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A Single molecular marker found for Colony Collapse Disorder. Proteins are the key.
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If your ribosome is compromised, then you can't respond to pesticides, you can't respond to fungal infections or bacteria or inadequate nutrition because the ribosome is central to the survival of any organism. So says a report in Science Daily. You need proteins to survive," says May Berenbaum, entomology professor and department head at the
Their study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to identify a single, objective molecular marker of the disorder, and to propose an explanation to the mysterious disappearance of American honey bees.
The study made use of the honey bee genome (only recently completed at U of I by Robinson and others) and a genome-based tool, the microarray, to look for differences in gene expression in the guts of healthy honey bees and in those from hives afflicted by CCD.
Berenbaum said that they saw that CCD bees suffered "more than their share" of infections with viruses that attack the ribosome, a finding reflected in the Penn State study released last week and reported on here.
These so-called picorna-like viruses "hijack the ribosome," she said, taking over the cellular machinery to manufacture only viral proteins, not those needed for the bee to survive or thrive. The list of picorna-like viruses that afflict honey bees is long and includes Israeli acute paralysis virus, which was once suspected of being the primary cause of CCD.
The varroa mite is a carrier of picorna-like viruses, and is thought by most researchers to be a key in explaining the virus loads carried by
The researchers summed up - bees under stress would not be able to handle those stresses, or handle them as well when the ribsomone functions were compromised and the proteins needed to compete were not being produced.
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