Frontiers in Endocrinology (2021-03-01)

The Effect of Glyphosate on the Reproduction of Estuarine Crabs: Neohelice granulata as a Study Model

  • Enrique M. Rodríguez,
  • Daniel A. Medesani,
  • Ivana S. Canosa,
  • Luciana Avigliano

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12


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This review summarizes the bulk of evidence about the effect of glyphosate, both technical and formulated, on the ovarian maturation of Neohelice granulata female crabs, as well as the effects of glyphosate on sperm production in males of the same species. After long-term in vivo assays, made during the 3-month pre-reproductive period of this species, both formulated and technical glyphosate were able to produce a significant incidence of oocyte reabsorption in the ovary, together with a concomitant decreased of vitellogenin content, at concentrations ranging from 0.2 to 1 mg/L. Despite this, after 32-day in vivo assays, glyphosate stimulated oocyte growth, in terms of a higher percentage of vitellogenic oocytes, suggesting that glyphosate could be acting as an endocrine disruptor. In vitro assays made with isolated ovarian pieces showed a decrease of vitellogenin content, in correlation with lower protein synthesis, although some advance in maturation was observed in the histological analysis. In male crabs exposed in vivo to both technical and formulated glyphosate at 1 mg/L, several reproductive imbalances were noted, such as a significant decrease of the sperm count, abnormal spermatophores, and possible disrupting effects of glyphosate on the androgenic gland.