Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

The endocrine disruptor 17β-trenbolone alters the relationship between pre- and post-copulatory sexual traits in male mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki)

Tan, Hung; Bertram, Michael; Martin, Jake M.; Ecker, Tiarne E.; Hannington, Stephanie L.; Saaristo, Minna; O’Bryan, Moira K.; Wong, Bob B.M.

Abstract

It is now well-established that reproduction in wildlife can be disrupted by anthropogenic environmental changes, such as chemical pollution. However, very little is known about how these pollutants might affect the interplay between pre- and post-copulatory mechanisms of sexual selection. Here, we investigated the impacts of 21-day exposure of male eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) to a field-realistic level (average measured concentration: 11 ng/L) of the endocrine-disrupting chemical 17β-trenbolone (17β-TB) on pre- and post-copulatory reproductive traits. We examined male reproductive behaviour by testing the time spent near a female behind a partition, as well as the number of copulation attempts made, and the time spent chasing a female in a free-swimming context. Sperm traits were also assayed for all males. We found that exposure of male fish to 17β-TB altered the relationship between key pre- and post-copulatory reproductive traits. Furthermore, 17β-TB-exposed males had, on average, a higher percentage of motile sperm, and performed fewer copulation attempts than unexposed males. However, there was no overall effect of 17β-TB exposure on either the time males spent associating with or chasing females. Taken together, our findings demonstrate the potential for chemical pollutants to affect both pre- and post-copulatory sexual traits, and the interplay between these mechanisms of sexual selection in contaminated wildlife.

Keywords

Androgen; Behavioural ecotoxicology; Endocrine-disrupting chemical; Hormonal growth promotant; Sperm; Trenbolone

Published in

Science of the Total Environment
2021, volume: 790, article number: 148028

Authors' information

Tan, Hung
Monash University
Monash University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Monash University
Ecker, Tiarne E.
Monash University
Hannington, Stephanie L.
Monash University
Saaristo, Minna
Monash University
Saaristo, Minna
Abo Akademi University
Saaristo, Minna
Environm Protect Author Victoria EPA
O’Bryan, Moira K.
Monash University
Wong, Bob B.M.
Monash University

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG14 Life below water

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.148028

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/112361