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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Bee Research Laboratory » Research » Research Project #443754

Research Project: Honey Bee Parasite Genetics

Location: Bee Research Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-21000-291-067-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2023
End Date: Sep 30, 2025

This project is directed at the mission of the USDA-ARS Bee Research Laboratory aimed at reducing the impacts of parasites and pathogens on honey bee losses. Illinois State University will be specifically involved with the isolation of honey bee parasite cultures from gut samples using flow cytometry and subsequent in vitro growth analyses of these cultures. The cultured parasites will be used in USDA-Beltsville to identify parasite impacts on honey bee health and develop new control methods to ensure the availability of honey bees for pollination.

This portion of the project will support a masters student, who will receive training and develop expertise in both parasite isolation and cell culturing of Lotmaria passim—a new study system—during the project. The parasite cultures will be provided to USDA-ARS-Beltsville for further in vitro, in vivo and sequencing work to meet the proposed aims. Illinois State University (ISU) PI and the graduate student will also have regular virtual meetings with ARS scientists to discuss progress. ISU will also offer his expertise on gene expression and genomic analysis and will collaborate on the publication and dissemination of the research results with the other scientists.