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Environ Toxicol Chem. 2009 Aug;28(8):1783-5. doi: 10.1897/08-563.1.

Reversibility of estrogenic sex changes in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

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Department of Biological Sciences, Zoophysiology, C.F. Moellers Allé 3, University of Aarhus, Building 1131, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.


Development of male zebrafish (Danio rerio) courtship behavior was studied following estrogenic disruption of sexual differentiation. Sixty zebrafish were exposed at 28 degrees C to 5 ng/L (nominal concentration) of 17alpha-ethinylestradiol (EE2) from the egg stage until adulthood at four months of age, resulting in a female-biased sex ratio. Twenty-five EE2-exposed phenotypic female zebrafish were subsequently held in clean water for eight months. During this period, eight phenotypic males developed. These phenotypic males demonstrated significant behavioral aberrations and a low fertilization rate compared to control males.

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