Location: Southern Horticultural Research
Project Number: 6062-21430-004-034-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 15, 2022
End Date: Aug 15, 2027
Develop new management and conservation techniques for honey bees and important wild native bee pollinators for small fruit, vegetable and ornamental crop production. Within this objective, we will use an in vitro system established from honey bee tissues, the AmE-711 cell line, as a platform to develop a reporter gene assay. We will then use this assay to study the regulation of target genes of interest and functional response of AmE-711 cells. Understanding of the functional response of genes associated with honey bee behavior using a cell culture model will add to our understanding of how common stressors (e.g., viral infections, nutritional stress) can disrupt normal expression patterns, leading to a disruption in honey bee physiology and behavior.
ARS will use the AmE-711 continuous honey bee cell line and document the effects of biomolecules added to the culture medium. The goal is to determine whether the addition of insect hormones and other factors can lead to differentiation of AmE-711 cell type aligning them more with a neuronal-like cell type. Cooperator will develop constructs containing genes of interest linked to a reporter system. Undifferentiated and differentiated AmE-711 cells will be transfected with Cooperator constructs and expression of the reporter will be quantified. Changes in cell morphology and physiology will be measured using microscopy and metabolic assays. The goal of the reporter assay will be to determine tissue-specific gene regulation to serve as biomarkers for cellular and behavioral processes.