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International Journal of Morphology

On-line version ISSN 0717-9502


ESPINOZA-NAVARRO, Omar; FERREIRA, Carolina  and  BUSTOS-OBREGON, Eduardo. Effect of Methamidophos on the Morphology and Male Reproductive Parameters of the Earthworm Eisenia foetida. Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2013, vol.31, n.3, pp.1097-1103. ISSN 0717-9502.

The earthworm Eisenia foetida (Annelida, Oligochaeta) is an excellent biosentinel model organism for assessing potential toxicological risks by xenobiotics in terrestrial ecosystems. Methamidophos is an organophosphorous insecticide widely used to control agricultural pests. Its main action is due to inhibition of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase. The aim of this study was to evaluate the toxicity of methamidophos on the morphology and male parameters in Eisenia foetida. After determining the LD50 for methamidophos (85.34 mg/kg soil), five groups were formed, including control subjects, and sprayed with tap water. Methamidophos treated groups were subjected to doses of 1/10, 1/6, 1/3 and 2/3 of the LD50. Each group was analyzed at day 1, 6, 14 and 30 post-treatment. The results show a significant decrease in the weight of all individuals treated with methamidophos, besides showing a coiled body in 100% of them. Sperm count showed a significant increase in the treated groups after 1, 6 and 14 days post exposure and a significant decrease by day 30. Using the technique of acridine orange, a significant increase in abnormal metachromatic sperm (red fluorescence) in treated animals was shown. Methamidophos alters the overall behavior in earthworms and the male reproductive parameters of Eisenia foetida possibly altering the structure and conformation of DNA.

Keywords : Reproduction; Eisenia foetida; Methamidophos; Cytotoxicity.

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