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Sustainable Solutions to Problems Affecting Bee Health

Principal Investigator/Project Leader: 
Co-Principal Investigator/Co-Project Leader: 
Department of Project: 
Microbiology Dept.
Project Description: 

Our goal is to evaluate the role and causative mechanisms of parasitic mites, viruses, and microbes in pollinator abundance and honeybee colony success. Isolation of total RNA and DNA from bee guts will be performed following standard methods currently used in our laboratory. Bee infection status with viruses and the eukaryotic parasites Crithidia and Nosema will be determined by PCR and rtPCR analyses to detect viruses and parasites using RNA and/or DNA extracted from guts as template. Bees infected with one or more virus types will be identified employing specific primer sets currently in use in our laboratory. For Crithidia, a portion of a specific gene will be amplified using Crithidia- specific primers sets. Infections with Nosema, will be detected using the specific primer pairs targeting the microsporidian small subunit rRNA gene.  An expected outcome of this project is to decrease the number of beehives lost every year to pathogens through the identification of new compounds directed at specific targets in pathogens that can be utilized to decrease (or eliminate) pathogens and improve bee health.

Agriculture topics: 
Insects & Mites