OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

Mortality in Drosophila melanogaster when reared with different herbicides


Maryam Badoella


Roundup is a common herbicide that is used to kill weeds worldwide, in a variety of formulations. The active ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate, but formulations differ in other ingredients, which may include supplemental herbicides as well as surfactants and adjuvants. Other studies indicate that toxicological effects differ among Roundup formulations. The reason for this experiment is to discover what ingredients in different herbicides are causing the toxicological effects. I have used Drosophila melanogaster Canton-S strain to study mortality in response to herbicide formulations with different active ingredients: glyphosate only, glyphosate and pelargonic acid, and pelargonic acid only. Ten male and ten female flies were kept on organic medium for a week, then the flies were anesthetized, sexed, and put on different treatments containing one herbicide formulations at one of three concentrations or control medium. The fly mortality was then noted after 2 and 7 days of exposure. Differences in mortality will be analyzed using JMP statistical software, to determine how herbicide formulation and concentration influence mortality rate. Morality of males in the control treatment was high after 7 days, so only data from 2 days of exposure will be considered for males. Preliminary analysis shows that herbicides that contain pelargonic acid cause higher mortality in female flies exposed at 1 g/L for 7 days than formulations that contain glyphosate. This may imply that exposure to these herbicides can also pose a health risk to other non-target organisms, including humans.

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