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Sample records for alfalfa leafcutting bees

  1. Short-term low temperature storage of alfalfa leafcutting bee

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) is a major pollinator in alfalfa seed production systems throughout North America. Recent studies have shown that improved timing of female establishment and alfalfa bloom may allow producers to pollinate alfalfa seed crop...

  2. Thermoperiodism in the cavity nesting alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata is the most intensively managed solitary bee, and is the third most used pollinator in the United States. Previous studies have indicated that while the eclosion pattern of this cavity nesting bee is unaffected by photoperiod, a thermoperiod can give...

  3. Health status of alfalfa leafcutting bee larvae (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) in commercial United States alfalfa seed fields

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We conducted a geographically large survey to quantify production losses in the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata, Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), a solitary pollinator used extensively in alfalfa seed production. Healthy prepupae were found in only 47.1% of the nest cells collected at the en...

  4. Fungicide Tests on Adult Alfalfa Leafcutting Bees Megachile rotundata (F.) (Hymenoptera:Megachilidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chalkbrood is a fungal disease of bee larvae caused by Ascosphaera aggregata. It causes significant mortality in the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata), a bee that is used extensively for alfalfa seed pollination in the U.S. Using laboratory bioassays, we previously demonstrated that fung...

  5. Effects of the insect growth regulator, novaluron on immature alfalfa leafcutting bees, Megachile rotundata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa leafcutting bees, Megachile rotundata (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), are the most common alfalfa pollinator in the Pacific Northwest. Reports from users of M. rotundata in Idaho, Utah and Colorado have indicated exceptionally poor bee return from fields treated with novaluron to control Lygus ...

  6. Intended release and actual retention of alfalfa leafcutting bees (hymenoptera: megachilidae) for pollination in commercial alfalfa seed fields

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Low, medium, and high stocking densities of Megachile rotundata, the alfalfa leafcutting bee, were released over four years in three research plots of Utah alfalfa planted at seed-production rates. A low number of bees (46-79% of released) survived the incubation and field emergence processes, and ...

  7. Low temperature stress during pupal development and its effects on adult performance in alfalfa leafcutting bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Megachile rotundata, commonly known as the alfalfa leafcutting bee, is a key alternative pollinator. Farmers store pupal M. rotundata over the winter inside a 6°C incubator and then place the pupal bees into incubators at 29°C to initiate adult development. Their goal is to time adult bee emergenc...

  8. Critical PO2 of developing Megachile rotundata, the alfalfa leaf-cutting bee

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leaf-cutting bee, Megachile rotundata, is a solitary, cavity-nesting bee. Juvenile bees develop inside brood cells constructed out of leaf pieces. During development inside the brood cell, pre-pupae may experience hypoxic conditions from both the cavity nesting behavior and brood cell ...

  9. Chalkbrood Transmission in the Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee: The Impact of Disinfecting Bee Cocoons in Loose Cell Management Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A good understanding of pathogen transmission in a host population should illuminate methods for disease prevention and control. A case in point for this is the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata), a solitary bee which is used extensively for pollination of alfalfa grown for seed. Propaga...

  10. Effect of temperature on post-wintering development and total lipid content of alfalfa leafcutting bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Temperature plays an important role in effective management of the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata L.), the major commercial pollinator of seed alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) in North America. Previous studies of the effects of temperature on post-wintering development of M. rotundata ha...

  11. Fluctuating thermal regimes improve survival of the alfalfa leafcutting bee during cold storage

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata is commonly held at low temperatures for overwintering the prepupae or for interrupting spring incubation to synchronize adult emergence with the peak alfalfa bloom. However, static low temperature exposures can be stressful depending on the temperatu...

  12. Temperature stress affects the expression of immune response genes in the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata) is affected by a fungal disease called chalkbrood. In several species of bees, chalkbrood is more likely to occur in larvae kept at 25-30 C than at 35 C. We found that both high and low temperature stress increased the expression of immune response g...

  13. Transcriptome profiling of diapause and post-diapause quiescent alfalfa leafcutting bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata is used to pollinate various crops in North and South America and Europe. In terms of the number used annually and hectares of crops pollinated M. rotundata is the most intensely managed solitary bee species used in managed pollination programs. A key...

  14. The genetic components of extended life expectancy in chilled, post-diapause quiescent Alfalfa Leafcutting Bees, Megachile rotundata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata, a solitary bee native to Eurasia, is the world’s most intensively managed solitary bee and has become the primary pollinator for alfalfa seed production. These bees, when commercially managed, are overwintered as diapausing prepupae under static ther...

  15. Variation in alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata, reproductive success according to location of nests in U.S. commercial domiciles

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata F., is used extensively to pollinate alfalfa for seed production in western North America. However, it usually is not possible to sustain bee populations in the United States. Variable microenvironments are experienced by developing alfalfa leafcutt...

  16. Effects of extended prepupal storage duration on adult flight physiology of the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata (F.), is a solitary, cavity-nesting bee and is the primary pollinator for alfalfa seed production. Bee management practices include cold storage during the prepupal stage. Fluctuating thermal regimes (FTR) during cold storage increases survival of c...

  17. Transcriptional regulation of temperature stress response during development in the alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insects can be significantly affected by temperature induced stress. While evidence of the physiological consequences of temperature stress is growing, very little is known about how insects respond at the genetic level to these stressors. The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata, an emergin...

  18. Flight metabolic rate as an expression of quality in temperature stressed alfalfa leafcutting bees, Megachile rotundata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee,Megachile rotundata F.(Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)is a solitary species that develops inside a maternally constructed brood cell. Pre-pupal M. rotundata diapause over winter and resume development as ambient temperatures increase. Environmental cues are known to initiate b...

  19. Variation in alfalfa leafcutting bee (hymenoptera: megachilidae) reproductive success according to location of nests in United States commercial domiciles.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Low, medium, and high stocking densities of Megachile rotundata, the alfalfa leafcutting bee, were released over four years in three research plots of Utah alfalfa planted at seed-production rates. A low number of bees (46-79% of released) survived the incubation and field emergence processes, and ...

  20. Changes in respiratory structure and function during post-diapause development in the alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Megachile rotundata, the alfalfa leafcutting bee, is a solitary, cavity-nesting bee. M. rotundata develop from eggs laid inside brood cells constructed from leaf pieces and placed in series in an existing cavity. Due to the cavity nesting behavior of M. rotundata, developing bees may experience hyp...

  1. Laboratory Bioassays to Evaluate Fungicides for Chalkbrood Control in Larvae of the Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee, Megachile rotundata (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chalkbrood, a fungal disease caused by Ascosphaera aggregata, is a major mortality factor in populations of the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata) used in commercial alfalfa seed production. Four formulated fungicides, Benlate®, Captan®, Orbit™, and Rovral®, were tested in the laboratory...

  2. Nectar and pollen sugars constituting larval provisions of the alfalfa leaf-cutting bee (Megachile rotundata) (Hymenoptera: Apiformes: Megachilidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As with most solitary bees, larvae of the alfalfa leaf-cutting bee, Megachile rotundata Fab., eat a diet blended from pollen and nectar of unknown proportions. In this study, we developed protocols to isolate and quantify sugars from larval provision masses. The method removed free amino acids tha...

  3. Extended hypoxia in the alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata, increases survival but causes sub-lethal effects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many insects are tolerant of hypoxic conditions, but it is unknown whether survival under hypoxia comes at any cost to long-term health. The alfalfa leaf-cutting bee, Megachile rotundata, is a solitary cavity-nesting bee. Because juvenile M. rotundata develop in brood cells inside cavities, they may...

  4. The effect of post-diapause development on respiratory function in the alfalfa leaf-cutting bee, Megachile rotundata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Megachile rotundata, the alfalfa leaf-cutting bee, is a solitary, cavity-nesting bee. M. rotundata develop inside brood cells constructed from leaf pieces and sealed with the female’s saliva. During development, M. rotundata may experience hypoxic conditions from the cavity in which they reside; oxy...

  5. Effects of the Insect Growth Regulator, Novaluron on Immature Alfalfa Leafcutting Bees, Megachile rotundata

    PubMed Central

    Hodgson, Erin W.; Pitts-Singer, Theresa L.; Barbour, James D.

    2011-01-01

    Alfalfa leafcutting bees, Megachile rotundata F. (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), are the most common pollinators of alfalfa in the Pacific Northwest. Reports from users of M. rotundata in Idaho, Utah and Colorado have indicated exceptionally poor bee return from fields treated with novaluron to control Lygus spp. Our goal was to evaluate novaluron toxicity to immature M. rotundata using two different possible mechanisms of exposure. One goal was to assess immature mortality via treating nectar-pollen provisions and adults with novaluron. Immature M. rotundata mortality in all novaluron provision dosing treatments was significantly higher than the water or blank controls, providing evidence that novaluron is toxic to progeny in nest cells. The mean cumulative frequency showed that more eggs and 1st–2nd instars died compared to older instars. Female M. rotundata nested similarly in field cages during the field cage experiment; however, there was greater immature mortality in cages where females were fed sugar-water + novaluron compared to sugar-water only. Although females provided adequate provisions, there was a low percentage of egg hatch and larval development when females ingested novaluron before mating and nesting. Novaluron was also present in egg provision of bees collecting resources from novaluron-sprayed plants. At least 84% of progeny died when the females were allowed to mate and nest 24 hours after a novaluron application. Novaluron could be contributing to poor bee return in alfalfa grown for seed. Timely insecticide applications to suppress Lygus spp. is an important consideration to improve ongoing bee health. PMID:21539417

  6. Effects of the insect growth regulator, novaluron on immature alfalfa leafcutting bees, Megachile rotundata.

    PubMed

    Hodgson, Erin W; Pitts-Singer, Theresa L; Barbour, James D

    2011-01-01

    Alfalfa leafcutting bees, Megachile rotundata F. (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), are the most common pollinators of alfalfa in the Pacific Northwest. Reports from users of M. rotundata in Idaho, Utah and Colorado have indicated exceptionally poor bee return from fields treated with novaluron to control Lygus spp. Our goal was to evaluate novaluron toxicity to immature M. rotundata using two different possible mechanisms of exposure. One goal was to assess immature mortality via treating nectar-pollen provisions and adults with novaluron. Immature M. rotundata mortality in all novaluron provision dosing treatments was significantly higher than the water or blank controls, providing evidence that novaluron is toxic to progeny in nest cells. The mean cumulative frequency showed that more eggs and 1st-2nd instars died compared to older instars. Female M. rotundata nested similarly in field cages during the field cage experiment; however, there was greater immature mortality in cages where females were fed sugar-water + novaluron compared to sugar-water only. Although females provided adequate provisions, there was a low percentage of egg hatch and larval development when females ingested novaluron before mating and nesting. Novaluron was also present in egg provision of bees collecting resources from novaluron-sprayed plants. At least 84% of progeny died when the females were allowed to mate and nest 24 hours after a novaluron application. Novaluron could be contributing to poor bee return in alfalfa grown for seed. Timely insecticide applications to suppress Lygus spp. is an important consideration to improve ongoing bee health. PMID:21539417

  7. Thermoperiodism synchronizes emergence in the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa seed production in the northwestern United States and western Canada is heavily dependent upon the pollinating services of M. rotundata (F.) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). Megachile rotundata females nest in cavities either naturally occurring or in artificial nesting blocks. Because of the ph...

  8. Intended release and actual retention of alfalfa leafcutting bees (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) for pollination in commercial alfalfa seed fields.

    PubMed

    Pitts-Singer, Theresa L

    2013-04-01

    Low, medium, and high stocking densities (15,000; 30,000; and 45,000-50,000 bees per acre, respectively) of Megachile rotundata (F.) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), the alfalfa leafcutting bee, were released over 4 yr in three research plots of Utah alfalfa, Medicago sativa L. (Fabaceae), planted at seed-production rates. A low percentage of bees (46-79% of released) survived the incubation and field-emergence processes; of those bees, the number of females that established at the nesting sites was 25-100%. Of the three field sites, one site consistently retained more females and produced more completed nests than the other sites, all of which usually had poor female establishment and progeny production. In addition, floral resources were depleted over time, but many flowers remained unvisited over the season. Nest production decreased over time, as numbers of flowers and female bees declined. Significant positive relationships were found between the intended stocking densities and 1) the number of females that actually survived incubation and field emergence and 2) the number of females that established nests. The number of females that established nests was positively affected by the number of females that survived to emerge in the field. The percentage of females that established was not significantly affected by the intended number of released bees, countering a prediction that the release of fewer bees would allow more females to establish nests and achieve high reproductive success. For growers, it may be more frugal to use modest numbers of M. rotundata for pollination, because many of the bees at medium and high stocking densities do not nest in grower-provided bee boards. PMID:23786042

  9. Effect of temperature on post-wintering development and total lipid content of alfalfa leafcutting bees.

    PubMed

    O'Neill, Kevin M; O'Neill, Ruth P; Kemp, William P; Delphia, Casey M

    2011-08-01

    Temperature plays an important role in effective management of the alfalfa leafcutting bee [Megachile rotundata (F.); Megachilidae], the major commercial pollinator of seed alfalfa [Medicago sativa (L.); Fabaceae] in North America. To improve our understanding of threshold and optimum rearing temperatures of M. rotundata, we examined the effect of temperature on postwintering development by using a greater number of temperature treatments than applied in previous studies (19 versus eight or fewer) and analytical tools formulated to model nonlinear relationships between temperature and insect development rates. We also tested the hypothesis that rearing temperature influences adult body lipid content at emergence, which could affect adult survival, establishment and performance as a pollinator, and reproductive success. We found that the Lactin-2 and Briere-2 models provided the best fits to data and gave reasonable estimates of lower (16-18°C) and upper (36-39°C) developmental thresholds and optimum (33-34°C) rearing temperatures for maximizing development rate. Bees successfully emerged over a broad range of temperatures (22-35°C), but variation in development rate among individuals reared at the same temperature was lowest at 31-33°C. The optimum rearing temperature to maximize the proportion of body lipids in adults was 27-29°C. Our results are discussed in relation to previous findings and speak to the difficulties in designing practical rearing guidelines that simultaneously maximize development rate, survival, and adult condition, while synchronizing adult emergence with alfalfa bloom. PMID:22251693

  10. Laboratory bioassays to evaluate fungicides for chalkbrood control in larvae of the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae).

    PubMed

    Huntzinger, C I; James, R R; Bosch, J; Kemp, W P

    2008-06-01

    Chalkbrood, a fungal disease in bees, is caused by several species of Ascosphaera. A. aggregata is a major mortality factor in populations of the alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata (F.) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) used in commercial alfalfa seed production. Four formulated fungicides, Benlate 50 WP, Captan, Orbit, and Rovral 50 WP were tested in the laboratory for efficacy against hyphal growth of A. aggregata cultures. The same fungicides, with the addition of Rovral 4 F, were tested for their effects on incidence of chalkbrood disease, and toxicity to M. rotundata larvae. Benlate, Rovral 50 WP, and Rovral 4 F reduced incidence of chalkbrood with minimal mortality on larval bees. Benlate and Rovral 50 WP also reduced hyphal growth. Orbit was effective in reducing hyphal growth, but it did not reduce incidence of chalkbrood and was toxic to bee larvae. Captan was not effective in reducing hyphal growth or chalkbrood incidence, and it was toxic to bee larvae. Fungicides that reduce incidence of chalkbrood and larval mortality in this laboratory study are candidates for further study for chalkbrood control. PMID:18613563

  11. Past and Present Management of Alfalfa Bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This book chapter covers the history of alfalfa pollination by bees. The management of alkali bees, Nomia melanderi, and alfalfa leafcutting bees, Megachile rotundata, is described. Concerns surrounding the current and future use of these bee species as commercial pollinators are discussed....

  12. Genes Related to Immunity as Expressed in the Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee, Megachile rotundata During Pathogen Challenge

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bees are a large, diverse group of insects that collect pollen and nectar from plants to feed to their young, and as a result, play an important ecological role as pollinators. Honey bees, which form large colonies with a complex social structure, are probably the most well known bee, but the majori...

  13. Variable Temperatures Improves Survival of the Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee During Cold Storage

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Megachile rotundata are commonly held at low-temperatures for overwintering the prepupae or interrupting the spring incubation to synchronize the adult emergence with the peak alfalfa bloom. However, low-temperature exposure can be stressful depending on the temperature, duration of exposure, and th...

  14. Low temperature stress during pupal development and its effects on adult performance in alfalfa leafcutting bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Megachile rotundata develop in brood cells constructed in cavities by adult females. Pre-pupal bees diapause over winter and resume development as temperatures (Ta) increase in spring. While many insects are tolerant of suboptimal Ta in their overwintering stages, insects that initiate active develo...

  15. The effects of extended diapause duration on the metabolic rate and critical PO2 of the leafcutting bee, Megachilee rotundata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata F. (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), is a solitary, cavity-nesting bee. Most individuals enter diapause at the end of summer and overwinter as prepupae. However, some individuals avoid diapause and complete their life cycle in the summer. Furthermore, s...

  16. Alfalfa subsp. sativa by falcata intersubspecific semi-hybrid seed production using alfalfa leafcutter bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Intersubspecific sativa by falcata alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) hybrids offer a means of improving alfalfa dry matter yields. The alfalfa leafcutter bee (Megachile rotundata F.) is a major pollinator used in alfalfa seed production in North America. Alfalfa leafcutter bees have a pollinator prefer...

