Effect Of Nrf2 Inducers On Honey Bee Gene Expression And Pesticide-Related Mortality
Brandt, Elizabeth A.
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Honey bees are vitally important as pollinators to ecosystems and agricultural economy, yet they are threatened by the presence of pesticides and the wide array of xenobiotics they encounter while foraging. To better understand their metabolic detoxification of these compounds, it is important to elucidate the gene expression pathways involved in their response to toxin exposure. I investigated the potential detoxification role in honey bees of the Nrf2/Keap1 regulatory pathway, one of the most well-researched cellular toxin response mechanisms in vertebrates. I analyzed the effect of inducers on the toxicity of three different pesticides when exposed to bees, and the effects of Sulforaphane on select detoxification gene expression. Inducer consumption effects on pesticide toxicity ranged from synergistic to abrogative depending on the pesticide tested. PCR analysis of gene expression did not reveal significant effects of inducer consumption on expression of detoxification genes. This study and its results lay important groundwork for future research of this regulatory pathway in honey bees.