Bayer: Enzymes in Honeybees Determine Neonic Sensitivity

A joint study by Exeter University, Rothamsted Research and Bayer has discovered enzymes in honey bees and bumble bees that determine how sensitive they are to different neonicotinoid insecticides.

As in other organisms, toxins in bees can be broken down by enzymes called cytochrome P450s. The researchers carried out the most comprehensive analysis of bee P450 detoxification enzymes ever conducted. The study identified one subfamily of these enzymes in bees – CYP9Q

– and found it was responsible for the rapid breakdown of certain neonicotinoids, such as thiacloprid, making them virtually non-toxic to bees. Bayer is confident that this knowledge will enable the company to design further bee-friendly insecticides in an even more targeted way, using relatively simple methods (in vitro) at an early stage of a product’s development.

“Identifying the mechanisms that contribute to inherent tolerance helps us, and regulators, to better understand why certain insecticides have a high margin of safety in bees,” said Dr. Ralf Nauen, an insect toxicologist at Bayer and lead investigator of the study. “The knowledge from our study can also be used to predict and prevent potential harmful effects that result from inadvertently blocking these key defence systems, for instance, by different compounds with synergistic effects in tank mixtures.” Nauen is confident that the required knowledge and obtained tools will promote innovation and improve Bayer’s ability to develop selective insecticides.

The paper, published in the journal Current Biology, is entitled: “Unravelling the molecular determinants of bee sensitivity to neonicotinoid insecticides.”

This knowledge is valuable at a time when it has become increasingly difficult to register new pesticides, particularly in Europe, a development which will ultimately hurt farmers, preventing them from controlling the pests attacking their fields and producing the food we all enjoy. The sad thing is that, likewise, the environment will suffer as less efficient production requires more land use.

Safety before sales applies to all pesticides brought to market. Nonetheless, the safety of neonicotinoid insecticides to bees is a controversially discussed subject and one that, in 2013, led to a ban in the European Union on the use of three compounds on crops that are attractive to bees. So what does the science say? In general, that 19 of the top 20 insecticides are intrinsically highly toxic. However, even the different compounds in the class of neonicotinoids vary in terms of their toxicity.

By the time it reaches the market, each crop protection product will have cost, on average, USD 286 million and required 11 years of research and development to ensure the highest safety and efficacy standards. This new knowledge will help to make the development of insecticides, which are broadly applicable and fully compatible with bee pollinators, more efficient.

Topics: , ,

Leave a Reply

Agrichemicals

Agrichemicals

Bayer: Disappointing Verdict Requires In-Depth Analysis

Bayer will assess the verdict’s consequences and potential legal options.

Agrichemicals

EU Court Backs Ban on Three Neonicotinoids

General Court of the European Union said it "confirms the validity of the restrictions introduced at EU level in 2013 clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid because of the risks those substances pose to bees."

Herbicides

Formulation Technology Matters with High-Activity Sulfonylurea Herbicides

Herbicide formulations and sprayer clean-out are top of mind for many farmers, applicators, and retailers because of issues with dicamba

Agrichemicals

Tight Supply of Chinese Glycine Pushes Up Glyphosate Prices

China's announcement that it will conduct further pollution inspections in 2018 and 2019 is constraining the supply of glycine, the main intermediate for glyphosate production, according to market intelligence firm CCM.

Agrichemicals

Bayer Unveils Executive Leadership Team for Crop Science

Liam Condon will lead division; Brett Begemann will become Head of Commercial Operations (Chief Operating Officer).

Agrichemicals

Monsanto Execs to Step Down After Bayer Deal Closes

Monsanto Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Hugh Grant announced his intent to leave Monsanto at the closing of the acquisition of Monsanto by Bayer AG.

Agrichemicals

FMC Quarterly Results Soar on DuPont Acquisition

FMC Corp. reported its Agricultural Solutions business posted first-quarter 2018 revenue of $1.1 billion, an increase of 109 percent year-over-year.

Agrichemicals

Bayer Crop Science Quarterly Sales Dip

Bayer reports major progress with Monsanto acquisition.

Agrichemicals

Sumitomo Launches Fungicide for Bananas

Rapid adoption of Powmyl is expected for Black Sigatoka control programs on banana plantations throughout Latin America.

Bayer
Agrichemicals

EU Approves BASF Deal to Buy Bayer Assets

The European Commission said Monday that it has approved the acquisition of parts of Bayer AG’s crop-science business by BASF

Agrichemicals

ADAMA European Sales Drop, Procurement Costs Climb

The extended winter in Europe has caused a delay to the start of the season, impacting demand in the region.

Bayer-Crop
Insecticides

Bayer on Neonicotinoid Ban: ‘A Sad Day’ for European Farmers

Today’s decision by the EU Member States to restrict the use of certain neonicotinoids to applications in permanent greenhouses is

Agrichemicals

China’s Glyphosate Market Lackluster in April, as Raw Material Prices Climb

Chinese glyphosate technical market was lackluster in April as overseas markets entered the low season. In the meantime, raw material prices kept rising and glyphosate technical producers suffered mounting pressure.

Insecticides

Syngenta: Neonicotinoid Decision Takes European Farming in the Wrong Direction

Today’s decision by Member States to back the Commission’s proposal for further restrictions of neonicotinoids is disappointing, but not unexpected,

Soybean souting mature
Agrichemicals

Missouri Dept. of Ag Extends Dicamba Cut-off Date

Delayed plantings due to cold, wet spring prompts action in Missouri.

Africa/Middle East

Zimbabwe’s New Government Pushes to Strengthen Agriculture

With Mugabe out, the push for increased agricultural production by the new government has opened new business opportunities for planting seed material suppliers and agchem manufacturers.

Agrichemicals

How WTO Agreements Affect China’s Pesticide MRL Rules

ChemLinked's Fang Lin reports on China’s response to the World Trade Organization's Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)/Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) notifications.

Americas

ADAMA to Launch Soybean Fungicide in Brazil

Global crop protection company ADAMA has announced that is ready to launch its distinctive fungicide, CRONNOS, in Brazil, the world’s

Midwest wheat growers
Agrichemicals

Kline: Insecticide Market for Grain Storage Growing Steadily

Aluminum phosphide is the predominant active ingredient used for treatments, accounting for over 50% of the total sales in 2017.

Latest News

Agrichemicals

Bayer: Disappointing Verdict Requires In-Depth Analysis

Bayer will assess the verdict’s consequences and potential legal options.

Seeds and Traits

BASF Releases Provisia Rice System for 2018 Season

Provisia is first herbicide tolerant system in the U.S. rice market since the Clearfield Production System was released 15 years ago.

Agrichemicals

EU Court Backs Ban on Three Neonicotinoids

General Court of the European Union said it "confirms the validity of the restrictions introduced at EU level in 2013 clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid because of the risks those substances pose to bees."

Seeds and Traits

Corteva Agriscience, Monsanto in Licensing Deal on Trait for Insect Control

Corteva Agriscience will receive a license to stack Monsanto’s Corn Rootworm III and MON89034 traits with Corteva Agriscience’s insect control traits.

Herbicides

Formulation Technology Matters with High-Activity Sulfonylurea Herbicides

Herbicide formulations and sprayer clean-out are top of mind for many farmers, applicators, and retailers because of issues with dicamba