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Biol Cell. 1990;70(3):129-32.

Secondary ion mass spectrometry analysis of the copper distribution in Drosophila melanogaster chronically intoxicated with Bordeaux mixture.

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  • 1Laboratoire Reproduction, UPS, Orsay, France.


The fungicides used intensively in agriculture may affect non-target organisms. The concentrations of copper sulfate-based fungicide, Bordeaux mixture, normally used in agriculture, can significantly reduce both the life span and breeding rate of Drosophila melanogaster. The present study examines the distribution of copper in organ sections of fruit flies intoxicated with Bordeaux mixture, by secondary ion mass spectrometry. The organs of most control flies contained no copper. In contrast, copper accumulated in the cytoplasm of all the mesenteron and Malpighian tubule epithelial cells of the treated flies. There were also copper deposits in the fat body and the epithelia of the seminal receptacle and accessory glands of some flies, but there was little or no copper in the ovaries. The mesenteron and Malpighian tubules are generally responsible for detoxification by accumulation of ingested metal salts in insects. The high concentration of Bordeaux mixture used saturated these organs and resulted in excess copper being deposited in other sites, such as the fat body and the reproductive system.

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