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Assessing the Validity of Vitellogenin as a Biomarker of Endocrine Disruption in Populations of Fish

This study will be the first to offer a broad look at how exposure   to xenoestrogens (environmental contaminants that disrupt   reproduction and other functions) can affect individuals,   populations, and communities of organisms; in this case, fish.  The   findings are expected to assist resource managers to meet the   congressional mandates of the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act and the   1996 Food Quality Protection Act to develop strategies for screening   endocrine-disrupting chemicals.  This proposal will test the hypothesis that vitellogenin induction   in male fish is a biomarker for adverse reproductive and behavioral   effects in fish populations as a result of exposure to environmental   estrogen's (xenoestrogens).  Vitellogin induction (VTG) has been   well established as a bioindicator of exposure to xenoestrogens, but   whether or not this induction corresponds to, and is a biomarker   for, reproduction impairment at the population level has not been   established. In this study, we will: (1) Determine the effects of   xenoestrogen exposure on reproductive health and spawning behavior   in fish populations in laboratory studies; (2) determine the   chemicals or chemical classes that correspond to induction in water   samples in the Duluth/Superior Harbor of Lake Superior using   toxicity directed analytical chemistry; and (3) validate the   relationship of VTG and effects on reproductive health in exposures   to xenoestrogens identified from the field (objective 2).  The key   strengths of this proposal lie in our application of existing   biotechnology's to identify xenoestrogens found in the Great Lakes   for the first time, and to then determine for the first time whether   xenoestrogens are likely to pose a risk to communally livng fish   experiencing the normal pressures of the behavioral interactions   that characterize a communal existence.    (chemicals of emerging concern); (chemical of emerging concern);   (chemicals of concern); (chemical of concern); (estrogen);   (hormone); (hormones); (pharmaceutical); (pharmaceuticals)

In progress
Start Date
End Date
Peter SorensenPrincipal Investigator
Associated with 4 projects
Deborah SwackhamerPrincipal Investigator
Associated with 7 projects
Heiko SchoenfussResearcher
Associated with 2 projects
Ira AdelmanResearcher
Associated with 2 projects
National Sea Grant College Program $ 298,000.00USDEstimates

Funding 2 projects for a total of $298,000.00
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Laboratory Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Lake Superior
State Province
Annex Numbers
Research & Development
Annex 17
Impact of water quality and AIS on fish and wildlife populations and habitats
  • Annex Numbers
    Annex Numbers
    Research & Development
  • Annex 17
    Annex 17
    Impact of water quality and AIS on fish and wildlife populations and habitats

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Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Region.