In the Beenome group we use genetic and field techniques to better understand the honey bee disease responses and the development of queen and worker bees. We are especially interested in interactions between honey bee larvae and their key bacterial pathogen, Paenibacillus larvae, the cause of the disease American Foulbrood.
For this project we are using field and in vitro assays of honey bee resistance, gene-expression studies, and directed matings to understand genetic variation in the abilities of bees to mount an effective response against this pathogen. We are also studying environmental factors that can affect the efficacy of the immune response for bees.
We are currently involved with efforts at the Baylor College of Medicine and elsewhere to sequence and annotate the honey bee genome, and are particularly interested in the discovery of pathways and end products for the disease response.
Honey bee sequencing project at Baylor College of Medicine
Current group members include Jay Evans, Dawn Lopez, and Tamieka Armstrong.