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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Bee Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #382871

Research Project: Managing Honey Bees Against Disease and Colony Stress

Location: Bee Research Laboratory

Title: Found in Translation: Herding genes with metagenomics

item Evans, Jay

Submitted to: Bee Culture
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/16/2022
Publication Date: 4/22/2022
Citation: Evans, J.D. 2022. Found in Translation: Herding genes with metagenomics. Bee Culture. 4:24-25.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Knowing the complete genome of an animal, whether human, bee, or worm, can go a long way toward predicting how that animal looks, grows, and behaves. But to really know the source of interesting traits, one must study which parts of that genome are active at key times. Genes that provide the blueprints for individual proteins (a big part of the ‘active’ genome) are silent much of the time. When triggered, they spin off messenger RNA’s, whose message is then translated into strings of amino acids that make up unique proteins. This triggering, or ‘transcription’, into messenger RNA’s can be precise to individual genes or can link tens or hundreds of genes that turn on and off in a coordinated way. Coordinating the arrival of many proteins at once is essential for complex events such as building a limb, enacting an immune response, building a bank for memories, and numerous other needs of even the simplest organisms.