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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: A metagenomic survey of microbes in honey bee colony collapse disorder)

Author
item Cox-foster, Diana
item Conlan, Sean
item Holmes, Edward
item Palacios, Gustavo
item Evans, Jay
item Moran, Nancy
item Quan, Phenix-lan
item Briese, Thomas
item Hornig, Mady
item Geiser, David
item Martinson, Vince
item Vanengelsdorp, Dennis
item Kalkstein, Abby
item Drysdale, Andrew
item Hui, Jeffrey
item Zhai, Junhui
item Cui, Liwang
item Hutchison, Stephen
item Simons, Jan Fredrik
item Egholm, Michael
item Pettis, Jeffery
item Lipkin, W. Ian

Submitted to: Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/30/2007
Publication Date: 9/6/2007
Citation: Cox-Foster, D.L., Conlan, S., Holmes, E.C., Palacios, G., Evans, J.D., Moran, N.A., Quan, P., Briese, T., Hornig, M., Geiser, D.M., Martinson, V., Vanengelsdorp, D., Kalkstein, A.L., Drysdale, A., Hui, J., Zhai, J., Cui, L., Hutchison, S.K., Simons, J., Egholm, M., Pettis, J.S., Lipkin, W. 2007. A metagenomic survey of microbes in honey bee colony collapse disorder. Science. 318:283-287.

Interpretive Summary: In Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), honey bee colonies inexplicably lose all of their workers. CCD has resulted in a loss of 50-90% of colonies in beekeeping operations across the United States. The observation that irradiated combs from affected colonies can be repopulated with naïve bees suggests an infectious basis for CCD. We used an unbiased metagenomic approach to survey the bacteria, fungi and viruses associated with CCD and normal hives. Candidate pathogens were screened for significance of association with CCD by examination of samples collected from several sites over a period of three years. One organism, Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) of bees, was strongly correlated with CCD and also found in bees recently imported from Australia.

Technical Abstract: In Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), honey bee colonies inexplicably lose all of their workers. CCD has resulted in a loss of 50-90% of colonies in beekeeping operations across the United States. The observation that irradiated combs from affected colonies can be repopulated with naïve bees suggests an infectious basis for CCD. We used an unbiased metagenomic approach to survey microflora in CCD hives, normal hives and imported royal jelly. Candidate pathogens were screened for significance of association with CCD by examination of samples collected from several sites over a period of three years. One organism, Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) of bees, was strongly correlated with CCD. We have not proven a causal relationship between any infectious agent and CCD; nonetheless, the prevalence of IAPV sequences in CCD operations, as well as the temporal and geographic overlap of CCD and importation of IAPV infected bees from Australia, indicates that IAPV is a significant marker for CCD.

Last Modified: 8/24/2016
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