Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #365800

Research Project: Cryopreservation of Bee Germplasm Research

Location: Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research

Title: Genotoxicity assessment of agrochemicals on honey bee spermatozoa using the TUNEL assay [abstract]

item CAMPION, CLAIRE - North Dakota State University
item NORTH, HEATHER - North Dakota State University
item Rajamohan, Arun
item BOWSHER, JULIA - North Dakota State University

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/11/2019
Publication Date: 7/18/2019
Citation: Campion, C., North, H.A., Rajamohan, A., Bowsher, J.H. 2019. Genotoxicity assessment of agrochemicals on honey bee spermatozoa using the TUNEL assay [abstract]. 2019 International Pollinator Conference, July 17-20, 2019, Davis, CA. p. 16.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Agrochemicals and their widespread use are among the suspected reasons for pollinator decline. Some evidence suggests that pesticides can act as contraceptives. Few studies have investigated the sublethal effects of agrochemicals on spermatozoa. Of special concern is whether agrochemicals impact drone sperm quality, in terms of genotoxicity. Spermatozoa serve as an unintentional biomarker for xenobiotics in the environment, making them an accessible way to measure reproductive impacts of agrochemicals found in the hive environment. It is unclear how honey and bee bread made from contaminated resources might affect hive members, such as drones, who don’t actively forage. Here we use terminal deoxyribonucleotidyl transferase (TDT)- mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay as a measure of genotoxicity for spermatozoa. Honey bee spermatozoa were exposed to the agrochemicals Imidacloprid, Thiamethoxam, Clothianidin and Glyphosate. Spermatozoa were pooled from multiple drones. Each treatment consisted of a cell concentration of 5x10^6 cells/ml in semen buffer. Semen buffer was made with a 10nm concentration of each agrochemical. Preliminary results suggest this is an accurate and reliable assay to measure any DNA damage agrochemicals have on spermatozoa. Thus, the purpose of this study is to assess the reproductive impacts of agrochemicals in drones, and the role this effect has on colony health.