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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Pollinating Insect-Biology, Management, Systematics Research » Research » Research Project #437994

Research Project: Advanced Monitoring of Established and Emerging Pathogens and Parasitoid Infections of Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee (Megachile rotundata)

Location: Pollinating Insect-Biology, Management, Systematics Research

Project Number: 2080-21000-019-001-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 1, 2020
End Date: Oct 30, 2024

1) Enhance, confirm, and investigate established and emerging pathogens and parasitoid infections of alfalfa leafcutting bees to provide reliable pollinator health guidelines to growers and add scientific merit to the academic community. 2) Develop a multiplex PCR assay for analysis of pathogens for leafcutting bees. 3) Validate the multiplex PCR assay for analysis of pathogens for alfalfa leafcutting bees, for use in certifying the quality of bees from growers and companies.

An extensive literature review and consultation with Pollinating Insect Research Unit will be used to identify known pathogens and parasitoids in alfalfa leaf cutting bees. Sequence information will be used to design DNA primers. X-ray analysis will be used to detect bee cells with parasitoids and pathogens. From these cells, DNA will be extracted and used for multiplex sequencing using the primers identified for the pathogens and parasitoids. The DNA sequences will be analyzed and annotated. From these analyzed sequences, DNA primers will be designed and tested in a BOX PCR assay. he results of the PCR will be validated by sequencing. In subsequent years, the lab will offer services in diagnosing diseases and parasitoids in and analyzing the quality of alfalfa leafcutting bee and the alkali bee (Nomia melander) for growers in Idaho and surrounding areas.