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


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.

Fipronil and imidacloprid reduce honeybee mitochondrial activity
New research published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry addresses the effects of two broad-spectrum systemic insecticides, fipornil and imidacloprid, on honeybees.

Arctic Mammals Can Metabolize Some Pesticides, Limits Human Exposure: Study
Fortunately, you are not always what you eat - at least in Canada's Arctic. New research from the University of Guelph reveals that arctic mammals such as caribou can metabolize some current-use pesticides (CUPs) ingested in vegetation.

Engineering a protein to prevent brain damage from toxic agents
Research at New York University is paving the way for a breakthrough that may prevent brain damage in civilians and military troops exposed to poisonous chemicals-particularly those in pesticides and chemical weapons.

Insecticides Similar to Nicotine Widespread in Midwest
Insecticides similar to nicotine, known as neonicotinoids, were found commonly in streams throughout the Midwest, according to a new USGS study. This is the first broad-scale investigation of neonicotinoid insecticides in the Midwestern United States and one of the first conducted within the United States.

Bats use polarized light to navigate
Scientists have discovered that greater mouse-eared bats use polarisation patterns in the sky to navigate - the first mammal that's known to do this.

Scientists track gene activity when honey bees do and don't eat honey
Many beekeepers feed their honey bees sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup when times are lean inside the hive.

Researchers find organic pollutants not factor in turtle tumor disease
For nearly four decades, scientists have suspected that persistent organic pollutants (POPs) contributed to a green turtle's susceptibility to the virus that causes fibropapilomatosis (FP), a disease that forms large benign tumors that can inhibit the animal's sight, mobility and feeding ability.
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...

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 political injustice). Despite California's impressive record of environmental protection, massive pesticide regulatory apparatus, and...

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.

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.

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,...

Pesticide Book

Pesticide Book
by George W. Ware (Author)


Book by George W. Ware

Pesticide Use in U.S. Agriculture: 21 Selected Crops, 1960-2008

Pesticide Use in U.S. Agriculture: 21 Selected Crops, 1960-2008
by Jorge Fernandez-Cornejo (Author), Richard Nehring (Author), Craig Osteen (Author), Seth Wechsler (Author), Andrew Martin (Author), Alex Vialou (Author)


Pesticides—including herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides—have contributed to substantial increases in crop yields over the past five decades. Properly applied, pesticides contribute to higher yields and improved product quality by controlling weeds, insects, nematodes, and plant pathogens. In addition, herbicides reduce the amount of labor, machinery, and fuel used for mechanical weed control. However, because pesticides may possess toxic properties, their use often prompts concern about human health and environmental consequences. The examination of pesticide use trends is critical for informed pesticide policy debate and science-based decisions. This report analyzes pesticide use trends using a new pesticide database compiled from USDA and proprietary data, focusing on 21 crops.

Standard Pesticide User's Guide, The (7th Edition)

Standard Pesticide User's Guide, The (7th Edition)
by Bert L. Bohmont (Author)


Covers all aspects of pesticide principles and use, including topics such as: environmental considerations; insects; plant disease agents; weeds; integrated pest management; laws; liability; recordkeeping; labels; safety; formulations; application equipment; transportation; storage; decontamination; and disposal. Using a non-technical presentation, it helps readers gain an understanding of why pesticides are used, how to apply them safely and how to do this within the letter of the law. Supplies the necessary information for pesticide applicators to use pesticides in a responsible manner. Offer readers quick and easy access to reference material such as the United States and Canadian Pesticide Control Offices, restricted use pesticides, pesticide information telephone numbers and Web...

Pesticides: Problems, Improvements, Alternatives

Pesticides: Problems, Improvements, Alternatives
by Frank Den Hond (Editor), Peter Groenewegen (Editor), Nico van Straalen (Editor)


Despite a history of several decades of pesticide regulation, continuous innovation, and considerable practical experience with using pesticides in agriculture, the environmental impact of pesticide use continues to be of serious concern.

The Perfect Pesticide A Proven Solution For Killing Pests That Is Totally Safe For People and The Environment Stephen Tvedten (Pest Control Book 11)

The Perfect Pesticide A Proven Solution For Killing Pests That Is Totally Safe For People and The Environment Stephen Tvedten (Pest Control Book 11)
by Pest Management Group


How To Kill Pests Fast Without Pesticides or Toxic Chemicals

Learn The Secrets of a Natural Pest Control Expert Who Knows Natural, Safe Pesti

Everything you've been taught about pesticide use is wrong! Learn how to:

Kill Insects and Pests Instantly Without Any Pesticides or Dangerous Chemicals
Did you know that conventional pesticide poisons not only fail in many cases to get rid of the pest problem but they can also cause horrible side effects for you, your family and your pets? Learn how to kill bugs naturally without any toxic chemicals, pesticide poisons or insecticides!

About The Author

Stephen Tvedten was President of Stroz Services, Inc. (an alternative pest control company) for 25 years and is currently President of Get...

© 2014 BrightSurf.com