Article Publish Status: FREE
Abstract Title:

Drone exposure to the systemic insecticide Fipronil indirectly impairs queen reproductive potential.

Abstract Source:

Sci Rep. 2016 Aug 23 ;6:31904. Epub 2016 Aug 23. PMID: 27549030

Abstract Author(s):

Guillaume Kairo, Bertille Provost, Sylvie Tchamitchian, Faten Ben Abdelkader, Marc Bonnet, Marianne Cousin, Jacques Sénéchal, Pauline Benet, André Kretzschmar, Luc P Belzunces, Jean-Luc Brunet

Article Affiliation:

Guillaume Kairo


A species that requires sexual reproduction but cannot reproduce is doomed to extinction. The important increasing loss of species emphasizes the ecological significance of elucidating the effects of environmental stressors, such as pesticides, on reproduction. Despite its special reproductive behavior, the honey bee was selected as a relevant and integrative environmental model because of its constant and diverse exposure to many stressors due to foraging activity. The widely used insecticide Fipronil, the use of which is controversial because of its adverse effects on honey bees, was chosen to expose captive drones in hives via syrup contaminated at 0.1 μg/L and gathered by foragers. Such environmental exposure led to decreased spermatozoa concentration and sperm viability coupled with an increased sperm metabolic rate, resulting in drone fertility impairment. Subsequently, unexposed queens inseminated with such sperm exhibited fewer spermatozoa with lower viability in their spermatheca, leaving no doubt about the detrimental consequences for the reproductive potential of queens, which are key for colony sustainability. These findings suggest that pesticides could contribute to declining honey bee populations through fertility impairment,as exemplified by Fipronil. More broadly, reproductive disorders should be taken into consideration when investigating the decline of other species.

Study Type : Insect Study
Additional Links
Additional Keywords : Honeybee : CK(4) : AC(0)
Problem Substances : Pesticides : CK(2214) : AC(420)

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