Selection and Genomic Characterization of Honey Bees Resistant to Viral Pathogens
Honey bee populations, especially managed honey bees, have been adversely affected by Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), Varroa destructor mite infestations and viral pathogens. A variety of viral pathogens have been identified as potential factors contributing to CCD, and viral pathogens are vectored by Varroa mites. Honey bee viruses, including deformed wing virus (DWV), cause individual honey bee mortality and contribute to colony death after Varroa infestation and/or viral infection. Some honey bee viruses, including DWV, have been identified in other species, and inter-species transmission of viruses both to and from honey bees may be contributing to the population level declines of many pollinator species. Identification and selection of lines of honey bees that tolerate or resist viral infections would allow production of queens and colonies that exhibit improved survival in the presence of viral infections and Varroa mite infestations. The first objective will be to screen many different lines of honey bees in search of lines that exhibit reduced mortality after viral infection. If virus resistant lines are identified, then those bees will be characterized by genotyping or genomic resequencing to define genomic features that are associated with viral resistance. If specific molecular markers are found to associate with viral resistance or tolerance, then subsequent work will be directed toward development of a molecular test that enables rapid and affordable identification of bees that possess genotypes which confer viral resistance or tolerance.
Small Business Information at Submission:
BEE POWER LP
16481 COUNTY RD 319 Navasota, TX 77868
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