Effect of sublethal doses of the insecticide imidacloprid on adaptive traits of Drosophila melanogaster: Response to treatment over and after 15 consecutive generations

DOI: 10.4236/ojas.2013.34A2002   PDF   HTML     3,960 Downloads   6,131 Views  


A sublethal dose of Imidacloprid, considered actually as the most widely used insecticide against biting and sucking insects, was administered to Drosophila melanogaster for detecting effects on biological traits. The choice of this species as organism-model potentially opens the possibility to explore more deeply the processes involved in those effects because, among other reasons, there is a large accumulation of biological knowledge on this species and because it propitiates multiple approaches in laboratory and nature. The flies were treated along 15 consecutive generations. F1 parents were randomly taken among virgin flies from the stocks, but the parents of the successive generations were the first 15 couples emerged in the previous one. The number of progeny (productivity) and the duration of the emergence period were analyzed in every generation revealing insecticide toxicity in 12 of the 15 generations. The observation of an increase in the number of progeny over the generations, which occurred in both control and treated experiments (although maintaining higher productivity in the control), suggested an effect of the use of the first 15 emerged couples in successive generations. A comparative analysis of the mortality of the F15 adult flies exposed to imidacloprid by contact, which involved flies from the control, treatment and from the stocks that originated the experiments, reinforced this idea, indicating a genetic interplay of the emergence speed with productivity and adult tolerance to the insecticide, a subject that may be better explored in another study. Toxicity was also observed for the traits longevity, viability during development from egg to adult and oviposition rate. Considering the present intensive use of imidacloprid, the harmful effects observed in these important biological characteristics may be considered able to decrease the adaptive value of D. melanogaster populations exposing them at risk of decline.

Share and Cite:

