Effects of dietary genistein administration on growth, survival and sex determination in southern flounder, Paralichthys lethostigma


The inclusion of soybean meal and soy concentrates in finfish feeds may introduce endocrine disrupting compounds in the form of phytoestrogens. Genistein, which may dually act as an oestrogen receptor agonist/antagonist, has been shown to elicit both masculinizing and feminizing effects in several teleost species. The objective of this investigation was to examine the effects of dietary genistein administration on reproductive development, growth and survival in southern flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma). Southern flounder received one of three experimental diets which contained varying concentrations of genistein (control – 0, low dose –100 and high dose –1000 mg genistein kg−1 feed) from 84 to 153 days post hatch (DPH). Fish remained in culture until 285 DPH at which time sex ratios were determined. Growth and survival were evaluated at 153 and 285 DPH. Greater numbers of female fish resulted from the low and high dose genistein treatments (98 ± 2% and 78 ± 12% respectively), as compared to the control group (21 ± 10%). Reduced growth at 153 DPH and poor survival (28%) at 285 DPH were also observed for the high dose genistein treatment. Collectively, these results demonstrate the feminizing effects of genistein in southern flounder, but reduced growth and survival with high dietary administration.

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Aquaculture Research



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© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd