Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

New Study Is First to Show That Pesticides Can Induce Morphological Changes in Vertebrate Animals, Says Pitt Researcher

April 03, 2012
PITTSBURGH- The world's most popular weed killer, Roundup®, can cause amphibians to change shape, according to research published today in Ecological Applications.

Rick Relyea, University of Pittsburgh professor of biological sciences in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and director of Pitt's Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology, demonstrated that sublethal and environmentally relevant concentrations of Roundup® caused two species of amphibians to alter their morphology. According to Relyea, this is the first study to show that a pesticide can induce morphological changes in a vertebrate animal.

Relyea set up large outdoor water tanks that contained many of the components of natural wetlands. Some tanks contained caged predators, which emit chemicals that naturally induce changes in tadpole morphology (such as larger tails to better escape predators). After adding tadpoles to each tank, he exposed them to a range of Roundup® concentrations. After 3 weeks, the tadpoles were removed from the tanks.

"It was not surprising to see that the smell of predators in the water induced larger tadpole tails," says Relyea. "That is a normal, adaptive response. What shocked us was that the Roundup® induced the same changes. Moreover, the combination of predators and Roundup® caused the tail changes to be twice as large." Because tadpoles alter their body shape to match their environment, having a body shape that does not fit the environment can put the animals at a distinct disadvantage.

Predators cause tadpoles to change shape by altering the stress hormones of tadpoles, says Relyea. The similar shape changes when exposed to Roundup® suggest that Roundup® may interfere with the hormones of tadpoles and potentially many other animals.

"This discovery highlights the fact that pesticides, which are important for crop production and human health, can have unintended consequences for species that are not the pesticide's target," says Relyea. "Herbicides are not designed to affect animals, but we are learning that they can have a wide range of surprising effects by altering how hormones work in the bodies of animals. This is important because amphibians not only serve as a barometer of the ecosystem's health, but also as an indicator of potential dangers to other species in the food chain, including humans."

For two decades, Relyea has studied community ecology, evolution, disease ecology, and ecotoxicology. He has authored more than 80 scientific articles and book chapters and has presented research seminars around the world. For more information about his laboratory, visit www.pitt.edu/~relyea/

University of Pittsburgh


Related Pesticides Current Events and Pesticides News Articles


Scientists rank thousands of substances according to potential exposure level
An overwhelming number of chemicals from household and industrial products are in the environment - and hundreds are in our bodies.

Some rice-based foods for people with celiac disease contain relevant amounts of arsenic
Rice is one of the few cereal grains consumed by people with celiac disease, as it does not contain gluten.

Probiotics protect children and pregnant women against heavy metal poisoning
Yogurt containing probiotic bacteria successfully protected children and pregnant women against heavy metal exposure in a recent study.

Review identifies factors associated with childhood brain tumors
Older parents, birth defects, maternal nutrition and childhood exposure to CT scans and pesticides are increasingly being associated with brain tumors in children, according to new research from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

To help solve slums, innovators build jobs, food security into affordable housing blueprints
Building on the poverty relief success achieved through self-sustaining high-tech "smart villages," Malaysian innovators have created blueprints for an urban counterpart that combines affordable homes, food security and sustainable jobs, aiming to solve the growing global problem of squalid city slums.

Evolutionary biology: It's not just for textbooks anymore
Solving global challenges in food security, emerging diseases and biodiversity loss requires evolutionary thinking, argues a new study published online in Science Express that was co-authored by Bruce Tabashnik of the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Environmental pollutants make worms susceptible to cold
Some pollutants are more harmful in a cold climate than in a hot, because they affect the temperature sensitivity of certain organisms.

Malaysia's 'Smart Villages' and 9 other proven ideas for sustainable development
As nations zero in on the UN's post-2015 global Sustainable Development Goals, innovations being successfully pioneered and demonstrated in Malaysia offer several proven tactical ideas for improving the world, says an influential international sustainable development networking organization.

Crop improvement and resistance to pathogens benefits from non-coding RNA studies
With the rise of emerging economies around the world and a concomitant upgrade of health care systems, the global population has been rapidly expanding. As a consequence, worldwide demand for agricultural products is also growing.

You may have to watch what your fruits and veggies eat
People with food allergies always have to watch what they eat. Now, they may have to watch what their fruits and vegetables eat, as it seems it's possible to have an allergic reaction to antibiotic residues in food.
More Pesticides Current Events and Pesticides News Articles

The Myths of Safe Pesticides

The Myths of Safe Pesticides
by André Leu (Author)


The chemical-based conventional agriculture industry claims that the synthesized concoctions they sell as pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides are safe when used as directed, but does the scientific evidence truly support their assertions? Organic agriculturist and lecturer André Leu delves into a wealth of respected scientific journals to present the peer-reviewed evidence that proves the claims of chemical companies and pesticide regulators are not all they seem. Leu translates technical jargon into layman s terms to break down the five most-repeated myths about pesticide safety, refuting them using scientific data. The pesticide industry argues that agriculture, and the global population itself, cannot survive without its products, but Leu warns that we are at risk unless we break...

The Pesticide Manual: A World Compendium

The Pesticide Manual: A World Compendium
by C. MacBean (Editor)


The sixteenth edition of The Pesticide Manual provides the most comprehensive information on active ingredients for the control of crop pests in the world. Completely revised and updated, the latest edition contains 1,436 profiles and over 2,600 products, details of 45 additional synthetic molecules and the first approvals under EU 2011 legislation.

