level responses of rotifers (Brachionus calyciflorus and Plationus
patulus) to the anti-diabetic drug, metformin
García-García, G.I. Reyes-Carrillo, S.S.S. Sarma* and S. Nandini
Laboratory of Aquatic
Zoology, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Campus Iztacala,
Av. de Los Barrios
No.1, AP 314, 54090, Los Reyes, Tlalnepantla, State of Mexico, Mexico
Author E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paper received : 21.10.2015
Revised received : 20.07.2016
Re-revised received :
Accepted : 21.02.2017
and Plationus patulus are the two brachionid rotifers that are widely
recognized as suitable bioassay species for testing the effects of toxicants
and xenobiotics. However, their relative sensitivities vary depending on the
duration of exposure, nature of the toxicants and the ecological tools used.
Most ecotoxicological works on rotifers have considered one species at a time
and mainly tested the effects of pesticides and heavy metals. We quantified
the population level changes in the rotifers B. calyciflorus and P.
patulus subjected to different concentrations of metformin, a widely
used anti-diabetic drug.
and P. patulus were separately cultured starting with a single
parthenogenetic individual. The single-celled green alga, Scenedesmus
acutus was used as diet for both the species of rotifers. The experiments
were separately conducted using 25 ml of test medium with one of the five
concentrations of analytical grade metformin (0 (control), 25, 50, 100 and
200 µg l-1. The initial density of each rotifer was 1 ind. ml-1.
Daily we quantified the number of rotifers living in each jar and then
transferred the surviving individuals to fresh jars containing appropriate
metformin-alga combination. The experiments were terminated after 16 days.
population abundance and the rate of population increase (r) of both the
rotifers were adversely affected due to metformin. The r in controls of B.
calyciflorus and P. patulus were 0.38±0.02 and 0.26±0.01 per day,
respectively. For B. calyciflorus and P. patulus the r
decreased to 0.19±0.01 and 0.12±0.02 per day, respectively, when exposed to
200 µg l-1 of metformin.
environmental levels of metformin in effluents are similar to those used in this
work. Therefore, metformin should be considered as harmful for rotifers on
long term exposure at concentrations of as low as 25 µg l-1.
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