THE IMPACT OF EXTREMELY LOW FREQUENCY ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELD (50 HZ, 0.25 MT) ON FITNESS COMPONENTS AND WING TRAITS OF Drosophila subobscura
Kurbalija Novičić, Zorana
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Over the past century, man-made electromagnetic fields (EMF) have changed the natural environment, representing one of the most common and rapidly increasing environmental factors as technology advances. Numerous studies of biological effects of exposure to EMF have been performed on Drosophila during the last 30 years, showing contrasting results. In an attempt to determine whether EMF exposures might affect the development of Drosophila, the present study examines phenotypic variations through direction and range of changes in several fitness components and wing length and width, of Drosophila subobscura isofemale lines, affected by 50 Hz EMF. Embryonal and early post-embryonal stages were exposed to homogeneous sinusoidal 0.25 mT EMF of 50 Hz. The EMF exposure caused a significantly prolonged developmental time and significantly increased the wing size with the opposite direction of directional asymmetry compared to the control group. These results shows that even such a weak EMF has the potential to modulate, through developmental pathways, some of the fitness-related traits, wing size, and wing asymmetry in D. subobscura even after one generation of exposure, showing that extremely low frequency (ELF) EMFs have relevant consequences on development, adult morphology, and fitness.