Tag Archives: honeybees

Tobacco Virus Jumps 1.6 Billion Years of Evolution to Honeybee

More research on colony collapse disorder:

“When HIV jumped from chimpanzees to humans sometime in the early 1900s, it crossed a gulf spanning several million years of evolution. But tobacco ringspot virus, scientists announced last week, has made a jump that defies credulity. It has crossed a yawning chasm ~1.6 billion years wide. And this is likely bad news for its new host, the honeybee, matchmaker of crops and bringer of honey.  …

As scientists were studying the possible role of pollen in spreading known bee viruses, a team of scientists from the United States and China began screening bees and pollen for viruses of all sorts. To their surprise, as they reported Jan. 21 in the journal mBio, they discovered a common plant virus — tobacco ringspot virus — had seemingly infested honeybees. Was it merely a transient visitor? Or had it made itself at home in a place inconceivably different from its usual digs?”

Full article http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/artful-amoeba/2014/01/31/suspicious-virus-makes-rare-cross-kingdom-leap-from-plants-to-honeybees/

Image from Wikipedia

Just One Gene Determines the Queen Bee

From science blogs:

“A research team led by Wayne State University, in collaboration with Michigan State University, has identified a single gene in honeybees that separates the queens from the workers. The scientists unraveled the gene’s inner workings and published the results in the current issue of Biology Letters. The gene, which is responsible for leg and wing development, plays a crucial role in the evolution of bees’ ability to carry pollen. “The gene – Ultrabithorax, or Ubx – is responsible for making hind legs different from fore legs so they can carry pollen” said Aleksandar Popadic, associate professor of biological sciences in Wayne State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Science and principal investigator of the study. “In some groups, like crickets, Ubx is responsible for creating a ‘jumping’ hind leg. In others, such as bees, it makes a pollen basket – a ‘naked,’ bristle-free leg region that creates a space for packing pollen.””

Full post http://www.mdconnects.com/articles/305/20140131/research-led-wayne-state-discovers-single-gene-bees-separating-queens.htm