Impacts of Silver Nanoparticle Ingestion on Pigmentation and Developmental Progression in Drosophila
In recent years, the advent of nanomaterial use has increased exposure rates and raised health concerns. However, the toxicology profiles of many nanomaterials are far from complete for various reasons. In this study, Drosophila melanogaster, commonly called fruit flies, were exposed to one of the most widely used nanomaterials, silver nanopowder (Ag NP), to assess its toxicity and determine if D. melanogaster would be a good model organism for nanotoxicology studies. Comparison of developmental progression amongst groups of flies ingesting different Ag NP concentrations (0.05%/~90 ppm-5.0%/~9000 ppm), revealed that hatch rates were unaffected, but that larval progression was impeded at any dosage of Ag NP. At 0.3% Ag NP an approximate LD50 was observed. Additionally, a distinctive phenotype was observed among emergent adults (F1 generation) that arose from larvae exposed to Ag NP which included reduced body pigmentation accompanied by shortened life span and abnormal climbing behavior. The phenotype prompted speculation that Ag NPs may affect the dopamine and/or the stress response pathway(s).