Date of Graduation

Summer 2017


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Alexander Wait


Engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) have recently become common in consumer products, and will therefore be entering into both aquatic and terrestrial systems. However, the effects of ENPs on animals is not well characterized. For example, to date there has been no research on the effects of single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) (common ENPs) on insects. I examined the effects of pure SWCNTs and AgNPs on consumption, growth, food conversion ratio, pupation, survival, fecundity, and expression of CYP6BG1 using fourth instar of diamondback moth (DBM) larvae with the following concentrations: 8.64, 17.28, 34.56, 69.12 and 138.24 µg/ml SWCNTs; and 4.32 and 8.64 µg/ml AgNPs. I measured CYP6BG1 expression with Real-time PCR. There were no measurable effects of SWCNT on DBM’s consumption, pupation, and survival rate, but negative affect on growth, conversion rate and fecundity at the highest concentration (138.24 µg/ml). AgNPs had no effect on DBM growth, conversion, survival, and fecundity rate, but reduced consumption and pupation rate. In my experiments, CYP6BG1 was upregulated at concentrations of 138.24 µg/ml SWCNTs and 4.32 and 8.64 µg/ml AgNPs compared to control. My research indicates that there is no acute toxicity of SWCNTs on DBM, however further studies are warranted as fecundity and CYP6BG1 expression level appear to be affected. AgNPs are acutely toxic in terms of consumption, but studies are needed to confirm the hypothesis. My research provides insights and a model system for future studies on the effects ENP on insects.


Plutella xylostella, SWCNT, AgNP, consumption, growth

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© Taiaba Afrin

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