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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Bee Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #287357

Title: Standard methods for molecular research in Apis mellifera

item Evans, Jay
item Chen, Yanping - Judy
item Cornman, Robert
item DE LA RUA, PILAR - Universidad De Murcia
item FORET, SYLVAIN - Australian National University
item FOSTER, LEONARD - University Of British Columbia
item GENERSCH, ELKE - Institute For Bee Research
item GISDER, SEBASTIAN - Institute For Bee Research
item JAROSCH, ANTJE - Martin Luther University
item KUCHARSKI, ROBERT - Australian National University
item Lopez, Dawn
item MAN LUN, CHENG - George Washington University
item MORITZ, ROBIN - Martin Luther University
item MALESZKA, RYSZARD - Australian National University
item MUNOZ, IRENE - Universidad De Murcia
item PINTO, ALICE - Non ARS Employee
item Schwarz, Ryan

Submitted to: Journal of Apicultural Research
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2012
Publication Date: 4/1/2013
Citation: Evans, J.D., Chen, Y., Cornman, R.S., De La Rua, P., Foret, S., Foster, L., Genersch, E., Gisder, S., Jarosch, A., Kucharski, R., Lopez, D.L., Man Lun, C., Moritz, R.F., Maleszka, R., Munoz, I., Pinto, A.M., Schwarz, R.S. 2013. Molecular protocols for Apis mellifera. Journal of Apicultural Research. 52(4):1-54. doi: 10.3896/IBRA.

Interpretive Summary: Thanks to pollination services and hive products, honey bees are key components for agriculture throughout most of the world. They also provide an excellent way to study major questions in biology, such as the behavior, nutrition, and immune defenses of animals. Here we present, for the first time, a consensus of the best genetic techniques for studying honey bees and their pests and pathogens. These standard methods will aid the study of honey bee health, they will allow regulators to judge standard methods for assessing honey bee stress factors such as chemicals and disease, and they willprovide an introduction to honey bee sicence for those entering form different fields. We intend this to be a longterm contribution to honey bee science and applied biology.

Technical Abstract: From studies of behavior, chemical communication, genomic traits and the developmental trajectories of different castes among many others, honey bees have long been a key organism for fundamental breakthroughs in biology. With a genome sequence in hand, and much improved genetic tools, honey bees are now an even more appealing target for answering the major questions of evolutionary biology, population structure, and social organization. At the same time, agricultural incentives to understand how honey bees fall to disease, or evade and survive their many pests and pathogens, have pushed for a genetic understanding of individual and social immunity in this species. Below we describe and reference tools for using modern molecular-biology techniques to understand bee behavior, health, and other aspects of their biology. We cover DNA and RNA techniques in general, along with tools for assessing bee proteins. We then provide a roadmap for genomic resources and methods for studying bees, followed by specific protocols for population genetics, quantitative genetics, and phylogenetics. Finally, we end with three important tools for predicting gene regulation and function in honey bees: Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), RNA interference (RNAi), and the estimation of chromosomal methylation and its impacts.