An investigation of the long-term effects of early developmental stress exposure in the Honeybee (Apis mellifera)

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Carlos Jose Vega Meléndez (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Olav Rueppell

Abstract: Honeybees (Apis mellifera) are organisms of an utmost importance to scientific advancement, food security and agricultural systems. Unfortunately, managed honeybee colonies are dying at alarming rates in much of the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in the United States of America (U.S.A). Most factors seem to fall into one of the four categories: pesticides, pest, pathogens and poor management practices. To date, not one factor has been identified to explain all observable and recorded honeybee losses. Therefore, it is likely that many factors contribute to the decline in honeybee health. To further complicate a complex situation, recent evidence has emphasized interactions between these factors to influence the chances of a colony to collapse. In contrast to model organisms, environment-controlled studies of a single stressor are difficult to perform in honeybees, or any organism studied in its natural environment. By employing behavioral, life history, physiological and transcriptomic analyses, the following dissertation investigates the relationships between early developmental stress and its potential long-term effects on honeybee workers. Experimental results showed consistent, short and long-term transcriptomic differences, independent of the particular type of stress. Long-term effects were stress-specific and were apparent in response to developmental heat-shock but not oxidative stress. Improved understanding of the relationships between early developmental stress and adult biology in honeybees has the potential to make a positive impact on the health of honeybees. Thus, this work has the potential to positively influence the honeybee’s enormous contribution to the economy and the environment.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
Apis Mellifera, Early developmental stress, Heat Shock, Hormesis, Long term effects of stress, Oxidative stress
Honeybee $x Health
Honeybee $x Effect of stress on
Oxidative stress
Heat stroke

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