  17. DNA barcoding to identify leaf preference of leafcutting bees

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Leafcutting bees (Megachile: Megachilidae) cut leaves from various trees, shrubs, wildflowers and grasses to partition and encase brood cells in hollow plant stems, decaying logs or in the ground. The identification of preferred plant species via morphological characters of the leaf fragments is challenging and direct observation of bees cutting leaves from certain plant species are difficult. As such, data are poor on leaf preference of leafcutting bees. In this study, I use DNA barcoding of the rcbL and ITS2 regions to identify and compare leaf preference of three Megachile bee species widespread in Toronto, Canada. Nests were opened and one leaf piece from one cell per nest of the native M. pugnata Say (N=45 leaf pieces), and the introduced M. rotundata Fabricius (N=64) and M. centuncularis (L.) (N=65) were analysed. From 174 individual DNA sequences, 54 plant species were identified. Preference by M. rotundata was most diverse (36 leaf species, H′=3.08, phylogenetic diversity (pd)=2.97), followed by M. centuncularis (23 species, H′=2.38, pd=1.51) then M. pugnata (18 species, H′=1.87, pd=1.22). Cluster analysis revealed significant overlap in leaf choice of M. rotundata and M. centuncularis. There was no significant preference for native leaves, and only M. centuncularis showed preference for leaves of woody plants over perennials. Interestingly, antimicrobial properties were present in all but six plants collected; all these were exotic plants and none were collected by the native bee, M. pugnata. These missing details in interpreting what bees need offers valuable information for conservation by accounting for necessary (and potentially limiting) nesting materials. PMID:27069650

  18. From silkworms to bees: Diseases of beneficial insects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The diseases of the silkworm (Bombyx mori) and managed bees, including the honey bee (Apis mellifera), bumbles bees (Bombus spp.), the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata), and mason bees (Osmia spp.) are reviewed, with diagnostic descriptions and a summary of control methods for production...

  19. Attraction to Old Nest Cues During Nest Selection by the Solitary Bee Megachile rotundata (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata F. (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), is an important pollinator for the commercial production of alfalfa seed. However, poor nest establishment is an ongoing problem for bee managers. Megachile rotundata are solitary, yet gregarious bees that nest in pre...

  20. Effects of fungicide and adjuvant sprays on nesting behavior in two managed solitary bees, Osmia lignaria and Megachile rotundata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The lethal and sublethal effects of two widely used fungicides and one adjuvant spreader were assessed in cage studies in California on blue orchard bees, Osmia lignaria, and in cage studies in Utah on alfalfa leafcutting bees, Megachile rotundata. The fungicides tested were Rovral® 4F (iprodione) ...

  1. Foraging range of honey bees, Apis mellifera, in alfalfa seed production fields.

    PubMed

    Hagler, James R; Mueller, Shannon; Teuber, Larry R; Machtley, Scott A; Van Deynze, Allen

    2011-01-01

    A study was conducted in 2006 and 2007 designed to examine the foraging range of honey bees, Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae), in a 15.2 km(2) area dominated by a 128.9 ha glyphosate-resistant Roundup Ready® alfalfa seed production field and several non-Roundup Ready alfalfa seed production fields (totaling 120.2 ha). Each year, honey bee self-marking devices were placed on 112 selected honey bee colonies originating from nine different apiary locations. The foraging bees exiting each apiary location were uniquely marked so that the apiary of origin and the distance traveled by the marked (field-collected) bees into each of the alfalfa fields could be pinpointed. Honey bee self-marking devices were installed on 14.4 and 11.2% of the total hives located within the research area in 2006 and 2007, respectively. The frequency of field-collected bees possessing a distinct mark was similar, averaging 14.0% in 2006 and 12.6% in 2007. A grand total of 12,266 bees were collected from the various alfalfa fields on seven sampling dates over the course of the study. The distances traveled by marked bees ranged from a minimum of 45 m to a maximum of 5983 m. On average, marked bees were recovered ~ 800 m from their apiary of origin and the recovery rate of marked bees decreased exponentially as the distance from the apiary of origin increased. Ultimately, these data will be used to identify the extent of pollen-mediated gene flow from Roundup Ready to conventional alfalfa. PMID:22224495

  2. Foraging Range of Honey Bees, Apis mellifera, in Alfalfa Seed Production Fields

    PubMed Central

    Hagler, James R.; Mueller, Shannon; Teuber, Larry R.; Machtley, Scott A.; Van Deynze, Allen

    2011-01-01

    A study was conducted in 2006 and 2007 designed to examine the foraging range of honey bees, Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae), in a 15.2 km2 area dominated by a 128.9 ha glyphosate-resistant Roundup Ready® alfalfa seed production field and several non-Roundup Ready alfalfa seed production fields (totaling 120.2 ha). Each year, honey bee self-marking devices were placed on 112 selected honey bee colonies originating from nine different apiary locations. The foraging bees exiting each apiary location were uniquely marked so that the apiary of origin and the distance traveled by the marked (field-collected) bees into each of the alfalfa fields could be pinpointed. Honey bee self-marking devices were installed on 14.4 and 11.2% of the total hives located within the research area in 2006 and 2007, respectively. The frequency of field-collected bees possessing a distinct mark was similar, averaging 14.0% in 2006 and 12.6% in 2007. A grand total of 12,266 bees were collected from the various alfalfa fields on seven sampling dates over the course of the study. The distances traveled by marked bees ranged from a minimum of 45 m to a maximum of 5983 m. On average, marked bees were recovered ∼ 800 m from their apiary of origin and the recovery rate of marked bees decreased exponentially as the distance from the apiary of origin increased. Ultimately, these data will be used to identify the extent of pollen-mediated gene flow from Roundup Ready to conventional alfalfa. PMID:22224495

  3. Implications of season and management protocol on the landscape of gene regulation during diapause development in the Alfalfa Leaf Cutting Bee

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    : The alfalfa leaf cutting bee, Megachile rotundata, is the world’s most intensively managed solitary bee for commercial pollination. It is the primary pollinator of seed alfalfa, a valuable crop for dairy cow feed. Overwintering bees emerge in the spring during alfalfa bloom to mate an...

  4. A native ground nesting bee, Nomia melanderi, sustainably managed to pollinate alfalfa across an intensively agricultural landscape

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Technical Abstract: The world’s only intensively managed ground-nesting bee, the alkali bee (Nomia melanderi Cockerell), has been used for >50 years as an effective pollinator of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) grown for seed across the western USA. Throughout the 240 km2 Touchet Valley alfalfa farmin...

  5. Foraging range of honey bees, Apis mellifera, in alfalfa seed production fields

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A study was conducted in 2006 and 2007 designed to examine the foraging range of honey bees, Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in a 15.2 km2 area dominated by a 128.9 ha glyphosate-resistant Roundup Ready® alfalfa seed production field and several non-Roundup Ready seed production fields (totalin...

  6. Sexual Harassment by Males Reduces Female Fecundity in the Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee (Megachile rotundata)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Under sexual conflict, males evolve traits to increase their mating and reproductive success that impose costs on females. Females evolve counter-adaptations to resist males and reduce those costs. Female resistance may instead serve as a mechanism for mate choice if the male-imposed costs are outwe...

  7. Novel Use of Alfalfa Leafcutting Bees (Megachile rotundata) for Plant Genetic Resource Conservation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station (NCRPIS) located in Ames, Iowa maintains a large collection of diverse plant germplasm. Controlled pollination of individual accessions is necessary to preserve the original genetic diversity. Some plants, especially those with conspicuous flowe...

  8. Effects of residual novaluron on reproduction in alfalfa leafcutting bees, Megachile rotundata F. (Megachilidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Knowledge of lethal and sublethal pesticide effects on pollinators allows for prudent decision-making in cropping systems that require pollination. The chitin synthesis inhibitor novaluron is used to control certain coleopteran, lepidopteran, hemipteran, and dipteran pests. Although novaluron is c...

  9. Alfalfa

    MedlinePlus

    ... your health provider.Medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight (Photosensitizing drugs)Some medications can increase sensitivity to sunlight. Large doses of alfalfa might also increase your ...

  10. Synchronizing Bees With Bloom: Interrupted Incubation and Short-Term Storage of the Alfalfa Pollinator, Megachile rotundata (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Interrupting the spring incubation with short-term low-temperature storage of the developing pupae and pharate adult stage of Megachile rotundata (F.) is a useful technique for synchronizing the emergence of these bees with the peak alfalfa bloom. However, low-temperature exposure can be stressful d...

  11. p-Nitrophenylacetate hydrolysis by honey bee esterases: kinetics and inhibition.

    PubMed

    Spoonamore, J E; Frohlich, D R; Wells, M A

    1993-03-01

    1. The kinetics and inhibition of p-nitrophenylacetate hydrolysis by cytosolic esterases of 1-day old female honey bees, Apis mellifera L., were studied. 2. The calculated values obtained were Km = 2.27 x 10(-5)M and Vmax = 2.48 x 10(-8) mol/s per mg protein. 3. The inhibition mechanisms examined for four organophosphorus insecticides were highly competitive in nature and based on competitive inhibition coefficients the order of toxicity was naled > dichlorvos > cis-mevinphos = trans-mevinphos. 4. Comparisons are made with the alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata (Fab). PMID:8498090

  12. The kinetics and inhibition of p-nitrophenylacetate-hydrolysing esterases in a solitary bee, Megachile rotundata (Fab.).

    PubMed

    Frohlich, D R; Boeker, E A; Brindley, W A

    1990-05-01

    1. The kinetics and inhibition of p-nitrophenylacetate hydrolysis by cytosolic esterases of female alfalfa leafcutting bees, Megachile rotundata (Fab.) was examined. 2. For p-nitrophenylacetate, the Km = 1.24 x 10(-4) M and Vmax = 2.29 x 10(-9) mol/s per mg protein. 3. Regarding four organophosphate insecticides, the mechanism of inhibition in all cases was mixed (competitive and uncompetitive) and, based on inhibition constants, the order of toxicity was naled greater than paraoxon greater than trichlorfon greater than oxydemeton methyl. 4. Comparisons are made to the honey bee, Apis mellifera. PMID:2349807

  13. Selfing rate in an alfalfa seed production field pollinated with leafcutter bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Self-pollination or “selfing” in autotetraploid alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) (2n = 4x = 32) leads to severe inbreeding depression. Investigating selfing in alfalfa seed production may allow mitigation strategy development against potential negative impacts of selfing on varietal performance. Using m...

  14. Optimizing Sativa and Falcata Alfalfa Subspecies Ratios for Leafcutter Bee Pollination to Maximize Hybrid Seed Ratios

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Developing seed production schemes which capture and maintain desired alfalfa (Medicago sativa) heterosis for utilization by growers has been problematic. The semi-hybrid seed production scheme is one proposed means of capturing heterosis in alfalfa cultivars. This scheme proposes mixing equal qua...

  15. Interrupted Incubation and Short-Term Storage of the Alfalfa Pollinator, Megachile rotundata (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae): A Potential Tool for Synchronizing Bees With Bloom

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Interrupting the spring incubation with short-term low temperature storage of the developing pupae and pharate adult stage of Megachile rotundata (F.) is a useful technique for synchronizing the emergence of this bee species with the peak alfalfa bloom. However, low temperature exposure can be stres...

  16. Pesticides and honey bees: nectar and pollen contamination in alfalfa treated with dimethoate.

    PubMed

    Barker, R J; Lehner, Y; Kunzman, M R

    1980-01-01

    Medicago sativa L. (Leguminosae) sprayed with O,O-dimethyl S-(N-methylcarbamoylmethyl) phosphorodithioate (dimethoate) had only 0.5 ppm of dimethoate in pollen one day later, but 3 ppm in nectar one week later, and 1 ppm in nectar two weeks later. As little as 1 ppm added to syrup fed to caged workers of Apis mellifera L. (Apidae) inhibited cholinesterase and reduced survival. Bees given a choice between treated and untreated syrups showed no preference; this suggests that the levels of dimethoate found in nectar are toxic and not repellent. PMID:7387183

  17. Key molecular processes of the diapause to post-diapause quiescence transition in the alfalfa leafcutting bee Megachile rotundata identified by comparative transcriptome analysis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect diapause (dormancy) synchronizes an insect’s life cycle to seasonal changes in the abiotic and biotic resources required for development and reproduction. Transcription analysis of Megachile rotundata diapause termination identified 399 post-diapause upregulated and 144 post-diapause down-reg...

  18. Resource Effects on Solitary Bee Reproduction in a Managed Crop Pollination System.

    PubMed

    Pitts-Singer, Theresa L

    2015-08-01

    Population density may affect solitary bee maternal resource allocation. The number of Megachile rotundata (F.), alfalfa leafcutting bee, females released for seed production of Medicago sativa L., alfalfa, may limit flower availability for nest provisioning. In turn, pollinator abundance also may affect crop yield. The M. sativa pollination system presents an opportunity to test for effects of density dependence and maternal manipulation on M. rotundata reproduction. A multiyear study was performed on M. sativa fields upon which M. rotundata densities were altered to induce low, medium, and high density situations. Numbers of adult bees and open flowers were recorded weekly; bee reproduction variables were collected once. Fields varied in plant performance for each site and year, and the intended bee densities were not realized. Therefore, the variable density index (DI) was derived to describe the number of female bees per area of flowers over the study period. As DI increased, percentages of pollinated flowers, established females, and healthy brood significantly increased, and the number of pollinated flowers per female and of dead or diseased brood significantly decreased. Sex ratio was significantly more female biased as DI increased. Overwintered offspring weights were similar regardless of DI, but significantly differed by year for both sexes, and for males also by field and year × field interaction. Overall, resource limitation was not found in this field study. Other density-dependent factors may have induced a bee dispersal response soon after bees were released in the fields that circumvented the need for, or impact of, maternal manipulation. PMID:26314057

  19. Do weather conditions correlate with findings in failed, provision-filled nest cells of Megachile rotundata (Hymenoptera:Megachilidae) in western North America?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa leafcutting bees, Megachile rotundata Fabricius, are excellent pollinators of alfalfa for seed production. Alfalfa leafcutting bee nests consist of a series of cells in a cavity. The female bee lays a single egg in each cell on a pollen-nectar provision. In alfalfa seed production systems...

  20. Bee

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bee, Claire Preston, is a book written generally for the layperson, but may be of interest to those working in entomology. This review seeks to help entomologists who may have interest in the subject to decide whether or not to invest time into reading the book. The review is generally positive an...

  1. Alkali Bee

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alkali bee, Nomia melanderi, is native to deserts and semi-arid desert basins of the western United States. It is a very effective and manageable pollinator for the production of seed in alfalfa (=lucerne) and some other crops, such as onion. It is the world’s only intensively managed ground-n...

  2. A fluctuating thermal regime improves long-term survival of quiescent prepupal Megachile rotundata (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee Megachile rotundata (F.) is the primary pollinator for alfalfa seed production. Under standard management conditions, the alfalfa leafcutting bee develops to the prepupal stage under field conditions, after which they are cold-stored at a static temperature until the fol...

  3. Effects of Fungicide and Adjuvant Sprays on Nesting Behavior in Two Managed Solitary Bees, Osmia lignaria and Megachile rotundata.

    PubMed

    Artz, Derek R; Pitts-Singer, Theresa L

    2015-01-01

    There is a growing body of empirical evidence showing that wild and managed bees are negatively impacted by various pesticides that are applied in agroecosystems around the world. The lethal and sublethal effects of two widely used fungicides and one adjuvant were assessed in cage studies in California on blue orchard bees, Osmia lignaria, and in cage studies in Utah on alfalfa leafcutting bees, Megachile rotundata. The fungicides tested were Rovral 4F (iprodione) and Pristine (mixture of pyraclostrobin + boscalid), and the adjuvant tested was N-90, a non-ionic wetting agent (90% polyethoxylated nonylphenol) added to certain tank mixtures of fungicides to improve the distribution and contact of sprays to plants. In separate trials, we erected screened cages and released 20 paint-marked females plus 30-50 males per cage to document the behavior of nesting bees under treated and control conditions. For all females in each cage, we recorded pollen-collecting trip times, nest substrate-collecting trip times (i.e., mud for O. lignaria and cut leaf pieces for M. rotundata), cell production rate, and the number of attempts each female made to enter her own or to enter other nest entrances upon returning from a foraging trip. No lethal effects of treatments were observed on adults, nor were there effects on time spent foraging for pollen and nest substrates and on cell production rate. However, Rovral 4F, Pristine, and N-90 disrupted the nest recognition abilities of O. lignaria females. Pristine, N-90, and Pristine + N-90 disrupted nest recognition ability of M. rotundata females. Electroantennogram responses of antennae of O. lignaria females maintained in the laboratory did not differ significantly between the fungicide-exposed and control bees. Our results provide the first empirical evidence that two commonly used fungicides and a non-ionic adjuvant can disrupt nest recognition in two managed solitary bee species. PMID:26274401

  4. Effects of Fungicide and Adjuvant Sprays on Nesting Behavior in Two Managed Solitary Bees, Osmia lignaria and Megachile rotundata

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    There is a growing body of empirical evidence showing that wild and managed bees are negatively impacted by various pesticides that are applied in agroecosystems around the world. The lethal and sublethal effects of two widely used fungicides and one adjuvant were assessed in cage studies in California on blue orchard bees, Osmia lignaria, and in cage studies in Utah on alfalfa leafcutting bees, Megachile rotundata. The fungicides tested were Rovral 4F (iprodione) and Pristine (mixture of pyraclostrobin + boscalid), and the adjuvant tested was N-90, a non-ionic wetting agent (90% polyethoxylated nonylphenol) added to certain tank mixtures of fungicides to improve the distribution and contact of sprays to plants. In separate trials, we erected screened cages and released 20 paint-marked females plus 30–50 males per cage to document the behavior of nesting bees under treated and control conditions. For all females in each cage, we recorded pollen-collecting trip times, nest substrate-collecting trip times (i.e., mud for O. lignaria and cut leaf pieces for M. rotundata), cell production rate, and the number of attempts each female made to enter her own or to enter other nest entrances upon returning from a foraging trip. No lethal effects of treatments were observed on adults, nor were there effects on time spent foraging for pollen and nest substrates and on cell production rate. However, Rovral 4F, Pristine, and N-90 disrupted the nest recognition abilities of O. lignaria females. Pristine, N-90, and Pristine + N-90 disrupted nest recognition ability of M. rotundata females. Electroantennogram responses of antennae of O. lignaria females maintained in the laboratory did not differ significantly between the fungicide-exposed and control bees. Our results provide the first empirical evidence that two commonly used fungicides and a non-ionic adjuvant can disrupt nest recognition in two managed solitary bee species. PMID:26274401

  5. Modeling feral alfalfa (Medicago sativa subsp. sativa L.) occurrence using topographical and environmental variables

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Because alfalfa is a perennial species cross pollinated by bees and can establish along roadsides and ruderal areas, there is concern that feral plants can serve as reservoirs and conduits for transgenic genes. The objective of this study was to survey feral alfalfa in alfalfa seed production areas ...

