Recent studies that have focused on the response of fish to natural and anthropogenic environmental contamination have yielded some surprising results. For example, the recent seeding of an experimental lake in northwestern Ontario with ethynylestradiol, the primary synthetic estrogen found in human birth control pills, led to the collapse of the fathead minnow population that was living in the lake. In a similar vein, male fish collected downstream from wastewater treatment plants in the United Kingdom were found to experience differing levels of intersex, the condition in which mature ovarian follicles and mature spermatozoa occur in the same individual. More disturbingly, the intersex males were reproductively compromised, being able to breed with variable levels of success depending upon the severity of the intersex.
KeywordsSexual Differentiation Wolffian Duct Gonadal Differentiation Experimental Lake Internal Genitalia
- Marley, C. L., H. McCalman, S. Buckingham, D. Downes, and M. T. Abberton. “A Review of the Effect of Legumes on Ewe and Cow Fertility.” IBERS Legumes and Fertility Review (2011): 1–30.Google Scholar
- Newbold, R. R., and J. A. McLachlan. “Vaginal Adenosis and Adenocarcinoma in Mice Exposed Prenatally or Neonatally to Diethylstilbestrol.” Cancer Research 42 (1982): 2003–11.Google Scholar
- Smith, C. A., K. N. Roeszler, T. Ohnesorg, D. M. Cummins, P. G. Farlie, T. J. Doran, and A. H. Sinclair. “The Avian Z-Linked Gene DMRT1 Is Required for Male Sex Determination in the Chicken.” Nature 461 (10 September 2009): 267–71.Google Scholar