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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 865741, 5 pages
Research Article

Exposure to Environmentally Relevant Concentrations of Genistein during Activation Does Not Affect Sperm Motility in the Fighting Fish Betta splendens

Department of Biology, Amherst College, Amherst, MA 01002, USA

Received 5 November 2013; Revised 17 December 2013; Accepted 18 December 2013; Published 2 January 2014

Academic Editor: Josef Velisek

Copyright © 2014 Ethan D. Clotfelter and Hannah K. Gendelman. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Sperm collected from male fighting fish Betta splendens were activated in control water, water containing the ion-channel blocker gadolinium (a putative positive control), or water containing the isoflavone phytoestrogen genistein to determine the effects of acute genistein exposure on male reproductive function. Computer-assisted sperm analysis was used to quantify the proportion of sperm that were motile and the swimming velocity of those sperm. The highest concentration of gadolinium (100 μM) tested was effective at reducing sperm motility and velocity, but neither concentration of genistein tested (3.7 nM or 3.7 μM) significantly affected these sperm parameters. Our findings suggest that acute exposure to waterborne phytoestrogens during activation does not reduce the motility of fish sperm.