  6. Pollen and seed mediated gene flow in commercial alfalfa seed production fields

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The potential for gene flow has been widely recognized since alfalfa is pollinated by bees. The Western US is a major exporter of alfalfa seed and hay and the organic dairy industry is one of the fastest growing agricultural sectors. Because of this, many alfalfa producers are impacted by market sen...

  7. Synchronizing the Alfalfa Seed Production Pollinator, Megachile rotundata (F.), with Peak Bloom: Effects of Water Balance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An important component in the use of the alfalfa leafcutter bee, Megachile rotundata for pollination is synchronizing adult bee emergence with peak crop bloom. Previously, our research group has demonstrated that spring incubations of developing bees can be interrupted by short-term low-temperature...

  8. Prewinter Management Affects Megachile rotundata (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) Prepupal Physiology and Adult Emergence and Survival

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata F. (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) is widely used as a pollinator for production of alfalfa seed, and populations of these bees can be maintained by alfalfa seed growers or can be purchased from mostly Canadian bee providers. Megachile rotundata raised i...

  9. Variations in thermal history lead to dyssynchronous diapause development

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata, is the world’s most intensively managed solitary bee and the primary pollinator for alfalfa seed production. Managed bees are subjected to thermal regimes for overwintering and subsequent adult emergence in time for alfalfa bloom. In nature, first ge...

  10. Transcriptional responses to fluctuating thermal regimes underpinning differences in survival in the solitary bee Megachile rotundata.

    PubMed

    Torson, Alex S; Yocum, George D; Rinehart, Joseph P; Kemp, William P; Bowsher, Julia H

    2015-04-01

    The transcriptional responses of insects to long-term, ecologically relevant temperature stress are poorly understood. Long-term exposure to low temperatures, commonly referred to as chilling, can lead to physiological effects collectively known as chill injury. Periodically increasing temperatures during long-term chilling has been shown to increase survival in many insects. However, the transcripts responsible for this increase in survival have never been characterized. Here, we present the first transcriptome-level analysis of increased longevity under fluctuating temperatures during chilling. Overwintering post-diapause quiescent alfalfa leafcutting bees (Megachile rotundata) were exposed to a constant temperature of 6°C, or 6°C with a daily fluctuation to 20°C. RNA was collected at two different time points, before and after mortality rates began to diverge between temperature treatments. Expression analysis identified differentially regulated transcripts between pairwise comparisons of both treatments and time points. Transcripts functioning in ion homeostasis, metabolic pathways and oxidative stress response were up-regulated in individuals exposed to periodic temperature fluctuations during chilling. The differential expression of these transcripts provides support for the hypotheses that fluctuating temperatures protect against chill injury by reducing oxidative stress and returning ion concentrations and metabolic function to more favorable levels. Additionally, exposure to fluctuating temperatures leads to increased expression of transcripts functioning in the immune response and neurogenesis, providing evidence for additional mechanisms associated with increased survival during chilling in M. rotundata. PMID:25657206

  11. Direct and indirect fossil records of megachilid bees from the Paleogene of Central Europe (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wedmann, Sonja; Wappler, Torsten; Engel, Michael S.

    2009-06-01

    Aside from pollen and nectar, bees of the subfamily Megachilinae are closely associated with plants as a source of materials for nest construction. Megachilines use resins, masticated leaves, trichomes and other plant materials sometimes along with mud to construct nests in cavities or in soil. Among these, the leafcutter bees ( Megachile s.l.) are the most famous for their behaviour to line their brood cells with discs cut from various plants. We report on fossil records of one body fossil of a new non-leafcutting megachiline and of 12 leafcuttings from three European sites—Eckfeld and Messel, both in Germany (Eocene), and Menat, France (Paleocene). The excisions include the currently earliest record of probable Megachile activity and suggest the presence of such bees in the Paleocene European fauna. Comparison with extant leafcuttings permits the interpretation of a minimal number of species that produced these excisions. The wide range of size for the leafcuttings indirectly might suggest at least two species of Megachile for the fauna of Messel in addition to the other megachiline bee described here. The presence of several cuttings on most leaves from Eckfeld implies that the preferential foraging behaviour of extant Megachile arose early in megachiline evolution. These results demonstrate that combined investigation of body and trace fossils complement each other in understanding past biodiversity, the latter permitting the detection of taxa not otherwise directly sampled and inferences on behavioural evolution.

  12. Optimizing fluctuating thermal regime storage of developing Megachile rotundata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata, is the primary pollinator for alfalfa seed production in North America. Under current management practice developing pupae are incubated at 29ºC until the adults emerge for pollination. If unfavorable spring weather delays peak alfalfa bloom, bee m...

  13. Quantifying the area-wide dispersal patterns of honeybees in commercial alfalfa fields

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A study was conducted to examine the foraging range of honey bees in an agroecosystem dominated by a glyphosate-resistant Roundup Ready® (RR) alfalfa seed production field and several non-RR fields. Honey bee self-marking devices were attached to colonies originating from nine different apiary locat...

  14. Bee Pollen

    MedlinePlus

    ... Don’t confuse bee pollen with bee venom, honey, or royal jelly. People take bee pollen for ... Pollen, Extrait de Pollen d’Abeille, Honeybee Pollen, Honey Bee Pollen, Maize Pollen, Pine Pollen, Polen de ...

  15. Variations in thermal history lead to dissynchronous diapause development

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata, is the world’s most intensively managed solitary bee for commercial pollination. It is the primary pollinator for alfalfa seed production. Managed bees are subjected to thermal regimes for overwintering and subsequent adult emergence in time for al...

  16. Alfalfa: bioenergy and more

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) has the potential to be a significant contributor to America's renewable energy future. In an alfalfa biomass energy production system, alfalfa forage would be separated into stem and leave fractions. The stems would be processed to produce energy, and the leaves would be s...

  17. Bee poison

    MedlinePlus

    ... is caused by a sting from a bee, wasp , or yellow jacket. This article is for information ... Bee, wasp, and yellow jacket stings contain a substance called venom. Africanized bee colonies are very sensitive to being ...

  18. Reduced Lignin Alfalfa - Update

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    U.S. farmers harvested alfalfa (Medicago sativa) for hay or haylage from 24.5million acres in 2009. Midwestern states harvested 57 % of 2009 acreage for hay and haylage. However, acreage is stable to declining. Alfalfa provides an excellent source of fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins that partia...

  19. Drought and alfalfa nutrition

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although established alfalfa can access deep subsoil water, dry topsoils limit the availability of many nutrients. Dry topsoils can limit the uptake of many plant nutrients. With the potential for drought in 2007, farmers should consider fertilizing alfalfa if the soil tends to be droughty, is shall...

  20. Manure on alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many managers of crop-livestock operations could, or need to, utilize alfalfa fields in their manure management plans. The advantages to manure application on alfalfa need to be considered in the context of some potential concerns – plant damage from manure or wheel traffic, pathogen transmission in...

  1. Manure use on alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Manure application to alfalfa is often necessary because of limited application windows during the year and limited land-to-livestock ratios to meet Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan requirements. Manure applied before alfalfa planting or during production can improve yield and performance of t...

  2. Alfalfa witches'-broom

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa witches'-broom was first reported in 1969 in Australia and later in South Africa, Canada, and Saudi Arabia. More recently, specific phytoplasmas associated with alfalfa witches'-broom have been identified from symptomatic plants in the United States (Wisconsin), Italy, Lithuania, Oman, Ira...

  3. ALFALFA: BIOFUEL AND FEED

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa hay is a major crop that supports Idaho's dairy industry. Several cellulosic feedstocks will be needed to meet current ethanol production goals. Alfalfa has considerable potential as a feedstock for production of ethanol and other industrial materials because of its high biomasss production...

  4. Plant bugs on alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This paper treats the most important plant bugs, or Miridae, found on alfalfa in North America. It is estimated that more than 10 species of plant bugs have the potential to develop on this important forage legume. Of these, the alfalfa plant bug (Adelphocoris lineolatus), pale legume bug (Lygus e...

  5. Alfalfa non-feed uses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Non-feed uses for alfalfa such as biomass energy and phytoremediation could increase alfalfa acreage and improve farm profitability. The new bio-energy alfalfa and production system increased forage yield and ethanol production. New alfalfas with enhanced nitrogen cycling capacities would protect wa...

  6. Review of Roundup Ready Alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Roundup Ready (RR) alfalfa is the first forage species commercially released with a genetically modified trait. While not needed by all farmers who grow alfalfa, RR alfalfa may allow some farmers to more effectively establish alfalfa and control certain weed problems. Gene flow potential in alfalf...

  7. Use of fluctuating thermal regimes and decreased oxygen during storage improves survival of post-diapause Megachile rotundata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata, is the world’s most intensively managed solitary bee. M. rotundata is used primarily for alfalfa seed production in the northwestern United States and western Canada, but also provides pollination services for carrot, hybrid canola, onion, various le...

  8. Endophytic fungi reduce leaf-cutting ant damage to seedlings

    PubMed Central

    Bittleston, L. S.; Brockmann, F.; Wcislo, W.; Van Bael, S. A.

    2011-01-01

    Our study examines how the mutualism between Atta colombica leaf-cutting ants and their cultivated fungus is influenced by the presence of diverse foliar endophytic fungi (endophytes) at high densities in tropical leaf tissues. We conducted laboratory choice trials in which ant colonies chose between Cordia alliodora seedlings with high (Ehigh) or low (Elow) densities of endophytes. The Ehigh seedlings contained 5.5 times higher endophyte content and a greater diversity of fungal morphospecies than the Elow treatment, and endophyte content was not correlated with leaf toughness or thickness. Leaf-cutting ants cut over 2.5 times the leaf area from Elow relative to Ehigh seedlings and had a tendency to recruit more ants to Elow plants. Our findings suggest that leaf-cutting ants may incur costs from cutting and processing leaves with high endophyte loads, which could impact Neotropical forests by causing variable damage rates within plant communities. PMID:20610420

  9. Honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) foraging in response to preconditioning with onion flower scent compounds.

    PubMed

    Silva, Erin M; Dean, Bill B; Hiller, Larry K

    2003-10-01

    Onion (Allium cepa L.) seed production has long been plagued with yield problems because of lack of pollination by the honey bee, Apis mellifera L. To attempt to attract more pollinators to the onion seed production field, honey bees were conditioned to associate onion floral odor components with a reward. Isolated nucleus hives of honey bees were fed 30% sucrose solutions scented with a 0.2% solution of onion floral odor compounds. After feeding on these solutions for 6 wk, bees were not found to prefer onion flowers to two competing food sources, carrot and alfalfa flowers, at the 5% significance level. However, there was an overall trend indicating a change in honey bee behavior, with fewer "trained" bees visiting alfalfa and carrot and more visiting onion. Thus, it may be possible to alter honey bee behavior with preconditioning but probably not to a degree that would be economically significant. PMID:14650525

  10. Behavioural effects of juvenile hormone and their influence on division of labour in leaf-cutting ant societies.

    PubMed

    Norman, Victoria C; Hughes, William O H

    2016-01-01

    Division of labour in social insects represents a major evolutionary transition, but the physiological mechanisms that regulate this are still little understood. Experimental work with honey bees, and correlational analyses in other social insects, have implicated juvenile hormone (JH) as a regulatory factor, but direct experimental evidence of behavioural effects of JH in social insects is generally lacking. Here, we used experimental manipulation of JH to show that raised JH levels in leaf-cutting ants results in workers becoming more active, phototactic and threat responsive, and engaging in more extranidal activity - behavioural changes that we show are all characteristic of the transition from intranidal work to foraging. These behavioural effects on division of labour suggest that the JH mediation of behaviour occurs across multiple independent evolutions of eusociality, and may be a key endocrine regulator of the division of labour which has produced the remarkable ecological and evolutionary success of social insects. PMID:26739685

  11. Bee poison

    MedlinePlus

    ... is caused by a sting from a bee, wasp , or yellow jacket. This article is for information ... anywhere in the United States. Poisonous Ingredient Bee, wasp, and yellow jacket stings contain a substance called ...

  12. Gene flow in commercial alfalfa fields and implications to isolation and seed certification

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is a perennial species with an out-crossing rate of between 67 and 77 percent. Pollen is primarily vectored by bees. An accurate understanding of the frequency with which foreign pollen results in viable seed set is critical to establishing appropriate mechanisms for i...

  13. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.).

    PubMed

    Fu, Chunxiang; Hernandez, Timothy; Zhou, Chuanen; Wang, Zeng-Yu

    2015-01-01

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is a high-quality forage crop widely grown throughout the world. This chapter describes an efficient protocol that allows for the generation of large number of transgenic alfalfa plants by sonication-assisted Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Binary vectors carrying different selectable marker genes that confer resistance to phosphinothricin (bar), kanamycin (npt II), or hygromycin (hph) were used to generate transgenic alfalfa plants. Intact trifoliates collected from clonally propagated plants in the greenhouse were sterilized with bleach and then inoculated with Agrobacterium strain EHA105. More than 80 % of infected leaf pieces could produce rooted transgenic plants in 4-5 months after Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. PMID:25300843

  14. Weed Research in Alfalfa Seed Production 2007

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Weed control in alfalfa seed production is important to produce high quality and high yield of alfalfa seed. Herbicides were tested on a commercial field of alfalfa seed in central Washington in 2007. Flumioxzin slightly injured alfalfa when applied at 0.125 and 0.25 lb ai/a. to dormant alfalfa in M...

  15. Plants use macronutrients accumulated in leaf-cutting ant nests

    PubMed Central

    da S.L Sternberg, Leonel; Pinzon, Maria Camila; Moreira, Marcelo Z; Moutinho, Paulo; Rojas, Enith I; Herre, Edward Allen

    2006-01-01

    Leaf-cutting ants (Atta spp.) are known for their extensive defoliation in neo-tropical forests and savannahs. Debate about the costs and benefits of their activities has been largely dominated by their detrimental effects on agriculture and agroforestry. However, the large accumulation of nutrients and changes in soil properties near their nests might benefit plants growing near them. Here, we test whether trees use nutrients that accumulate in debris piles near, or refuse chambers within, leaf-cutting ant nests. At two tropical sites (a moist tropical forest site in Panama and a savannah site in Brazil), we fed leaves labelled with the stable isotope 15N to two species of leaf-cutting ants (Atta colombica and Atta laevigata) and traced the stable isotope label in plants surrounding the two nests. Thus, we show that plants in both sites access resources associated with Atta nests. In addition, leaf tissue of trees near the nests labelled with 15N had significantly higher calcium concentrations than those of distal, unlabelled conspecifics. It has been documented that calcium is a limiting macronutrient in tropical forests and savannahs. Atta may thus play an important ecological role through their long-distance transport, redistribution and concentration of critical macronutrients. PMID:17164194

  16. The long winter: the synergy between fluctuating thermal regime and quiescence physiology in the pollinator, Megachile rotundata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee Megachile rotundata (F.) is the primary pollinator for seed production in alfalfa and a number of specialty crops. Developing a more thorough understanding of M. rotundata low-temperature and diapause physiology is essential for the sustainable management of this key poll...

  17. Nest establishment, pollination efficiency, and reproductive success of Megachile rotundata (Hymenoptera: Megachilide) in relation to resource availability in field enclosures

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata (Fabricius), is commonly used to pollinate alfalfa, Medicago sativa L., for seed production in the U.S. and Canada. It is difficult to reliably sustain commercial populations of M. rotundata in the U.S. due to problems with disease, parasites and pre...

  18. Brown Root Rot of Alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This bulletin describes the disease of alfalfa called brown root rot (BRR) including: the disease symptoms, the fungal pathogen and its biology, its distribution, and disease management. Since the 1920s, BRR has been regarded as an important disease of forage legumes, including alfalfa, in northern ...

  19. Biotechnological advancements in alfalfa improvement.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Suresh

    2011-05-01

    Review of biotechnology research in alfalfa shows that molecular techniques are extensively being used for basic and applied research toward alfalfa improvement. Biotechnological approaches have been used in two major areas, genomics and transgenics. In genomics, molecular markers, structural and functional genomics allowed identification of genes of interest and their regulatory components. Alfalfa being obstinate to genetic and genomic analysis, comparative genomics is used for molecular and genetic dissection of various plant processes in alfalfa. Alternatively, transgenic approach involves incorporation of specific and useful genes into alfalfa to improve the traits of interest. Input traits to improve agronomic performance and output traits to improve forage quality, or to produce novel industrial/pharmaceutical proteins, are the focus of current transgenic research in alfalfa. However, transgenic approach is controversial requiring cautious experimental design to combat bioisafety concerns. Ideally, forage alfalfa needs to possess more fermentable carbohydrates, proteins with balanced amino acid profile that degrade slower in rumen, improved winter hardiness, better water use efficiency, pest resistance and no anti-quality factors. Concerted efforts are required to bring together maximum of these characteristic features into the alfalfa plant. PMID:21279557

  20. A fluctuating thermal regime improves survival of cold-mediated delayed emergence in developing Megachile rotundata (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A significant concern in the commercial application of the alfalfa leafcutting bee Megachile rotundata (F.) for pollination is synchronizing bee emergence and activity with peak crop bloom. Previous studies have demonstrated that the commerical spring incubation of this species can be successfully ...

