Skin cancer in humans has risen tremendously due to the increased exposure of solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Solar UV-A (400-315 nm) and UV-B (315-280 nm) radiation are associated with skin cancer but can also disrupt the development of a variety of other metazoans. A third form of solar UVR, UV-C (280-100 nm), is largely absorbed by the atmosphere without complications to human health; however, man-made UV-C radiation is becoming increasingly prevalent as a replacement for chemical pesticides, insecticides, and germicides, as well as a catalyst to stimulate the degradation of toxic contaminants in aqueous environments. Man-made UV-C radiation is effective at killing arthropod pests at the embryonic stage, yet the effects of man-made UV-C on other developmental stages have not been fully explored. In this study, we use Drosophila melanogaster as a model to investigate the effects of UV-C exposure on the timing of larval development and resulting adult morphologies. Our results indicate that UV-C disrupts adult eclosion time and is associated with a variety of morphological defects. Investigating the effects of UV-C radiation on arthropod development may allow us to improve the efficacy of man-made UV-C as an alternative to chemical pesticides and increase knowledge of hazards associated with UV-C exposure in humans.
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