. et al. Adverse effects of fly ashes used as immobilizing agents for highly metal-contaminated soils on Xenopus laevis oocytes survival and maturation—a study performed in the north of France with field soil extracts. Environ Sci Pollut Res 27, 3706–3714 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-04560-0

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  • Amphibian
  • Xenopus
  • Oocyte
  • Maturation
  • Contaminated soils
  • Fly ash