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Environ Entomol. 2010 Aug;39(4):1170-7. doi: 10.1603/EN10027.

Effect of a high dose of three antibiotics on the reproduction of a parthenogenetic strain of Folsomia candida (Isotomidae: Collembola).

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Illinois Natural History Survey, Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability, University of Illinois, 1816 S. Oak St., Champaign, IL 61820, USA.


Folsomia candida Willem (Isotomidae: Collembola) is an edaphic parthenogenetic species commonly used in ecotoxicity studies. We exposed F. candida to a high dose of three antibiotics, tylosin, ampicillin, and oxytetracycline, that target different bacterial groups. Possible toxic effects were assessed through egg production, hatching, and body size. All three antibiotics caused toxic effects. Treatment with oxytetracycline proved the most toxic. This group showed the smallest body size and lowest number of eggs laid, likely the result of a combination of antibiotic toxicity and avoidance of the antibiotic spiked food. Active toxin avoidance by F. candida in toxicological assays may play a role in minimizing their exposure to toxic compounds. Despite the administration of high doses of oxytetracycline, F. candida individuals remained infected with the intracellular bacteria Wolbachia indicating that this strain is resistant to this antibiotic or that the host or its gut flora had detoxified the compound. An increase in percent egg hatch with time was seen in the ampicillin and oxytetracycline treatments, indicating a possible accommodation of the host and/or gut-flora to these antibiotics.

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