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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/4968

Title: The consequences of feminization in breeding groups of wild fish
Authors: Harris, CA
Hamilton, PB
Runnalls, TJ
Vinciotti, V
Henshaw, A
Hodgson, D
Coe, TS
Jobling, S
Tyler, CR
Sumpter, JP
Keywords: DNA microsatellites
Ecotoxicology
Genetic diversity
Intersex
Reproductive success
Roach
Secondary sexual characteristics
Size
Sperm viability
Publication Date: 2011
Publisher: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Citation: Environmental Health Perspectives, 119(3): 306-311, Mar 2011
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The feminization of nature by endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) is a key environmental issue affecting both terrestrial and aquatic wildlife. A crucial and as yet unanswered question is whether EDCs have adverse impacts on the sustainability of wildlife populations. There is widespread concern that intersex fish are reproductively compromised, with potential population-level consequences. However, to date, only in vitro sperm quality data are available in support of this hypothesis. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine whether wild endocrine-disrupted fish can compete successfully in a realistic breeding scenario. METHODS: In two competitive breeding experiments using wild roach (Rutilus rutilus), we used DNA microsatellites to assign parentage and thus determine reproductive success of the adults. RESULTS: In both studies, the majority of intersex fish were able to breed, albeit with varying degrees of success. In the first study, where most intersex fish were only mildly feminized, body length was the only factor correlated with reproductive success. In the second study, which included a higher number of more severely intersex fish, reproductive performance was negatively correlated with severity of intersex. The intersex condition reduced reproductive performance by up to 76% for the most feminized individuals in this study, demonstrating a significant adverse effect of intersex on reproductive performance. CONCLUSION: Feminization of male fish is likely to be an important determinant of reproductive performance in rivers where there is a high prevalence of moderately to severely feminized males.
Description: EHP is a publication of the U.S. government. Publication of EHP lies in the public domain and is therefore without copyright. Research articles from EHP may be used freely; however, articles from the News section of EHP may contain photographs or figures copyrighted by other commercial organizations and individuals that may not be used without obtaining prior approval from both the EHP editors and the holder of the copyright. Use of any materials published in EHP should be acknowledged (for example, "Reproduced with permission from Environmental Health Perspectives") and a reference provided for the article from which the material was reproduced.
Sponsorship: Funding for this work was derived through the Endocrine Disruption in Catchments project, which was supported by the U.K. Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs and the U.K. Environment Agency.
URI: http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetchArticle.action?articleURI=info%3Adoi%2F10.1289%2Fehp.1002555
http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/4968
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1002555
ISSN: 0091-6765
Appears in Collections:Institute for the Environment Research Papers

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