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Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 135–144 | Cite as

A Sensitive Analytical Method for Quantifying Petromyzonol Sulfate in Water as a Potential Tool for Population Monitoring of the Southern Pouched Lamprey, Geotria Australis, in New Zealand Streams

  • Michael Stewart
  • Cindy F. Baker
Article

Abstract

The migratory southern pouched lamprey, Geotria australis, is a culturally important fish native to New Zealand. Anecdotal evidence suggests that populations of G. australis have declined from historic levels, and presently, this species is rare in many New Zealand rivers and streams. Migratory sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) use a pheromone mixture to locate suitable spawning sites. This mixture is comprised of three steroids: petromyzonol sulfate (PS), petromyzonamine disulfate (PADS), and petromyzosterol disulfate (PSDS). We examined the migratory pheromone mixture released by G. australis ammocetes and found that they excrete predominantly PS. PADS has been detected on some occasions in low concentrations, and PSDS either is not released, or is released in extremely low concentrations. By using a recently developed sensitive mass spectrometry method, we compared passive sampling techniques against more traditional active water sampling as methods for estimating lamprey populations in local streams. Passive sampling provided quantitative data for PS from all sites surveyed, with uptake rates of 0.3 to 45.7 pg/day observed. Conversely, active sampling returned only one positive result out of 19 samples, and with a method detection limit of 2.5 × 10-14 M, this suggests that concentrations of PS in these streams are either extremely low or variable. The combination of passive sampling and triple quadrupole mass spectrometry is a promising tool for monitoring of G. australis in New Zealand streams.

Keywords

Migratory pheromone Petromyzonol sulfate Petromyzonamine disulfate Petromyzosterol disulfate Lamprey Passive sampling POCIS Mass spectrometry 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank Professor Peter Sorensen from University of Minnesota for PADS and PSDS standards, Dr Etienne Vermeirssen from EAWAG, Switzerland, for helpful discussions on passive sampling and for sending original configurations of Oasis and Triphasic POCIS and Empore C18 and SDB-RPS. The authors also thank Brenda Bartels (NIWA) for assistance in field trials and Terry Cooney (Hill Laboratories) for assistance with mass spectrometry.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Water and Atmospheric ResearchHamiltonNew Zealand

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