Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Insecticide causes changes in honeybee genes, research finds

Date:
July 2, 2013
Source:
University of Nottingham
Summary:
Exposure to a neonicotinoid insecticide causes changes to the genes of the honeybee.

Bee on honeycomb.
Credit: © Richard Blaker / Fotolia

New research by academics at The University of Nottingham has shown that exposure to a neonicotinoid insecticide causes changes to the genes of the honeybee.

The study, published in the online journal PLOS ONE, supports the recent decision taken by the European Commission to temporarily ban three neonicotinoids amid concerns that they could be linked to bee deaths.

There is growing evidence connecting the decline in the honeybee population that pollinates one-third of the food that we eat, and insecticides, but this is the first comprehensive study to look at changes in the activity of honeybee genes linked to one of the recently banned neonicotinoids, imidacloprid.

The study, led by Dr Reinhard Stφger, Associate Professor in Epigenetics in the University's School of Biosciences, was conducted under field realistic conditions and showed that a very low exposure of just two parts per billion has an impact on the activity of some of the honeybee genes.

The researchers identified that cells of honeybee larvae had to work harder and increase the activity of genes involved in breaking down toxins, most likely to cope with the insecticide. Genes involved in regulating energy to run cells were also affected. Such changes are known to reduce the lifespan of the most widely studied insect, the common fruit fly, and lower a larva's probability of surviving to adulthood.

Dr Stφger said: "Although larvae can still grow and develop in the presence of imidacloprid, the stability of the developmental process appears to be compromised. Should the bees be exposed to additional stresses such as pests, disease and bad weather then it is likely to increase the rate of development failure."

The study was funded by The Co-operative Group, as part of its Plan Bee campaign.

Chris Shearlock, Sustainable Development Manager at The Co-operative, said: "This is a very significant piece of research, which clearly shows clear changes in honeybee gene activity as a result of exposure to a pesticide, which is currently in common use across the UK.

"As part of our Plan Bee campaign launched in 2009 we have adopted a precautionary approach and prohibited the use of six neonicotinoid pesticides, including imidacloprid, on our own-brand fresh and frozen produce and have welcomed the recent approach by the European Commission to temporarily ban three neonicotinoid pesticides as this will allow for research into the impact on both pollinators and agricultural productivity."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Nottingham. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kamila Derecka, Martin J. Blythe, Sunir Malla, Diane P. Genereux, Alessandro Guffanti, Paolo Pavan, Anna Moles, Charles Snart, Thomas Ryder, Catharine A. Ortori, David A. Barrett, Eugene Schuster, Reinhard Stφger. Transient Exposure to Low Levels of Insecticide Affects Metabolic Networks of Honeybee Larvae. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (7): e68191 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068191

Cite This Page:

University of Nottingham. "Insecticide causes changes in honeybee genes, research finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130702100600.htm>.
University of Nottingham. (2013, July 2). Insecticide causes changes in honeybee genes, research finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130702100600.htm
University of Nottingham. "Insecticide causes changes in honeybee genes, research finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130702100600.htm (accessed July 27, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) — A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — The New York Times has officially endorsed the legalization of marijuana, but why now, and to what end? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins