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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 #432994

Research Project: Hymenopteran Stress Physiology

Location: Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research

Project Number: 3060-21220-032-09-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2017
End Date: Dec 31, 2022

The objectives for this research are to conduct genome sequencing and assembly for the blue orchard bee, conduct transcriptomic analysis on the alfalfa leafcutting bee, and to provide material for the development of germplasm storage technologies for the honeybee.

These efforts will provide both direct support to the parent project plan and provide for ancillary research to improve the impact at the Research Unit's activities. Bioinformatics efforts will include contributions to the final assembly and preliminary annotation of the blue orchard bee genome, as well as analysis of a large transcriptomics project to further improve the genome. A second group of activities dealing with bioinformatics will be the use of Nanostring technology, including analysis of resulting data in projects including the molecular characterization of the stress responses of pollinating insects including honey bees and the alfalfa leafcutting bee. In support of the development of honey bee storage technologies, individuals associated with this agreement will assist in the daily maintenance of research hives, including husbandry that will result in a regular supply of drone bees. Spermatozoa from the drones will be used in experiments designed to improve spermatozoa cryopreservation protocols for this critically important species. Additionally, work supported by this agreement will include the regular collection of embryos of known age from healthy honey bee colonies for the development of a reliable embryonic cryopreservation protocol as well as a protocol for the in vitro rearing of larvae after cryopreservation.