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Sex change in the female dog-whelk, Nucella lapillus, induced by tributyltin from antifouling paints
Gibbs, P.E.; Pascoe, P.L.; Burt, G.R. (1988). Sex change in the female dog-whelk, Nucella lapillus, induced by tributyltin from antifouling paints. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 68(4): 715-731. hdl.handle.net/10.1017/S0025315400028824
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Cambridge. ISSN 0025-3154, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Nucella lapillus (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]

Authors  Top 
  • Gibbs, P.E.
  • Pascoe, P.L.
  • Burt, G.R.

Abstract
    Nucella lapillus were reared in the laboratory over a period of more than two years from hatching to maturity in waters containing tributyltin that had leached from an antifouling paint at concentrations of 1-2, 3-5, 20 and 100 ng Sn/1 in the TBT fraction. Penis and vas deferens formation in the female ('imposex') occurred at all TBT levels, development of these organs advancing further with increasing TBT concentration, the major part being observed during the first year of life. Normal egg capsule production occurred only in females held at a TBT concentration of 1-2 ng Sn/1; at higher TBT levels females were sterilised by imposex. Oogenesis was suppressed at TBT levels above 3—5 ng Sn/1 to be supplanted by spermatogenesis leading to sperm production. This effect of TBT exposure on gonadal activity in the laboratory was supported by field observations. The consequences of these findings are discussed in relation to the recovery of N. lapillus populations following legislation banning the sale of TBT paints for use on small pleasure craft.

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