Sublethal doses of imidacloprid affect mrjp expression and likely weaken bee colonies. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Gene expression changes in honey bees induced by sublethal imidacloprid exposure during the larval stage.
Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2017 Jul 18 ;88:12-20. Epub 2017 Jul 18. PMID: 28732753
Honey bee larvae exposed to sublethal doses of imidacloprid show behavioural abnormalities as adult insects. Previous studies have demonstrated that this phenomenon originates from abnormal neural development in response to imidacloprid exposure. Here, we further investigated the global gene expression changes in the heads of newly emerged adults and observed that 578 genes showed more than 2-fold changes in gene expression after imidacloprid exposure. This information might aid in understanding the effects of pesticides on the health of pollinators. For example, the genes encoding major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs), a group of multifunctional proteins with significant roles in the sustainable development of bee colonies, were strongly downregulated. These downregulation patterns were further confirmed through analyses using quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction on the heads of 6-day-old nurse bees. To our knowledge, this study is the first to demonstrate that sublethal doses of imidacloprid affect mrjp expression and likely weaken bee colonies.