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Environ Pollut. 2013 Nov;182:120-6. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2013.06.045. Epub 2013 Jul 31.

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers affect the reproduction and development, and alter the sex ratio of zebrafish (Danio rerio).

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Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 10083, China; Shenzhen Water (Group) CO., LTD, Shenzhen 518031, China.


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been commonly used as flame retardants and now become ubiquitous in the global environment. Using zebrafish as a model, we tested the hypothesis that PBDEs may affect the reproduction and development of fish. Zebrafish were exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of DE-71 (a congener of PBDE commonly found in the environment) throughout their whole life cycle, and the effects of DE-71 on gonadal development, gamete quality, fertilization success, hatching success, embryonic development and sex ratio were investigated. Despite gonadal development was enhanced, reductions in spawning, fertilization success, hatching success and larval survival rate were evident, while significant increases in malformation and percentage of male were also observed in the F1 generation. Our laboratory results suggest that PBDEs may pose a risk to reproductive success and alter the sex ratio of fish in environments highly contaminated with PBDEs.


Malformation; PBDE; Reproduction; Sex ratio

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