OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

Toxicologic effects of the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup® on Canton-S Drosophila melanogaster reproductive function.


Glyphosate is the active ingredient in widely used herbicides, including Roundup®. Evidence shows that glyphosate, although effective, is toxic to some organisms and their endocrine systems; however, its 50 5th Annual Student Research Symposium toxicity to humans remains unclear. This study utilized a Canton-S strain of Drosophila melanogaster to explore the effects of glyphosate exposure on reproductive anatomy and function. Flies were exposed to organic medium with or without one of two homeowner grade Roundup® formulations containing glyphosate with pelargonic acid or with POEA. Each formulation was administered at glyphosate concentrations of 0.0 g/L, 0.5 g/L, 1.0 g/L, and 2.0 g/L. After 7 days of exposure, the organism’s ovaries, oocytes, and spermatheca were dissected and scored, in addition to mortality. Flies exposed to Roundup® with pelargonic acid at 2 g/L experienced decreased survival, a lower concentration than decreased survival when other Roundup® formulations were used. With repeated trials, we expect that this concentration of Roundup® with pelargonic acid will yield the highest mortality rate of Drosophila. Literature from studies about other species suggests that glyphosate will decrease Drosophila ovary size, number of oocytes, and presence of sperm in the spermatheca. If the expected results are found after the completion of 25 female Drosophila dissections per treatment, we will conclude that glyphosate based herbicide in the form of Roundup® is toxic to Drosophila melanogaster, specifically affecting reproductive anatomy, function and success.

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