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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Sustainable Pest Management Strategies for Arid-land Crops

Location: Pest Management and Biocontrol Research

Title: Tracking Pollinator Movement with Protein Markers to Enhance Gene Flow Evaluations.

Authors
item Mueller, Shannon -
item Hagler, James
item Teuber, Larry -

Submitted to: Integrated Pest Management Symposium Workshop Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2009
Publication Date: March 24, 2009
Citation: Mueller, S.C., Hagler, J.R., Teuber, L.R. 2009. Tracking Pollinator Movement with Protein Markers to Enhance Gene Flow Evaluations.. Integrated Pest Management Symposium Workshop Proceedings. 19.5 pg 35.

Interpretive Summary: Tracking polinator movement is an important component of gene flow. In recent years, understanding pollen-mediated gene flow has received much attention in the development of strategies to manage gene flow between transgenic and conventional crops. Using a modified Mark-Recapture technique, foraging honey bees were marked with various DayGlo dusts, powdered milk protein, powdered egg protein, or a combination of dusts and proteins. In a commercial production setting encompassing approximately nine square miles, individual apiary locations (9) were equipped with devices that marked the honey bees as they exited the hive. Bees were collected near the hive entrance and in the bee yard to determine marking efficiency. Foraging honey bees were also captured several times over two pollination seasons at 19 different predetermined study sites systematically located in surrounding alfalfa fields. Distances among the study sites ranged from 165 feeet to over 3 miles. Captured bees were first examined under UV light to detect the presence of various clolred DayGlo dusts and then by protein-specific ELISAs to detect the presence of milk and egg proteins. Marked bees were identified and could be traced back to one of the nine apiaries. Information regarding honey bee movement among commercial seed production fields can be used in combination with estimates of gene flow resulting from analysis of seed samples collected as part of this study from conventional and transgenic (marker source) cultivars to develop new protocols for crop production and establish stewardship programs to preserve existing markets. The combination of pollinator marking and associated gene flow provides powerful technology in developing and managing new traits for the future.

Technical Abstract: Tracking polinator movement is an important component of gene flow. In recent years, understanding pollen-mediated gene flow has received much attention in the development of strategies to manage gene flow between transgenic and conventional crops. Using a modified Mark-Recapture technique, foraging honey bees were marked with various DayGlo dusts, powdered milk protein, powdered egg protein, or a combination of dusts and proteins. In a commercial production setting encompassing approximately nine square miles, individual apiary locations (9) were equipped with devices that marked the honey bees as they exited the hive. Bees were collected near the hive entrance and in the bee yard to determine marking efficiency. Foraging honey bees were also captured several times over two pollination seasons at 19 different predetermined study sites systematically located in surrounding alfalfa fields. Distances among the study sites ranged from 165 feeet to over 3 miles. Captured bees were first examined under UV light to detect the presence of various clolred DayGlo dusts and then by protein-specific ELISAs to detect the presence of milk and egg proteins. Marked bees were identified and could be traced back to one of the nine apiaries. Information regarding honey bee movement among commercial seed production fields can be used in combination with estimates of gene flow resulting from analysis of seed samples collected as part of this study from conventional and transgenic (marker source) cultivars to develop new protocols for crop production and establish stewardship programs to preserve existing markets. The combination of pollinator marking and associated gene flow provides powerful technology in developing and managing new traits for the future.

Last Modified: 7/23/2014
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