This grant is a "proof-of-principle" proposal to determine if imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide, causes obesity and insulin resistance (IR) in the insect obesity and IR model, D. melanogaster, in a manner similar, if not identical, to the effects seen with this compound when administered to mice.
D. melanogaster is a well-researched obesity and IR model with an abundance of biochemical, genomic and molecular techniques already available, which will greatly facilitate the process of determining imidacloprid-induced IR in this insect. Once obesity and IR have been firmly validated in D. melanogaster at the completion of the research suggested in the current proposal, we will use the information to efficiently assess the ability of imidacloprid to cause IR in honeybee in a subsequent proposal. Because poor or limited nutritional resources have already been determined as major stressors on honeybees that are partially responsible for colony collapse disorder (CCD), any additional factors that augment this nutritional stress would likely have devastating consequences. It is our contention that imidacloprid will cause IR in honeybee and, if so, will clearly reduce the ability of the nurse and foraging bees to function properly in hive management due to a significantly reduced ability to utilize glucose in already nutritionally-impaired environments.
To accomplish this research, a combination of physiological, biochemical and molecular techniques (reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and automated western blotting) will be used. Information will be presented at national and international scientific meetings and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.