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Fish populations surviving estrogen pollution.

Wedekind C - BMC Biol. (2014)

Bottom Line: Among the most common pollutants that enter the environment after passing municipal wastewater treatment are estrogens, especially the synthetic 17α-ethinylestradiol that is used in oral contraceptives.Estrogens are potent endocrine disruptors at concentrations frequently observed in surface waters.We now need to understand the basis of this tolerance.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Biophore, Lausanne, 1015, Switzerland. claus.wedekind@unil.ch.

ABSTRACT
Among the most common pollutants that enter the environment after passing municipal wastewater treatment are estrogens, especially the synthetic 17α-ethinylestradiol that is used in oral contraceptives. Estrogens are potent endocrine disruptors at concentrations frequently observed in surface waters. However, new genetic analyses suggest that some fish populations can be self-sustaining even in heavily polluted waters. We now need to understand the basis of this tolerance.

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Mating types, family sex ratios, and corresponding frequencies of Y or W chromosomes in populations affected by estrogen-induced feminization. (a) XY/XX sex determination system. (b) ZZ/ZW sex determination system. Black symbols: phenotype-genotype mismatch caused by feminization. Gray symbols: new karyotypes among the progeny of feminized individuals.
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Figure 2: Mating types, family sex ratios, and corresponding frequencies of Y or W chromosomes in populations affected by estrogen-induced feminization. (a) XY/XX sex determination system. (b) ZZ/ZW sex determination system. Black symbols: phenotype-genotype mismatch caused by feminization. Gray symbols: new karyotypes among the progeny of feminized individuals.

Mentions: Estrogen pollution threatens wild populations because of its negative effects on the vital rates (survival, growth, and fecundity), family sex ratios (Figure 2), the frequencies of sex chromosomes (Figure 2), and genetic variation and the evolutionary potential of populations. The effects of feminization on population sex ratios may often be counter intuitive: it will first produce female-biased population sex ratios, but because male genotypes are more prevalent among the progeny of feminized individuals (Figure 2), population sex ratios can develop, over time, into anything between heavily female-biased or heavily male-biased, depending on the temporal dynamics of the pollution, the viability and reproductive success of the various genotype-phenotype combinations, and their specific susceptibility to feminization at different developmental stages [10]. We would expect the occurrence of YY individuals in populations with an XY/XX sex determination system (Figure 2; in contrast to mammals, YY individuals are often viable in fish because Y chromosomes are typically far less damaged in fish than they are in mammals [9]). It is even possible that sex chromosomes go extinct (Figure 2), in that populations may lose their genetic sex determination and become dependent on the production of females through estrogen pollution. Ceasing the pollution could then create dramatic negative effects on fish populations.


Fish populations surviving estrogen pollution.

Wedekind C - BMC Biol. (2014)

Mating types, family sex ratios, and corresponding frequencies of Y or W chromosomes in populations affected by estrogen-induced feminization. (a) XY/XX sex determination system. (b) ZZ/ZW sex determination system. Black symbols: phenotype-genotype mismatch caused by feminization. Gray symbols: new karyotypes among the progeny of feminized individuals.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3921986&req=5

Figure 2: Mating types, family sex ratios, and corresponding frequencies of Y or W chromosomes in populations affected by estrogen-induced feminization. (a) XY/XX sex determination system. (b) ZZ/ZW sex determination system. Black symbols: phenotype-genotype mismatch caused by feminization. Gray symbols: new karyotypes among the progeny of feminized individuals.
Mentions: Estrogen pollution threatens wild populations because of its negative effects on the vital rates (survival, growth, and fecundity), family sex ratios (Figure 2), the frequencies of sex chromosomes (Figure 2), and genetic variation and the evolutionary potential of populations. The effects of feminization on population sex ratios may often be counter intuitive: it will first produce female-biased population sex ratios, but because male genotypes are more prevalent among the progeny of feminized individuals (Figure 2), population sex ratios can develop, over time, into anything between heavily female-biased or heavily male-biased, depending on the temporal dynamics of the pollution, the viability and reproductive success of the various genotype-phenotype combinations, and their specific susceptibility to feminization at different developmental stages [10]. We would expect the occurrence of YY individuals in populations with an XY/XX sex determination system (Figure 2; in contrast to mammals, YY individuals are often viable in fish because Y chromosomes are typically far less damaged in fish than they are in mammals [9]). It is even possible that sex chromosomes go extinct (Figure 2), in that populations may lose their genetic sex determination and become dependent on the production of females through estrogen pollution. Ceasing the pollution could then create dramatic negative effects on fish populations.

Bottom Line: Among the most common pollutants that enter the environment after passing municipal wastewater treatment are estrogens, especially the synthetic 17α-ethinylestradiol that is used in oral contraceptives.Estrogens are potent endocrine disruptors at concentrations frequently observed in surface waters.We now need to understand the basis of this tolerance.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Biophore, Lausanne, 1015, Switzerland. claus.wedekind@unil.ch.

ABSTRACT
Among the most common pollutants that enter the environment after passing municipal wastewater treatment are estrogens, especially the synthetic 17α-ethinylestradiol that is used in oral contraceptives. Estrogens are potent endocrine disruptors at concentrations frequently observed in surface waters. However, new genetic analyses suggest that some fish populations can be self-sustaining even in heavily polluted waters. We now need to understand the basis of this tolerance.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus