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Effect of Neurotoxic Insecticide Dimethoate on Unicellular Freshwater Protozoan Ciliate Paramecium sp.

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Life Sciences, Kishinchand Chellaram College, D. W. Road, Churchgate, Mumbai, INDIA

Int. Res. J. Biological Sci., Volume 3, Issue (5), Pages 62-66, May,10 (2014)


The freshwater protozoan ciliate Paramecium sp. was used to assess the effects of widely used insecticide in agricultural industries, dimethoate, which is a neurotoxin for insects and works by inhibiting the activity of acetyl cholinesterase enzyme. Since the ciliates like Paramecium are unicellular and do not possess any nervous system, an attempt has been made to check whether the ciliates can be considered as potential bioindicators for aquatic toxicity assessment and to evaluate the possible effects of this insecticide on them. In the present study, it was found that dimethoate affects the normal functioning of the contractile vacuole and locomotor movements at the concentration range of 0.5 mg/ml and 1 mg/ml (and above) if exposed to the insecticide for 20 minutes and 3 hours respectively. It also affects the growth rate of the ciliate, significantly, by increasing the generation time when subjected to the dimethoate (concentration 0.5mg/ml and above) for 24 hours and 96 hours exposure. Certain physiological deformities were also noted like irregular beating of cilia, blebbing and spinning movements.


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