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Detoxification mechanisms of honey bees (Apis mellifera) resulting in tolerance of dietary nicotine

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      Abstract

      Insecticides are thought to be among the major factors contributing to current declines in bee populations. However, detoxification mechanisms in healthy, unstressed honey bees are poorly characterised. Alkaloids are naturally encountered in pollen and nectar, and we used nicotine as a model compound to identify the mechanisms involved in detoxification processes in honey bees. Nicotine and neonicotinoids have similar modes of action in insects. Our metabolomic and proteomic analyses show active detoxification of nicotine in bees, associated with increased energetic investment and also antioxidant and heat shock responses. The increased energetic investment is significant in view of the interactions of pesticides with diseases such as Nosema spp which cause energetic stress and possible malnutrition. Understanding how healthy honey bees process dietary toxins under unstressed conditions will help clarify how pesticides, alone or in synergy with other stress factors, lead to declines in bee vitality.

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      Data, information, knowledge and principle: back to metabolism in KEGG

      In the hierarchy of data, information and knowledge, computational methods play a major role in the initial processing of data to extract information, but they alone become less effective to compile knowledge from information. The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) resource (http://www.kegg.jp/ or http://www.genome.jp/kegg/) has been developed as a reference knowledge base to assist this latter process. In particular, the KEGG pathway maps are widely used for biological interpretation of genome sequences and other high-throughput data. The link from genomes to pathways is made through the KEGG Orthology system, a collection of manually defined ortholog groups identified by K numbers. To better automate this interpretation process the KEGG modules defined by Boolean expressions of K numbers have been expanded and improved. Once genes in a genome are annotated with K numbers, the KEGG modules can be computationally evaluated revealing metabolic capacities and other phenotypic features. The reaction modules, which represent chemical units of reactions, have been used to analyze design principles of metabolic networks and also to improve the definition of K numbers and associated annotations. For translational bioinformatics, the KEGG MEDICUS resource has been developed by integrating drug labels (package inserts) used in society.
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        Global pollinator declines: trends, impacts and drivers.

        Pollinators are a key component of global biodiversity, providing vital ecosystem services to crops and wild plants. There is clear evidence of recent declines in both wild and domesticated pollinators, and parallel declines in the plants that rely upon them. Here we describe the nature and extent of reported declines, and review the potential drivers of pollinator loss, including habitat loss and fragmentation, agrochemicals, pathogens, alien species, climate change and the interactions between them. Pollinator declines can result in loss of pollination services which have important negative ecological and economic impacts that could significantly affect the maintenance of wild plant diversity, wider ecosystem stability, crop production, food security and human welfare. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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          Botanical insecticides, deterrents, and repellents in modern agriculture and an increasingly regulated world.

          Botanical insecticides have long been touted as attractive alternatives to synthetic chemical insecticides for pest management because botanicals reputedly pose little threat to the environment or to human health. The body of scientific literature documenting bioactivity of plant derivatives to arthropod pests continues to expand, yet only a handful of botanicals are currently used in agriculture in the industrialized world, and there are few prospects for commercial development of new botanical products. Pyrethrum and neem are well established commercially, pesticides based on plant essential oils have recently entered the marketplace, and the use of rotenone appears to be waning. A number of plant substances have been considered for use as insect antifeedants or repellents, but apart from some natural mosquito repellents, little commercial success has ensued for plant substances that modify arthropod behavior. Several factors appear to limit the success of botanicals, most notably regulatory barriers and the availability of competing products (newer synthetics, fermentation products, microbials) that are cost-effective and relatively safe compared with their predecessors. In the context of agricultural pest management, botanical insecticides are best suited for use in organic food production in industrialized countries but can play a much greater role in the production and postharvest protection of food in developing countries.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Department of Biochemistry, University of Pretoria , Private Bag X20, Hatfield, 0028, South Africa
            [2 ]Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria , Private Bag X20, Hatfield, 0028, South Africa
            [3 ]Proteomics Unit, Central Analytical Facility, Stellenbosch University , Private Bag X1, Matieland, 7602, South Africa
            Author notes
            Journal
            Sci Rep
            Sci Rep
            Scientific Reports
            Nature Publishing Group
            2045-2322
            02 July 2015
            2015
            : 5
            26134631
            4488760
            srep11779
            10.1038/srep11779
            Copyright © 2015, Macmillan Publishers Limited

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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