Effects of increased partial pressures of oxygen on the embryonic and post-embryonic development of drosophila melanogaster

Aviat Space Environ Med. 1975 Feb;46(2):161-9.


The objective of this investigation was to study the effects of increased oxygen pressures on the development of Drosophila melanogaster. Oxygen is a potent inhibitor of embryonic and post-embryonic development of Drosophila. The lowest partial pressure of O2 (Po2) found to elicit measurable inhibitory effects on development is 0.6 ATA. Continuous exposure of developing Drosophila to 0.6 ATA O2 elicits primarily a larvicidal effect; surviving larvae exhibit delays in initial puparium formation and in mean day of adult eclosion: several resultant adults exhibit the effects of O2-induced teratogenesis in that body and wing abnormalities become manifest which do not breed true on matings and back crosses. Continuous exposure to 0.8 or 1.0 ATA O2 results in developmental arrest in the second larval instar followed by death. This development arrest is reversible depending upon the duration of exposure. As concerns lethality, early larval stages are more sensitive to O2 than late larval stages which, in turn, are more sensitive than early or late pupal stages: the embryo is the more resistant of the development stages. As concerns sensitivity for teratogenesis, the embryo is the most sensitive stage.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / drug effects*
  • Oxygen / pharmacology*
  • Partial Pressure*


  • Oxygen