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Effects of bisphenol A on post-embryonic development of the cotton pest Spodoptera littoralis

Maria, Annick, Malbert-Colas, Aude, Boulogne, Isabelle, Braman, Virginie, Boitard, Constance, Dacher, Matthieu, Chertemps, Thomas, Maibeche, Martine, Blais, Catherine, Siaussat, David
Chemosphere 2019 v.235 pp. 616-625
Spodoptera littoralis, bisphenol A, cotton, ecdysteroids, endocrine system, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, hemolymph, hormones, human health, ingestion, instars, larvae, molting, pests, phytophagous insects, pollutants, pupae, pupation, receptors, sex ratio, signal transduction, tissues, viability
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals encompass a variety of chemicals that may interfere with the endocrine system and produce negative effects on organisms. Among them, bisphenol A is considered a major pollutant in numerous countries. The harmful effects of BPA on environmental and human health are intensely studied. However, the effects of BPA on terrestrial insects are still poorly investigated, despite that several plants can accumulate BPA in their tissues, leading to potential contamination of herbivorous insects. Here, we used the leafworm Spodoptera littoralis, a polyphagous species, to study BPA effects on post-embryonic development. We studied the effects of BPA ingestion at environmental doses (e.g., 0.01, 0.1, and 1 μg/g of BPA) and high doses (e.g., 25 μg/g) on larval weight and stage duration, pupal length and sex ratio. BPA effects were investigated in more detail during the last larval instar, a crucial period for preparing pupation and metamorphosis, which are under endocrine control. We monitored the haemolymph concentration of ecdysteroids, hormones controlling moult and metamorphosis, as well as the expression levels of several nuclear receptors involved in the ecdysteroid signalling pathway. Our integrative study showed that, upon exposure doses, BPA can induce various effects on the viability, developmental time, growth and sex ratio. These effects were correlated with a delay of the ecdysteroid peak during the last larval instar and a modification of expression of EcR, USP, E75AB, E75D and Br-c. We provide new evidence about the events that occur after BPA exposure in insect contaminated by food ingestion.