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.

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 April 18, 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 April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) With plenty of honking, flapping, and fluttering, more than three dozen Caribbean flamingos at Zoo Miami were rounded up today as the iconic exhibit was closed for renovations. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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