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Data from: One size does not fit all: caste and sex differences in the response of bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) to chronic oral neonicotinoid exposure

Citation

Mobley, Melissa W.; Gegear, Robert J. (2018), Data from: One size does not fit all: caste and sex differences in the response of bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) to chronic oral neonicotinoid exposure, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.f8c5r7q

Abstract

Neonicotinoid insecticides have been implicated in the rapid global decline of bumblebees over recent years, particularly in agricultural and urban areas. While there is much known about neonicotinoid toxicity effects at the colony stage of the bumblebee annual cycle, far less is known about such effects at other stages critical for the maintenance of wild populations. In the present work, individual-based feeding assays were used to show that chronic consumption of the widely used neonicotinoid clothianidin at a field-realistic average rate of 3.6 and 4.0 ng/g·bee/day reduces survival of queen and male bumblebees, respectively, within a 7-day period. In contrast, worker survival was unaffected at a similar consumption rate of 3.9 ng/g·bee/day. To test the hypothesis that males have a lower tolerance for oral clothianidin exposure than workers due to their haploid genetic status, RNAseq analysis was used to compare the transcriptomic responses of workers and males to chronic intake of clothianidin at a sub-lethal dose of 0.37ng/bee/day for 5 days. Surprisingly, clothianidin consumption only altered the expression of 19 putative detoxification genes in a sex-specific manner, with 11/19 genes showing increased expression in workers. Sub-lethal clothianidin exposure also altered the expression of 40 genes associated with other major biological functions, including locomotion, reproduction, and immunity. Collectively, these results suggest that chronic oral toxicity effects of neonicotinoids are greatest during mating and nest establishment phases of the bumblebee life cycle. Chronic oral toxicity testing on males and queens is therefore required in order to fully assess the impact of neonicotinoids on wild bumblebee populations.

Usage Notes

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: 1501737

Location

USA
Worcester MA