  1. Improved storage of the pollinator, Megachile rotundata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata, is the 3rd most common pollinator used for crop pollination in North America and low-temperature storage protocols are a critical component of M. rotundata management. There are four times during the production cycle that bees may need to be subj...

  2. Cogeneration for existing alfalfa processing

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-01-01

    This study is designed to look at the application of gas-turbine generator cogeneration to a typical Nebraska alfalfa processing mill. The practicality is examined of installing a combustion turbine generator at a plant site and modifying existing facilities for generating electricity, utilizing the electricity generated, selling excess electricity to the power company and incorporating the turbine exhaust flow as a drying medium for the alfalfa. The results of this study are not conclusive but the findings are summarized.

  3. Bee Stings & Their Consequences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rupp, Robert M.

    1991-01-01

    Relevant information concerning bee stings is provided. Possible reactions to a bee sting and their symptoms, components of bee venom, diagnosis of hypersensitivity, and bee sting prevention and treatment are topics of discussion. The possibility of bee stings occurring during field trips and the required precautions are discussed. (KR)

  4. Bee, Definition of

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees constitute a small genus of highly derived bees. Bees as a group are ubiquitous, often predominant wildland pollinators. Today, 16,000 species of bees are known. They have proliferated wherever flowers grow. Several hundred species of bees exist at most locales. Sociality is unusual a...

  5. Bee Weekend.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beidler, Peter G.

    1987-01-01

    Recounts weekend at a bee farm, an activity for a required Lehigh University freshman English composition course designed to facilitate socialization and exchange of ideas and to provide experiences for students to write about. Uses excerpts from journals of nine students. (NEC)

  6. Genetically engineered alfalfa and feral alfalfa plants: What should growers know?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa subsp. sativa L) is the world’s most important forage crop. The western United States is the most important production area for both alfalfa forage and alfalfa seed. Alfalfa was the first major perennial genetically-engineered (GE)crop and a GE trait for resistance to glypho...

  7. Genetic Mapping of Persistence in Tetraploid Alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Persistence is a critical trait for alfalfa, yet the genetics of this trait is poorly understood. Herein, we characterize an F1 alfalfa population derived from the cross between the two cultivated alfalfa subpecies for persistence in three production seasons at Ames and Nashua, Iowa locations and o...

  8. Managing the rotation from alfalfa to corn

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa provides many benefits to cropping systems. These benefits occur both during alfalfa production and during the subsequent crops that follow. Some of the common benefits during alfalfa production are increased soil organic matter, decreased soil erosion, and decreased soil nitrate leaching lo...

  9. Prickly lettuce control in alfalfa seed production.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Weeds are particularly troublesome in alfalfa grown for seed due to the wider row spacing and the lack of multiple cuttings compared to alfalfa grown for hay. Prickly lettuce is often an escape weed in alfalfa seed production fields as it can germinate throughout the entire year and is naturally tol...

  10. Ensiling Characteristics of Alfalfa Leaves and Stems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The separate harvesting of alfalfa leaves and stems would provide farmers more flexibility in the harvesting and utilization of alfalfa, but a key issue is storage. In three trials, unwilted alfalfa leaves were ensiled alone or with cell wall degrading enzymes, formic acid or lactic acid bacterial i...

  11. Modeling Honey Bee Populations

    PubMed Central

    Torres, David J.; Ricoy, Ulises M.; Roybal, Shanae

    2015-01-01

    Eusocial honey bee populations (Apis mellifera) employ an age stratification organization of egg, larvae, pupae, hive bees and foraging bees. Understanding the recent decline in honey bee colonies hinges on understanding the factors that impact each of these different age castes. We first perform an analysis of steady state bee populations given mortality rates within each bee caste and find that the honey bee colony is highly susceptible to hive and pupae mortality rates. Subsequently, we study transient bee population dynamics by building upon the modeling foundation established by Schmickl and Crailsheim and Khoury et al. Our transient model based on differential equations accounts for the effects of pheromones in slowing the maturation of hive bees to foraging bees, the increased mortality of larvae in the absence of sufficient hive bees, and the effects of food scarcity. We also conduct sensitivity studies and show the effects of parameter variations on the colony population. PMID:26148010

  12. The Dynamics of Plant Cell-Wall Polysaccharide Decomposition in Leaf-Cutting Ant Fungus Gardens

    PubMed Central

    Harholt, Jesper; Willats, William G. T.; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2011-01-01

    The degradation of live plant biomass in fungus gardens of leaf-cutting ants is poorly characterised but fundamental for understanding the mutual advantages and efficiency of this obligate nutritional symbiosis. Controversies about the extent to which the garden-symbiont Leucocoprinus gongylophorus degrades cellulose have hampered our understanding of the selection forces that induced large scale herbivory and of the ensuing ecological footprint of these ants. Here we use a recently established technique, based on polysaccharide microarrays probed with antibodies and carbohydrate binding modules, to map the occurrence of cell wall polymers in consecutive sections of the fungus garden of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior. We show that pectin, xyloglucan and some xylan epitopes are degraded, whereas more highly substituted xylan and cellulose epitopes remain as residuals in the waste material that the ants remove from their fungus garden. These results demonstrate that biomass entering leaf-cutting ant fungus gardens is only partially utilized and explain why disproportionally large amounts of plant material are needed to sustain colony growth. They also explain why substantial communities of microbial and invertebrate symbionts have evolved associations with the dump material from leaf-cutting ant nests, to exploit decomposition niches that the ant garden-fungus does not utilize. Our approach thus provides detailed insight into the nutritional benefits and shortcomings associated with fungus-farming in ants. PMID:21423735

  13. Leaf endophyte load and fungal garden development in leaf-cutting ants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Previous work has shown that leaf-cutting ants prefer to cut leaf material that is relatively low in fungal endophyte content. Such a preference suggests that fungal endophytes exact a cost on the ants or on the development of their colonies. We hypothesized that endophytes may play a role in thei...

  14. Bee-Wild about Pollinators!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Bonnie; Kil, Jenny; Evans, Elaine; Koomen, Michele Hollingsworth

    2014-01-01

    With their sunny stripes and fuzzy bodies, bees are beloved--but unfortunately, they are in trouble. Bee decline, of both wild bees as well as managed bees like honey bees, has been in the news for the last several years. Habitat loss, diseases, pests, and pesticides have made it difficult for bees to survive in many parts of our world (Walsh…

  15. Alfalfa hay induced primary photosensitization in horses.

    PubMed

    Puschner, B; Chen, X; Read, D; Affolter, V K

    2016-05-01

    Photosensitization, also known as photodermatitis, occurs when phototoxic or photoactive substances accumulate in the skin and interact with sunlight to result in an often severe, crusting, itching or painful dermatitis in unpigmented and/or lightly haired areas of the skin. Primary photosensitization, caused by direct ingestion of photosensitizing agents, has been reported anecdotally in horses after ingestion of alfalfa hay. Between 2004 and 2014, several large outbreaks of primary photosensitization in horses fed primarily alfalfa hay were investigated in California. Alfalfa hay samples were collected and carefully examined for the presence of known photosensitizing plants and pesticide residues but none were identified. Select hay samples were evaluated for unusual fungal infestation and for phototoxicity assay using a specific Candida albicans assay; results were negative. In the 2004 outbreak, a feeding study was conducted with three horses exclusively fed alfalfa hay that was suspected to have caused the outbreak. Two weeks after ingestion of alfalfa hay, two horses developed several lesions in non-pigmented skin characterized as chronic ulcerative and necrotizing dermatitis with superficial vasculitis, which was consistent with photosensitization. In the 2014 outbreak, seven different implicated alfalfa hay samples were analyzed for chlorophyll a and b, and pheophorbide a. These compounds had been suspected to play a role in alfalfa-induced primary photosensitization. The chlorophyll contents ranged from 0.90 to 2.30 mg/g in the alfalfa hay samples, compared to 1.37 and 2.94 mg/g in locally grown alfalfa and orchard grass hay. The pheophorbide a levels ranged from 3.36 to 89.87 µg/g in alfalfa samples compared to 81.39 and 42.33 µg/g in control alfalfa and orchard grass hay samples. These findings eliminate chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, and pheophorbide a as possible causes for alfalfa-hay induced primary photosensitization. PMID:27040919

  16. Laccase detoxification mediates the nutritional alliance between leaf-cutting ants and fungus-garden symbionts

    PubMed Central

    De Fine Licht, Henrik H.; Schiøtt, Morten; Rogowska-Wrzesinska, Adelina; Nygaard, Sanne; Roepstorff, Peter; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2013-01-01

    Leaf-cutting ants combine large-scale herbivory with fungus farming to sustain advanced societies. Their stratified colonies are major evolutionary achievements and serious agricultural pests, but the crucial adaptations that allowed this mutualism to become the prime herbivorous component of neotropical ecosystems has remained elusive. Here we show how coevolutionary adaptation of a specific enzyme in the fungal symbiont has helped leaf-cutting ants overcome plant defensive phenolic compounds. We identify nine putative laccase-coding genes in the fungal genome of Leucocoprinus gongylophorus cultivated by the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior. One of these laccases (LgLcc1) is highly expressed in the specialized hyphal tips (gongylidia) that the ants preferentially eat, and we confirm that these ingested laccase molecules pass through the ant guts and remain active when defecated on the leaf pulp that the ants add to their gardens. This accurate deposition ensures that laccase activity is highest where new leaf material enters the fungus garden, but where fungal mycelium is too sparse to produce extracellular enzymes in sufficient quantities to detoxify phenolic compounds. Phylogenetic analysis of LgLcc1 ortholog sequences from symbiotic and free-living fungi revealed significant positive selection in the ancestral lineage that gave rise to the gongylidia-producing symbionts of leaf-cutting ants and their non–leaf-cutting ant sister group. Our results are consistent with fungal preadaptation and subsequent modification of a particular laccase enzyme for the detoxification of secondary plant compounds during the transition to active herbivory in the ancestor of leaf-cutting ants between 8 and 12 Mya. PMID:23267060

  17. Chemical basis of the synergism and antagonism in microbial communities in the nests of leaf-cutting ants.

    PubMed

    Schoenian, Ilka; Spiteller, Michael; Ghaste, Manoj; Wirth, Rainer; Herz, Hubert; Spiteller, Dieter

    2011-02-01

    Leaf-cutting ants cultivate the fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, which serves as a major food source. This symbiosis is threatened by microbial pathogens that can severely infect L. gongylophorus. Microbial symbionts of leaf-cutting ants, mainly Pseudonocardia and Streptomyces, support the ants in defending their fungus gardens against infections by supplying antimicrobial and antifungal compounds. The ecological role of microorganisms in the nests of leaf-cutting ants can only be addressed in detail if their secondary metabolites are known. Here, we use an approach for the rapid identification of established bioactive compounds from microorganisms in ecological contexts by combining phylogenetic data, database searches, and liquid chromatography electrospray ionisation high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-HR-MS) screening. Antimycins A(1)-A(4), valinomycins, and actinomycins were identified in this manner from Streptomyces symbionts of leaf-cutting ants. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) imaging revealed the distribution of valinomycin directly on the integument of Acromyrmex echinatior workers. Valinomycins and actinomycins were also directly identified in samples from the waste of A. echinatior and A. niger leaf-cutting ants, suggesting that the compounds exert their antimicrobial and antifungal potential in the nests of leaf-cutting ants. Strong synergistic effects of the secondary meta-bolites produced by ant-associated Streptomyces were observed in the agar diffusion assay against Escovopsis weberi. Actinomycins strongly inhibit soil bacteria as well as other Streptomyces and Pseudonocardia symbionts. The antifungal antimycins are not only active against pathogenic fungi but also the garden fungus L. gongylophorus itself. In conclusion, secondary metabolites of microbial symbionts of leaf-cutting ants contribute to shaping the microbial communities within the nests of leaf-cutting ants. PMID:21245311

  18. Bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Apiformes)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An illustrated overview of natural histories of bees is provided, including their evolutionary history, diversity, biogeography, development, nesting, mating, sociality, foraging, parasitism, and floral relationships. Each of the families of bees is then briefly reviewed....

  19. Redesigning alfalfa to reduce protein losses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa is often referred to as the “Queen of Forages” due to its relatively good digestibility, high protein, and ability to readily fix nitrogen. But there’s a big drawback to alfalfa – much of its protein is lost during the harvest and ensiling process, and more is lost in the rumen of livestock....

  20. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa ssp. sativa (L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa is known as the “Queen of the Forages” as it is primarily used as animal feed for dairy cows, beef cattle, horses, sheep, chickens and other domesticated animals. Alfalfa is the forage of choice due to its high feed value and high biomass production along with its ease of establishment; res...

  1. The Tradeoff Between Alfalfa Yield and Quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Extensive cutting management research has documented the effects of date and frequency of harvest on alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) forage yield and quality. Information is lacking, however, on the change in quality relative to yield that occurs as alfalfa matures within individual harvest periods. ...

  2. Weed management research in alfalfa seed production in Washington state

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Weed control is an important component of producing high quality and high yielding alfalfa seed. Alfalfa seed is produced with wider row and lower plant populations than alfalfa forage requiring greater weed management inputs. Flumioxazin was evaluated for weed control in alfalfa seed and forage pro...

  3. Regulation and specificity of antifungal metapleural gland secretion in leaf-cutting ants

    PubMed Central

    Yek, Sze Huei; Nash, David R.; Jensen, Annette B.; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2012-01-01

    Ants have paired metapleural glands (MGs) to produce secretions for prophylactic hygiene. These exocrine glands are particularly well developed in leaf-cutting ants, but whether the ants can actively regulate MG secretion is unknown. In a set of controlled experiments using conidia of five fungi, we show that the ants adjust the amount of MG secretion to the virulence of the fungus with which they are infected. We further applied fixed volumes of MG secretion of ants challenged with constant conidia doses to agar mats of the same fungal species. This showed that inhibition halos were significantly larger for ants challenged with virulent and mild pathogens/weeds than for controls and Escovopsis-challenged ants. We conclude that the MG defence system of leaf-cutting ants has characteristics reminiscent of an additional cuticular immune system, with specific and non-specific components, of which some are constitutive and others induced. PMID:22915672

  4. Leaf-cutting ant fungi produce cell wall degrading pectinase complexes reminiscent of phytopathogenic fungi

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Leaf-cutting (attine) ants use their own fecal material to manure fungus gardens, which consist of leaf material overgrown by hyphal threads of the basidiomycete fungus Leucocoprinus gongylophorus that lives in symbiosis with the ants. Previous studies have suggested that the fecal droplets contain proteins that are produced by the fungal symbiont to pass unharmed through the digestive system of the ants, so they can enhance new fungus garden growth. Results We tested this hypothesis by using proteomics methods to determine the gene sequences of fecal proteins in Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutting ants. Seven (21%) of the 33 identified proteins were pectinolytic enzymes that originated from the fungal symbiont and which were still active in the fecal droplets produced by the ants. We show that these enzymes are found in the fecal material only when the ants had access to fungus garden food, and we used quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis to show that the expression of six of these enzyme genes was substantially upregulated in the fungal gongylidia. These unique structures serve as food for the ants and are produced only by the evolutionarily advanced garden symbionts of higher attine ants, but not by the fungi reared by the basal lineages of this ant clade. Conclusions Pectinolytic enzymes produced in the gongylidia of the fungal symbiont are ingested but not digested by Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants so that they end up in the fecal fluid and become mixed with new garden substrate. Substantial quantities of pectinolytic enzymes are typically found in pathogenic fungi that attack live plant tissue, where they are known to breach the cell walls to allow the fungal mycelium access to the cell contents. As the leaf-cutting ant symbionts are derived from fungal clades that decompose dead plant material, our results suggest that their pectinolytic enzymes represent secondarily evolved adaptations that are convergent to those normally found in

  5. Widespread occurrence of honey bee pathogens in solitary bees.

    PubMed

    Ravoet, Jorgen; De Smet, Lina; Meeus, Ivan; Smagghe, Guy; Wenseleers, Tom; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2014-10-01

    Solitary bees and honey bees from a neighbouring apiary were screened for a broad set of putative pathogens including protists, fungi, spiroplasmas and viruses. Most sampled bees appeared to be infected with multiple parasites. Interestingly, viruses exclusively known from honey bees such as Apis mellifera Filamentous Virus and Varroa destructor Macula-like Virus were also discovered in solitary bees. A microsporidium found in Andrena vaga showed most resemblance to Nosema thomsoni. Our results suggest that bee hives represent a putative source of pathogens for other pollinators. Similarly, solitary bees may act as a reservoir of honey bee pathogens. PMID:25196470

  6. Seeding Rate Effect on Establishment and Yield of Alfalfa in Bermudagrass Sod

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Establishing alfalfa often requires field conversion from another forage species. Planting alfalfa into bermudagrass sod reduces risk of forage loss because bermudagrass would remain if alfalfa was not successfully established. Previous Arkansas experiments on establishing alfalfa in bermudagrass so...

  7. Alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Legumes, with more than 650 genera and 20,000 species, range from herbaceous annuals to woody perennials that are important for providing quality human diet and livestock diet. Legumes also contribute to sustainable agriculture because they can fix nitrogen in symbiosis with the soil bacteria called...

  8. Alfalfa

    MedlinePlus

    ... like estrogen, and this might affect the pregnancy. “Auto-immune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus ( ... active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. There are two case reports of ...

