Ecotoxicological evaluation of chlorpyrifos exposure on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

Ji Yeon Roh, Jinhee Choi

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55 Scopus citations


To investigate the effects of chlorpyrifos (CP), an organophosphorus insecticide, on the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the toxicity of the insecticide on the molecular, biochemical, and physiological levels were investigated upon sublethal exposure, and an acute toxicity test was conducted using lethality as an endpoint. To assess the molecular-level effect, stress-related gene expression was investigated, and the neurotoxicity indicator, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity was assessed as the biochemical-level response. Growth, reproduction and development were also studied as physiological-level responses. The overall results indicate that CP exposure leads to the alteration of the expression of some stress genes, such as of heat shock protein, metallothionein, vitellogenin and C. elegans p53-like protein genes; the inhibition of AChE activity; and the retardation of development. These data suggest that the toxicity of CP on C. elegans occurred in multiple biological organizations; nevertheless this is not sufficient to conclude that there is a casual relationship between them. Thus, direct experimental demonstrations of the wider relationships between the molecular/biochemical effects of CP exposure and their consequences at higher levels of biological organization are needed to fully understand the effects of this compound on C. elegans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-489
Number of pages7
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Chlorpyrifos
  • Ecotoxicity
  • Multiple biological-level effect


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