The incredible world of sex changing fish.

Fish are the sex-switching masters of the animal kingdom.

The habit of switching sex appears to have developed during fish evolution multiple times in separate families, and though in all of them a suite of genetic and hormonal triggers come into play, the enzyme aromatase appears to be the key.

“It can change ‘androgen’ hormones into the estrogenic hormones that can transform gonads into ovaries.” explains Professor Stefano Mariani of the University of Salford.

In freshwater fish, it is well established that chemical pollutants – such as the pesticide atrazine, fertilizer runoff from livestock operations, ethinyl estradiol (the active ingredient in the birth control pill) – have all skewed the sex populations of wild populations of fish.

Read more.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s