Archives of environmental contamination and toxicology

Toxic effect and biochemical study of chlorfluazuron, oxymatrine, and spinosad on honey bees (Apis mellifera).

PMID 19812878


Under laboratory conditions, the comparative effects of two insect growth regulators, chlorfluazuron and oxymatrine, and spinosad as a biopesticide were examined on honey bee workers (Apis mellifera L.). Separate groups of bees were left for 24 h to feed on 50% sucrose solution containing different concentrations of the tested insecticides, and the lethal concentration that caused 50% mortality (LC(50)) was estimated. The inhibitory effects on acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) activities as biochemical indicators were determined in vivo after 24 h in head, thorax, and abdomen of surviving bees obtained after treatments with a view to explore the possible mode of action of these compounds. Results indicated that exposure to spinosad showed toxicity to honey bees with LC(50) value of 7.34 mg L(-1), followed by oxymatrine (LC(50) = 10.68 mg L(-1)), while chlorfluazuron was the least acutely toxic of the tested compounds (LC(50) = 2,526 mg L(-1)). Oxymatrine and spinosad at the same tested concentrations (2.5, 5, 10, and 20 mg L(-1)) significantly inhibited AChE activity in different organs of honey bee workers, and high inhibition percentage was obtained with the enzyme isolated from the thorax. However, chlorfluazuron at 400, 1,000, 2,000, and 4,000 mg L(-1) caused high inhibition of AChE activity isolated from the head (39.65% and 44.22% at 2,000 and 4,000 mg L(-1), respectively). In addition, the toxic effects of the tested compounds on activity of ATPase indicated that spinosad caused the highest inhibitory effect in different organs compared with oxymatrine at the same concentrations, and high inhibition was found with ATPase isolated from the head. The results also indicated that oxymatrine was the least active compound for inhibition of AChE and ATPase.

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Chlorfluazuron, PESTANAL®, analytical standard