Disrupting one gene could be first step toward treating honey bee parasite nosema ceranae

phys.org | 5/27/2015 | Staff
vpp1219 (Posted by) Level 3
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have taken the first step towards a weapon against the major honey bee parasite Nosema ceranae.

There is currently no treatment for this parasite.

Scientists - Honey - Amount - Interfering - RNA

The scientists found that feeding honey bees a small amount of an interfering RNA compound (RNAi) could disrupt the reproduction of N. cerana by as much as 90 percent in the laboratory study, according to a study recently published in Insect Molecular Biology.

This RNAi compound targets a single N. ceranae gene called Dicer, explained Jay Evans, research leader of the ARS Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, who headed the study.

Dicer - Part - Nosema - Ceranae - Machinery

"Dicer is a critical part of Nosema ceranae's machinery for defeating honey bees' immune responses to infestation by these parasites. It also encodes an essential protein in N. ceranae's reproduction. So, it could be a double-barreled, practical route for attacking N. ceranae. Even better, RNAi against Dicer is specific to the parasite and will not interfere with the health of the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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