Back to School Offer

Get 20% of Your First Order amount back in Reward Credits!

Get 20% of Your First Orderback in Rewards

All papers examples
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)
HIRE A WRITER!
Paper Types
Disciplines
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)

Mealworms Experiment, Research Paper Example

Pages: 6

Words: 1567

Research Paper

Mealworms Experiment Conducted by Student at the External University Campus Science Labs

Introduction

According to Saud and Paudel (2018), pollution is one of the major concerns in the 21st century. Many human activities, such as industrialization and unsustainable farming methods, destroy the environment. One of the significant contributors to the pollution narrative is plastic-based products (You et al., 2020). Plastics are a culprit in pollution since there is a drastic shortfall between their extended durability and their short service time. According to Kik et al. (2020), polystyrene is among the plastic products commonly polluted; it is a recalcitrant plastic polymer that is weight-engineered and non-biodegradable. However, the use of polystyrene is associated with massive levels of pollution at each point of the value chain from production, distribution, use, and end-of-life phases (Williams & Rangel-Buitrago, 2022). Notably, the material is non-biodegradable, which intensifies its effect on the environment. The use of polystyrene leads to compromised outcomes for the land, water, air, and human health (Ugoeze et al., 2021). Due to the massive potential for pollution posed by the material, selecting suitable methods of disposal is essential. One of the disposal means involves using bioforms to aid in the degradation of the materials (Zurier & Goddard, 2021). There was evidence gathered in 2015 that Styrofoam, a type of polystyrene, could be debased using Tenebrio molitor. The yellow mealworm is an insect, and it undergoes the entire lifecycle (Selaledi et al., 2020). The research was conducted to determine how the worms can be stimulated to consume more polystyrene while also investigating how consumption of the material influenced their growth and development. The research is composed of the following fundamental parts:

Research question: Do mealworms prefer a polystyrene diet instead of one composed of carbohydrates (oats)?

Research hypothesis: A polystyrene-only diet will affect the growth and survival of mealworms

Prediction:

  1. A diet based solely on polystyrene in mealworms will affect mealworm development and survivability.
  2. Worms consuming a polystyrene-only diet will have a higher death rate.

Methods

Experimentations were utilized to allow the measurement of the outcomes of the variables during the research process. The experiment was done in the external university campus science labs. The mealworms were obtained from Pisces Enterprises, Brookfield, Australia. They were kept under the laboratory conditions of 23 +/- 1 Degrees Celsius and 60% +/- 10 relative humidity. The investigation necessitated working with worms of different sizes assigned into three distinct treatment groups.

  1. Treatment one had 100% wheat bran.
  2. Treatment two had a 1:1 ration mix of polystyrene and wheat bran.
  3. Treatment three had 100% pure polystyrene.

To the treatment groups, the worms were added to test their growth and development. The mealworms were measured using a digital weight scale. The three mealworms include:

  1. Treatment one was given a mealworm with a mass of 0.196 grams.
  2. Treatment two had a mealworm with a mass of 0.172 grams.
  3. Treatment three had a mealworm mass of 0.202 grams.

The collected data were summarized in a tabular format. The option allowed the proper presentation of the research findings from all the studies done during the experiment. The columns contained 100% polystyrene, 100% wheat bran, and 1:1 wheat and polystyrene. The worms were reared for a total of four weeks. After two weeks of including the mealworms in the treatment, their food was cleared and refilled again. Water was supplied regularly by the technical staff. The data on the quantity of the hatchlings, adults, and pupal stages were then indicated.

Results

The first set of results involved the distribution of the mealworms based on the different stages. The worms taking a 100% oat bran diet demonstrated numerous adults, above 90, and a low number of larvae and pupae, which were 12 and 15, respectively (Figure 1). When it came to the worms eating the mixed diet, the number of adults was reduced to slightly below 70. The number of larvae and pupae was almost similar at below 30 (Figure 1).

The second set of results depicted the weights of the adult and pupal stages of the worms in the various treatment groups. The lowest weight was recorded by the worms in the 100% oat bran, which was 0.148 grams (Figure 2). This highest weight was recorded in the worms placed in the mixed diet, at 0.152 grams. Meanwhile, the polystyrene group recoded an intermediate weight level of 0.150 grams.

