Development of resistance to cyfluthrin and naphthalene among Daphnia magna

John M. Brausch, Philip N. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


In this study, Daphnia magna were exposed to a pyrethroid insecticide (cyfluthrin) or a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (naphthalene) for 12 generations to evaluate development of resistance followed by a 12 generation recovery period. Twenty-four hour old D. magna were exposed to concentrations of each chemical resulting in 50-70% mortality to select for the least sensitive individuals. LC50 values, survival, reproductive output, and time to first brood in stressor-exposed and control D. magna were recorded for each generation. Significant changes in LC50 values were observed after 4 generations and then declined after 6-10 generations post-exposure. D. magna were 5 times less sensitive to cyfluthrin and 3 times less sensitive to naphthalene as compared to controls after 12 generations of exposure. There were no differences in survival, time to first brood, or total number of offspring produced between control and either of the resistant F13 D. magna. Cyfluthrin exposed D. magna exhibited cross-resistance to DDT and methyl parathion, and naphthalene resistant D. magna were less sensitive than controls to both pyrene and benz(a)anthracene. When the cytochrome P450 inhibitor piperonyl butoxide was used in conjunction with cyfluthrin and naphthalene the sensitivity of resistant and control D. magna were equal, suggesting P450s were responsible for conveying resistance. This study demonstrates that life history and organisms' capacity to develop resistance is important to consider ensuring accuracy of ecological risk assessments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600-609
Number of pages10
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Ecological risk assessment
  • PAHs
  • Pesticides
  • Resistance


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