1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
To study the natural occurrence of chalkbrood pathogens and the associated host-pathogen interactions, and to utilize this knowledge to improve disease control in social and solitary bees.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
The University of Copenhagen (UC) will host ARS personnel at their facility in 2012, 2013 and/or 2014 (for approximately one month). These visits will facilitate the collection of Ascosphaera species in their native range, and in bees that occur in Denmark. Comparative DNA analyses will be used further improve a phylogeny of the Ascosphaera that was recently developed by some members of this team. An understanding of the host-range distribution and the evolution of pathogenicity is beginning to emerge from the initial phylogeny of these bee pathogens, however, further validated is needed using specimens collected from a greater number of bee species. In addition, the University offers an opportunity to collect large numbers of some wild bee species, providing a means to conduct bioassays to experimentally evaluate the host-range of some pathogens.