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Five Facts about Love Potion #3kPZS

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Five Facts about Love Potion #3kPZS: By Sharon Moen, Minnesota Sea Grant

Weiming Li, now FEJ Fry Chair of Environmental Physiology at Michigan State University, labored since he was a Sea Grant-funded doctoral student at the University of Minnesota in the early 1990s to bring a pheromone to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission in a useful form for managing sea lamprey. In December 2015 the U.S. EPA approved 3kPZS for use in the Great Lakes and Canadian approval isn’t far behind. 


The smell of success smells like nothing. Well, 3kPZS smells like nothing to you. Yet, mere drops of this species-specific compound will send females whipping miles upstream in a come-hither rush. Emitted by male sea lamprey, the pheromone lures mate-ready females into traps and Li expects it can draw almost-mate-ready lamprey of both sexes to a particular area. “Love potions” could be pivotal for managing primitive fish. "Lamprey ... I would hardly call them fish…,” says Peter Sorensen, Li’s former advisor …