DES multi-generational effects on Daphnia magna

Multi-generational effects of four selected environmental oestrogens on Daphnia magna

2005 Study Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine whether vertebrate-type oestrogens have ecotoxicological effects on a crustacean species. The effects of 17beta-oestradiol (E2), diethylstilbestrol (DES), bisphenol A (BPA) and 4-nonylphenol (4-NP) on the freshwater invertebrate Daphnia magna were assessed over first and second generations.

The acute EC(50) 48 h, based on immobilisation, for E2, DES, BPA and 4-NP were 2.87 mg/l, 1.55 mg/l, 7.75 mg/l and 0.13 mg/l, respectively. The impact of the test chemicals on moulting frequency was also assessed. The EC(50) 48 h, based on the inhibition of moult number for E2, DES and 4-NP were 2.04 mg/l, 1.87 mg/l and 0.14 mg/l, respectively. BPA was not observed to impact the moulting frequency of D. magna at concentrations tested. In a series of separate studies, the effects of the four selected test compounds on the survival, moulting frequency and reproduction of first and second generational D. magna were assessed over a period of 21 d. Exposure of D. magna to 4-NP decreased the number of offspring produced in both first and second generation testing. DES proved to have no significant (p0.05) inhibition of fecundity in first generation but when second generation daphnids were exposed to DES, a significant (p0.05) reduction in the number of offspring was recorded. When D. magna were exposed to E2 or BPA, no statistically significant (p0.05) inhibition in the number of moults or offspring produced was observed.


  • Multi-generational effects of four selected environmental oestrogens on Daphnia magna, Chemosphere, NCBI PubMed PMID: 16405951, 2005 Nov.
  • Female Daphnia magna with a clutch of asexual eggs featured image credit wiki.

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