OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

Toxicologic effects of Roundup® on Drosophila melanogaster reproductive function


Kelly Muller


Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the widely used herbicide Roundup®. Glyphosate, although effective in agricultural practice, can be toxic to some organisms, including their endocrine systems. This study utilized Drosophila melanogaster to explore effects of Roundup® exposure on reproductive anatomy and function. Female flies were exposed to organic medium or medium containing one of two commercial Roundup® formulations; one formulation also includes pelargonic acid, the other POEA. Flies were collected within 2- or 4-hours after eclosion, and exposed to treatments containing 0.0g/L, 0.5g/L, 1.0g/L, or 2.0g/L glyphosate or 2.0g/L pelargonic acid only herbicide (Scythe®). After 7 days, mortality was noted and the ovaries, oocytes, and spermatheca were dissected and observed. We observed decreased survival of flies collected 4-hours after eclosion and exposed to Roundup® with pelargonic acid at 2g/L, a lower concentration than required for other Roundup® formulations. Flies exposed to 2g/L Roundup® with pelargonic acid 2-hours after eclosion contained fewer mature oocytes than those exposed 4-hours after eclosion to the same treatment. This suggests a critical period of time of increased sensitivity to glyphosate, which may begin during the larval period. Literature from studies about other species indicates that glyphosate decreases ovary size and sperm production. If similar results are found in Drosophila, this will support multi-species evidence that glyphosate-based herbicides have toxic reproductive effects on non-target organisms.

This document is currently not available here.