Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hormone-mimicking chemicals cause inter-species mating: Bisphenol A breaks down fish species barriers

Date:
July 11, 2012
Source:
Wiley
Summary:
Hormone-mimicking chemicals released into rivers have been found to impact the mating choices of fish, a new study has revealed. The controversial chemical BPA, which emits estrogen-like properties, was found to alter an individual's appearance and behavior, leading to inter-species breeding.

Fish. Hormone-mimicking chemicals released into rivers have been found to impact the mating choices of fish, a new study has revealed. The controversial chemical BPA, which emits estrogen-like properties, was found to alter an individual's appearance and behavior, leading to inter-species breeding.
Credit: brozova / Fotolia

Hormone-mimicking chemicals released into rivers have been found to impact the mating choices of fish, a new study has revealed. The controversial chemical BPA, which emits estrogen-like properties, was found to alter an individual's appearance and behavior, leading to inter-species breeding. The study, published in Evolutionary Applications, reveals the threat to biodiversity when the boundaries between species are blurred.

Related Articles


The research, led by Dr Jessica Ward from the University of Minnesota, focused on the impact of Bisphenol A (BPA) on Blacktail Shiner (Cyprinella venusta) and Red Shiner (Cyprinella lutrensis) fish which are found in rivers across the United States. BPA is an organic compound used in the manufacture of polycarbonate and other plastics. It is currently banned from baby bottles and children's cups in 11 U.S. states.

"Chemicals from household products and pharmaceuticals frequently end up in rivers and BPA is known to be present in aquatic ecosystems across the United States," said Ward. "Until now studies have primarily focused on the impact to individual fish, but our study demonstrates the impact of BPA on a population level."

The team collected individuals of both species from two streams in the state of Georgia. The species were kept separated for 14 days in tanks, some of which contained BPA. On the 15th day behavioral trials were undertaken as individuals from different tanks were introduced to each other.

The scientists monitored any physiological or signalling differences the individuals displayed, such as color, as well as any behavioral differences during courtship, such as mate choice.

BPA disrupts an individual's endocrine system, which controls the release of hormones. This impacts behavior and appearance, which in turn can lead an individual to mistake a newly introduced species as a potential mate.

This process poses long-term ecological consequences, especially in areas threatened by the introduction of invasive species. BPA and other hormone-mimicking chemicals can escalate the loss of native biodiversity by breaking down species barriers and promoting the invader.

"Our research shows how the presence of these humanmade chemicals leads to a greater likelihood of hybridization between species," concluded Ward. "This can have severe ecological and evolutionary consequences, including the potential for the decline of our native species."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jessica L. Ward, Michael J. Blum. Exposure to an environmental estrogen breaks down sexual isolation between native and invasive species. Evolutionary Applications, 2012; DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-4571.2012.00283.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley. "Hormone-mimicking chemicals cause inter-species mating: Bisphenol A breaks down fish species barriers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120711074232.htm>.
Wiley. (2012, July 11). Hormone-mimicking chemicals cause inter-species mating: Bisphenol A breaks down fish species barriers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120711074232.htm
Wiley. "Hormone-mimicking chemicals cause inter-species mating: Bisphenol A breaks down fish species barriers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120711074232.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins