Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Extremely low frequency magnetic field (50 Hz, 0.5 mT) modifies fitness components and locomotor activity of Drosophila subobscura med./bio.

Published in: Int J Radiat Biol 2014; 90 (5): 337-343

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To investigate the effects of an exposure to a 50 Hz-magnetic field on Drosophila subobscura at different developmental stages.

Background/further details

In the experimental group, Drosophila subobscura was exposed as a larvae (egg-first instar larvae, n=75 per vial) or as just eclosed adults (n=35). Additionally, a control group (n=20) without any treatment and a sham exposed group (egg: n=75, adult: n=75) were examined in the same developmental stages.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: continuous for 48 hours

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Exposure duration continuous for 48 hours
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber larvae were exposed in petri dishes, adult flies were exposed in 60 m3 vials
Setup magnetic field was generated by electromagnet consisting of three circular coils (37 cm diameter) of insulted copper wire (0.75 mm diameter); distance of coils to each other 23 cm, homogeneous magnetic field in a horizontal direction; no observed fluctuations in temperature or vibrations
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 0.5 mT - measured - ± 0.01 mT

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The results of the control without treatment and the sham exposed group showed no significant differences. Hence, they were cumulated and used as one control group.
No difference in the sex ratio between exposed and control flies was observed.
The development of the flies was significantly faster in the exposure group compared to the control group. Both, starting and finishing of eclosing took place one day earlier in the exposure group than in the control group. Additionally, in exposed flies the viability was significantly increased compared to the control group.
In both developmental stages, the locomotor activity of exposed flies was significantly increased in comparison to the control group.
The authors conclude that exposure to a 50 Hz-magnetic field could influence the viability, development and locomotor activity of Drosophila subobscura.

Study character:

Study funded by

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