Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology




Eggs of the brook trout, Salvelinus fontnalis (Mitchell), were hatched in dilute deuterium concentrations of 1, 3 and 9 percent without any observable abnormality. The eggs grew exponentially and showed a significant reduction in growth rate as a function of deuterium concentration. The larvae also grew exponentially and showed a significant but less regular reduction in grows in 1, 3 and 9 percent D2O. The ultimate weight of larvae developed from eggs incubated in the above concentrations of D2O eventually became the same when they were placed in hatchery water. Mortality during embryonic development increased with increasing concentration of deuterium. Eggs incubated in buffer solutions of pH 6 and pH 8, prepared from citric acid and disodium phosphate, died within two to seven days. Mortality was believed to be due to the breaking down of the chorion and to the osmotic imbalance produced between the eggs and the surrounding culture media. Bacterial infection occurred when the eggs were reared in a closed environment. Antibiotics at doses of 1.2 ml of 0.02 percent streptomycin sulfate and 1.0 ml of distilled water containing 1000 units of penicillin added to 800 ml of the incubation medium every two days neither checked the infection nor reduced mortality. It was demonstrated that mortality was significantly increaded by mechanically disturbing the eggs during the period of two to seven days after fertilization. Morphogenesis of the embryonic tissues was not altered in any way by dilute deuterium in the above concentrations.



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