Microplastic pollution causes a major concern in the marine environment due to their worldwide distribution, persistence, and adverse effects of these pollutants in the marine ecosystem. Despite its global presence, there is still a lack of information on the effect of microplastics on marine organisms at the molecular level. Herein we demonstrated ingestion and egestion of nano-(0.05 mu m) and micro-sized (0.5 and 6 mu m) polystyrene microbeads in the marine copepod Paracyclopina nana, and examined molecular responses to exposure to microbeads with in vivo endpoints such as growth rate and fecundity. Also, we proposed an adverse outcome pathway for microplastic exposure that covers molecular and individual levels. This study provides the first insight into the mode of action in terms of microplastic-induced oxidative stress and related signaling pathways in P. nana.