Classified as emerging pollutants, microplastics (MPs) pose a potential ecotoxicological risk to aquatic and terrestrial organisms. Because they are a ubiquitous and persistent contaminant, MPs are easily found incorporated in soils, sediments and water bodies. MPs can sorb trace metals and/or present them in their formulation, as is the case with chromium (Cr); extremely toxic element in its hexavalent form [Cr(VI)]. Both contaminants have the ability to bioaccumulate and have already been found in bee honey; insects that are fundamental for pollination and that are suffering a huge population loss, as is the case of the Bombus genus. Thus, the aim of this work is to evaluate the spatial distribution of microplastics within organs and the effect of ingestion of microplastic particles associated with trace metal Cr in the intestine, trophocytes and ovaries of Bombus atratus field workers. In addition to the experimental group (MP+Cr), a negative control and two positive controls (Cr and microplastics, separately) will be used. For this, analyzes using microtomography, routine morphology (HE), fluorescence histochemistry (Acridine Orange and DAPI + Phalloidin), bromophenol blue and TUNEL assay will be performed for each of the study groups. It is important to highlight the originality and pioneering character of this research for the areas of study on microplastics and terrestrial ecotoxicology.
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