loading page

Extra-corporeal detoxification in insects.
  • Jing Yang,
  • Yiwen Wang,
  • Bernard Moussian
Jing Yang
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Author Profile
Yiwen Wang
Tianjin University
Author Profile
Bernard Moussian
Université Côte d'Azur

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile


Upon uptake of toxins, insects launch a detoxification program. This program is deployed in multiple organs and cells to raise their tolerance against the toxin. The molecular mechanisms of this program inside the insect body have been studied and understood in detail. Here, we report on a yet unexplored extra-corporeal detoxification of insecticides in Drosophila melanogaster. Wild-type D. melanogaster incubated with DDT, a contact insecticide, in a closed environment die as expected. However, incubation of a second cohort in the same environment after removal of the dead flies was not lethal. Consistent to the kin selection theory, the effect is significantly lower if the flies of the two cohorts are unrelated. Incubation assays with Chlorpyrifos, another contact insecticide, yielded identical results, while incubation assays with Chlorantraniliprole, again a contact insecticide, was toxic for the second cohort of flies. A cohort of flies incubated in a DDT environment after an initial incubation of a honeybee survived treatment. Together, our data suggest that insects including Apis mellifera and D. melanogaster have the capacity to modify their proximate environment. Consequently, in their ecological niche, following individuals might be saved from intoxication thereby facilitating colonisation of an attractive site.