PT07 Chemical and Biological Analysis of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds
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(PT107) Atrazine has estrogen-like activity and decreases burrowing in freshwater mussels.

Belopolsky, M1, Spellman, T1, Travez, R1, Sherman, M1, Flynn, K1, 1 Adelphi University, Garden City, NY, USA

ABSTRACT- Atrazine is a commonly used herbicide and a suspected endocrine disrupter; it may have estrogen-like activity, which could include behavioral effects. To evaluate this, laboratory-acclimated adult freshwater mussels (Elliptio complanata) were exposed to atrazine at 1.5, 15, or 150 ug/l for 72 hours (n = 8/dose). These concentrations correspond to 0.1, 1, and 10 times the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's allowable atrazine concentration for aquatic ecosystems. Estradiol at 100 ug/l and 70% ethanol at less than 1 ml in 30 l were used as positive and negative controls respectively. Burrowing behavior was evaluated every 6 hours by using calipers to measure each mussel's exposed length. Percent burrowed for each mussel at each time period was then calculated. Two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with treatment and time as variables indicated a significant main effect of treatment on burrowing (p < 0.02). The high and low atrazine groups burrowed 8% less than controls, leaving an average of 86% exposed, similar to the estradiol-treated group which left 87% exposed. The middle dose, with 79% exposed, did not differ from controls. These data suggest that in freshwater mussels, temporary exposure to ecologically-relevant concentrations of atrazine results in an estrogen-like alteration of burrowing behavior. Further, the data suggest a U-shaped dose-response curve, similar to that reported for other suspected endocrine disrupters.

Key words: behavior, endocrine disrupter, Elliptio complanata

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