Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Release of free and conjugated forms of the putative pheromonal steroid 11-oxo-etiocholanolone by reproductively mature male round goby (Neogobius melanostomus Pallas, 1814).

Abstract

Previous studies of the round goby (Neogobius melanostomus Pallas, 1814), an invasive fish species in the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America, have shown that this species has the ability to both synthesize and smell steroids that have a 5beta-reduced and 3alpha-hydroxyl (5beta,3alpha) configuration. An enzyme-linked immunoassay (EIA) for 3alpha-hydroxy-5beta-androstane-11,17-dione (11-O-ETIO) has been used to show a substantial rise in the rate of release of immunoreactive compounds into the water when males are injected with salmon gonadotropin releasing hormone analogue. Similar increases were noted for 11-ketotestosterone and 17,20beta-dihydroxypregn-4-en-3-one. Partitioning of the extracts between diethyl ether and water showed the presence of both free and conjugated immunoreactive 11-O-ETIO. Only conjugated immunoreactivity was found in urine (implying that free steroid is released via the gills). The identity of the conjugates was probed by using HPLC, EIA, and mass spectrometry and removal of sulfate and glucosiduronate groups. Immunoreactivity in the conjugated fraction was found to be due mainly to 3alpha,17beta-dihydroxy-5beta-androstan-11-one 17-sulfate. However, the evidence was also strong for the presence in water extracts of substantial amounts of 3alpha-hydroxy-5beta-androstane-11,17-dione 3-glucosiduronate (which could be detected only by EIA after removal of the glucosiduronate group with beta-glucuronidase). There were also small amounts of 3alpha-hydroxy-5beta-androstane-11,17-dione 3-sulfate and 3alpha,17beta-dihydroxy-5beta-androstan-11-one 17-glucosiduronate. These studies give some idea of the types, amounts, and ratios of 11-O-ETIO derivatives that are released by reproductive N. melanostomus and will aid further research into the putative pheromonal roles of 5beta,3alpha-reduced androgens in this species.