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Alterations in Gonads and Liver Tissue in Two Neotropical Anuran Species Commonly Occurring in Rice Fields Crops

Abstract

Amphibians find a suitable habitat in rice agroecosystems, but their viability is affected by the sublethal effects of agrochemicals. Animal condition, external morphology, and liver and male gonad tissue histology were examined on Lysapsus limellum and Rhinella bergi, common species that occurs in rice fields (RF) and reference sites (RS) from Santa Fe and Chaco provinces, Argentina, respectively. Animal condition factor showed no significant differences between environments in either species. Males of both species from RF showed asymmetrical testis size. A higher proportion of cysts with early spermatogenesis cell stages were observed in RF specimens than in RS individuals. The proportion of tubules with free spermatozoa differed between environments for L. limellum. Bidder organ presented vacuoles, atretic follicles, and pigmentary cells in R. bergi from Chaco RF. Liver tissues of both species from RF exhibited sinusoid enlargement, hypervascularization, hepatocyte vacuolization, and dilated blood vessels. R. bergi had a higher number of hepatic melanomacrophages in RF than in RS. The histological biomarker was more sensitive than the morphological one to evaluate chronic pesticide exposure using anuran non-target organs (liver, gonads) and Bidder organ. The potential effect of those alterations on the reproductive performance of anurans that commonly occur in agroecosystems needs further research.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to J. A. Ruiz García, S. Seib, A. Bassó, and J. Céspedez for their help with field sampling and to T. Sandoval for assistance in laboratory procedures. We also thank Wildlife and Natural Areas department of Chaco Provinces and Environment Ministry of Santa Fe province for providing the collection authorizations and to CONICET (Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas) for providing financial support as fellowships during the first author’s Doctoral thesis. We are also grateful to Jorgelina Brasca for English editing and comments. This work was supported by Curso de Acción para la Investigación y Desarrollo (Programa de I+D Orientado a Problemas Sociales y Productivos, Uiversidad Nacional del Litoral-UNL).

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All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Field work, laboratory activities, and analysis were performed by Curi, L.M. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Curi, L.M. The field work and the commented on the previous version of manuscript were performed by Peltzer, P.M., Attademo, M..A., and Lajmanovich R.C. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Lucila M. Curi.

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Animal used in this research was treated following the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (2004) guidelines and with the approval of the Committee of Bioethics of the Facultad de Bioquímica y Ciencias Biológicas of the Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Santa Fe, Argentina (Res. CD. N°388/06), http://www. fbcb.unl.edu.ar/pages/investigacion/comite-de-etica.php.

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Curi, L.M., Peltzer, P.M., Attademo, M.A. et al. Alterations in Gonads and Liver Tissue in Two Neotropical Anuran Species Commonly Occurring in Rice Fields Crops. Water Air Soil Pollut 232, 203 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-021-05164-6

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Keywords

  • Agroecosystems
  • Amphibians
  • Histological testis alteration
  • Hepatic melanomacrophages