Effects of Atrazine on Metamorphosis, Growth, and Gonadal Development in the Green Frog (Rana Clamitans)
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Embryos of the green frog (Rana clamitans) were collected from the field and exposed to 1 of 6 water-borne treatments for 273 d (mid July 2001 to mid April 2002). The treatments were 0, 10, or 25 microg/L atrazine, 0.005% ethanol (EtOH), or 0.1 mg/L estradiol or dihydrotestosterone carried in 0.005% EtOH. Treatments were applied in a static renewal system with a 50% test solution replacement approximately every 3 d. Following the exposure period, tadpoles were reared in freshwater until metamorphosis or until study termination (at d 506). Time to initiate and complete metamorphosis, stage-specific mortality, length and weight at metamorphosis, and gross morphology and histology of the gonads were examined. At environmentally relevant concentrations, atrazine did not consistently affect growth or metamorphosis. Compared to controls, the length of the larval period was greater in tadpoles exposed to 10 microg/L atrazine. However, the length of the larval period was not markedly different between tadpoles in the control and 25 microg/L atrazine treatments. Neither gross gonadal morphology nor histopathology of the gonads in postmetamorphic frogs was significantly altered in response to atrazine exposure. This study provides evidence that environmentally relevant concentrations of atrazine do not adversely affect the growth or reproductive development of R. clamitans.
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