The third set of results depicted the variance of body weight of the larval stages of Tenebrio molitor after four weeks. The results depicted that the highest weight levels were attained in the mixed oat and polystyrene media. It was then followed by the oat bran-only treatment group (Figure 3). The lowest weight by Tenebrio molitor was depicted in the polystyrene-only treatment group. This is relevant to the topic since it depicts that mealworms can survive in a polystyrene environment (Tsochatzis et al., 2021).

A chi-square analysis of the results was also done (Table 1). The results showed that the data derived include: oat bran (10.56), mixed (2.49), and polystyrene components (6.00). The total output of the three components has also been presented, resulting in 19.04.

Discussion

Eating polystyrene solely affects the growth and development of the Tenebrio molitor. The hatchlings’ weight fluctuated remarkably among the various preparations. Around 53 adult worms were observed in the polystyrene-only media. This shows that the Tenebrio molitor can withstand the plastic environment by utilizing polystyrene as an energy source to further its development. This supports the observation by Bygora (2021), which found that the mealworms ingest the polystyrene and excrete half of it as carbon (IV) oxide. There was also a variation in the frequency of the organisms within the culture. The larval and pupal stages formed the lowest number of organisms, which rapidly proliferated during the adult stages for all treatment groups. However, the polystyrene-only treatment group had the lowest number of organisms on close examination (He et al., 2021). It indicated a reduction in the ability of the organisms bred in a polystyrene-only environment to progress into adulthood. Regardless of that fact, the environment still conferred survival ability for Tenebrio molitor.

Analysis of the chi-square results shows that the null hypothesis is provided while the alternative hypothesis is invalid. The p-value is compared with an alpha (α) of 0.05. The null hypothesis is invalidated since the p-value of 0.00077 is lesser than the critical figure of 0.05. Hence the means between groups are similar. Since means are similar, bodyweight is not affected by treatment. When it comes to the ANOVA Interpretation, the p-value is not lower than the significance of 0.05. As such, the results are insignificant.

The research has provided relevant research data on the ability of mealworms to consume polystyrene. Mealworms are a practical resource in the biodegradation of polystyrene (Yang et al., 2018). However, the consumption of the material causes a decline in the growth pattern of the organism such that only a few organisms reach adulthood. Further, the consumption of polystyrene elevates the death rates of these organisms (Tsochatzis et al., 2021).

Mealworms have a considerable role to play in the biodegradation of polystyrene. They offer a sustainable disposal method for plastic. Mealworms need to be leveraged in the biodegradation of polystyrene. 

References

Bygora. (2021). Mealworms eat plastic. Bygora. https://bygora.com/2021/08/mealworms-eat-plastic/#:~:text=When%20it%20comes%20to%20polystyrene%20worms%2C%20mealworms%20that,days.%20It%E2%80%99s%20believed%20that%20when%20mealworms%20eat%20plastic.

He, L., Zhang, Y., Ding, M. Q., Li, M. X., Ding, J., Bai, S. W., … & Yang, S. S. (2021). Sustainable strategy for lignocellulosic crop wastes reduction by Tenebrio molitor Linnaeus (mealworm) and potential use of mealworm frass as a fertilizer. Journal of Cleaner Production, 325, 129301. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.129301

Kik, K., Bukowska, B., & Sicińska, P. (2020). Polystyrene nanoparticles: Sources, occurrence in the environment, distribution in tissues, accumulation and toxicity to various organisms. Environmental Pollution, 262: 114297. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114297

Saud, B., & Paudel, G. (2018). The threat of ambient air pollution in Kathmandu, Nepal. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/1504591

Selaledi, L., Mbajiorgu, C. A., & Mabelebele, M. (2020). The use of yellow mealworm (T. molitor) as alternative source of protein in poultry diets: a review. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 52(1): 7-16. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11250-019-02033-7

Tsochatzis, E. D., Berggreen, I. E., Nørgaard, J. V., Theodoridis, G., & Dalsgaard, T. K. (2021). Biodegradation of expanded polystyrene by mealworm larvae under different feeding strategies evaluated by metabolic profiling using GC-TOF-MS. Chemosphere, 281: 130840. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.130840

Ugoeze, K. C., Amogu, E. O., Oluigbo, K. E., & Nwachukwu, N. (2021). Environmental and public health impacts of plastic wastes due to healthcare and food products packages: A Review. Journal of Environmental Science and Public Health, 5: 1-31. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kenneth-Ugoeze/publication/348934456_Environmental_and_public_health_impacts_of_plastic_wastes_due_to_healthcare_and_food_products_packages_A_Review/links/603d1699299bf1e0784cea72/Environmental-and-public-health-impacts-of-plastic-wastes-due-to-healthcare-and-food-products-packages-A-Review.pdf

