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’.
Ana Godinho | alfa
Climate change, population growth may lead to open ocean aquaculture
05.10.2017 | Oregon State University
New machine evaluates soybean at harvest for quality
04.10.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
23.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
23.10.2017 | Life Sciences
23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine