Assessing Background Rates of Intersex, Expression of Vitellogenin, Teste Transcriptome, and Population Genetics of Micropterus Dolomieu
Intersex, particularly testicular oocytes, and vitellogenin (Vtg) expression in male fish are being used more frequently as an indication of exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs), including organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, and surfactants. However, the use of intersex and Vtg expression as indicators of endocrine disruption have recently come under review, and the need for research related to the genetic processes that influence sex determination and differentiation have been discussed. The purpose of the proposed project is to investigate potential background rates of intersex in Micropterus dolomieu, compare Vtg levels in male intersex M. dolomieu to levels in nonintersex male M. dolomieu, determine the M. dolomieu teste transcriptome, and to analyze the genomes of multiple M. dolomieu populations. The results of this project will help to identify background levels of intersex in M. dolomieu, strengthen the body of knowledge related to the use of Vtg expression in male M. dolomieu as an indicator of exposure to EDCs, and indicate the level of genetic isolation between populations and help to estimate the effects of increased intersex males on the effective population size.