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Release of males sterilized by injection with bisazir is an important experimental technique in management of sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), an invasive, nuisance species in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Sea lampreys are semelparous and sterilization can theoretically eliminate a male's reproductive capacity and, if the ability to obtain mates is not affected, waste the sex products of females spawning with him. It has been demonstrated that spermiating males release a sex pheromone that attracts ovulating females. We demonstrated that sterilized, spermiating males also released the pheromone and attracted ovulating females. In a two-choice maze, ovulating females increased searching behavior and spent more time in the side of the maze containing chemical stimuli from sterilized, spermiating males. This attraction response was also observed in spawning stream experiments. Also, electro-olfactograms showed that female olfactory organs were equally sensitive to chemical stimuli from sterilized and nonsterilized, spermiating males. Finally, fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry showed that extracts from water conditioned with sterilized and nonsterilized, spermiating males contained the same pheromonal molecule at similar levels. We concluded that injection of bisazir did not affect the efficacy of sex pheromone in sterilized males.
Additional Publication Details
Chemosterilization of male sea lampreys, (Petromyzon marinus), does not affect sex pheromone release
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences