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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Biological Control of Insects Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #375349

Research Project: Insect Biotechnology Products for Pest Control and Emerging Needs in Agriculture

Location: Biological Control of Insects Research

Title: Cell lines for honey bee virus research

item GUO, YA - University Of Florida
item Goodman, Cynthia
item Stanley, David
item BONNING, BRYONY - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Viruses
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/17/2020
Publication Date: 2/20/2020
Citation: Guo, Y., Goodman, C.L., Stanley, D.W., Bonning, B.C. 2020. Cell lines for honey bee virus research. Viruses. 12(2):236.

Interpretive Summary: Honey bees provide about $15M annually in pollination services in many high-value cropping systems. Throughout the history of bee keeping, colonies have been lost. Such losses were recognized by various names, such as disappearaing disease and autumn collapse. In 2006 it was named colony collapse disorder due to a very terrible rise in losses of honey bee colonies, which occurs in Europe and America. By 2013, more than 10 million colonies were lost around the world. Colony collapse disorder is a syndrome with a range of symptoms, including exposure to insecticides and various pathogens, such as mites and viruses. In this paper we report on methods for establishing honey bee cell lines and methods to establish virus-free cell lines. This new information will be used by honey bee researchers globally to reduce viral threats to honey bee colonies. Ultimately, the information will lead to reductions in honey bee colony collapse disorder and to increases in honey bee pollination services globally.

Technical Abstract: With ongoing colony losses driven in part by the Varroa mite and the associated exacerbation of virus load, there is an urgent need to protect honey bees (Apis mellifera) from fatal levels of virus infection and from nontarget effects of insecticides used in agricultural settings. A continuously replicating cell line derived from the honey bee would provide a valuable tool for study of molecular mechanisms of virus – host interaction, for screening of antiviral agents for potential use within the hive, and for assessment of the risk of current and candidate insecticides to the honey bee. However, the establishment of a continuously replicating, honey bee cell line has proved challenging. Here we provide an overview of attempts to establish primary and continuously replicating cell lines, methods for establishing honey bee cell lines, challenges associated with the presence of latent viruses (especially Deformed wing virus), in established cell lines and methods to establish virus-free cell lines. We also describe the potential use of honey bee cell lines in conjunction with infectious clones of honey bee viruses for examination of fundamental virology.