Reproduction, larval growth, and reproductive development in African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) exposed to atrazine
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Reproductive success and development of F2 offspring from F1 adult African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) exposed to atrazine throughout larval development and as sexually mature adults was examined. Larval X. laevis were exposed to one of four nominal concentrations of atrazine (0, 1, 10, 25 microg atrazine/l) beginning 96 hr after fertilization and continuing through two years post-metamorphosis. Clutch size and survival of offspring were used as measurement endpoints to gauge reproductive success of the F1 frogs. Larval survivorship and time to metamorphosis were used to gauge developmental success of the F2 offspring from atrazine-exposed frogs. Testes in F1 and F2 frogs were examined for incidence of anomalies, such as testicular ovarian follicles, and sex ratios in F2 offspring were investigated to determine if exposure to atrazine caused trans-generational effects (effects on F2 individuals due to exposure of F1 individuals). There were no effects of any of the studied concentrations of atrazine on clutch size of F1 frogs. There were also no effects on hatching success or time to metamorphosis. Sex ratios did not differ between F2 offspring among treatments. There was no evidence to suggest a transgenerational effect of atrazine on spawning success or reproductive development of X. laevis. This is consistent with the presence of robust populations of X. laevis in areas where they are exposed to atrazine that has been used for several decades for weed control in production of corn. Our observations also are consistent with the results of most other studies of frogs where no effects were found to be associated with exposure to atrazine. Our data do not support the hypothesis that atrazine significantly affects reproductive fitness and development of frogs.
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