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Ecotoxicology. 2016 Mar;25(2):302-9. doi: 10.1007/s10646-015-1588-4. Epub 2015 Nov 20.

UV-filter benzophenone-3 inhibits agonistic behavior in male Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens).

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National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium, 2 Houwan Rd., Checheng, Pingtung, Taiwan.
Institute of Marine Biology, National Dong Hwa University, 2 Houwan Rd., Checheng, Pingtung, Taiwan.
Institute of Marine Biology, National Dong Hwa University, 2 Houwan Rd., Checheng, Pingtung, Taiwan.
Department of Chemistry, National Central University, 300, Jhongda Rd., Jhongli, Taoyuan, Taiwan.


Benzophenone-3 (BP-3) is a widely used organic UV-filter compound. Despite the frequent occurrence of BP-3 in aquatic environments, little is known about its effect on fish behavior. The aim of this study was to investigate the endocrine disrupting effects of BP-3 in male fighting fish (Betta splendens) with a focus on agonistic behavior. Male fighting fish were exposed to 10, 100, and 1000 μg/L BP-3, as well as a solvent control (0.1% ethanol) and a positive control (100 ng/L 17α-ethynylestradiol, EE2), for 28 days. At the beginning and the end of exposure, standard length and body mass of the fish were measured for calculating the condition factor (CF). In addition, spontaneous swimming activity (total distance moved) and agonistic behavior (maximum velocity and duration of opercular display in front of a mirror) were also quantified. At the end of exposure, the fish gonads were sampled for gonadosomatic index (GSI) measurement and histology. After the exposure, CF was significantly decreased in the 1000 μg/L BP-3 groups. Spontaneous swimming activity was not affected. However, maximum velocity was significantly reduced in the EE2 and 1000 μg/L BP-3 treatments; duration of opercular display was significantly decreased in the EE2 and 10 and 1000 μg/L BP-3 treatments. GSI was not significantly different between groups. There was a slight but statistically significant decrease of relative proportion of mature spermatozoa in testicular tissue in the 100 μg/L BP-3 treatment. Collectively, our results demonstrate that BP-3 can disrupt agonistic behavior of male fighting fish, indicating the endocrine disrupting activity of this compound.


Aggression; Behavior; Benzophenone-3; Betta splendens; Gonad

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