Selenium toxicity and bioaccumulation in selenium-enriched fly (Chrysomya megacephala) maggots

Rui Jie PENG, Chao ZHENG, Zhan Biao YANG, Xiao Xun XU, Ming Hung WONG, Yu Bon MAN, Zhang CHENG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


Selenium (Se) is an essential trace element for human health, and as a potential animal feed, the Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius) fly is rich in protein and fat. By using different concentrations of sodium selenite (0, 30, 50, 70 mg kg⁻¹), the possibility of biological Se enrichment in C. megacephala (Fabricius) maggots (CMMs) was investigated. The accumulation, Se speciation, enzymatic activity, and concentrations of copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), chromium (Cr), and cadmium (Cd) in the maggots were also determined. Transcriptomics was also used to investigate the mechanism of the Se response to CMM genes. The results showed that the CMMs had a survival rate of > 80% at Se exposure concentrations ranging from 0 to 100 mg kg⁻¹. The optimal concentration of sodium selenite for CMM growth was 50 mg kg⁻¹, and the weight, protein content, and total Se accumulation of the larvae (10.8 g, 53.5%, and 72.6 ± 3.36 mg kg⁻¹ (DW), respectively) were considerably higher than the control and other exposure doses (p < 0.05). In addition, Se improved the ability of maggots to absorb Cu and Zn, decreased malondialdehyde (MDA) and lipid peroxidation, but improved the antioxidant activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GPX). Furthermore, Se negatively affected the absorption of Cd and Cr. According to the transcriptomic findings, Se supplementation can boost protein synthesis and control both antioxidant and non-antioxidant enzyme activity in CMMs. Therefore, our findings showed that Se-enriched CMMs may counteract the toxicity of Cd and Cr, and Se is an effective supplement for improving the consumption safety of cultured animals fed containing CMMs. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4493-4503
JournalEnvironmental Geochemistry and Health
Early online dateFeb 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


Peng, R. J., Zheng, C., Yang, Z. B., Xu, X. X., Wong, M. H., Man, Y. B., & Cheng, Z. (2023). Selenium toxicity and bioaccumulation in selenium-enriched fly (Chrysomya megacephala) maggots. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 45, 4493-4503.


  • Sodium selenite
  • Bioconcentration
  • Acute toxicity
  • Trace elements
  • Antioxidant activity


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