OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

Development of a Drosophila melanogaster Assay to Assess the Developmental Toxicity of Phorate


Organophosphates (OPs) are commonly used in both commercial and agricultural pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides. Recent studies have found that OPs have a variety of deleterious effects on non-target organisms, including humans.1 In order to further assess the potential of OPs acting as toxicants, we used the model organism Drosophila melanogaster (D. melanogaster). D. melanogaster has a high degree of genetic homology to humans. Any developmental abnormalities that ensue after exposure to a potential toxicant can provide a basis for assessing their toxicity and possible mechanisms of action in humans. Previous studies in the lab indicate that exposure of Fenamiphos, Phorate, and Profenophos at 1 µg/ml is lethal to the embryo compared to lower concentrations. Larvae, pupae, and adult D. melanogaster were exposed to Phorate at concentrations ranging from 0.02 µg/ml, 0.05 µg/ml, and 0.08µg/ml. Protocols were developed to determine time of lethality and morphological abnormalities in undeveloped embryos, larvae, and adults. Embryonic, larval, and adult survival were assessed in addition to behavioral assessments in adults. Results from the assessments performed demonstrated that Phorate at 0.02µg/ml slowed the adults’ climbing ability but not survivability for 1st generation flies. 2nd generation flies shared the same results as in 1st generation flies. Future studies will be assessed on various concentrations to observe any transgeneration effects through the protocols established on embryo, larvae, and adult Drosophila for Phorate, Fenamiphos, and Profenophos.

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