Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First Experimental Evidence For Speedy Adaptation To Pesticides By Worm Species

Date:
December 28, 2008
Source:
Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC)
Summary:
Scientists in Portugal have shown that populations of the worm Caenhorabditis elegans become resistance to pesticides in 20 generations -- that is, in only 80 days.

Scientists at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia (IGC) and the Faculty of Science of the University of Lisbon, in Portugal, have shown that populations of the worm Caenhorabditis elegans become resistance to pesticides in 20 generations, that is, in only 80 days.

These findings, published last month in the journal PLoS ONE, open the way for future research into improved use of pesticides and antibiotics in pest and parasite control.

Patrícia Lopes and co-workers followed 20 generations of the worm C. elegans in the presence of Levamisole, a widely-used pesticide that acts on the nervous system, is lethal, but also affects fecundity and mobility, when present at lower doses. They found that Levamisole markedly reduced fecundity, survival and the frequency of males. Indeed, these almost disappeared in the population: from an initial frequency of 30%, they reached 0% by the 10th generation. The researchers showed that this drastic decrease in male frequency was not due to males being more susceptible to the pesticide than females. Rather, the pesticide affected the worms’ mobility and, consequently, their ability to find a mate.

However, the populations of worms were able to adapt to the new Levamisole environment, so that by the 10th generation, survival and fecundity had recovered, and the frequency of males increased again by the 20th generation. The ability to lose males in a population and still reproduce is only possible because C. elegans is a hermaphrodite species, that is, within a population, some worms are both male and female and can thus breed on their own, a process called ‘selfing’.

The researchers then placed the adapted worms into the original, pesticide-free environment and found that the worms survived perfectly. Scientists say that there were no adaptation costs to the population. Says Elio Sucena, group leader at the IGC and co-author of this study, "These findings have implications for managing the application of pesticides: if we had found that the survival of adapted worms in the original environment was impaired too, this would have meant that, by maintaining areas where the pesticide is not spread, resistance to the pesticide could be controlled, and the efficacy of the pesticide increased."

Sara Magalhães, group leader at the University of Lisbon, points out that "As a result of the widespread use of pesticides and antibiotics, resistance to these chemicals has developed in many species. Our ability to manage this resistance entails being able to dissect the genetic changes underlying the acquisition of resistance. Our approach, using experimental evolution, allows us to manipulate several factors, such as population size, environmental stability and genetic background in our efforts to tackle and understand pesticide resistance, not only of C. elegans but also other pests and parasites."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Patrícia C. Lopes, Élio Sucena, M. Emiília Santos, Sara Magalhães. Rapid Experimental Evolution of Pesticide Resistance in C. elegans Entails No Costs and Affects the Mating System. PLoS ONE, 2008; 3 (11): e3741 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003741

Cite This Page:

Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC). "First Experimental Evidence For Speedy Adaptation To Pesticides By Worm Species." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081218052706.htm>.
Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC). (2008, December 28). First Experimental Evidence For Speedy Adaptation To Pesticides By Worm Species. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081218052706.htm
Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC). "First Experimental Evidence For Speedy Adaptation To Pesticides By Worm Species." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081218052706.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — Hoping to break the record for world's wooliest, Shaun the sheep came up 10 pounds shy with his fleece weighing over 50 pounds after being shorn for the first time in years. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — Canadian scientists looking into the very first land animals took a fish out of water and forced it to walk. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — Parks officials in Stevens Point, Wisconsin had a fowl problem. Canadian Geese were making a mess of a park, so officials enlisted cardboard versions of man's best friend. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins