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Pesticide induced visual abnormalities in Asian honey bees (Apis cerana L.)in intensive agricultural landscapes
Published in Elsevier Ltd
PMID: 31102871
Volume: 230
Pages: 51 - 58
Pesticide stress is one of the important factors for global bee declines. Apart from physiological and developmental anomalies, pesticides also impose cognitive damages on bees. The present study investigates the visual acuity of wild populations of honey bees, in an agricultural intensification landscape, and corroborates the findings with controlled laboratory experiments. Even though overall morphometric examinations revealed no significant differences between the populations, correct color choices by bees in pesticide exposed populations were significantly reduced. The study reports, for the first time, the significant reduction in ommatidia facet diameter in these populations, as viewed under scanning electron microscope, along with the molecular underpinnings to these findings. Western blot studies revealed a significant reduction in expression of two visual proteins – blue-sensitive opsin and rhodopsin – in the pesticide exposed populations in both field and laboratory conditions. The novel findings from this study form the basis for further investigations into the effects of field realistic doses of multiple pesticide exposures on wild populations of honey bees. © 2019 Elsevier Ltd
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