  9. One World: Service Bees

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomason, Rhonda

    2009-01-01

    Bees are a vital part of the ecology. People of conscience are a vital part of society. In Nina Frenkel's "One World" poster, the bee is also a metaphor for the role of the individual in a diverse society. This article presents a lesson that uses Frenkel's poster to help early-grades students connect these ideas and explore both the importance of…

  10. Honey Bee Viruses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Viruses are significant threats to the health and well-being of the honey bee, Apis mellifera. To alleviate the threats posed by these invasive organisms, a better understanding of bee viral infections will be of crucial importance in developing effective and environmentally-benign disease control ...

  11. Honey bee toxicology.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Reed M

    2015-01-01

    Insecticides are chemicals used to kill insects, so it is unsurprising that many insecticides have the potential to harm honey bees (Apis mellifera). However, bees are exposed to a great variety of other potentially toxic chemicals, including flavonoids and alkaloids that are produced by plants; mycotoxins produced by fungi; antimicrobials and acaricides that are introduced by beekeepers; and fungicides, herbicides, and other environmental contaminants. Although often regarded as uniquely sensitive to toxic compounds, honey bees are adapted to tolerate and even thrive in the presence of toxic compounds that occur naturally in their environment. The harm caused by exposure to a particular concentration of a toxic compound may depend on the level of simultaneous exposure to other compounds, pathogen levels, nutritional status, and a host of other factors. This review takes a holistic view of bee toxicology by taking into account the spectrum of xenobiotics to which bees are exposed. PMID:25341092

  12. Leaf endophyte load influences fungal garden development in leaf-cutting ants

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Previous work has shown that leaf-cutting ants prefer to cut leaf material with relatively low fungal endophyte content. This preference suggests that fungal endophytes exact a cost on the ants or on the development of their colonies. We hypothesized that endophytes may play a role in their host plants’ defense against leaf-cutting ants. To measure the long-term cost to the ant colony of fungal endophytes in their forage material, we conducted a 20-week laboratory experiment to measure fungal garden development for colonies that foraged on leaves with low or high endophyte content. Results Colony mass and the fungal garden dry mass did not differ significantly between the low and high endophyte feeding treatments. There was, however, a marginally significant trend toward greater mass of fungal garden per ant worker in the low relative to the high endophyte treatment. This trend was driven by differences in the fungal garden mass per worker from the earliest samples, when leaf-cutting ants had been foraging on low or high endophyte leaf material for only 2 weeks. At two weeks of foraging, the mean fungal garden mass per worker was 77% greater for colonies foraging on leaves with low relative to high endophyte loads. Conclusions Our data suggest that the cost of endophyte presence in ant forage material may be greatest to fungal colony development in its earliest stages, when there are few workers available to forage and to clean leaf material. This coincides with a period of high mortality for incipient colonies in the field. We discuss how the endophyte-leaf-cutter ant interaction may parallel constitutive defenses in plants, whereby endophytes reduce the rate of colony development when its risk of mortality is greatest. PMID:23140096

  13. Cash in on N credits when corn follows alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    When alfalfa is killed, some of the accumulated N in the soil and in alfalfa leaves, stems, and roots becomes available to subsequent crops. This increased N supply is known as the “alfalfa N credit,” which is the amount of fertilizer or available manure N a grower can save, resulting in higher net ...

  14. Comparative drought response in eleven diverse alfalfa accessions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) production is often negatively affected by drought stress. This is particularly true for alfalfa that is cultivated on rangeland. Thus, the development of drought-tolerant alfalfa cultivars is of great significance. A greenhouse study was conducted to evaluate 11 alfa...

  15. Using genomics to develop alfalfa as a biomass crop

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa is frequently overlooked as a biomass feedstock for cellulosic ethanol production. However, alfalfa has a number of advantages compared to other potential feedstocks. Alfalfa is a perennial, non-food crop that fixes atmospheric nitrogen, improves soil quality, and provides environmental bene...

  16. Understanding the Regulation of Cell Wall Composition in Alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is the most important forage crop in the U.S. and has excellent potential to be a sustainable cellulosic feedstock for ethanol production. As the alfalfa stem matures, the xylem tissues become rich in cellulose, xylan, and lignin. The ideal alfalfa plant would have stems...

  17. Alfalfa -- a sustainable crop for biomass energy production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) has the potential to be a significant contributor to America's renewable energy future. In an alfalfa biomass energy production system, alfalfa forage would be separated into stem and leave fractions. The stems would be processed to produce energy, and the leaves would be s...

  18. The Undergraduate ALFALFA Team: Collaborative Research Projects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cannon, John M.; Koopmann, Rebecca A.; Haynes, Martha P.; Undergraduate ALFALFA Team, ALFALFA Team

    2016-01-01

    The NSF-sponsored Undergraduate ALFALFA (Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA) Team (UAT) has allowed faculty and students from a wide range of public and private colleges and especially those with small astronomy programs to learn how science is accomplished in a large collaboration while contributing to the scientific goals of a legacy radio astronomy survey. The UAT has achieved this through close collaboration with ALFALFA PIs to identify research areas accessible to undergraduates. In this talk we will summarize the main research efforts of the UAT, including multiwavelength followup observations of ALFALFA sources, the UAT Collaborative Groups Project, the Survey of HI in Extremely Low-mass Dwarfs (SHIELD), and the Arecibo Pisces-Perseus Supercluster Survey. This work has been supported by NSF grants AST-0724918/0902211, AST-075267/0903394, AST-0725380, and AST-1211005.

  19. Aspartate Aminotransferase in Alfalfa Root Nodules 1

    PubMed Central

    Farnham, Mark W.; Griffith, Stephen M.; Miller, Susan S.; Vance, Carroll P.

    1990-01-01

    Aspartate aminotransferase (AAT) plays an important role in nitrogen metabolism in all plants and is particularly important in the assimilation of fixed N derived from the legume-Rhizoblum symbiosis. Two isozymes of AAT (AAT-1 and AAT-2) occur in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). Antibodies against alfalfa nodule AAT-2 do not recognize AAT-1, and these antibodies were used to study AAT-2 expression in different tissues and genotypes of alfalfa and also in other legume and nonlegume species. Rocket immunoelectrophoresis indicated that nodules of 38-day-old alfalfa plants contained about eight times more AAT-2 than did nodules of 7-day-old plants, confirming the nodule-enhanced nature of this isozyme. AAT-2 was estimated to make up 16, 15, 5, and 8 milligrams per gram of total soluble protein in mature nodules, roots, stems, and leaves, respectively, of effective N2-fixing alfalfa. The concentration of AAT-2 in nodules of ineffective non-N2-fixing alafalfa genotypes was about 70% less than that of effective nodules. Western blots of soluble protein from nodules of nine legume species indicated that a 40-kilodalton polypeptide that reacts strongly with AAT-2 antibodies is conserved in legumes. Nodule AAT-2 immunoprecipitation data suggested that amide- and ureide-type legumes may differ in expression and regulation of the enzyme. In addition, Western blotting and immunoprecipitations of AAT activity demonstrated that antibodies against alfalfa AAT-2 are highly cross-reactive with AAT enzyme protein in leaves of soybean (Glycine max L.), wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), and maize (Zea mays L.) and in roots of maize, but not with AAT in soybean and wheat roots. Results from this study indicate that AAT-2 is structurally conserved and localized in similar tissues among diverse species. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 PMID:16667896

  20. [Poisoning by bee sting].

    PubMed

    de Roodt, Adolfo R; Salomón, Oscar D; Orduna, Tomás A; Robles Ortiz, Luis E; Paniagua Solís, Jorge F; Alagón Cano, Alejandro

    2005-01-01

    Among the human pathologies produced by venomous animals, bee stings constitute the largest number of accidents in several countries, exceeding the mortality rate caused by other venomous animals such as snakes, spiders or scorpions. The clinical picture after the bee sting may include anaphylaxis or poisoning. The latter is produced by massive attacks and is a serious problem that may put the patient's life at risk. People that are poisoned display hemolysis, rhabdomiolysis and acute renal failure that together with other systemic failures can bring about death. The knowledge of the physiopathological mechanisms involved in the massive attack of bees is crucial for health care professionals as to date we do not have antivenoms with proven clinical efficacy. In this review we include the bee's biological aspects, venom composition and its relation with the occurrence and severity of accidents as well as epidemiological data that can be useful for this type of accidents. PMID:16025987

  1. A Buzzing Bee.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Donovan, Edward P.; Barnes, Eb

    1996-01-01

    Presents an activity enabling students of grades four to nine to construct a "Buzzing Bee" model using simple materials. Provides students with the opportunity to explore the concepts of sound and the Doppler effect. (MKR)

  2. Candicidin-producing Streptomyces support leaf-cutting ants to protect their fungus garden against the pathogenic fungus Escovopsis

    PubMed Central

    Haeder, Susanne; Wirth, Rainer; Herz, Hubert; Spiteller, Dieter

    2009-01-01

    Leaf-cutting ants such as Acromyrmex octospinosus live in obligate symbiosis with fungi of the genus Leucoagaricus, which they grow with harvested leaf material. The symbiotic fungi, in turn, serve as a major food source for the ants. This mutualistic relation is disturbed by the specialized pathogenic fungus Escovopsis sp., which can overcome Leucoagaricus sp. and thus destroy the ant colony. Microbial symbionts of leaf-cutting ants have been suggested to protect the fungus garden against Escovopsis by producing antifungal compounds [Currie CR, Scott JA, Summerbell RC, Malloch D (1999) Fungus-growing ants use antibiotic-producing bacteria to control garden parasites. Nature 398:701–704.]. To date, however, the chemical nature of these compounds has remained elusive. We characterized 19 leaf-cutting ant–associated microorganisms (5 Pseudonocardia, 1 Dermacoccus, and 13 Streptomyces) from 3 Acromyrmex species, A. octospinosus, A. echinatior, and A. volcanus, using 16S-rDNA analysis. Because the strain Streptomyces sp. Ao10 proved highly active against the pathogen Escovopsis, we identified the molecular basis of its antifungal activity. Using bioassay-guided fractionation, high-resolution electrospray mass spectrometry (HR-ESI-MS), and UV spectroscopy, and comparing the results with an authentic standard, we were able identify candicidin macrolides. Candicidin macrolides are highly active against Escovopsis but do not significantly affect the growth of the symbiotic fungus. At least one of the microbial isolates from each of the 3 leaf-cutting ant species analyzed produced candicidin macrolides. This suggests that candicidins play an important role in protecting the fungus gardens of leaf-cutting ants against pathogenic fungi. PMID:19270078

  3. Yeasts found on an ephemeral reproductive caste of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa.

    PubMed

    Arcuri, Silvio Lovato; Pagnocca, Fernando Carlos; Melo, Weilan Gomes da Paixão; Nagamoto, Nilson Satoru; Komura, Dirce Leimi; Rodrigues, Andre

    2014-09-01

    Winged males of leaf-cutting ants are considered an ephemeral reproductive caste only produced before the mating flight season. Although much is known about the yeast diversity found in fungus gardens of attine ants, no study has focused on the yeasts associated with males of leaf-cutting ants. Here, we surveyed the yeasts on the integuments of males of Atta sexdens rubropilosa and assessed their potential role in the attine ant-microbe symbiosis. Using culture-dependent techniques, we found yeasts to be abundant on the integuments of males (54.5 %, n = 200 alates). A total of 242 yeast strains were obtained representing six orders, ten genera and 25 species. Strains of Aureobasidium, Cryptococcus, Hannaella and Rhodotorula were prevalent on the integuments and likely originated from the fungus garden of the parental nest or from the soil. The majority of strains (87.1 %) produced at least one of the evaluated enzymes: pectinase, polygalacturonase, cellulase, xylanase, ligninases and lipase. Aureobasidium pullulans accounted for the highest number of strains that produced all enzymes. In addition, yeasts showed the ability to assimilate the resulting oligosaccharides, supporting observations of other studies that yeasts may be involved in the plant biomass metabolism in the fungus gardens. Because winged males harbor several yeasts with putative functional roles, these fungi may take part and be beneficial in the microbial consortia of the new incipient nest. PMID:25012689

  4. Magnetic effect on dancing bees

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindauer, M.; Martin, H.

    1972-01-01

    Bee sensitivity to the earth's magnetic field is studied. Data cover sensitivity range and the use of magnetoreception for orientation purposes. Experimental results indicate bee orientation is aided by gravity fields when the magnetic field is compensated.

  5. MANURE MANAGEMENT: ALFALFA FIELDS GIVE US OPTIONS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The average cow in the U.S. produces more than 18,000 lbs. of milk each year and generates about 42,000 lbs. of manure. Manure management is not the only task on the farmer's 'to do' list, but in today’s world it is increasingly important to do it right. Although alfalfa acreage is a relatively smal...

  6. Alfalfa production using saline drainage water

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A three year study investigated the use of saline (< 6 dS/m) drainage water for irrigation of salt tolerant alfalfa in the presence of shallow saline groundwater. The irrigation treatments included; irrigating twice between cuttings with non-saline water, 2) irrigating with moderately saline water...

  7. Sativa by falcata alfalfa hybrid variety trials

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Previous research has demonstrated that alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) subsp. sativa by subsp. falcata hybrids showed heterosis. Limited work has been done examining these hybrids in a sward situation. The objective of this study was to produce sativa by falcata hybrids using Dairyland Seed Company’...

  8. N fixation versus N uptake in alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fertilizer N is the single most expensive input in nearly all crop-production systems and has been implicated in declining groundwater quality due to nitrate contamination. Commercial alfalfas are highly productive in the absence of nitrogen inputs because of the symbiotic association with soil bact...

  9. Rapid phenotyping of alfalfa root system architecture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Root system architecture (RSA) influences the capacity of an alfalfa plant for symbiotic nitrogen fixation, nutrient uptake and water use efficiency, resistance to frost heaving, winterhardiness, and some pest and pathogen resistance. However, we currently lack a basic understanding of root system d...

  10. ALFALFA TRAITS THAT WILL IMPACT BIOENERGY PRODUCTION

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Interest in production of energy from renewable resources such as biomass has increased tremendously with the recent price spike for oil and growing recognition of the threat posed by global warming. Alfalfa is an attractive alternative for biomass production because of its perennial nature, ability...

  11. Long Term Storage of Ascosphaera aggregata and A. apis Pathogens of the Leafcutting Bee (Megachile rotundata) and the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Survival of Ascosphaera aggregata and A. apis over the course of a year were tested using different storage treatments. For spores, the methods tested were freeze drying and ultra-low temperature storage, and for hyphae, freeze drying, agar slants covered with water, and two methods of ultra-low tem...

  12. Chalkbrood disease in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chalkbrood is an invasive mycosis in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) produced by Ascosphaera apis (Maassen ex Claussen) Olive and Spiltoir (Spiltoir, 1955) that exclusively affects bee brood. Although fatal to individual larvae, the disease does not usually destroy an entire bee colony. However, it c...

  13. Bee Line BR-1 Racer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1926-01-01

    Bee Line BR-1 Racer: The Bee Line BR-1 was a racing aircraft used to compete in the 1922 Pulitzer Air Race. The aircraft and its sister ship, the Bee Line BR-2, came to Langley and the NACA in 1926. The BR-1 is shown in the NACA hangar at Langley Field in early 1926.

  14. Alfalfa stem feedstock for IGCC power system fuel

    SciTech Connect

    DeLong, M.M.; Onischak, M.; Schmid, M.R.

    1995-12-31

    A feasibility study has been completed for an integrated gasification combined cycle power generation (IGCC) system that involves a set of inter-related processes between the alfalfa separation plant and the power plant. The alfalfa fractionation process reduces the stem size, improves the bulk density for feeding and provides a uniform moisture feed. Alfalfa stem material was evaluated as a fuel for the system. The leaf meal, animal feed co-product is separated from the alfalfa plant. The pressurized gasification process is the RENUGAS{trademark} system licensed to Tampella Power Corporation. The adaptation of the process to alfalfa stems results in low-Btu fuel gas suitable for combustion turbines. The gasification process is expected to obtain very high carbon conversion, overcome ash agglomeration, control volatile alkali species, and remove particulate matter with a hot gas filter system. The collected ash residues are expected to be returned to the land that grew the alfalfa.

  15. A colony-level response to disease control in a leaf-cutting ant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hart, Adam; Bot, A. N. M.; Brown, Mark

    2002-03-01

    Parasites and pathogens often impose significant costs on their hosts. This is particularly true for social organisms, where the genetic structure of groups and the accumulation of contaminated waste facilitate disease transmission. In response, hosts have evolved many mechanisms of defence against parasites. Here we present evidence that Atta colombica, a leaf-cutting ant, may combat Escovopsis, a dangerous parasite of Atta's garden fungus, through a colony-level behavioural response. In A. colombica, garden waste is removed from within the colony and transported to the midden - an external waste dump - where it is processed by a group of midden workers. We found that colonies infected with Escovopsis have higher numbers of workers on the midden, where Escovopsis is deposited. Further, midden workers are highly effective in dispersing newly deposited waste away from the dumping site. Thus, the colony-level task allocation strategies of the Atta superorganism may change in response to the threat of disease to a third, essential party.