de França Patarro, T. , Manzato, A. , Madi-Ravazzi, L. and de Campos Bicudo, H. (2013) Effect of sublethal doses of the insecticide imidacloprid on adaptive traits of Drosophila melanogaster: Response to treatment over and after 15 consecutive generations. Open Journal of Animal Sciences, 3, 8-19. doi: 10.4236/ojas.2013.34A2002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Yamamoto, I. and Casida, J.E. (1999) Nicotinoid insecticides and the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Springer Verlag, Berlin.
[2] Bayer Crop Science (2013) Imidacloprid.
[3] Bao, H., Liu, S., Gu, J., Wang, X., Liang X. and Liu, Z. (2009) Sublethal effects of four insecticides on the reproduction and wing formation of brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens. Pest Management Science, 65, 170-174. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ps.1664
[4] Tan, Y., Biondi, A., Desneux, N. and Gao, X. (2012) Assessment of physiological sublethal effects of imidacloprid on the mirid bug Apolygus lucorum (Meyer-Dür). Ecotoxicology, 21, 1989-1997.
[5] Blacquière, T., Smagghe, G., Van Gestel, C.A.M. and Mommaerts, V. (2012) Neonicotinoids in bees: A review on concentrations, side-effects and risk assessment. Ecotoxicology, 21, 973-992.
[6] Bortolotti, L., Montanari, R., Marcelino, J., Medrzycki, P., Maini, S. and Porrini, C., (2003) Effects of sub-lethal imidacloprid doses on the homing rate and foraging activity of honey bees. Bulletin of Insectology, 56, 63-67.
[7] Henry, M., Béguin, M., Requier, F., Rollin, O., Odoux, J., Aupinel, P., Aptel, J., Tchamitchian, S. and Decourtye, A. (2012) A Common Pesticide Decreases Foraging Success and Survival in Honey Bees. Science, 336, 348-350.
[8] Tapparo, A., Marton, D., Giorio, C., Zanella, A., Solda, L., Marzaro, M., Vivan, L. and Girolami,V. (2012) Assessment of the environmental exposure of honeybees to particulate matter containing neonicotinoid insecticides coming from corn coated seeds. Environmental Science & Technology, 46, 2592-2599.
[9] Johnson, R.M., Ellis, M.D., Mullin, C.A. and Frazier, M., 2010. Pesticides and honey bee toxicity—USA. Apidologie, 41, 312-331.
[10] Tomizawa, M. and Casida, J.E. (2003) Selective toxicity of neonicotinoids attributable to specificity of insect and mammalian nicotinic receptors. Annual Review of Entomology, 48, 339-364.
[11] Jeschke, P. and Nauen, R. (2008) Neonicotinoids—From zero to hero in insecticide chemistry. Pest Management Science, 64, 1084-1098.
[12] Magalhaes, L.C., Hunt, T.E. and Siegfried, B.D. (2008) Development of methods to evaluate susceptibility of soybean aphid to imidacloprid and thiamethoxam at lethal and sublethal concentrations. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 128, 330-336.
[13] Sarkar, M.A., Biswas, P.K., Roy, S., Kole, R.K. and Chowdhury, A. (1999) Effect of pH and type of formulation on the persistence of lmidacloprid in water. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 63, 604-609. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s001289901023
[14] Anatra-Cordone, M. and Durkin, P. (2005) Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment. Final Report, USDA/ Forest Service/ Forest Health Protection, New York.
[15] Niwa, R. and Niwa, Y. S. (2011) The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model system to study cholesterol metabolism and homeostasis. Cholesterol, 2011, 1-6.
[16] Wolf, M.J. and Rockman, H.A. (2008) Drosophila melanogaster as a model system for the genetics of postnatal cardiac function. Drug Discovery Today, 5, 117-123.
[17] Zar, J.H. (1999) Biostatistical Analysis. Prentice Hall, New Jersey.
[18] Moore, D.A. (2004) Estatística Básica e Sua Prática. Livros Técnicos e Científicos S.A., Brasil.
[19] Stearns, S.C. (1977) The evolution of life history traits: a critique of the theory and a review of the data. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 8, 145-171.
[20] Fabian, D. and Flatt, T. (2012) Life History Evolution. Nature Education Knowledge Project. 3, 24.
[21] Paaby, A.B. and Schmidt, P.S. (2009) Dissecting the genetics of longevity in Drosophila melanogaster. Fly, 3, 29-38. http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/fly.3.1.7771
[22] Karatas, A., Bahceci, Z. and Baspinar, E. (2011) The effect of diazinon on egg fertility and development in Drosophila melanogaster. Turkish Journal of Biology, 35, 95-101.
[23] Sethi, A., Bons, M.S. and Dilawari, V.K. (2008) Realized heritability and genetic analysis of insecticide resistance in whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Genn.). Journal of Entomology, 5, 1-9. http://dx.doi.org/10.3923/je.2008.1.9
[24] Liu, Z. and Han, Z. (2006) Fitness costs of laboratoryselected imidacloprid resistance in the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens Stal. Pest Management Science, 62, 279-282. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ps.1169
[25] Wen, Y., Liu, Z., Bao, H. and Han, Z. (2009) Imidacloprid resistance and its mechanisms in field populations of brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens Stal in China. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, 94, 36-42.
[26] Alyokhin, A., Dively, G., Patterson, M., Castaldo, C., Rogers, D., Mahoney, M. and Wollam J. (2006) Resistance and cross-resistance to imidacloprid and thiamethoxam in the Colorado potato beetle Leptinotarsa Decemlineata. Pest Management Science, 63, 32-41.
[27] Fuller, R.C., Baer, C.F. and Travis, J. (2005) How and When Selection Experiments Might Actually Be Useful. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 45, 391-404.
[28] Nunney, L. (1996) The response to selection for fast larval development in Drosophila melanogaster and its effect on adult weight: An example of a fitness trade-off. Evolution, 50, 1193-1204.
[29] Sorensen, J.G. and Loeschcke, V. (2004) Effects of relative emergence time on heat stress resistance traits, longevity and hsp70 expression level in Drosophila melanogaster. Journal of Thermal Biology, 29, 195-203.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.