Acute thiamethoxam toxicity in honeybees is not enhanced by common fungicide and herbicide and lacks stress-induced changes in mRNA splicing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Pamela Decio
  • Pinar Ustaoglu
  • Thaisa Roat
  • Osmar Malaspina
  • Jean-Marc Devaud
  • Reinhard Stoger

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Universidade Estadual Paulista
  • University of Toulouse
  • University of Nottingham


Securing food supply for a growing population is a major challenge and heavily relies on the use of agrochemicals to maximize crop yield. It is increasingly recognized, that some neonicotinoid insecticides have a negative impact on non-target organisms, including important pollinators such as the European honeybee Apis mellifera. Toxicity of neonicotinoids may be enhanced through simultaneous exposure with additional pesticides, which could help explain, in part, the global decline of honeybee colonies. Here we examined whether exposure effects of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on bee viability are enhanced by the commonly used fungicide carbendazim and the herbicide glyphosate. We also analysed alternative splicing changes upon pesticide exposure in the honeybee. In particular, we examined transcripts of three genes: (i) the stress sensor gene X box binding protein-1 (Xbp1), (ii) the Down Syndrome Cell Adhesion Molecule (Dscam) gene and iii) the embryonic lethal/abnormal visual system (elav) gene, which are important for neuronal function. Our results showed that acute thiamethoxam exposure is not enhanced by carbendazim, nor glyphosate. Toxicity of the compounds did not trigger stress-induced, alternative splicing in the analysed mRNAs, thereby leaving dormant a cellular response pathway to these man-made environmental perturbations.


Original languageEnglish
Article number19196
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2019


  • Neonicotinoid, carbendazim, glyphosate, Apis mellifera, alternative splicing, Dscam, ELAV, RNA binding proteins