Changes in the wing shape and size in Drosophila melanogaster treated with food grade titanium dioxide nanoparticles (E171) – a multigenerational study
Drosophila is among the most commonly use models for toxicity assessment of different types of nanoparticles. This study aims to examine the effects of a constant exposure to the low concentration of human food grade titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 E171) on Drosophila melanogaster wing morphology over multiple generations. Subsequently, the Geometric Morphometrics Analysis was employed to examine possible changes in the wing shape and size of the treated flies. The treatment resulted in the diminishment but not a disruption in the sexual dimorphism in wings. Consequently, the female flies were clearly separated from the male flies by the differences in wing morphology as in the control group. A splitting by generations was overly similar within the control and the treatment, but it was slightly more pronounced in the treatment. However, the observed generational differences seemed mostly random between generations, irrespective of the treatment. Specifically, the treated groups displayed slightly higher splitting by generations in females than in males. Regardless of the generation, the results show a clear splitting by the differences in the wing shape between the treated flies and the flies from control. The mean value of centroid size, which refers to the wing size, of both female and male wings was smaller in the treatment when compared to the control. The overall effect of TiO2 was to induce significant difference in Drosophila wing morphology but it did not alter the general wing morphology pattern. Therefore, the change in the wings occurred only within the normally allowed wing variation.