Agrichemicals in nebraska, USA, watersheds: occurrence and endocrine effects

Marlo K. Sellin, Daniel D. Snow, Matthew Schwarz, Barbara J. Carter, Alan S. Kolok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The objective of the present study was to determine the occurrence and endocrine effects of agrichemicals in four Nebraska, USA, watersheds-the Elkhorn, Platte, Niobrara, and Dismal rivers. Land use in the Elkhorn River and Platte River watersheds is characterized by intense agriculture, including row crop and beef cattle production. In contrast, land within the Niobrara River and Dismal River watersheds consists primarily of grasslands. Polar organic chemical integrative samplers (POCIS) and caged fathead minnows were deployed at a site within each watershed, for 7 d. The POCIS were analyzed, for pesticides and hormones, while the caged minnows were analyzed for the expression of estrogen- and androgen-responsive genes. Amounts of pesticides recovered in POCIS extracts from the Elkhorn and Platte rivers were higher than those recovered from, the Niobrara and Dismal rivers. Furthermore, female minnows deployed, in the Elkhorn River experienced significant reductions in expression of two estrogen-responsive genes (vitellogenin and estrogen receptor a) relative to females deployed at the other sites, indicating alterations in endocrine function. However, the defeminization of these females could not be definitely linked to any of the agrichemicals detected in the POCIS recovered, from the Elkhorn River.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2443-2448
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Agricultural runoff
  • Endocrine disruption
  • Fathead minnow
  • Gene expression
  • Pesticides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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