Insect Epigenetic Mechanisms Facing Anthropogenic-Derived Contamination, an Overview
Instituto de Entomología, Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación, Avenida José Pedro Alessandri 774, Santiago 7760197, Chile
Laboratorio de Físicoquímica Analítica, Departamento de Química, Facultad de Ciencias Básicas, Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación, Santiago 7760197, Chile
Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology (IFM), Linköping University, 581 83 Linköping, Sweden
Environmental Toxicology Program, Department of Integrative Biology, Uppsala University, 752 36 Uppsala, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Frédérique Peronnet and Jean-Michel Gibert
Received: 21 July 2021
Revised: 18 August 2021
Accepted: 19 August 2021
Published: 31 August 2021
Epigenetic molecular mechanisms (EMMs) are capable of regulating and stabilizing a wide range of living cell processes without altering its DNA sequence. EMMs can be triggered by environmental inputs. In insects, EMMs contribute to explaining both negative effects as well as adaptive responses towards environmental cues. Among these stimuli are chemical stressors, such as pesticides. We review the link between EMMs and pesticides in insects. We suggest that pesticide chemical behavior promotes both lethal and sublethal exposure of both target and non-target insects. As a consequence, for several native and beneficial insect (e.g., pollinators), EMMs are involved in diseases and disruptive responses due to pesticides, while in the case of pest species, EMMs are linked in the development of pesticide resistance and hormesis. We discuss the consequences of these in the context of insect global decline and biotic homogenization.