GM bacteria will save the bees from destroying families

the collapse disorder bee colonies destroys a huge number of honey bees. All this has an impact on global ecosystems and agriculture. Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin have figured out how to solve this problem by using genetically modified bacteria.

Explain that the collapse disorder bee colonies is that working individuals insects are leaving the hives and leave the bees food and nurse bees. The culprits for this phenomenon are considered to be parasitic mites of the genus Varroa and virus strain of the wing.

the First creature clinging to the backs of bees and feed on their fat body, causing the insects to subside strongly.

Ticks can also transmit the above-mentioned virus strain of the wing. As the name implies, infected bees cease to fly, making them helpless.

In recent years, scientists studying the microbiota (the totality of bacteria and other microorganisms) of the intestine, found out that she had a lot of effect on our body. Intestinal bacteria play a role in the development of obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, depression and even schizophrenia. Moreover, recently, scientists have linked the personality type of the person with his gut bacteria.

it is Easy to guess that bees have their own microbes. For this reason, experts have suggested that these organisms can help to cope with the collapse disorder bee colonies. To this end, they genetically modified a bacterium called Snodgrassella alvi and created two different strains. One of them is meant to strengthen the bee’s immune system that will help them to effectively fight the virus strain of the wing. And the second strain is directed against the mites: it needs to configure their immune system against themselves and thereby to destroy the pests.

during the tests, the scientists introduced the modified strains of bacteria in a colony of bees affected with the mite and the virus, and watched them for ten days.

After exposure to GM-bacteria bees from colonies affected with the virus, had 36.5% more likely to survive during the whole period of observation. Insects from the control group died more often.

the Second strain also showed its effectiveness: in a colony subjected to the GM bacteria, the chances of the death of ticks was 70% higher than in the control bee colony.

gm bacteria will save the bees from destroying families 1a Bee and parasitic mite on its back.Photo by Alex Wild/University of Texas at Austin.

“This is the first case where someone has managed to improve bee health by using genetic engineering of their microbiota,” said first author Sean Leonard (Sean Leonard).

According to scientists, they created the method is promising and can be widely applied in the future. There is a relatively small risk that modified organisms penetrate into the wild, because bacteria are unique to the microbiota of bees. However, the researchers intend to carry out all necessary work to ensure the safety of his method.

Scientific article on the results of work published in the online edition of Science.

Text: To.Science