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The effects of the neonicotinoid imiacloprid on gene expression and DNA methylation in the buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris

Bebane, PSA, Hunt, BJ, Pegoraro, M, Jones, ARC, Marshall, H, Rosato, E and Mallon, EB (2019) The effects of the neonicotinoid imiacloprid on gene expression and DNA methylation in the buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 286 (1905). ISSN 0962-8452

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Abstract

Neonicotinoids are effective insecticides used on many important arable and horticultural crops. They are nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists which disrupt the function of insect neurons and cause paralysis and death. In addition to direct mortality, there are numerous sublethal effects of low doses of neonicotinoids on bees. We hypothesize that some of these large array of effects could be a consequence of epigenetic changes in bees induced by neonicotinoids. We compared whole methylome (BS-seq) and RNA-seq libraries of the brains of buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris workers exposed to field-realistic doses of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid to libraries from control workers. We found numerous genes which show differential expression between neonicotinoid-treated bees and control bees, but no differentially methylated cytosines in any context. We found CpG methylation to be focused mainly in exons and associated with highly expressed genes. We discuss the implications of our results for future legislation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 06 Biological Sciences, 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences, 11 Medical and Health Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: The Royal Society
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2021 13:42
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2021 13:45
DOI or Identification number: 10.1098/rspb.2019.0718
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14373

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