  16. Caste-specific RNA editomes in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior

    PubMed Central

    Li, Qiye; Wang, Zongji; Lian, Jinmin; Schiøtt, Morten; Jin, Lijun; Zhang, Pei; Zhang, Yanyan; Nygaard, Sanne; Peng, Zhiyu; Zhou, Yang; Deng, Yuan; Zhang, Wenwei; Boomsma, Jacobus J.; Zhang, Guojie

    2014-01-01

    Eusocial insects have evolved the capacity to generate adults with distinct morphological, reproductive and behavioural phenotypes from the same genome. Recent studies suggest that RNA editing might enhance the diversity of gene products at the post-transcriptional level, particularly to induce functional changes in the nervous system. Using head samples from the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior, we compare RNA editomes across eusocial castes, identifying ca. 11,000 RNA editing sites in gynes, large workers and small workers. Those editing sites map to 800 genes functionally enriched for neurotransmission, circadian rhythm, temperature response, RNA splicing and carboxylic acid biosynthesis. Most A. echinatior editing sites are species specific, but 8–23% are conserved across ant subfamilies and likely to have been important for the evolution of eusociality in ants. The level of editing varies for the same site between castes, suggesting that RNA editing might be a general mechanism that shapes caste behaviour in ants. PMID:25266559

  17. Leucoagaricus gongylophorus uses leaf-cutting ants to vector proteolytic enzymes towards new plant substrate

    PubMed Central

    Kooij, Pepijn W; Rogowska-Wrzesinska, Adelina; Hoffmann, Daniel; Roepstorff, Peter; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Schiøtt, Morten

    2014-01-01

    The mutualism between leaf-cutting ants and their fungal symbionts revolves around processing and inoculation of fresh leaf pulp in underground fungus gardens, mediated by ant fecal fluid deposited on the newly added plant substrate. As herbivorous feeding often implies that growth is nitrogen limited, we cloned and sequenced six fungal proteases found in the fecal fluid of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior and identified them as two metalloendoproteases, two serine proteases and two aspartic proteases. The metalloendoproteases and serine proteases showed significant activity in fecal fluid at pH values of 5–7, but the aspartic proteases were inactive across a pH range of 3–10. Protease activity disappeared when the ants were kept on a sugar water diet without fungus. Relative to normal mycelium, both metalloendoproteases, both serine proteases and one aspartic protease were upregulated in the gongylidia, specialized hyphal tips whose only known function is to provide food to the ants. These combined results indicate that the enzymes are derived from the ingested fungal tissues. We infer that the five proteases are likely to accelerate protein extraction from plant cells in the leaf pulp that the ants add to the fungus garden, but regulatory functions such as activation of proenzymes are also possible, particularly for the aspartic proteases that were present but without showing activity. The proteases had high sequence similarities to proteolytic enzymes of phytopathogenic fungi, consistent with previous indications of convergent evolution of decomposition enzymes in attine ant fungal symbionts and phytopathogenic fungi. PMID:24401858

  18. Bee Pollination in Agricultural Eco-Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For many agricultural crops, bees play a vital role as pollinators, and this book discusses the interplay between bees, agriculture and the environment. Although honey bees are well recognized as pollinators, managed bumble bees and solitary bees are also critical for the successful pollination of c...

  19. Effect of electromagnetic stimulation of alfalfa seeds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ćwintal, M.; Dziwulska-Hunek, A.

    2013-12-01

    In the conducted experiments the effect of presowing He-Ne laser light, magnetic field stimulation or the combination of these two factors of alfalfa seeds on the field emergence, structure and yields in the year of sowing and during three following years of full land use were studied. The examined factors had a significant effect on the number of shoots per 1 m2, plant height, mass of shoots, fresh and dry mass. Electromagnetic stimulation resulted in a significant increase in alfalfa seeds emergence (from 35% - control to 47.8% - magnetic field), number of shoots per 1m2 (from 608 - control to 813 - laser light in cut), but a decrease of the mass of the shoots (from 0.61 g - control to 0.50 g - laser light).

  20. The ALFALFA HI Absorption Pilot Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macdonald, Erin; Darling, J.; ALFALFA Team

    2009-01-01

    We present the results of a pilot project to search for HI 21 cm absorption in the Arecibo Legacy Fast Arecibo L-Band Feed Array (ALFALFA) Survey. This project is the first to conduct a "blind" wide-area search for HI absorption in the local universe. The search covered 517.0 deg2 spanning 10.9h < α < 14.95h and +7.7o < δ < +16.3o. The ALFALFA survey covers -650 km s-1 < cz < 17,500 km s-1, for a Δz = 0.054 along each line of sight (11% of the cz span is lost to radio frequency interference and Galactic HI emission). There are 243 sources toward which all damped Lyα systems (N(HI) > 2x1020 cm-2) could be detected, and 3282 sources toward which N(HI) > 2x1021 cm-2 columns could be detected (assuming 100 K spin temperature, 30 km s-1 line width, and unity filling factor). We performed Green Bank Telescope follow-up observations of 13 possible absorption lines and the 250 strong sources (> 220 mJy) in our survey region. One previously known intrinsic HI absorption line in UGC 6081 was re-detected, but no additional lines were identified in the survey region. Nevertheless, this pilot project demonstrates the value and feasibility of large-area absorption line searches commensal with emission line surveys. An absorption line search of the entire 7000 deg2 ALFALFA Survey is a worthwhile undertaking, not only to identify HI absorption systems in the local universe, but to measure the fraction of HI gas not accounted for by emission line surveys. ALFALFA is a legacy survey at the Arecibo Observatory supported by NAIC and NSF.

  1. Bee a Reader.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayes, Holly, Ed.; Marmolejo, Jill, Ed.

    This publication is a tutor's guide to teaching basic literacy using The Fresno Bee, a California newspaper, as the primary "textbook." The course is aimed at English-speaking adults and is designed to teach reading in an interesting and entertaining way that promotes self-motivated study, both in the classroom and at home. The guide is divided…

  2. Stress responses in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L. )

    SciTech Connect

    Kessmann, H.; Edwards, R.; Dixon, R.A. ); Geno, P.W. )

    1990-09-01

    The isoflavonoid conjugates medicarpin-3-O-glucoside-6{double prime}-O-malonate (MGM), afrormosin-7-O-glucoside (AG), and afrormosin-7-O-glucoside-6{double prime}-O-malonate (AGM) were isolated and characterized from cell suspension cultures of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), where they were the major constitutive secondary metabolites. They were also found in alfalfa roots but not in other parts of the plant. The phytoalexin medicarpin accumulated rapidly in suspension cultured cells treated with elicitor from Colletotrichum lindemuthianum, and this was subsequently accompanied by an increase in the levels of MGM. In contrast, net accumulation of afrormosin conjugates was not affected by elicitor treatment. Labeling studies with ({sup 14}C)phenylalanine indicated that afrormosin conjugates were the major de novo synthesized isoflavonoid products in unelicited cells. During elicitation, ({sup 14}C)phenylalanine was incorporated predominantly into medicarpin, although a significant proportion of the newly synthesized medicarpin was also conjugated. Treatment of {sup 14}C-labeled, elicited cells with L-{alpha}-aminooxy-{beta}-phenylpropionic acid, a potent inhibitor of PAL activity in vivo, resulted in the initial appearance of labeled medicarpin of very low specific activity, suggesting that the phytoalexin could be released from a preformed conjugate under these conditions. Our data draw attention to the involvement of isoflavone hydroxylases during the constitutive and elicitor-induced accumulation of isoflavonoids and their conjugates in alfalfa cell cultures.

  3. Impact of managed honey bee viruses on wild bees.

    PubMed

    Tehel, Anja; Brown, Mark Jf; Paxton, Robert J

    2016-08-01

    Several viruses found in the Western honey bee (Apis mellifera) have recently been detected in other bee species, raising the possibility of spill-over from managed to wild bee species. Alternatively, these viruses may be shared generalists across flower-visiting insects. Here we explore the former hypothesis, pointing out weaknesses in the current evidence, particularly in relation to deformed wing virus (DWV), and highlighting research areas that may help test it. Data so far suggest that DWV spills over from managed to wild bee species and has the potential to cause population decline. That DWV and other viruses of A. mellifera are found in other bee species needs to be considered for the sustainable management of bee populations. PMID:27351468

  4. Special Issue: Honey Bee Viruses

    PubMed Central

    Gisder, Sebastian; Genersch, Elke

    2015-01-01

    Pollination of flowering plants is an important ecosystem service provided by wild insect pollinators and managed honey bees. Hence, losses and declines of pollinating insect species threaten human food security and are of major concern not only for apiculture or agriculture but for human society in general. Honey bee colony losses and bumblebee declines have attracted intensive research interest over the last decade and although the problem is far from being solved we now know that viruses are among the key players of many of these bee losses and bumblebee declines. With this special issue on bee viruses we, therefore, aimed to collect high quality original papers reflecting the current state of bee virus research. To this end, we focused on newly discovered viruses (Lake Sinai viruses, bee macula-like virus), or a so far neglected virus species (Apis mellifera filamentous virus), and cutting edge technologies (mass spectrometry, RNAi approach) applied in the field. PMID:26702462

  5. Alfalfa forage and seed crop tolerance to flumioxazin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Weed control is an important component of producing high quality and high yielding alfalfa seed and forage. Flumioxazin was evaluated for weed control in alfalfa forage and seed production in 2007 and 2008 in Washington State. Flumioxazin applied at 0.14 and 0.28 kg ai/ha plus paraquat in February t...

  6. Reductions in potash for last-year alfalfa production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Applying the correct amount of potassium (K) fertilizer is critical for alfalfa yield and stand persistence; however, excess K fertilizer will decrease profits and increase the risk of milk fever when alfalfa is fed to fresh cows. Stand persistence is often not a major concern in the last year of al...

  7. Environmental stability of stem cell wall traits in alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The concentration of stem cell wall constituents in alfalfa, Medicago sativa L., herbage can affect dry matter intake and energy availability in dairy and beef production systems and impact energy conversion efficiency when alfalfa is used to produce biofuels. Stem Klason lignin, glucose, xylose, an...

  8. Physical analysis of COMT and CCOMT downregulated alfalfa stems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Caffeic Acid 3-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) and Caffeoyl CoA 3-O-Methyltransferase (CCOMT) downregulated alfalfas (Medicago sativa L.) have been created. This study examined stem characteristics of these lignin downregulated alfalfas grown in three environments. Twenty COMT and twenty CCOMT downregu...

  9. Predicting fertilizer nitrogen response in corn following alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Correct prediction and application of alfalfa nitrogen (N) credits to first-year corn can reduce fertilizer N costs for growers, reduce over-application of N, and reduce the potential for water contamination. For decades, researchers have found that first-year corn following alfalfa often requires n...

  10. Alfalfa: Potential For New Feed and Biofuel - USDFRC Research Update

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa hay is a major crop supporting U.S ruminant livestock industry, particularly dairy. Several cellulosic feedstocks will be needed to meet current ethanol production goals. Alfalfa has considerable potential as a feedstock for production of ethanol and other industrial materials because of i...

  11. Broadening the U.S. alfalfa germplasm base

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Over 4000 alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) plant introductions (PIs) exist in the USDA-ARS National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS). NAAIC has discussed/proposed pre-breeding efforts to utilize this germplasm for creating pre-commercial alfalfa germplasm. Funding constraints have been one impediment to th...

  12. ALFALFA YIELD AND QUALITY RELATIONSHIPS WITHIN INDIVIDUAL HARVESTS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Extensive cutting management research has documented the effects of date and frequency of harvest on alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) forage yield and quality. Information is lacking, however, on the change in quality relative to yield that occurs as alfalfa matures within cuttings over the whole growi...

  13. Does K affect N response of corn after alfalfa?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rising potassium (K) fertilizer prices in recent years have made it imperative for farmers to apply optimum K rates for alfalfa-corn rotations. However, little is understood about the effect of excess K applied to alfalfa on the subsequent corn crop's grain and silage yield. Furthermore, relatively ...

  14. Harvest management impacts on stem quality in alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The concentration of stem cell wall constituents in alfalfa, Medicago sativa L., herbage can affect dry matter intake and energy availability in dairy and beef production systems and impact energy conversion efficiency when alfalfa is used to produce biofuels. Stem total cell wall concentration, Kla...

  15. Satellite images reveal patterns in crop rotations with alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crops that follow alfalfa in rotation usually benefit from: i) reduced nitrogen (N) requirement from fertilizer or manure; ii) increased yield potential than when following other crops; and iii) reduced weed, insect, and disease pressure. Although benefits of alfalfa in crop rotations often depend o...

  16. Dig Alfalfa Plants to Assess Root Rots and Yield Potential

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Digging alfalfa plants and inspecting their crowns and roots for rot is critical to assess stand health and production potential. Brown root rot (BRR) has been a significant plant disease on alfalfa for decades but until recently was thought to only cause significant damage in western Canada. With i...

  17. New strategies for managing leaf diseases of alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Leaf diseases are a serious problem for alfalfa management in all areas where alfalfa is grown. Defoliation from leaf diseases has been measured from 3-71% depending on time of year, environmental conditions, age of the stand, and location. In addition to yield loss, foliar diseases can reduce forag...

  18. Inoculant effects on alfalfa silage: fermentation products and nutritive value

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effect of fourteen microbial inoculants on the fermentation and nutritive value of alfalfa silages was studied under laboratory conditions. First (477 g dry matter (DM)/kg) and second cuttings (393 g DM /kg) of a second year alfalfa stand were ensiled in two experiments. In both experiments, alf...

  19. Effect of glyphosate on foliar diseases in Roundup Ready alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Foliar diseases are a serious problem for alfalfa management in all areas where alfalfa is grown. Defoliation due to foliar diseases varies from 3-71% depending on time of year, environmental conditions, and locale. Fungicide treatments are cost-effective in only some years and locations. Recently, ...

  20. CYTOGENETIC INVESTIGATIONS OF NON-DORMANT ALFALFA GERMPLASM SOURCES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The combined techniques of chromosome C-banding, image analysis, and cluster analysis were utilized to compare the four historically distinct non-dormant alfalfa germplasm sources of tetraploid alfalfa (Medicago sativa ssp. sativa). Cytogenetic analyses revealed polymorphisms for heterochromatic DN...

  1. Elimination of toxicity from diets containing alfalfa seeds.

    PubMed

    Malinow, M R; McLaughlin, P; Bardana, E J; Craig, S

    1984-07-01

    Cynomolgus macaques were fed autoclaved alfalfa seeds for up to 1 yr. There were no humoral signs of a syndrome resembling systemic lupus erythematosus. The data are in contrast to those previously reported in monkeys fed raw alfalfa seeds, in which a systemic lupus erythematosus-like syndrome was induced in a shorter interval. The autoclaved seeds retained antihypercholesterolaemic effects. PMID:6540232

  2. Complete genome sequence of the alfalfa latent virus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa latent virus (ALV) is a member of the carlavirus group and occurs symptomlessly in alfalfa (Medicago sativa). In the US it is prevalent in Nebraska and Wisconsin. The virus is recognized as a strain of Pea streak virus (PeSV) So far, no complete genomic sequence of PSV or ALV is availab...

  3. Alfalfa Biomass Germplasms: SFP Detection and Transcriptome Analysis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Advances in alfalfa [Medicago sativa (L.) subsp. sativa] breeding, molecular genetics, and genomics have been slow because this crop is an allogamous autotetraploid (2n = 4x = 32) with complex polysomic inheritance. Increasing cellulose and decreasing lignin in alfalfa stem cell walls would improve ...

  4. Does Alfalfa-Hay NDFD Matter in a Dairy TMR?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Three feeding trials were conducted to study the effect of alfalfa-hay in vitro neutral detergent fiber digestibility (IVNDFD, 48-hour laboratory incubation in rumen fluid) on Holstein dairy cow performance. Treatments (Lh, Ll, Hh, and Hl) included four alfalfa hays selected for relatively low-(L) o...

  5. Potassium management during the rotation from alfalfa to corn

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    High potassium (K) fertilizer prices in recent years have made it imperative for growers to apply optimum K rates to alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). Current University of Minnesota fertilizer guidelines in the Corn Belt do not change for the last production year when alfalfa stand persistence is not a...

  6. 'Don' a Diploid Falcata Alfalfa for Western US Rangelands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    'Don' (Reg. No. CV-______, PI _______) a diploid falcata alfalfa (Medicago sativa subsp falcata L.) developed by the Forage and Range Research Laboratory in Logan, Utah, in cooperation with the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, Utah State University. Recent interest in falcata alfalfa has been ...

  7. The plight of the bees

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spivak, Marla; Mader, Eric; Vaughan, Mace; Euliss, Ned H.

    2011-01-01

    Some environmental issues polarize people, producing weary political stalemates of indecision and inaction. Others, however, grab hold of our most primeval instincts, causing us to reach deeply into our memories of childhood, and our first direct experiences with nature: the bumble bee nest we poked at with a stick; the man at the county fair with the bee beard. Those memories expand backward in time to our barefoot ancestors who climbed trees and robbed honey. They help define the human experience and provide context to our own place in the world.And so the plight of the bees strikes a common chord. For a brief moment simple matters of politics, economics, and nationality seem irrelevant. Colony collapse disorder, the name for the syndrome causing honey bees (Apis mellifera) to suddenly and mysteriously disappear from their hives - thousands of individual worker bees literally flying off to die - captured public consciousness when it was first named in 2007 (1). Since then, the story of vanishing honey bees has become ubiquitous in popular consciousness - driving everything from ice cream marketing campaigns to plots for The Simpsons. The untold story is that these hive losses are simply a capstone to more than a half-century of more prosaic day-to-day losses that beekeepers already faced from parasites, diseases, poor nutrition, and pesticide poisoning (2). The larger story still is that while honey bees are charismatic and important to agriculture, other important bees are also suffering, and in some cases their fates are far worse (3). These other bees are a subset of the roughly 4000 species of wild bumble bees (Bombus), leafcutter bees (Megachile), and others that are native to North America. While the honey bee was originally imported from Europe by colonists in the early 17th century, it is these native bees that have evolved with our local ecosystems, and, along with honey bees, are valuable crop pollinators. People want to know why bees are dying and how

  8. Opportunities exist to improve alfalfa and manure nitrogen crediting in corn following alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A survey of Minnesota growers was conducted to determine adoption of extension N rate guidelines for fertilizer and manure for first- and second-year corn (Zea mays L.) following alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) (AC and ACC, respectively) during 2009 to 2011. There were 421 and 273 valid responses for A...

  9. Opportunities exist to improve alfalfa and manure nitrogen crediting in corn following alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A survey was conducted in 2012 to evaluate the acceptance of fertilizer and manure N extension N rate guidelines for corn (Zea mays L.) grown as the first (AC) and second (ACC) crop following alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) during 2009 to 2011 in Minnesota. There were 421 valid responses for AC and 273...

