Examining Neonicotinoid Resistance in the Honeybee
Bahia, Gursimran Kaur
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The genetic and molecular underpinnings of neonicotinoid (NNI) resistance are currently unknown in honeybees. Honeybees within the same colony exposed to clothianidin at the dose required to kill half of the population (LD50) exhibited different survival rates based on their genetics. The goal of my research was to explore transcriptomic differences in the brain, Malpighian tubules and ventriculus between non-resistant and resistant patrilines that had been exposed orally to a field realistic dose (4.6 ppb) of clothianidin for 2 hours. Transcriptomes were compared after 24 hours of exposure using RNA sequencing and the analysis revealed an upregulation in proteolysis and catabolic processes in the Malpighian tubules of non-resistant bees. This change in expression is likely a result of lack of neonicotinoid metabolism by the CYP9 enzymes. Finally, I compared the transcriptome of the Malpighian tubules, ventriculus and the brain and discovered that the majority of detoxification enzymes were highly upregulated in the Malpighian tubules. These findings shed light on the consequences of NNIs exposure and the molecular biology underlying NNI tolerance in honeybees.