Pesticides have been cited as one of the major drivers of pollinator loss. However, little is known about pesticide impacts on natural populations of native honey bee species. This study looked into the effect of pesticides with respect to oxidative stress in the laboratory and in field populations of two native Indian honey bee species (Apis dorsata and A. cerana) by examining a combination of biomarkers, e.g., superoxide dismutase, catalase and xanthine oxidase. A significant upregulation of all three biomarkers was observed in both treated individuals in laboratory experiments and field populations sampled from a pesticide use gradient. This study reports, for the first time, an increase in expression of xanthine oxidase in an invertebrate system (honey bees) exposed to pesticides.
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- Apis cerana
- Apis dorsata
- super-oxide dismutase
- xanthine oxidase