Date of Completion

Spring 3-16-2021

Thesis Advisor(s)

Nichole A. Broderick, Joerg Graf

Honors Major

Biological Sciences


Molecular Biology


Glyphosate (N-(Phosphonomethyl) glycine) is the active ingredient in Round-Up Inc. Commonly known as a weed killer, glyphosate targets the enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3- phosphate synthase (EPSPS) in the shikimate pathway. Ultimately, glyphosate selectively induces toxicity, targeting EPSPS present in plants and selected microorganisms. Therefore, glyphosate is anticipated to be harmless to animals and humans. Our laboratory studies Drosophila melanogaster - also known as the fruit fly, in an interest to understand its gut microbiota and immune system. The comparable immune response of the model organism is similar to honey bees, fungi, and humans. To understand the effect of glyphosate on host physiology, we measured host survival during exposure to glyphosate, executed a systemic infection and investigated an analysis of the host microbial community after treatment. We discovered that the presence of glyphosate altered D. melanogaster microbiome and effects survival rate. This analysis suggests that glyphosate may have previous unknown impacts to animals that encountered it in the environment.