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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Breeding, Genetics, Stock Improvement and Management of Russian Honey Bees for Mite and Small Hive Beetle Control and Pollination

Location: Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Research

Title: Standard methods for fungal brood disease research

Authors
item Jensen, Annette -
item Aronstein, Katherine
item Flores, Jose -
item Vojvodic, Svjetlana -
item Palacio, Maria -
item Spivak, Marla -

Submitted to: Journal of Apicultural Research
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: September 12, 2012
Publication Date: January 2, 2013
Citation: Jensen, A.B., Aronstein, K.A., Flores, J.M., Vojvodic, S., Palacio, M., Spivak, M. 2013. Standard methods for fungal brood disease research. Journal of Apicultural Research 52(1):#13 in 2013 COLOSS Bee Book

Interpretive Summary: Two fungal genera (Ascosphaera and Aspergillus) are known to infect honey bee brood, causing chalkbrood and stonebrood diseases. Both are ascomycetes within the Eurotiomycetes. The fungus causing chalkbrood in honey bees has a narrow host range and a unique infection route, it relies solely on sexual reproduction and has many host-specific adaptations. In contrast, the fungi causing stonebrood (Aspergillus spp) are facultative pathogens with a broad host range, they produce asexual conidia and their infection biology resembles many well-known insect pathogenic fungi. In this manuscript, we describe disease pathology, research methodologies and protocols for isolating and culturing these pathogens that will help bee scientists and extension personnel conducting basic and applied studies.

Technical Abstract: Chalkbrood and stonebrood are two fungal diseases associated with honey bee brood. Chalkbrood, caused by Ascosphaera apis, is a common and widespread disease that can result in severe reduction of emerging worker bees and thus overall colony productivity. Stonebrood is caused by Aspergillus spp. that are rarely observed, so the impact on colony health is not very well understood. A major concern with the presence of Aspergillus in honey bees is the production of airborne conidia, which can lead to allergic reactions in humans. In this manuscript, we describe disease pathology, research methodologies and protocols for isolating and culturing these pathogens that will help extension personnel and bee scientists conducting basic and applied studies.

Last Modified: 10/30/2014
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