, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 197–203 | Cite as

The water flea Daphnia magna (Crustacea, Cladocera) as a test species for screening and evaluation of chemicals with endocrine disrupting effects on crustaceans



The water flea Daphnia magna (Crustacea, Cladocera) is a cyclical parthenogen, which can reproduce both by parthenogenesis and by sexual reproduction. With its ease of handling in the laboratory, several testing methods using D. magna exist for regulatory toxicity testing. Recently, several studies revealed that one of the major hormone groups in insects and crustaceans, juvenile hormones, are involved in the shift of reproductive mode from parthenogenesis to sexual reproduction (production of male neonates). Using offspring sex ratio as a new endpoint has made it possible to identify chemicals with juvenile hormone-like effects on crustaceans. The testing method using D. magna, in which offspring sex ratio is incorporated as a new endpoint, is now being proposed to the OECD as an enhanced version of the existing OECD Test Guideline 211: Daphnia magna reproduction test. No other clear-cut endpoint for identifying juvenile-hormone disrupting effects has ever been found in crustaceans than the induction of male neonates production in cladocerans. In this regard, it is expected that testing methods using D. magna are suitable for screening and risk assessment of chemicals with juvenile-hormone disrupting effects.


Insect growth regulators Juvenile hormones Offspring sex ratio OECD Test Guideline 211 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute for Environmental StudiesTsukubaJapan

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