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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research » Research » Research Project #430840

Research Project: Development of Improved Management Systems for Pollinators, Alfalfa Leafcutter Bee, Megachile rotundata and Blue Orchard Bee, Osmia lignaria

Location: Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research

Project Number: 3060-21000-041-04-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2016
End Date: Jun 30, 2021

Objective:
Improve the husbandry of M. rotundata and O. lignaria by; (1) isolating and characterizing sublethal wounding induced by low-temperature storage; (2) develop quality control biomarkers based on the characterized sublethal wounds to improve storage protocols thereby increasing the availability and quality of these pollinators.

Approach:
M. rotundata and O. lignaria will be exposed to low-temperature storage for varying durations after which flight metabolism and critical pO2 values will be determined and compared against control values. The following developmental stages will be examined during this investigation; eye pigmented pupae and ready-to-emerge adults of M. rotundata and the overwintering stages of both M. rotundata and O. lignaria. If flight metabolism or critical pO2 values are significantly different from the controls they will be incorporated into the post-storage screening of stored bees to measure their post-storage quality. The components of low-temperature protocol, such as the base storage temperature, the temperature of the high-temperature pulse, the pulse duration and atmospheric gas mixture will be optimized to improve post-storage availability and quality of the bees.