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


Bed bugs that feed are more likely to survive pesticide exposure
Many studies have been done on how effective certain pesticides are when they are applied to bed bugs. However, most have not allowed the bed bugs to take a blood meal after being exposed to pesticides, which can change the mortality rates, according to an article in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

Closer look reveals nematode nervous systems differ
Nematodes, an abundant group of roundworms that exist in nearly every habitat, have long been used as model organisms for studying the function of neurons - the basic unit of animal nervous systems.

Thyroid cancer patients report poor quality of life despite 'good' diagnosis
Thyroid cancer survivors report poor quality of life after diagnosis and treatment compared with other patients who are diagnosed with more lethal cancers, according to new research from the University of Chicago Medicine.

Weaker breaths in kids linked to early pesticide exposure
Taking a deep breath might be a bit harder for children exposed early in life to a widely used class of pesticides in agriculture, according to a new paper by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.

Global warming may affect pesticide effectiveness
The effectiveness of an important mosquito-fighting insecticide may be impaired by global warming, according to a recent study in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

Researchers identify genes connecting endocrine disruption to genital malformations
University of Florida Health researchers have identified genes that are disrupted by abnormal hormone signaling at crucial points during development, a finding that may lead to a better understanding of how the most common male genital birth defects arise in humans.

'Good' and 'bad' bacteria in the fight against citrus greening disease
New research from the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI), the USDA Agricultural Research Service and the University of Washington finds that helpful bacteria living inside the insect that transmits the bacterial pathogen associated with citrus greening disease - -an outbreak that is devastating Florida's citrus industry -- may be playing a role in the insect's spread of the pathogen.

Long-term effects of common pesticides on aquatic species
New research indicates that commonly-used insecticide mixtures continue to impact aquatic invertebrate species over multiple weeks, even when the chemicals are no longer detectable in water.

The first human uses of beeswax have been established in Anatolia in 7000 BCE
The current loss of bee populations as a result of pesticides, viruses and parasites has increased awareness about their economic importance and essential role in farming societies.

A new resource for managing crop-damaging greenbugs
Greenbugs (Schizaphis graminum) have been a major vexation for growers of wheat and sorghum for more than half a century, especially in the Great Plains.
More Pesticides Current Events and Pesticides News Articles

Our Daily Poison: From Pesticides to Packaging, How Chemicals Have Contaminated the Food Chain and Are Making Us Sick

Our Daily Poison: From Pesticides to Packaging, How Chemicals Have Contaminated the Food Chain and Are Making Us Sick
by Marie-Monique Robin (Author), Allison Schein (Translator), Lara Vergnaud (Translator)


Over the last thirty years, we have seen an increase in rates of cancer, neurodegenerative disease, reproductive disorders, and diabetes, particularly in developed countries. At the same time, since the end of World War II approximately 100,000 synthetic chemical molecules have invaded our environment—and our food chain. In Our Daily Poison, award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin investigates the links between these two concerning trends, revealing how corporate interests and our ignorance about these invisible poisons may be costing us our lives.

The result of a rigorous two-year-long investigation that took Robin across three continents (North America, Europe, and Asia), Our Daily Poison documents the many ways in which we encounter a shocking...

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...

Pesticides: Chemicals That Kill

Pesticides: Chemicals That Kill
by Choice PH


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claims there is adequate protection from over exposure to toxic pesticides. That claim may be true for the average consumer who carefully washes fruits and vegetables, but it is definitely not true for farm and ranch workers, especially in developing countries.

This eBook examines the various types of pesticides used in our food supply and the possible ill effects of those chemicals to humans and the environment. We discuss the economic impact of using pesticides versus organic farming, and the primary and secondary benefits of pesticide use.

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.

Banned: A History of Pesticides and the Science of Toxicology

Banned: A History of Pesticides and the Science of Toxicology
by Frederick Rowe Davis (Author)


Rachel Carson’s eloquent book Silent Spring stands as one of the most important books of the twentieth century and inspired important and long-lasting changes in environmental science and government policy. Frederick Rowe Davis thoughtfully sets Carson’s study in the context of the twentieth century, reconsiders her achievement, and analyzes its legacy in light of toxic chemical use and regulation today.
 
Davis examines the history of pesticide development alongside the evolution of the science of toxicology and tracks legislation governing exposure to chemicals across the twentieth century. He affirms the brilliance of Carson’s careful scientific interpretations drawing on data from university and government toxicologists. Although Silent Spring instigated legislation that...

The Pesticide Encyclopedia

The Pesticide Encyclopedia
by Kalyani Paranjape (Editor), Vasant Gowariker (Editor), V. N. Krishnamurthy (Editor), Sudha Gowariker (Editor)


In today's world, food security is an important issue. Food shortages push prices up, impacting upon the health and well-being of hundreds of millions of rural poor across the globe. One way to increase food security is to decrease the amount of yield lost to pests. The Pesticide Encyclopedia provides a comprehensive overview of the fight against pests, covering chemical pesticides, biocontrol agents and biopesticides. It also covers interrelated topics such as pesticide toxicity, legislation and regulation, handling, storage and safety aspects, IPM techniques, resistance management, interaction of pesticides with soil and the environment.

An important reference for policy makers, advisers and students and researchers of crop science, this book also includes useful notes on...

Pesticide Use in U.S. Agriculture: 21 Selected Crops

Pesticide Use in U.S. Agriculture: 21 Selected Crops
by United States Department of Agriculture (Author)


Pesticide use has changed considerably over the past five decades. Rapid growth char-acterized the first 20 years, ending in 1981. The total quantity of pesticides applied to the 21 crops analyzed grew from 196 million pounds of pesticide active ingredients in 1960 to 632 million pounds in 1981. Improvements in the types and modes of action of active ingredients applied along with small annual fluctuations resulted in a slight down-ward trend in pesticide use to 516 million pounds in 2008. These changes were driven by economic factors that determined crop and input prices and were influenced by pest pressures, environmental and weather conditions, crop acreages, agricultural practices (including adoption of genetically engineered crops), access to land-grant extension personnel and crop...

Saving the Planet with Pesticides and Plastic 2nd Ed.

Saving the Planet with Pesticides and Plastic 2nd Ed.
by Dennis Avery (Author)


A former agricultural specialist for the federal government, Avery argues that high-yield agriculture using chemical pesticides, fertilizers, and biotechnology is the solution to environmental problems not a cause of them, as environmental activists have found. Using high-yield methods for farming,

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)




© 2016 BrightSurf.com