Sittig's Handbook of Pesticides and Agricultural Chemicals, Second Edition

Sittig's Handbook of Pesticides and Agricultural Chemicals, Second Edition
by Richard P. Pohanish (Author)


This reference handbook provides fully updated chemical, regulatory, health, and safety information on nearly 800 pesticides and other agricultural chemicals. The clear, consistent and comprehensive presentation of information makes Sittig's an essential reference for a wide audience including first responders, environmental and industrial health/safety professionals, the food industry, the agricultural sector and toxicologists. Detailed profiles are provided for each substance listed, including: usage; crop-specific residue limits; hazard ratings for long-term human toxicity; and endocrine disruptor and reproductive toxicity information. Every chemical profile contains references and web links to source information from the EPA, OSHA, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other...

Pesticide Drift and the Pursuit of Environmental Justice (Food, Health, and the Environment)

Pesticide Drift and the Pursuit of Environmental Justice (Food, Health, and the Environment)
by Jill Lindsey Harrison (Author)


The widespread but virtually invisible problem of pesticide drift--the airborne movement of agricultural pesticides into residential areas--has fueled grassroots activism from Maine to Hawaii. Pesticide drift accidents have terrified and sickened many living in the country's most marginalized and vulnerable communities. In this book, Jill Lindsey Harrison considers political conflicts over pesticide drift in California, using them to illuminate the broader problem and its potential solutions. The fact that pesticide pollution and illnesses associated with it disproportionately affect the poor and the powerless raises questions of environmental justice (and...

Basic Guide to Pesticides: Their Characteristics and Hazards

Basic Guide to Pesticides: Their Characteristics and Hazards
by Rachel Carson Counsel Inc. (Author)


This work contains physical properties of over 700 pesticides and transformation products and contaminants. It can be used by the layman with minor questions or by the specialist needing in-depth references. Facts have been arranged so that one does not have to read through lengthy material.

Organic Pest Control The Practical Guide: How To Naturally Protect Your Home, Garden & Food from Pests & Pesticides (Green Thumb)

Organic Pest Control The Practical Guide: How To Naturally Protect Your Home, Garden & Food from Pests & Pesticides (Green Thumb)
by Paul Jackson (Author)


Annoying household pests don't have to take up space in your abode. Inside the pages of this book, you will find an easy-to-read guide to expunging insects and rodents from your home for good. There are practical solutions that don't have to cost a lot of money that will rid your home of any and all of the unwanted guests. With instructions for creating natural products, you will take the control back from anything from ants to roaches and rodents. This book is full of tips and tricks for almost every pest problem. Take back your home and live comfortably again.

Chemical Pesticides: Mode of Action and Toxicology

Chemical Pesticides: Mode of Action and Toxicology
by Jørgen Stenersen (Author)


Environmental-friendliness, issues of public health, and the pros and cons of genetically-modified crops all receive regular coverage in the world's media. This, in turn, has led to increased questioning and investigation of chemical pesticides. Stenersen's concise and timely introduction to chemical pesticides describes these compounds according to their mode of action at the cellular and biochemical level. Chemical Pesticides provides answers to questions such as why pesticides are toxic to the target organism and why pesticides are toxic to some organisms and not others. It describes how various poisons interfere with biochemical processes in organisms. The book also explores how resistance to pesticides develops, how resistance can be used to illustrate the theory of evolution, and...

Pesticides and Health: Myths vs. Realities

Pesticides and Health: Myths vs. Realities
by Dr Allan S Felsot (Author), The American Council on Science and Health (Author)


Year in and year out, agricultural pesticides have been the subject of considerable fear-mongering, leaving the typical consumer with the impression that these chemicals taint much of our food supply and are harmful to human health. In fact, just the opposite is closer to the truth. The published scholarly literature has failed to turn up evidence of adverse human health effects from use of modern pesticides in the real world. Furthermore, in light of the current economic perturbations, as well as the progressive severity of worldwide food shortages and the resulting malnutrition and spiking prices of basic food commodities, the claims that these pesticides pose a threat to human health are false, misleading — and dangerously irresponsible. In Pesticides and Health: Myths vs. Realities,...

The Pesticide Conspiracy

The Pesticide Conspiracy
by Robert Van Den Bosch (Author)


Professor van den Bosch of the University of California was one of the developers of Integrated Pest Management—the use of biological controls, improved pest knowledge and observation, and judicious application of chemicals only when absolutely necessary. His research often suggested that less or no pesticides should be applied, which made him the target of both open and clandestine attack from industry and government figures. In protest, he wrote this passionate account of what Ecology called "the ultimate social disaster of: evolving pesticide-resistant insects, the destruction of their natural predators and parasites, emergent populations of new insect pests, downstream water pollution, atmospheric pollution, the 'accidental' killing of wildlife and people, and the bankruptcies of...

The Safe and Effective Use of Pesticides (Pesticide Application Compendium 1)

The Safe and Effective Use of Pesticides (Pesticide Application Compendium 1)
by Patrick J. O'Connor-Marer (Author)


Volume 1 in the Pesticide Application Compendium. This revised edition contains a new format, up-to-date information on the Federal Worker Protection Standards, recommended steps in training workers, and compliance guidelines for pesticide use reporting as required by California law. New in this version are review questions at the end of each chapter similar to those found on the license exams. As with the first edition, The Safe and Effective Use of Pesticides provides detailed information for selecting, using, handling, storing, and disposing of pesticides. It emphasizes worker protection, prevention of groundwater contamination, protection of endangered species and wildlife, and reduction of environmental problems. The principles described in this volume apply to all areas of pest...

© 2014 BrightSurf.com