Submitted to: Apicultural Research Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 9, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: At least 16 viruses have been isolated from honey bees. Due to their association with the parasitic mite Varroa jacobsoni, honey bee viruses are increasingly of interest to both bee researchers and beekeepers. Most honey bee viruses are morphologically indistinguishable by electron microscopy and the existing serological techniques are not adequate in detecting bee viruses. The reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is a powerful tool for the diagnosis of viruses. However, it usually requires lengthy virus isolation and RNA extraction steps. We developed a direct one-tube RT-PCR method for honey bee virus detection without the virus purification and RNA extraction steps. Furthermore, it requires only 2 microliters of the homogenate from each infected bee. Therefore, there is plenty of sample homogenate remaining which can be used for other research in bee virology. This timesaving method will greatly facilitate our research in developing strategies to help U.S. beekeepers control viral diseases in honey bees.
Technical Abstract: The use of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction for the diagnosis of honey bee viruses usually requires lengthy virus isolation and RNA extraction steps. A direct one-tube RT-PCR method for bee viral RNA without the virus purification and RNA extraction steps was developed. It requires only a 2-microliter sample of homogenate of infected bees.