Detergents: Effects on the Chemical Senses of the Fish Ictalurus natalis (le Sueur)

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Science  18 Jun 1965:
Vol. 148, Issue 3677, pp. 1605-1607
DOI: 10.1126/science.148.3677.1605


Two types of detergents, one easily oxidized and the other not, damage the chemoreceptors of yellow bullheads, Ictalurus natalis (le Sueur) exposed to concentrations of 0.5 parts per million in the surrounding water. This concentration is considerably lower than that at which sublethal damage has been detected previously. Histological examination reveals erosion of the taste buds; electrophysiological methods and observations of swimming and feeding behavior reveal impairment of receptor function. Affected fish do not fully recover after 6 weeks in detergent-free water.