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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Bee Research Laboratory » Research » Research Project #431339

Research Project: Exotic Pests and Diseases of Honey Bees; Research to Understand and Prevent the Introduction of Unwanted Pests and Diseases into the U.S.

Location: Bee Research Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-21000-290-04-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2016
End Date: Sep 30, 2019

To 1) survey and archive DNA samples from understudied honey bee populations throughout the Caribbean islands and from Asia; 2) perform molecular genetic analysis on these samples for key microbial species considered by research scientists to be significant to bee health; 3) compare microbiome communities among these samples and with known communities from domestic bee colonies in the U.S.; and 4) identify novel microbial strains with potential spill-over consequences to domestic bee colonies in the U.S.

This agreement will establish new research objectives in populations of honey bees from Caribbean islands and will enhance research supported by other funds by providing comparable objectives in honey bee populations from Asia. Samples from diverse populations of honey bees will be collected that include unique genetic lineages, long-isolated populations, and feral colonies. Colony health, location, and date will also be associated with samples from these populations. DNA will be extracted from each sample for molecular genetic analysis of microbial communities, with focus on trypanosomatid parasites. Microbial communities within honey bees from these populations will be described and contrasted with each other and with known communities from U.S. domestic honey bee populations. Relative species frequencies and presence/absence of novel genetic strains will be used to evaluate potential impacts from microbial spillover with U.S. domestic honey bee populations.