In the present study, the ecotoxicity of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) was investigated in Caenorhabditis elegans using survival, growth, and reproduction, as the ecotoxicological endpoints, as well as stress response gene expression. Whole genome microarray was used to screen global changes in C. elegans transcription profiles after AgNPs exposure, followed by quantitative analysis of selected genes. The integration of gene expression with organism and population level endpoints was investigated using C. elegans functional genomics tools, to test the ecotoxicological relevance of AgNPs-induced gene expression. AgNPs exerted considerable toxicity in C. elegans, most clearly as dramatically decreased reproduction potential. Increased expression of the superoxide dismutases-3 (sod-3) and abnormal dauer formation protein (daf-12) genes with 0.1 and 0.5 mg/L of AgNPs exposures occurred concurrently with significant decreases in reproduction ability. Overall results of functional genomic studies using mutant analyses suggested that the sod-3 and daf-12 gene expressions may have been related to the AgNPs-induced reproductive failure in C. elegans and that oxidative stress may have been an important mechanism in AgNPs toxicity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry