The toxicological effect of Ruta graveolens extract in Siamese fighting fish

a behavioral and histopathological approach

Mohammad Navid Forsatkar, Mohammad Ali Nematollahi*, Culum Brown

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of pharmacological waste on aquatic ecosystems are increasingly highlighted in ecotoxicology research. Many of these products are designed for human physiology but owing to the conservative nature of vertebrate evolution they also tend to have effects on aquatic organisms and fishes in particular when they find their way into aquatic systems via wastewater effluent. One area of research has focused on reproductive control and the associated hormone treatments. Many of these hormones affect the reproductive physiology of fishes and may cause feminization of male reproductive traits. Alternative medicines have also been widely used particularly in traditional cultures but few of these alternative treatments have been assessed with respect to their potential impact on aquatic ecosystems. Rue (Rutagraveolens) has been used as a male contraceptive in traditional medicines but its effects on fish behavior and reproductive anatomy have yet to be established. Here we show that treating Siamese fighting fish, Bettasplendens, with extract of rue has a significant effect on key aggressive/reproductive behaviors and the propensity to explore novel objects (boldness). In all cases the respective behaviors were reduced relative to controls and sham injected fish. Histological analysis of the testes revealed that rue exposure reduced the number of spermatozoa but increased the number of spermatocytes relative to controls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)824-834
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


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