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Open AccessArticle

Continuous Agrochemical Treatments in Agroecosystems Can Modify the Effects of Pendimethalin-Based Herbicide Exposure on Immunocompetence of a Beneficial Ground Beetle

1
Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Science, University of Calabria, 87036 Rende, Italy
2
Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste, 34127 Trieste, Italy
3
Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity, University of Münster, 48149 Münster, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2019, 11(12), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11120241
Received: 28 November 2019 / Revised: 11 December 2019 / Accepted: 15 December 2019 / Published: 16 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Insect)
Herbicide application for pest control can negatively affect soil biodiversity, mainly acting on species that are involved in ecosystem service. In this study, field and laboratory trials were designed to assay herbicide exposure effects on the constitutive immunity of Harpalus (Pseudoophonus) rufipes (De Geer, 1774), a beneficial carabid species that inhabits croplands. The circulating hemocytes (THCs) and plasmatic levels of basal and total phenoloxidase (PO), as well as lysozyme-like enzyme activities, were measured as markers of exposure. In laboratory tests, the exposure to realistic field doses of pendimethalin-based herbicides for two, seven and 21 days caused a reduction in enzyme activities in beetles from organic crops. In beetles from conventional fields, the THCs and total PO activity decreased significantly at two and seven days after the initial exposure, though no effects were recorded on basal PO and lysozyme like-enzyme activities. These differences in enzyme activities and THCs indicate that the interference of pendimethalin with immune parameters clearly depends on both the different field conditions from which the population comes and the cumulative effects of repeated applications over the time. View Full-Text
Keywords: carabid beetles; cellular response; dinitroaniline; phenoloxidase; ecological immunology; sub-lethal effect carabid beetles; cellular response; dinitroaniline; phenoloxidase; ecological immunology; sub-lethal effect
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Giglio, A.; Cavaliere, F.; Giulianini, P.G.; Kurtz, J.; Vommaro, M.L.; Brandmayr, P. Continuous Agrochemical Treatments in Agroecosystems Can Modify the Effects of Pendimethalin-Based Herbicide Exposure on Immunocompetence of a Beneficial Ground Beetle. Diversity 2019, 11, 241.

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