  10. Alfalfa variety development. Minnesota Agripower Project, Task II research report

    SciTech Connect

    Lamb, J.F.S.; Samac, D.A.; Sheaffer, C.C.

    1997-10-30

    This report briefly summarizes preliminary results from crossbreeding alfalfa to develop desirable characteristics for a dedicated biomass feed stock. The varieties development is part of a larger project which includes preparation and gasification of the alfalfa stems for energy production, and use of the co-product alfalfa leaves in livestock feed. The desired alfalfa traits include winter hardiness, resistance to major pathogens, resistance to foliar disease complexes, many thick, tall, solid, non-lodging stems with high lignin content, delayed flowering, and high quality leaves retained through harvest. Currently no alfalfa varieties meet these criteria. Three crosses were made using old European varieties, with thick stems, and modern resistant varieties. The crossbreeds showed some resistance to diseases, but increased resistance is needed to maximize leaf and steam yield. 1 tab.

  11. Host density drives spatial variation in parasitism of the alfalfa weevil, Hypera postica, across dryland and irrigated alfalfa cropping systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biological control against the alfalfa weevil, Hypera postica (Gyllenhal), a destructive pest of alfalfa, has resulted in the establishment of nine hymenpoteran parasitoid species in the USA. Despite widespread redistribution of a number of these species, there remains little post-release data on th...

  12. Occurrence of transgenic feral alfalfa (Medicago sativa subsp. sativa L.) in alfalfa seed production areas in the United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Genetically-engineered glyphosate-resistant alfalfa (Medicago sativa subsp. sativa) was commercialized in 2011. The potential risk of transgene dispersal into the environment is not clearly understood for alfalfa, a perennial crop that is cross-pollinated by insects. We gathered data on feral and tr...

  13. MOLECULAR DNA MARKERS UTILIZED TO DISCERN ALFALFA FALL DORMANCY CHECK CULTIVARS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa cultivars are difficult to distinguish based upon morphological traits. Only a few morphological traits have been used to describe alfalfa. Molecular markers especially simple sequence repeats (SSR) have not been utilized in alfalfa to characterize alfalfa cultivars. This study was conduct...

  14. Challenges and opportunities for improved N management in corn following alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    With some exceptions, the alfalfa nitrogen (N) credit usually eliminates the need for manure N and/or fertilizer N to economically optimize yield of the first corn crop following alfalfa. Alfalfa also can provide nearly one-half or more of the N requirement for the second corn crop following alfalfa...

  15. Bees brought to their knees: Microbes affecting honey bee health

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The biology and health of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, has been of interest to human societies since the advent of beekeeping. Descriptive scientific research on pathogens affecting honey bees have been published for nearly a century, but it wasn’t until the recent outbreak of heavy colony losses...

  16. Assessing Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Foraging Populations and the Potential Impact of Pesticides on Eight U.S. Crops.

    PubMed

    Frazier, Maryann T; Mullin, Chris A; Frazier, Jim L; Ashcraft, Sara A; Leslie, Tim W; Mussen, Eric C; Drummond, Frank A

    2015-10-01

    Beekeepers who use honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) for crop pollination services, or have colonies making honey on or in close proximity to agricultural crops, are concerned about the reductions of colony foragers and ultimate weakening of their colonies. Pesticide exposure is a potential factor in the loss of foragers. During 2009-2010, we assessed changes in the field force populations of 9-10 colonies at one location per crop on each of the eight crops by counting departing foragers leaving colonies at regular intervals during the respective crop blooming periods. The number of frames of adult bees was counted before and after bloom period. For pesticide analysis, we collected dead and dying bees near the hives, returning foragers, crop flowers, trapped pollen, and corn-flowers associated with the cotton crop. The number of departing foragers changed over time in all crops except almonds; general patterns in foraging activity included declines (cotton), noticeable peaks and declines (alfalfa, blueberries, cotton, corn, and pumpkins), and increases (apples and cantaloupes). The number of adult bee frames increased or remained stable in all crops except alfalfa and cotton. A total of 53 different pesticide residues were identified in samples collected across eight crops. Hazard quotients (HQ) were calculated for the combined residues for all crop-associated samples and separately for samples of dead and dying bees. A decrease in the number of departing foragers in cotton was one of the most substantial crop-associated impacts and presented the highest pesticide risk estimated by a summed pesticide residue HQ. PMID:26453703

  17. Assessing Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Foraging Populations and the Potential Impact of Pesticides on Eight U.S. Crops

    PubMed Central

    Frazier, Maryann T.; Mullin, Chris A.; Frazier, Jim L.; Ashcraft, Sara A.; Leslie, Tim W.; Mussen, Eric C.; Drummond, Frank A.

    2015-01-01

    Beekeepers who use honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) for crop pollination services, or have colonies making honey on or in close proximity to agricultural crops, are concerned about the reductions of colony foragers and ultimate weakening of their colonies. Pesticide exposure is a potential factor in the loss of foragers. During 2009–2010, we assessed changes in the field force populations of 9–10 colonies at one location per crop on each of the eight crops by counting departing foragers leaving colonies at regular intervals during the respective crop blooming periods. The number of frames of adult bees was counted before and after bloom period. For pesticide analysis, we collected dead and dying bees near the hives, returning foragers, crop flowers, trapped pollen, and corn-flowers associated with the cotton crop. The number of departing foragers changed over time in all crops except almonds; general patterns in foraging activity included declines (cotton), noticeable peaks and declines (alfalfa, blueberries, cotton, corn, and pumpkins), and increases (apples and cantaloupes). The number of adult bee frames increased or remained stable in all crops except alfalfa and cotton. A total of 53 different pesticide residues were identified in samples collected across eight crops. Hazard quotients (HQ) were calculated for the combined residues for all crop-associated samples and separately for samples of dead and dying bees. A decrease in the number of departing foragers in cotton was one of the most substantial crop-associated impacts and presented the highest pesticide risk estimated by a summed pesticide residue HQ. PMID:26453703

  18. Impact of currently used or potentially useful insecticides for canola agroecosystems on Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae), Megachile rotundata (Hymentoptera: Megachilidae), and Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae).

    PubMed

    Scott-Dupree, C D; Conroy, L; Harris, C R

    2009-02-01

    Pest management practices may be contributing to a decline in wild bee populations in or near canola (Brassica napus L.) agroecosystems. The objective of this study was to investigate the direct contact toxicity of five technical grade insecticides--imidacloprid, clothianidin, deltamethrin, spinosad, and novaluron--currently used, or with potential for use in canola integrated pest management on bees that may forage in canola: common eastern bumble bees [Bombus impatiens (Cresson); hereafter bumble bees], alfalfa leafcutting bees [Megachile rotundata (F.)], and Osmia lignaria Cresson. Clothianidin and to a lesser extent imidacloprid were highly toxic to all three species, deltamethrin and spinosad were intermediate in toxicity, and novaluron was nontoxic. Bumble bees were generally more tolerant to the direct contact applications > O. lignaria > leafcutting bees. However, differences in relative toxicities between the three species were not consistent, e.g., whereas clothianidin was only 4.9 and 1.3x more toxic, deltamethrin was 53 and 68x more toxic to leafcutting bees than to bumble bees and O. lignaria, respectively. Laboratory assessment of direct contact toxicity, although useful, is only one measure of potential impact, and mortality under field conditions may differ greatly depending on management practices. Research conducted using only honey bees as the indicator species may not adequately reflect the risk posed by insecticides to wild bees because of their unique biology and differential susceptibility. Research programs focused on determining nontarget impact on pollinators should be expanded to include not only the honey bee but also wild bee species representative of the agricultural system under investigation. PMID:19253634

  19. Genetic toolkits for bee health

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Beekeepers, inspectors, and researchers have a shared interest in checking bees and hives for clues related to bee health and disease. These checks take many forms, from lifting fall supers prior to feeding decisions to carrying out sticky board or jar tests for estimating varroa populations. Most d...

  20. Honey Bees: Sweetness and Mites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bee colony losses have been in the news lately and the potential reasons for these losses have taken up much space in the news media. In order to clarify what role mites play in the current loss (2006-2007) of bee colonies, called Colony Collapse Disorder, a better understanding of what a mit...

  1. Hey! A Bee Stung Me!

    MedlinePlus

    ... from flowers. Then they turn the nectar into honey for food. Wasps are closely related to bees, but instead of only feeding on pollen and honey, wasps eat animal food, other insects, or spiders. They are not fuzzy like bees, but seem kind of smooth and shiny, and ...

  2. Safety with Wasps and Bees.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hackett, Erla

    This guide is designed to provide elementary school teachers with safe learning activities concerning bees and wasps. The following topics are included: (1) the importance of a positive teacher attitude towards bees and wasps; (2) special problems posed by paper wasps; (3) what to do when a child is bothered by a wasp; (4) what to do if a wasp…

  3. Native bees and plant pollination

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ginsberg, H.S.

    2004-01-01

    Bees are important pollinators, but evidence suggests that numbers of some species are declining. Decreases have been documented in the honey bee, Apis mellifera (which was introduced to North America), but there are no monitoring programs for the vast majority of native species, so we cannot be sure about the extent of this problem. Recent efforts to develop standardized protocols for bee sampling will help us collect the data needed to assess trends in bee populations. Unfortunately, diversity of bee life cycles and phenologies, and the large number of rare species, make it difficult to assess trends in bee faunas. Changes in bee populations can affect plant reproduction, which can influence plant population density and cover, thus potentially modifying horizontal and vertical structure of a community, microclimate near the ground, patterns of nitrogen deposition, etc. These potential effects of changes in pollination patterns have not been assessed in natural communities. Effects of management actions on bees and other pollinators should be considered in conservation planning.

  4. 7 CFR 322.29 - Dead bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Dead bees. 322.29 Section 322.29 Agriculture..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE BEES, BEEKEEPING BYPRODUCTS, AND BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT Importation and Transit of Restricted Articles § 322.29 Dead bees. (a) Dead bees imported into or transiting the United States must...

  5. 7 CFR 322.29 - Dead bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Dead bees. 322.29 Section 322.29 Agriculture..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE BEES, BEEKEEPING BYPRODUCTS, AND BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT Importation and Transit of Restricted Articles § 322.29 Dead bees. (a) Dead bees imported into or transiting the United States must...

  6. 7 CFR 322.29 - Dead bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Dead bees. 322.29 Section 322.29 Agriculture..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE BEES, BEEKEEPING BYPRODUCTS, AND BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT Importation and Transit of Restricted Articles § 322.29 Dead bees. (a) Dead bees imported into or transiting the United States must...

  7. 7 CFR 322.29 - Dead bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Dead bees. 322.29 Section 322.29 Agriculture..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE BEES, BEEKEEPING BYPRODUCTS, AND BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT Importation and Transit of Restricted Articles § 322.29 Dead bees. (a) Dead bees imported into or transiting the United States must...

  8. 7 CFR 322.29 - Dead bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Dead bees. 322.29 Section 322.29 Agriculture..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE BEES, BEEKEEPING BYPRODUCTS, AND BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT Importation and Transit of Restricted Articles § 322.29 Dead bees. (a) Dead bees imported into or transiting the United States must...

  9. The bees of Colorado (Hymenoptra: Apoidea: Anthophila)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Colorado Bee List contains 940 valid extant bee species in 66 genera. Distributional data are presented at the county level for each bee species found within Colorado. The history of bee research in Colorado is reviewed and important contributors are noted. Gaps in our current understanding o...

  10. Bees in Nature and on the Farm

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This publication is the introductory chapter for the book, "Bees in Agricultural Ecosystems." The chapter enlightens the reader on the natural history and evolution of bees, why bees are important for pollination, and why plants are important to bees. The intent of the book and a summary of its co...

  11. Polychlorinated biphenyls in honey bees

    SciTech Connect

    Morse, R.A.; Culliney, T.W.; Gutenmann, W.H.; Littman, C.B.; Lisk, D.J.

    1987-02-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) may traverse a radius of several miles from their hives and contact innumerable surfaces during their collection of nectar, pollen, propolis and water. In the process, they may become contaminated with surface constituents which are indicative of the type of environmental pollution in their particular foraging area. Honey has also been analyzed as a possible indicator of heavy metal pollution. Insecticides used in the vicinity of bee hives have been found in bees and honey. It has been recently reported that appreciable concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been found in honey bees sampled throughout Connecticut. In the work reported here, an analytical survey was conducted on PCBs in honey bees, honey, propolis and related samples in several states to learn the extent of contamination and possible sources.

  12. Chemical ecology of bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Ayasse, Manfred; Jarau, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    Bumble bees are of major importance, ecologically and economically as pollinators in cool and temperate biomes and as model organisms for scientific research. Chemical signals and cues have been shown to play an outstanding role in intraspecific and interspecific communication systems within and outside of a bumble bee colony. In the present review we compile and critically assess the literature on the chemical ecology of bumble bees, including cuckoo bumble bees. The development of new and more sensitive analytical tools and improvements in sociogenetic methods significantly enhanced our knowledge about chemical compounds that mediate the regulation of reproduction in the social phase of colony development, about the interactions between host bumble bees and their social parasites, about pheromones involved in mating behavior, as well as about the importance of signals, cues and context-dependent learning in foraging behavior. Our review intends to stimulate new studies on the many unresolved questions concerning the chemical ecology of these fascinating insects. PMID:24160431

  13. Tetrasomic Segregation for Multiple Alleles in Alfalfa

    PubMed Central

    Quiros, Carlos F.

    1982-01-01

    Evidence of tetrasomic inheritance in alfalfa, Medicago sativa L. and M. falcata L., for multiple codominant alleles at three isozymic loci is reported in this study. The locus Prx-1 governing anodal peroxidase and the loci Lap-1 and Lap-2 governing anodal leucine-aminopeptidase were studied by starch gel electrophoresis in seedling root tissue or seeds. The progenies from several di-, tri- or tetra-allelic plants belong to the species M. sativa and M. falcata and their hybrids were studied for the segregation of the three genes. In all cases, tetrasomic inheritance of chromosomal-type segregation was observed. In another progeny resulting from the crossing of two plants involving four different alleles at locus Lap-2, tetrasomic segregation with the possible occurrence of double reduction was observed. This study presents direct evidence of autotetraploidy and the existence of tetra-allelic loci in alfalfa. It also supports the concept that the species M. sativa and M. falcata are genetically close enough to be considered biotypes of a common species. PMID:17246077

  14. In vitro ruminal degradation and synthesis of protein on fractions extracted from alfalfa hay and silage.

    PubMed

    Peltekova, V D; Broderick, G A

    1996-04-01

    Net release of degraded N as NH3 and total AA plus microbial protein synthesis, quantified from incorporation of 15NH3 into microbial protein, was used to estimate the rate and extent of in vitro degradation of protein fractions isolated from alfalfa hay and silage. Seven proteins (casein, alfalfa hay, alfalfa silage, extracts from alfalfa hay and silage, and residues from alfalfa hay and silage) were studied. Results from (NH4)2SO4 and SDS-PAGE fractionations suggested that soluble proteins in alfalfa hay and silage differed in susceptibility to proteolytic attack. Although the net release of NH3 plus total AA N from alfalfa silage and alfalfa silage extract was twofold greater than that from alfalfa hay and alfalfa hay extract, net microbial protein synthesis on alfalfa hay and alfalfa hay extract was 33 and 43% greater. Despite greater NPN content in alfalfa silage, protein degradation rate and estimated escape were similar for intact alfalfa hay (0.103/h and 43%) and silage (0.067/h and 43%). This result might be explained by the less efficient microbial utilization of silage NPN, greater protozoal numbers on hay, greater soluble true protein in hay, or differences in molecular mass and stability of soluble proteins in hay versus silage. Use of a two-compartment model, based on water-soluble and insoluble CP fractions assumed to pass with the liquid and solid phases, respectively, yielded RUP estimates for alfalfa hay and silage that were similar to NRC estimates. PMID:8744226

  15. Immune defense in leaf-cutting ants: a cross-fostering approach.

    PubMed

    Armitage, Sophie A O; Broch, Jens F; Marín, Hermogenes Fernández; Nash, David R; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2011-06-01

    To ameliorate the impact of disease, social insects combine individual innate immune defenses with collective social defenses. This implies that there are different levels of selection acting on investment in immunity, each with their own trade-offs. We present the results of a cross-fostering experiment designed to address the influences of genotype and social rearing environment upon individual and social immune defenses. We used a multiply mating leaf-cutting ant, enabling us to test for patriline effects within a colony, as well as cross-colony matriline effects. The worker's father influenced both individual innate immunity (constitutive antibacterial activity) and the size of the metapleural gland, which secretes antimicrobial compounds and functions in individual and social defense, indicating multiple mating could have important consequences for both defense types. However, the primarily social defense, a Pseudonocardia bacteria that helps to control pathogens in the ants' fungus garden, showed a significant colony of origin by rearing environment interaction, whereby ants that acquired the bacteria of a foster colony obtained a less abundant cover of bacteria: one explanation for this pattern would be co-adaptation between host colonies and their vertically transmitted mutualist. These results illustrate the complexity of the selection pressures that affect the expression of multilevel immune defenses. PMID:21644963

  16. Differential gene expression in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants after challenges with two fungal pathogens.

