Atrazine induced transgenerational reproductive effects in medaka (Oryzias latipes)

Environmental Pollution
By: , and 



Atrazine is presently one of the most abundantly used herbicides in the United States, and a common contaminant of natural water bodies and drinking waters in high-use areas. Dysregulation of reproductive processes has been demonstrated in atrazine exposed fish, including alteration of key endocrine pathways on hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. However, the potential for atrazine-induced transgenerational inheritance of reproductive effects in fish has not been investigated. The present study examined the effects of early developmental atrazine exposure on transgenerational reproductive dysregulation in Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes). F0 medaka were exposed to atrazine (ATZ, 5 or 50 μg/L), 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2, 0.002 or 0.05 μg/L), or solvent control during the first twelve days of development with no subsequent exposure over three generations. This exposure overlapped with the critical developmental window for embryonic germ cell development, gonadogenesis, and sex determination. Exposed males and females of the F0 generation were bred to produce an F1 generation, and this was continued until the F2 generation. Sperm count and motility were not affected in F0 males; however, both parameters were significantly reduced in the males from F2 Low EE2 (0.002 μg/L), Low ATZ (5 μg/L), and High ATZ (50 μg/L) lineages. Fecundity was unaffected by atrazine or EE2 in F0 through F2 generations; however, fertilization rate was decreased in low atrazine and EE2 exposure lineages in the F2 generation. There were significant transgenerational differences in expression of the genes involved in steroidogenesis and DNA methylation. These results suggest that although early life exposure to atrazine did not cause significant phenotypes in the directly exposed F0 generation, subsequent generations of fish were at greater risk of reproductive dysfunction.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Atrazine induced transgenerational reproductive effects in medaka (Oryzias latipes)
Series title Environmental Pollution
DOI 10.1016/j.envpol.2019.05.013
Volume 251
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description 12 p.
First page 639
Last page 650