Williams, A. T., & Rangel-Buitrago, N. (2022). The past, present, and future of plastic pollution. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 176: 113429. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2022.113429

Yang, S. S., Brandon, A. M., Flanagan, J. C. A., Yang, J., Ning, D., Cai, S. Y., & Wu, W. M. (2018). Biodegradation of polystyrene wastes in yellow mealworms (larvae of Tenebrio molitor Linnaeus): factors affecting biodegradation rates and the ability of polystyrene-fed larvae to complete their life cycle. Chemosphere, 191: 979-989. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2017.10.117

You, S., Sonne, C., & Ok, Y. S. (2020). COVID-19: Resource recovery from plastic waste against plastic pollution. Cogent Environmental Science, 6(1): 1801220. https://doi.org/10.1080/23311843.2020.1801220

Zurier, H. S., & Goddard, J. M. (2021). Biodegradation of microplastics in food and agriculture. Current Opinion in Food Science, 37, 37-44. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cofs.2020.09.001

Time is precious

Time is precious

don’t waste it!

Get instant essay
writing help!
Get instant essay writing help!
Plagiarism-free guarantee

Plagiarism-free
guarantee

Privacy guarantee

Privacy
guarantee

Secure checkout

Secure
checkout

Money back guarantee

Money back
guarantee

Related Research Paper Samples & Examples

Health Reasons for Abortion, Research Paper Example

Abortion remains one of the most controversial subjects in the world, as some people support that it should be freedom while others believe it is [...]

Pages: 3

Words: 720

Research Paper

Indigenous Caribbean Art, Research Paper Example

Introduction The portrayal of cultural characteristics that are important to the populations that are native to that location is a common feature of the indigenous [...]

Pages: 9

Words: 2341

Research Paper

Jean Lamarr, Research Paper Example

Introduction Different cultures have different ways of fostering creativity and imagination. However, since people might be impacted by values and norms from different cultures, artists [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1511

Research Paper

The Oppression of Indigenous People in Layli Long Soldier’s Whereas, Research Paper Example

Introduction Colonization perpetrated the oppression of indigenous communities. Also, the struggle against cultural imperialism lay at the heart of oppression as the culture of native [...]

Pages: 7

Words: 2029

Research Paper

Reviled and Loved Prompt, Research Paper Example

Introduction The media and channels of communication are vital in passing information in a society (Lovari et al., 2020, p315-p328). The information is specifically addressed [...]

Pages: 7

Words: 1948

Research Paper

B.S in Applied Psychology, Research Paper Example

Major Description and Reasons for Its Choice My major or area of interest is Applied Psychology. This bachelor’s degree enables an individual to analyze the [...]

Pages: 2

Words: 558

Research Paper

Health Reasons for Abortion, Research Paper Example

Abortion remains one of the most controversial subjects in the world, as some people support that it should be freedom while others believe it is [...]

Pages: 3

Words: 720

Research Paper

Indigenous Caribbean Art, Research Paper Example

Introduction The portrayal of cultural characteristics that are important to the populations that are native to that location is a common feature of the indigenous [...]

Pages: 9

Words: 2341

Research Paper

Jean Lamarr, Research Paper Example

Introduction Different cultures have different ways of fostering creativity and imagination. However, since people might be impacted by values and norms from different cultures, artists [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1511

Research Paper

The Oppression of Indigenous People in Layli Long Soldier’s Whereas, Research Paper Example

Introduction Colonization perpetrated the oppression of indigenous communities. Also, the struggle against cultural imperialism lay at the heart of oppression as the culture of native [...]

Pages: 7

Words: 2029

Research Paper

Reviled and Loved Prompt, Research Paper Example

Introduction The media and channels of communication are vital in passing information in a society (Lovari et al., 2020, p315-p328). The information is specifically addressed [...]

Pages: 7

Words: 1948

Research Paper

B.S in Applied Psychology, Research Paper Example

Major Description and Reasons for Its Choice My major or area of interest is Applied Psychology. This bachelor’s degree enables an individual to analyze the [...]

Pages: 2

Words: 558

Research Paper

Get a Free E-Book ($50 in value)

Get a Free E-Book

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!