Two microplastic sets, polystyrene (PS) and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), were tested for adverse effects on early life stages of Sphaerechinus granularis sea urchins. Microparticulate PS (10, 80 and 230 mu m diameter) and PMMA (10 and 50 mu m diameter) were tested on developing S. granularis embryos from 10 min post-fertilisation (p-f) to the pluteus larval stage (72 h p-f), at concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 5 mg L-1. Both PS and PMMA exposures resulted in significant concentration-related increase of developmental defects and of microplastic uptake in plutei. Moreover, embryo exposures to PS and PMMA (5 and 50 mg L-1) from 10 min to 5 h p-f resulted in a significant increase of cytogenetic abnormalities, expressed as significantly increased mitotic aberrations, while mitotoxicity (as % embryos lacking active mitoses) was observed in embryos exposed to PS, though not to PMMA. When S. granularis sperm suspensions were exposed for 10 min to PS or to PMMA (0.1-5 mg L-1), a significant decrease of fertilisation success was observed following sperm exposure to 0.1 mg L-1 PS, though not to higher PS concentrations nor to PMMA. Sperm pretreatment, however, resulted in significant offspring damage, as excess developmental defects in plutei, both following sperm exposure to PS and PMMA, thus suggesting transmissible damage from sperm pronuclei to the offspring. The overall results point to relevant developmental, cytogenetic and genotoxic effects of PS and PMMA microplastics to S. granularis early life stages, warranting further investigations of other microplastics and other target biota.