Pesticide causes Frogs to Change Sex

Pesticide causes Frogs to Change Sex - Weed Killer...

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3/5/10 2:17 PM Weed Killer Radically Alters Frog Reproduction - US News and World Report Page 1 of 2 http://www.usnews.com/science/articles/2010/03/02/weed-killer-radically-alters-frog-gender_print.html Weed Killer Radically Alters Frog Reproduction Some “chemically castrated” males under observation developed into egg-laying females Posted: March 2, 2010 Several months back, a Berkeley undergraduate began witnessing distinctly odd behavior in frogs she was caring for in the lab. At about 18-months old, some frisky guys began regularly mounting tank mates, as if to copulate. Except that their chosen partner was invariably male. He had to be. Because genetically, every animal in the tank was male. What Ngoc Mai Nguyen didn’t know at the time was that something in the water had reproductively altered several of the frogs to the point that they not only became submissive, like females, but also apparently sent out come-hither signals to the bro’s in their tank. “We were conducting a double-blind study, so I didn’t know what treatment [if any] they were getting,” Nguyen recalls. She did know, however, that each animal had been bred to ensure it was genetically male. So she informed her boss, biologist Tyrone Hayes . “I told Tyrone, ‘I don’t know what’s going on, but I don’t think this is normal.’” He asked her to log the guys’ behavior on a daily basis. And this confirmed some frogs definitely behaved like gals. Those who did even looked like females. These frogs had been raised from hatching in tanks of water containing low levels of atrazine, a widely used weed killer. “What Mai discovered,” Hayes says, “is that when they’re in these tanks, atrazine- exposed males will copulate with other males.” Indeed, he notes, among the atrazine-exposed animals that Mai was caring for, some 30 percent exhibited this girly behavior. It’s something Hayes previewed last Tuesday (Feb. 23) in a briefing before the Illinois legislature, in Springfield — and will describe in a
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2010 for the course BIO 201 taught by Professor True during the Spring '08 term at SUNY Stony Brook.

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Pesticide causes Frogs to Change Sex - Weed Killer...

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