Imperial College London

Dr Richard J. Gill

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences (Silwood Park)

Senior Lecturer



+44 (0)20 7594 2215r.gill Website




N2.13MunroSilwood Park






BibTex format

author = {Colgan, TJ and Fletcher, IK and Arce, AA and Gill, R and Ramos, Rodrigues A and Stolle, E and Chittka, L and Wurm, Y},
doi = {10.1111/mec.15047},
journal = {Molecular Ecology},
pages = {1964--1974},
title = {Caste- and pesticide-specific effects of neonicotinoid pesticide exposure on gene expression in bumblebees},
url = {},
volume = {28},
year = {2019}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Social bees are important insect pollinators of wildflowers and agricultural crops, making their reported declines a global concern. A major factor implicated in these declines is the widespread use of neonicotinoid pesticides. Indeed, recent research has demonstrated that exposure to low doses of these neurotoxic pesticides impairs bee behaviours important for colony function and survival. However, our understanding of the moleculargenetic pathways that lead to such effects is limited, as is our knowledge of how effects may differ between colony members. To understand what genes and pathways are affected by exposure of bumblebee workers and queens to neonicotinoid pesticides, we implemented a transcriptomewide gene expression study. We chronically exposed Bombus terrestriscolonies to either clothianidin or imidacloprid at fieldrealistic concentrations while controlling for factors including colony social environment and worker age. We reveal that genes involved in important biological processes including mitochondrial function are differentially expressed in response to neonicotinoid exposure. Additionally, clothianidin exposure had stronger effects on gene expression amplitude and alternative splicing than imidacloprid. Finally, exposure affected workers more strongly than queens. Our work demonstrates how RNASeq transcriptome profiling can provide detailed novel insight on the mechanisms mediating pesticide toxicity to a key insect pollinator.
AU - Colgan,TJ
AU - Fletcher,IK
AU - Arce,AA
AU - Gill,R
AU - Ramos,Rodrigues A
AU - Stolle,E
AU - Chittka,L
AU - Wurm,Y
DO - 10.1111/mec.15047
EP - 1974
PY - 2019///
SN - 0962-1083
SP - 1964
TI - Caste- and pesticide-specific effects of neonicotinoid pesticide exposure on gene expression in bumblebees
T2 - Molecular Ecology
UR -
UR -
VL - 28
ER -