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Effects of tributyltin exposure in hermit crabs: Clibanarius vittatus as a model

Authors

  • Bruno Sampaio Sant'Anna,

    Corresponding author
    1. Zoology Section, Postgraduate Course in Biological Sciences, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Rio Claro, Brazil
    2. Department of Biological Oceanography, Oceanographic Institute, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
    Current affiliation:
    1. Institute of Exact Sciences and Technology, Universidade Federal do Amazonas, Itacoatiara, Brazil.
    • Zoology Section, Postgraduate Course in Biological Sciences, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Rio Claro, Brazil.
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  • Dayana Moscardi dos Santos,

    1. Department of Chemical and Geological Oceanography, Oceanographic Institute, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
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  • Mary Rosa Rodrigues de Marchi,

    1. Department of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Araraquara, Brazil
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  • Fernando José Zara,

    1. Zoology Section, Postgraduate Course in Biological Sciences, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Rio Claro, Brazil
    2. Department of Applied Biology and Aquaculture Center, Faculty of Agrarian and Veterinary Sciences, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Jaboticabal, Brazil
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  • Alexander Turra

    1. Department of Biological Oceanography, Oceanographic Institute, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
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Abstract

Tributyltin (TBT) contamination affects the reproductive system of many species of invertebrates worldwide. The present study was designed to evaluate the effects of exposure to TBT pollution on the reproduction of the hermit crab Clibanarius vittatus. An orthogonal experiment was designed with two treatments: contamination (with or without TBT in the food) and crab sex (males and females). The animals were reared in the laboratory for nine months, and macroscopic and histological analyses of reproductive organs were carried out after the end of the experiment. Tributyltin was recorded in exposed crabs, but no morphological alterations were detected in the gonads of males, regardless of whether they were exposed to TBT. In contrast, females exposed to TBT displayed disorganization and atrophy of their ovaries, thus directly affecting reproduction in this hermit crab species. This effect observed in female hermit crabs may harm populations located in harbor regions, where TBT concentration is high, even after the worldwide TBT ban. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2012;31:632–638. © 2011 SETAC

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