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Biochemical and histological biomarkers in the midgut of Apis mellifera from polluted environment at Beheira Governorate, Egypt

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of organophosphorus (OP) pollutants on oxidative stress and ultrastructural biomarkers in the midgut of the honeybee Apis mellifera collected from three locations that differ in their extent of spraying load with OP insecticides: a weakly anthropised rural site, Bolin which is considered as a reference site; moderately spraying site, El Kaza; and a strongly anthropised urban site, Tiba with a long history of pesticide use. Results showed that high concentrations of chlorpyrifos, malathion, diazinon, chlorpyrifos-methyl, and pirimiphos-methyl were detected in midgut at locations with extensive pesticide spraying. Reduced glutathione content, superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase displayed lowest activities in the heavily sprayed location (Tiba). Lipid peroxidation level in the midgut of honeybees in the sprayed locations was found to be significantly higher compared to the reference values. Meanwhile, various ultrastructural abnormalities were observed in the epithelial cells of midgut of honeybees collected from El Kaza and Tiba, included confluent and disorganized microvilli and destruction of their brush border, the cytoplasm with large vacuoles and alteration of cytoplasmic organelles including the presence of swollen mitochondria with lysis of matrices, disruption of limiting membranes, and disintegration of cristae. The nuclei with indented nuclear envelope and disorganized chromatin were observed. These investigated biomarkers indicated that the surveyed honeybees are being under stressful environmental conditions. So, we suggest using those biomarkers in the assessment of environmental quality using honeybees in future monitoring of ecotoxicological studies.

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Correspondence to Ahmed M. Abu El-Saad.

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El-Saad, A.M.A., Kheirallah, D.A. & El-Samad, L.M. Biochemical and histological biomarkers in the midgut of Apis mellifera from polluted environment at Beheira Governorate, Egypt. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24, 3181–3193 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-016-8059-1

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Keywords

  • Biomarker
  • Honeybees
  • Biomonitoring
  • Oxidative stress
  • Midgut