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      Sexual disruption in a second species of wild cyprinid fish (the gudgeon, Gobio gobio) in United Kingdom freshwaters.

      Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry / Setac
      Animals, Animals, Wild, Cyprinidae, growth & development, Disorders of Sex Development, chemically induced, veterinary, Ecosystem, Environmental Exposure, Female, Great Britain, Incidence, Male, Ovary, abnormalities, Sewage, Testis, Water Pollutants, Chemical, adverse effects

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          Abstract

          To establish whether the intersex condition seen in the roach (Rutilus rutilus) in United Kingdom (UK) rivers was species specific or a more general phenomenon in fish, evidence for sexual disruption was sought in a second cyprinid species, the gudgeon (Gobio gobio). Gudgeon were collected from the Rivers Aire and Lea (at locations that receive high-volume discharges of sewage treatment works [STW] effluent and that contain intersex roach) and from two still waters, and their gonads were examined histologically for evidence of intersexuality (the simultaneous presence of oocytes and testicular tissue). Intersex gonads were found at all sites, with the highest incidences occurring at one of the still waters (Lakeside Fisheries: 15%) and at sites on the River Aire (Thwaite Weir, Silsden Bridge, and Knostrop: 14, 13, and 12%, respectively). In the River Lea and Longton Park Lake, the incidence of intersexuality in gudgeon was 6%. In most cases, intersex gonads were characterized by a few primary oocytes/gonad section in an otherwise normal testis. However, at some sites on the River Aire (Thwaite Weir and Knostrop), the intersex condition was more severe. At Thwaite Weir, for example, more than half of the gonad in 40% of the intersex fish was comprised of ovarian tissue. Elevated concentrations of plasma vitellogenin both in male and in intersex fish indicated that fish had been exposed to estrogen(s). Some of the gudgeon were found at sites several kilometers downstream of any point discharge of STW effluent; therefore, the results likely are representative of this species in wild populations found in typical UK river ecosystems. Together with the findings in the roach, these data on the gudgeon confirm that sexual disruption in fish in UK rivers is not species specific.

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