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Palmer, B. D., & Sager, T. A. (2003). Reproductive endocrinology of turtles and tortoises: new methodologies and their application to research and conservation. Abstracts ASIH Meeting 2003. 
Added by: Admin (14 Aug 2008 20:36:26 UTC)
Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Palmer2003
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Categories: General
Keywords: Blut = blood, Chelonia, Cheloniidae, Chelydra, Chelydra serpentina, Chelydridae, Emydidae, Fortpflanzung = reproduction, Geoemydidae, Graptemys, Graptemys geographica, Heosemys, Heosemys spinosa, Malacochersus, Malacochersus tornieri, Schildkröten = turtles + tortoises, Testudinidae, Veterinärmedizin = veterinary medicine
Creators: Palmer, Sager
Collection: Abstracts ASIH Meeting 2003
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Abstract     
Turtles and tortoises are among the most endangered vertebrate groups. Conservation of many species will depend upon successful captive breeding programs. These efforts will benefit from understanding turtle reproductive physiology. Unfortunately, the reproductive endocrinology of many species has not been thoroughly investigated. Most studies have focused only on the major steroid hormones of mammals, namely estradiol, progesterone and testosterone. We have developed a novel methodology utilizing High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to investigate the reproductive endocrinology of turtles and tortoises. The advantage of this technique is that multiple steroids can be simultaneously quantified from a single, small sample of plasma. In this study, we examined concentrations of 11 steroid hormones from common aquatic turtles (snapping turtles, Chelydra serpentina and map turtles, Graptemys geographica) and captive specimens of threatened turtles and tortoises (spiny turtles, Heosemys spinosa and pancake tortoises, Malacochersus tornieri). Plasma samples were collected within 20 min of capture for wild specimens. Plasma samples were extracted with methanol, dried under nitrogen and analyzed using Nova Pak C-18 columns on HPLC. The steroids estradiol-17 , estriol, estrone, progesterone, 17 -hydroxyprogesterone, androstenedione, testosterone, 5 -dihydrotestosterone, 17 -hydroxypregnenolone, pregnenolone and corticosterone were identified and quantified. Results for snapping turtles indicate that males had significant levels of testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, progesterone and estriol during the spring. In females, estradiol, testosterone, progesterone and estrone were elevated. An additional unidentified peak indicates that significant quantities of a steroid not included in the 11 standards is present in females. This study is the first to our knowledge to investigate levels of 11 steroid hormones any turtle. This technology will further our understanding of chelonian reproduction and assist in the captive breeding of endangered species. This technique should be easily adaptable to virtually any vertebrate species. This research was sponsored by a University of Kentucky Research Committee Award. Testudinidae
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