Honey Bee Antiviral Activity Is Abuzz with Epigenetic and Transcriptomic Activity

March 30, 2015

From: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

The agriculture importance of the honey bee cannot be overstated and in recent years declines in bee populations has become troubling, leaving scientists scrambling to understand the intricacies that encapsulate this essential insect. To that end, scientists from Penn State University and Georgia Institute of Technology have found that honey bees use collections of genes, from two distinctly separate mechanisms, to ward off viruses, bacteria, and gut parasites.

“Our results indicate that different sets of genes are used in immune responses to viruses versus other pathogens, and these antiviral genes are regulated by two very distinct processes—expression and DNA methylation,” explained David Galbraith, graduate student in entomology at Penn State University and lead author on the study.

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