Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bee colony collapse associated with viral, fungal infection, biologist says

Date:
October 10, 2010
Source:
Texas Tech University
Summary:
The sudden death of bee colonies since late 2006 across North America has stumped scientists. But today, researchers may have a greater understanding of the mysterious colony collapse disorder.

New research is providing a greater understanding of the mysterious colony collapse disorder that has caused the sudden death of bee colonies.
Credit: iStockphoto/Irina Tischenko

The sudden death of bee colonies since late 2006 across North America has stumped scientists. But today, researchers may have a greater understanding of the mysterious colony collapse disorder, said a Texas Tech University biologist.

Related Articles


Shan Bilimoria, a professor and molecular virologist, said the bees may be taking a one-two punch from both an insect virus and a fungus, which may be causing bees to die off by the billions.

Bilimoria is part of a team of researchers searching for the cause of the collapse. Led by research professor Jerry Bromenshenk from the University of Montana in Missoula, the group also includes virologists and chemists from the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center and the Instituto de Ecologica AC in Mexico.

Their study appears in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE, published by the Public Library of Science.

"At this stage, the study is showing an association of death rates of the bees with the virus and fungus present," Bilimoria said. "Our contribution to this study confirms association. But even that doesn't prove cause and effect. Not just yet."

The mysterious colony deaths have caused major concern with scientists since much of agriculture depends on bees to pollinate crops.

To discover what might be attacking bee colonies, the team ground up dead bees that had succumbed to colony collapse disorder. Using analytical equipment, researchers discovered through spectroscopic analysis evidence of a moth virus called insect iridescent virus (IIV) 6 and a fungal parasite called Nosema.

The insect virus is closely related to another virus that wiped out bee populations 20 years ago in India, he said. Also, unlike previous research that found the deaths may be caused by a virus with RNA, the IIV 6 contains DNA.

"Our DNA discovery puts this field in a whole new direction," he said.

Bilimoria said Texas Tech supplied the virus material for the experiments and were tested on bees with the fungus. Though an association between exposure and death was found, scientists don't yet know if the two pathogens cause CCD or whether CCD colonies are more likely to succumb to the two pathogens.

"To prove cause and effect, we will have to isolate the virus and fungus from bee colony, and then reinfect with same virus and fungus," Bilimoria said.

In the next part of the research project, Bilimoria will work to isolate the virus from infected bees.

"Once we isolate and identify the virus, we will have a way of monitoring it," he said. "It is easier to fight the problem if we know what the culprit is."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Texas Tech University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Walter S. Leal, Jerry J. Bromenshenk, Colin B. Henderson, Charles H. Wick, Michael F. Stanford, Alan W. Zulich, Rabih E. Jabbour, Samir V. Deshpande, Patrick E. McCubbin, Robert A. Seccomb, Phillip M. Welch, Trevor Williams, David R. Firth, Evan Skowronski, Margaret M. Lehmann, Shan L. Bilimoria, Joanna Gress, Kevin W. Wanner, Robert A. Cramer. Iridovirus and Microsporidian Linked to Honey Bee Colony Decline. PLoS ONE, 2010; 5 (10): e13181 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013181

Cite This Page:

Texas Tech University. "Bee colony collapse associated with viral, fungal infection, biologist says." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101007183018.htm>.
Texas Tech University. (2010, October 10). Bee colony collapse associated with viral, fungal infection, biologist says. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101007183018.htm
Texas Tech University. "Bee colony collapse associated with viral, fungal infection, biologist says." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101007183018.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins