Disruption of sexual selection in sand gobies (Pomatoschistus minutus) by 17 alpha-ethinyl estradiol, an endocrine disruptor

M Saaristo, JA Craft, KK Lehtonen, H Björk, Kai Lindström

    Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

    51 Citeringar (Scopus)

    Sammanfattning

    In aquatic environments, endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that interfere with the reproductive physiology of males form a threat to the reproduction of populations. This is often manifested as decreased sexual performance or sterility among males. We show that exposure to EDCs can directly affect the mating system of a marine fish, the sand goby (Pomatoschistus minutus). We exposed males for 1 to 4 weeks to two different concentrations (5 ng L-1 and 24 ng L-1) of 17 alpha-ethinyl estradiol (EE2); a synthetic compound mimicking estrogen and a water control. The sand goby exhibits a polygynous mating system, in which male mating success is typically skewed towards the largest males, resulting in strong sexual selection for increased male size. Our experiment shows that when males have been exposed to EE2, male size has a smaller effect on mating success, resulting in weaker sexual selection on male size as compared to the control. There was an interaction between treatment and exposure time on the expression of vitellogenin and zona radiata protein mRNAs. Males exposed to high EE2 reached much higher expression levels than males exposed to low EE2. Of the somatic markers, the hepatosomatic index was lower in males exposed to high EE2 than in the low EE2 and control males. Our results suggest that exposure to EDCs can have effects on the mating system before physiological changes are observable. These effects can be of profound nature as they interfere with sexual selection, and may in the long run lead to the loss of traits maintained through sexual selection.
    OriginalspråkOdefinierat/okänt
    Sidor (från-till)530–537
    Antal sidor8
    TidskriftHormones and Behavior
    Volym55
    Utgåva4
    DOI
    StatusPublicerad - 2009
    MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad

    Nyckelord

    • Endocrine disruptor
    • Molecular biomarkers
    • Pomatoschistus
    • Reproductive behavior
    • Sand goby
    • Sexual selection

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