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Maternal Transfer of Copper and Cadmium in Fathead Minnows: Effects on Reproduction and BehaviorEPA Grant Number: MA916363
Title: Maternal Transfer of Copper and Cadmium in Fathead Minnows: Effects on Reproduction and Behavior
Investigators: Sellin, Marlo K.
Institution: University of Nebraska at Omaha
EPA Project Officer: Zambrana, Jose
Project Period: January 1, 2004 through December 31, 2006
Project Amount: $58,395
RFA: GRO Fellowships for Graduate Environmental Study (2004) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Environmental Science , Academic Fellowships , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration
The objective of this research project is to elucidate the consequences of the maternal transfer of heavy metals from females to their offspring. To achieve this objective, the proposed project will determine the long-term consequences of the maternal transfer of Cu and Cd on the reproduction and behavior of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas)
Fathead minnow larvae will be produced by Cu-, Cd- or sham-exposed female fathead minnows and raised to maturity. To determine the effect of the maternal transfer of Cu and Cd on reproduction, a 21-day breeding study will be conducted to compare the reproductive success of males from metal-exposed females to that of males from sham-exposed females. Following the breeding study, plasma concentrations of 11-ketotestosterone, the number of breeding tubercles, the intraocular distance, and the gonadosomatic index of each male will be determined. To determine the effect of the maternal transfer of Cu and Cd on behavior, the ability of minnows to detect and respond to chemical alarm substance will be determined for minnows from metal-exposed and sham-exposed females. Immediately following the alarm substance trail, fish will be euthanized and a blood sample will be collected for analysis of cortisol levels. In addition, brains will be removed from fish, sectioned, and examined for any abnormalities.