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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Baton Rouge, Louisiana » Honey Bee Lab » Research » Research Project #445396

Research Project: Harnessing Fungal Natural Products for Scalable and Sustainable Honey Bee Antiviral Therapeutics

Location: Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Research

Project Number: 6050-21000-016-029-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2023
End Date: Oct 31, 2024

This work aims to establish a discovery pipeline for bee antivirals using a diverse library of fungi. Several thousands of cultures from this library have already been tested for antiviral activities in other organisms, and those data are stored in a relational database. Our team’s combined expertise and facilities will produce a comprehensive investigation of fungal metabolites for bee health.

We will broadly screen a library of fungal extracts for antiviral activities and their relative safety in honey bees. Using established tools and methods from the field of natural products research, we will produce extracts of fungal cultures. Using feeding bioassays and virus-challenged honey bees, we will test extracts for their potential as antiviral treatments. Finally, we will scale up the most promising treatment for a proof-of-concept colony-level application via sugar syrup delivery.