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Environ Sci Technol. 2014 Jan 21;48(2):1271-9. doi: 10.1021/es404258h. Epub 2014 Jan 9.

Effects of glyphosate and its formulation, roundup, on reproduction in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

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Biosciences, College of Life & Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter , Geoffrey Pope Building, Exeter, EX4 4QD, United Kingdom.


Roundup and its active ingredient glyphosate are among the most widely used herbicides worldwide and may contaminate surface waters. Research suggests both Roundup and glyphosate induce oxidative stress in fish and may also cause reproductive toxicity in mammalian systems. We aimed to investigate the reproductive effects of Roundup and glyphosate in fish and the potential associated mechanisms of toxicity. To do this, we conducted a 21-day exposure of breeding zebrafish (Danio rerio) to 0.01, 0.5, and 10 mg/L (glyphosate acid equivalent) Roundup and 10 mg/L glyphosate. 10 mg/L glyphosate reduced egg production but not fertilization rate in breeding colonies. Both 10 mg/L Roundup and glyphosate increased early stage embryo mortalities and premature hatching. However, exposure during embryogenesis alone did not increase embryo mortality, suggesting that this effect was caused primarily by exposure during gametogenesis. Transcript profiling of the gonads revealed 10 mg/L Roundup and glyphosate induced changes in the expression of cyp19a1 and esr1 in the ovary and hsd3b2, cat, and sod1 in the testis. Our results demonstrate that these chemicals cause reproductive toxicity in zebrafish, although only at high concentrations unlikely to occur in the environment, and likely mechanisms of toxicity include disruption of the steroidogenic biosynthesis pathway and oxidative stress.

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