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A Novel Lepidoptera bioassay analysed using a reduced GUTS model

Badder, Claire, Bart, Sylvain, Robinson, Alex, Hesketh, Helen, Kille, Peter ORCID: and Spurgeon, David J. 2023. A Novel Lepidoptera bioassay analysed using a reduced GUTS model. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 251 , 114504. 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2023.114504

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Lepidopteran species can be both pests and also beneficial pollinators for agricultural crops. However, despite these important roles, the effects of pesticides on this diverse taxa are relatively understudied. To facilitate the assessment of pesticides and other chemical hazards on this taxa, we present a novel bioassay capable of testing chemical sensitivity to lepidopteran larvae through dietary exposure. We used Mamestra brassicae caterpillars as a model lepidopteran and tested their sensitivity for the organophosphate insecticide chlorpyrifos. We exposed larvae to an artificial diet spiked with chlorpyrifos and monitored survival over time, as well as weight change over a 96-hour exposure period. To test the repeatability and reliability of the developed bioassay, the experiment was repeated three times. The survival in time data collected enabled analysis with the General Unified Threshold of Survival (GUTS) model, recently recognized by EFSA as a ready-to-use tool for regulatory purposes. The GUTS modelling was used to derive a set of relevant toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic parameters relating to the larval response to exposure over time. We found that across the three repeats studies there was no more than a threefold difference in LC₅₀ values (13.1, 18.7 and 8.1 mg/Kg) at 48 h and fourfold difference at 96 h, highlighting the repeatability of the bioassay. We also highlighted the potential of the method to observe sub-lethal effects such as changes in weight. Finally, we discuss the applications of this new bioassay method to chemical risk assessments and its potential for use in other scenarios, such as mixture or pulsed exposure testing.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:, Start Date: 2023-01-02
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0147-6513
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 13 January 2023
Date of Acceptance: 2 January 2023
Last Modified: 09 May 2023 02:38

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