Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Urea Fertilizer on the Angiogenesis, Body Growth, and Liver Structure of Duck (Anas platyrhynchos) Embryos

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Department of Biology, Caraga State University, Butuan City 8600, Philippines

2 Senior High School, Caraga State University, Butuan City 8600, Philippines


The agricultural sector uses fertilizers such as urea to add more nutrients to the soil needed for plant growth. Although it is cost-effective in crop production, indiscriminate use of nitrate-based fertilizer may result in behavioural, morphological, and physiological alterations on non-target organisms. This study determined the angiogenesis activity in the chorioallantoic membrane of urea-exposed duck embryos. It also investigated the weight, morphometries, and liver histopathology to gather more information on urea fertilizer's toxicity. It was observed that urea promoted angiogenesis in the CAM of duck embryos, especially at higher concentrations (P<0.05). Embryos treated with urea resulted in an alteration of the head-beak length (P<0.05). However, weight, crown-rump length, forelimb length, and hind limb length were not affected. The developing liver of urea-treated embryos showed distortion of the central vein shape and had larger sinusoidal spaces. The presence of Kupffer cells and lipid droplets were observed in the treated section. Congestion of blood cells, haemorrhage, and necrosis of hepatocytes were also observed in the tissue suggesting the extent of damage caused by the fertilizer. The findings of this study showed multiple developmental effects of urea on duck embryos. Further investigations are needed to shed more light on the toxicity of urea fertilizer on vertebrates.


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