What is it about?

Neonic pesticides are known to harm insects like honeybees. We discovered that they also harm helpful soil nematodes. Exposure to a commercial formulation of a neonic pesticide retarded the growth and development of C. elegans nematodes. In addition, their movement was disrupted, they laid fewer eggs and the eggs that did hatch produced nematodes that had difficulty producing offspring of their own. This means that the damage is transferred to the next generation.

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Why is it important?

These findings are important because they show that these insecticides cause harm to animals that are not insects. And these findings also show that the harmful effects can still be found in the next generation.


It's important that we understand how harmful pesticides are for many organisms, including ourselves. I hope that people will stop using these poisons that cause such widespread harm.

Professor Kathleen Susman
Vassar College

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Neonicotinoid-containing insecticide disruption of growth, locomotion, and fertility in Caenorhabditis elegans, PLoS ONE, September 2020, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0238637.
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