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Behavioral and molecular impact of a stress factor, acaricide perizin on honey bees (apis mellifera) of Turkey

Arslan, Okan Can
The effects of acaricide Perizin (coumaphos as the active ingredient) which is used against parasitic mite, Varroa destructor, on three native honey bee subspecies; Apis mellifera caucasica, A. m. carnica and A. m. syriaca. in terms of behavioral, molecular, and genetic aspects were investigated. After acute sub-lethal exposure to various doses of coumaphos, the worker bees of control and treatment groups were subjected to activity monitoring tests for evaluation of locomotor activity, electric shock avoidance tests for aversive behavior, proboscis extension reflex tests for olfactory learning behavior and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity assay in brain and midgut tissues. The expressions of six genes related to action mechanism of coumaphos in the nervous system were measured in brain samples while three cytochrome p-450 genes specifically related to coumaphos metabolism were measured in midgut samples. Coumaphos treatment significantly increased locomotor activity and decreased aversive and olfactory learning behavior in syriaca whereas no significant changes were observed in terms of these assays in caucasica. Increased locomotor activity and decreased aversive behavior were observed in carnica while. Decreased midgut AChE activities were observed in all three subspecies while this decrease was more intense in syriaca compared to that of the carnica and caucasica. Gene expression studies showed no significant difference in brain expressions between control and treatment groups while in midguts, expressions of CYP9Q1 was observed to be significantly decreased in syriaca compared to that of the caucasica. In terms of behavioral alterations, caucasica bees appeared to be the most resistant to the sublethal coumaphos exposure while syriaca bees were observed to be the most susceptible. Whereas carnica had a moderate susceptibility compared to the other two. All the results indicate that coumaphos detoxification efficiency may be a factor underlying the resistance or susceptibility to behavior altering effects of sublethal coumaphos exposure in honeybee subspecies.