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Molecular diagnoses diseases in Africanized Apis mellifera honeybees selected for high honey production

Grant number: 22/14754-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2023
Effective date (End): November 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Ricardo de Oliveira Orsi
Grantee:Samir Moura Kadri
Supervisor: James Douglas Ellis
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia (FMVZ). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Florida, Gainesville (UF), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:20/09231-9 - Development of Apis mellifera L. Field Method for High Honey Productivity, BP.PD


Apis mellifera is an ancient insect, which has had association with humans for a long time. In Brazil, European subspecies were brought two centuries ago. These subspecies predominated in Brazil until 1956, when African bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) were introduced. After this period in all national territory, Africanized honeybees have been found with some differences in behavior (hygienic), morphology, and production. The high hygienic behavior in Africanized honeybees is directly linked to resistance of some pathogens that affects honeybee's colonies, however, in many studies carried out with these bees' shows that colonies can be infected with viruses, bacteria and fungi without clear clinical symptoms. Thus the aim of this research project will be diagnose Africanized honeybees colonies selected for high and low honey production from commercial beekeepers from Polo Cuesta, São Paulo State, for bacteria, fungi and virus: Melisococcus pluton, Paenibacillus larvae, Ascosphaera apis, Nosema apis, Nosema bombi, Nosema ceranae, Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), Black Queen Cell Virus (BQVC) and Acute Paralysis Virus (ABPV) and made a correlation with honey production data. For this, forty beehives of Africanized honeybees will be used, 20 beehives with High Honey Production (HHP) (89±23,9 kg/colony) and 20 beehives with Low Honey Production (LHP) (25±9,3 kg/colony) from 16 apiaries (FAPESP Project 2020/09231-9); all standardized for queen age, population and honey production managements. Twelve worker bees pupae from each colony was collected and stored in -80oC freezer in nontoxic plastic containers, and DNA and RNA was extracted. PCR (Polimerase Chain Reaction) will be performed for all samples to diagnosis: Melisococcus pluton, Paenibacillus larvae, Ascosphaera apis, Nosema apis, Nosema ceranae, Nosema bombi, Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), Black Queen Cell Virus (BQVC) and Acute Paralysis Virus (ABPV). The correlation of honey production and disease diagnosis will be statistically analyzed by the test of the Chi-Square. They will be considered as statistically different when p<0.05. (AU)

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