    PubMed

    Yek, Sze H; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Schiøtt, Morten

    2013-04-01

    Social insects in general and leaf-cutting ants in particular have increased selection pressures on their innate immune system due to their social lifestyle and monoclonality of the symbiotic fungal cultivar. As this symbiosis is obligate for both parties, prophylactic behavioural defences against infections are expected to increase either ant survival or fungus-garden survival, but also to possibly trade off when specific infections differ in potential danger. We examined the effectiveness of prophylactic behaviours and modulations of innate immune defences by a combination of inoculation bioassays and genome-wide transcriptomic studies (RNA-Seq), using an ant pathogen (Metarhizium brunneum) and a fungus-garden pathogen (Escovopsis weberi) and administering inoculations both directly and indirectly (via the symbiotic partner). Upon detection of pathogen conidia, ant workers responded by increasing both general activity and the frequency of specific defence behaviours (self-grooming, allo-grooming, garden-grooming) independent of the pathogen encountered. This trend was also evident in the patterns of gene expression change. Both direct and indirect (via fungus garden) inoculations with Metarhizium induced a general up-regulation of gene expression, including a number of well-known immune-related genes. In contrast, direct inoculation of the fungus garden by Escovopsis induced an overall down-regulation of ant gene expression, whereas indirect inoculation (via the ants) did not, suggesting that increased activity of ants to remove this fungus-garden pathogen is costly and involves trade-offs with the activation of other physiological pathways. PMID:23480581

  17. Acromyrmex Leaf-Cutting Ants Have Simple Gut Microbiota with Nitrogen-Fixing Potential

    PubMed Central

    Zhukova, Mariya; Hansen, Lars H.; Sørensen, Søren J.; Schiøtt, Morten

    2015-01-01

    Ants and termites have independently evolved obligate fungus-farming mutualisms, but their gardening procedures are fundamentally different, as the termites predigest their plant substrate whereas the ants deposit it directly on the fungus garden. Fungus-growing termites retained diverse gut microbiota, but bacterial gut communities in fungus-growing leaf-cutting ants have not been investigated, so it is unknown whether and how they are specialized on an exclusively fungal diet. Here we characterized the gut bacterial community of Panamanian Acromyrmex species, which are dominated by only four bacterial taxa: Wolbachia, Rhizobiales, and two Entomoplasmatales taxa. We show that the Entomoplasmatales can be both intracellular and extracellular across different gut tissues, Wolbachia is mainly but not exclusively intracellular, and the Rhizobiales species is strictly extracellular and confined to the gut lumen, where it forms biofilms along the hindgut cuticle supported by an adhesive matrix of polysaccharides. Tetracycline diets eliminated the Entomoplasmatales symbionts but hardly affected Wolbachia and only moderately reduced the Rhizobiales, suggesting that the latter are protected by the biofilm matrix. We show that the Rhizobiales symbiont produces bacterial NifH proteins that have been associated with the fixation of nitrogen, suggesting that these compartmentalized hindgut symbionts alleviate nutritional constraints emanating from an exclusive fungus garden diet reared on a substrate of leaves. PMID:26048932

  18. Generation of Nutrients and Detoxification: Possible Roles of Yeasts in Leaf-Cutting Ant Nests

    PubMed Central

    Mendes, Thais D.; Rodrigues, André; Dayo-Owoyemi, Ifeloju; Marson, Fernando A. L.; Pagnocca, Fernando C.

    2012-01-01

    The possible roles played by yeasts in attine ant nests are mostly unknown. Here we present our investigations on the plant polysaccharide degradation profile of 82 yeasts isolated from fungus gardens of Atta and Acromyrmex species to demonstrate that yeasts found in ant nests may play the role of making nutrients readily available throughout the garden and detoxification of compounds that may be deleterious to the ants and their fungal cultivar. Among the yeasts screened, 65% exhibited cellulolytic enzymes, 44% exhibited pectinolytic activity while 27% and 17% possess enzyme systems for the degradation of protease and amylase, respectively. Galacturonic acid, which had been reported in previous work to be poorly assimilated by the ant fungus and also to have a negative effect on ants’ survival, was assimilated by 64% and 79% of yeasts isolated from nests of A. texana and Acromyrmex respectively. Our results suggest that yeasts found in ant nests may participate in generation of nutrients and removal of potentially toxic compounds, thereby contributing to the stability of the complex microbiota found in the leaf-cutting ant nests. PMID:26467957

  19. Variation in nestmate recognition ability among polymorphic leaf-cutting ant workers.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Janni; Fouks, Bertrand; Bos, Nick; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Nehring, Volker

    2014-11-01

    A key feature for the success of social insects is division of labour, allowing colony members to specialize on different tasks. Nest defence is a defining task for social insects since it is crucial for colony integrity. A particularly impressive and well-known case of worker specialization in complex hymenopteran societies is found in leaf-cutting ants of the genera Atta and Acromyrmex. We hypothesized that three morphological worker castes of Acromyrmex echinatior differ in their likelihood to attack intruders, and show that major workers are more aggressive towards non-nestmate workers than medium and minor workers. Moreover, minors do not discriminate between nestmate and non-nestmate brood, while larger workers do. We further show that A. echinatior ants use cuticular chemical compounds for nestmate recognition. We took advantage of the natural variation in the cuticular compounds between colonies to investigate the proximate factors that may have led to the observed caste differences in aggression. We infer that major workers differ from medium workers in their general propensity to attack intruders (the "action component" of the nestmate recognition system), while minors seem to be less sensitive to foreign odours ("perception component"). Our results highlight the importance of proximate mechanisms underlying social insect behaviour, and encourage an appreciation of intra-colony variation when analysing colony-level traits such as nest defence. PMID:25205477

  20. Allometric scaling of foraging rate with trail dimensions in leaf-cutting ants

    PubMed Central

    Bruce, Andrew I.; Burd, Martin

    2012-01-01

    Leaf-cutting ants (Atta spp.) create physical pathways to support the transport of resources on which colony growth and reproduction depend. We determined the scaling relationship between the rate of resource acquisition and the size of the trail system and foraging workforce for 18 colonies of Atta colombica and Atta cephalotes. We examined conventional power-law scaling patterns, but did so in a multivariate analysis that reveals the simultaneous effects of forager number, trail length and trail width. Foraging rate (number of resource-laden ants returning to the nest per unit time) scaled at the 0.93 power of worker numbers, the –1.02 power of total trail length and the 0.65 power of trail width. These scaling exponents indicate that individual performance declines only slightly as more foragers are recruited to the workforce, but that trail length imposes a severe penalty on the foraging rate. A model of mass traffic flow predicts the allometric patterns for workforce and trail length, although the effect of trail width is unexpected and points to the importance of the little-known mechanisms that regulate a colony's investment in trail clearance. These results provide a point of comparison for the role that resource flows may play in allometric scaling patterns in other transport-dependent entities, such as human cities. PMID:22337696

  1. Mortality rates and division of labor in the leaf-cutting ant, Atta colombica

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Mark J F.; Bot, A N M.; Hart, Adam G.

    2006-01-01

    Division of labor in social groups is affected by the relative costs and benefits of conducting different tasks. However, most studies have examined the dynamics of division of labor, rather than the costs and benefits that presumably underlie the evolution of such systems. In social insects, division of labor may be simplistically described as a source-sink system, with external tasks, such as foraging, acting as sinks for the work force. The implications of two distinct sinks – foraging and waste-heap working – for division of labor were examined in the leaf-cutting ant Atta colombica. Intrinsic mortality rates were similar across external task groups. Exposure to waste (a task-related environment) led to a 60% increase in the mortality rate of waste-heap workers compared to workers not exposed to waste. Given the small number of workers present in the waste-heap task group, such increases in mortality are unlikely to affect division of labor and task allocation dramatically, except perhaps under conditions of stress. PMID:19537995

  2. A colony-level response to disease control in a leaf-cutting ant.

    PubMed

    Hart, Adam G; Bot, A N M; Brown, Mark J F

    2002-06-01

    Parasites and pathogens often impose significant costs on their hosts. This is particularly true for social organisms, where the genetic structure of groups and the accumulation of contaminated waste facilitate disease transmission. In response, hosts have evolved many mechanisms of defence against parasites. Here we present evidence that Atta colombica, a leaf-cutting ant, may combat Escovopsis, a dangerous parasite of Atta's garden fungus, through a colony-level behavioural response. In A. colombica, garden waste is removed from within the colony and transported to the midden--an external waste dump--where it is processed by a group of midden workers. We found that colonies infected with Escovopsis have higher numbers of workers on the midden, where Escovopsis is deposited. Further, midden workers are highly effective in dispersing newly deposited waste away from the dumping site. Thus, the colony-level task allocation strategies of the Atta superorganism may change in response to the threat of disease to a third, essential party. PMID:12146794

  3. Acromyrmex Leaf-Cutting Ants Have Simple Gut Microbiota with Nitrogen-Fixing Potential.

    PubMed

    Sapountzis, Panagiotis; Zhukova, Mariya; Hansen, Lars H; Sørensen, Søren J; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2015-08-15

    Ants and termites have independently evolved obligate fungus-farming mutualisms, but their gardening procedures are fundamentally different, as the termites predigest their plant substrate whereas the ants deposit it directly on the fungus garden. Fungus-growing termites retained diverse gut microbiota, but bacterial gut communities in fungus-growing leaf-cutting ants have not been investigated, so it is unknown whether and how they are specialized on an exclusively fungal diet. Here we characterized the gut bacterial community of Panamanian Acromyrmex species, which are dominated by only four bacterial taxa: Wolbachia, Rhizobiales, and two Entomoplasmatales taxa. We show that the Entomoplasmatales can be both intracellular and extracellular across different gut tissues, Wolbachia is mainly but not exclusively intracellular, and the Rhizobiales species is strictly extracellular and confined to the gut lumen, where it forms biofilms along the hindgut cuticle supported by an adhesive matrix of polysaccharides. Tetracycline diets eliminated the Entomoplasmatales symbionts but hardly affected Wolbachia and only moderately reduced the Rhizobiales, suggesting that the latter are protected by the biofilm matrix. We show that the Rhizobiales symbiont produces bacterial NifH proteins that have been associated with the fixation of nitrogen, suggesting that these compartmentalized hindgut symbionts alleviate nutritional constraints emanating from an exclusive fungus garden diet reared on a substrate of leaves. PMID:26048932

  4. Two fungal symbioses collide: endophytic fungi are not welcome in leaf-cutting ant gardens

    PubMed Central

    Van Bael, Sunshine A.; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Valencia, Mariana C.; Rojas, Enith I.; Wcislo, William T.; Herre, Edward A.

    2009-01-01

    Interactions among the component members of different symbioses are not well studied. For example, leaf-cutting ants maintain an obligate symbiosis with their fungal garden, while the leaf material they provide to their garden is usually filled with endophytic fungi. The ants and their cultivar may interact with hundreds of endophytic fungal species, yet little is known about these interactions. Experimental manipulations showed that (i) ants spend more time cutting leaves from a tropical vine, Merremia umbellata, with high versus low endophyte densities, (ii) ants reduce the amount of endophytic fungi in leaves before planting them in their gardens, (iii) the ants' fungal cultivar inhibits the growth of most endophytes tested. Moreover, the inhibition by the ants' cultivar was relatively greater for more rapidly growing endophyte strains that could potentially out-compete or overtake the garden. Our results suggest that endophytes are not welcome in the garden, and that the ants and their cultivar combine ant hygiene behaviour with fungal inhibition to reduce endophyte activity in the nest. PMID:19364739

  5. Sperm mixing in the polyandrous leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior

    PubMed Central

    Stürup, Marlene; Nash, David R; Hughes, William O H; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2014-01-01

    The insemination of queens by sperm from multiple males (polyandry) has evolved in a number of eusocial insect lineages despite the likely costs of the behavior. The selective advantages in terms of colony fitness must therefore also be significant and there is now good evidence that polyandry increases genetic variation among workers, thereby improving the efficiency of division of labor, resistance against disease, and diluting the impact of genetically incompatible matings. However, these advantages will only be maximized if the sperm of initially discrete ejaculates are mixed when stored in queen spermathecae and used for egg fertilization in a “fair raffle.” Remarkably, however, very few studies have addressed the level of sperm mixing in social insects. Here we analyzed sperm use over time in the highly polyandrous leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior. We genotyped cohorts of workers produced either 2 months apart or up to over a year apart, and batches of eggs laid up to over 2 years apart, and tested whether fluctuations in patriline distributions deviated from random. We show that the representation of father males in both egg and worker cohorts does not change over time, consistent with obligatorily polyandrous queens maximizing their fitness when workers are as genetically diverse as possible. PMID:25478149

  6. Alfalfa stem feedstock for IGCC power system fuel

    SciTech Connect

    DeLong, M.M.; Onischak, M.; Schmid, M.; Wiant, B.; Oelke, E.

    1995-12-31

    A feasibility study was completed for an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) electric power generation plant to operate in conjunction with an alfalfa processing plant that provides the gasification feedstock and a mid-level protein animal feed co-product. Alfalfa stem material was evaluated as a gasification feedstock. The leaf material was evaluated as a mid-level protein animal feed supplement. The alfalfa leaf-stem separation and power generation operations have dual and/or synergistic functions which contribute to a technically and economically compatible combination. The pressurized biomass gasification process selected is the IGT RENUGAS{trademark} system licensed to Tampella Power Corp. Adaptation of the air-blown gasification process to alfalfa stems results in low-Btu fuel gas suitable for combustion turbines. The gasification process is expected to obtain very high carbon conversion with low tar production, overcome ash agglomeration, and provide for control of volatile alkali species. A hot gas clean-up system removes particulate matter with a ceramic filter system. The collected ash residues are expected to be returned to the land that grew the alfalfa. The physical and chemical properties of the alfalfa feedstock were evaluated for the gasification process. The alfalfa char carbon-steam reaction, which is the slowest step in the complete conversion of biomass to gases, was measured and the char proved to have a high reactivity. Ash components were measured and evaluated in terms of agglomeration within the gasifier. Using this information, the alfalfa gasification conditions were predicted. A subsequent preliminary gasification test confirmed the alfalfa gasification conditions. To complete the engineering design of the IGCC system, additional testing is required, but the results to date are positive for a successful process.

  7. Differences in Forage-Acquisition and Fungal Enzyme Activity Contribute to Niche Segregation in Panamanian Leaf-Cutting Ants

    PubMed Central

    Kooij, Pepijn W.; Liberti, Joanito; Giampoudakis, Konstantinos; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2014-01-01

    The genera Atta and Acromyrmex are often grouped as leaf-cutting ants for pest management assessments and ecological surveys, although their mature colony sizes and foraging niches may differ substantially. Few studies have addressed such interspecific differences at the same site, which prompted us to conduct a comparative study across six sympatric leaf-cutting ant species in Central Panama. We show that foraging rates during the transition between dry and wet season differ about 60 fold between genera, but are relatively constant across species within genera. These differences appear to match overall differences in colony size, especially when Atta workers that return to their nests without leaves are assumed to carry liquid food. We confirm that Panamanian Atta specialize primarily on tree-leaves whereas Acromyrmex focus on collecting flowers and herbal leaves and that species within genera are similar in these overall foraging strategies. Species within genera tended to be spaced out over the three habitat categories that we distinguished (forest, forest edge, open grassland), but each of these habitats normally had only a single predominant Atta and Acromyrmex species. We measured activities of twelve fungus garden decomposition enzymes, belonging to the amylases, cellulases, hemicellulases, pectinases and proteinases, and show that average enzyme activity per unit of fungal mass in Atta gardens is lower than in Acromyrmex gardens. Expression profiles of fungal enzymes in Atta also appeared to be more specialized than in Acromyrmex, possibly reflecting variation in forage material. Our results suggest that species- and genus-level identities of leaf-cutting ants and habitat-specific foraging profiles may give predictable differences in the expression of fungal genes coding for decomposition enzymes. PMID:24718261

  8. Preliminary in vitro insights into the use of natural fungal pathogens of leaf-cutting ants as biocontrol agents.

    PubMed

    Folgarait, Patricia; Gorosito, Norma; Poulsen, Michael; Currie, Cameron R

    2011-09-01

    Leaf-cutting ants are one of the main herbivores of the Neotropics, where they represent an important agricultural pest. These ants are particularly difficult to control because of the complex network of microbial symbionts. Leaf-cutting ants have traditionally been controlled through pesticide application, but there is a need for alternative, more environmentally friendly, control methods such as biological control. Potential promising biocontrol candidates include the microfungi Escovopsis spp. (anamorphic Hypocreales), which are specialized pathogens of the fungi the ants cultivate for food. These pathogens are suppressed through ant behaviors and ant-associated antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria. In order to be an effective biocontrol agent, Escovopsis has to overcome these defenses. Here, we evaluate, using microbial in vitro assays, whether defenses in the ant-cultivated fungus strain (Leucoagaricus sp.) and Actinobacteria from the ant pest Acromyrmex lundii have the potential to limit the use of Escovopsis in biocontrol. We also explore, for the first time, possible synergistic biocontrol between Escovopsis and the entomopathogenic fungus Lecanicillium lecanii. All strains of Escovopsis proved to overgrow A. lundii cultivar in less than 7 days, with the Escovopsis strain isolated from a different leaf-cutting ant species being the most efficient. Escovopsis challenged with a Streptomyces strain isolated from A. lundii did not exhibit significant growth inhibition. Both results are encouraging for the use of Escovopsis as a biocontrol agent. Although we found that L. lecanii can suppress the growth of the cultivar, it also had a negative impact on Escovopsis, making the success of simultaneous use of these two fungi for biocontrol of A. lundii questionable. PMID:21739253

  9. Differences in forage-acquisition and fungal enzyme activity contribute to niche segregation in Panamanian leaf-cutting ants.

    PubMed

    Kooij, Pepijn W; Liberti, Joanito; Giampoudakis, Konstantinos; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2014-01-01

    The genera Atta and Acromyrmex are often grouped as leaf-cutting ants for pest management assessments and ecological surveys, although their mature colony sizes and foraging niches may differ substantially. Few studies have addressed such interspecific differences at the same site, which prompted us to conduct a comparative study across six sympatric leaf-cutting ant species in Central Panama. We show that foraging rates during the transition between dry and wet season differ about 60 fold between genera, but are relatively constant across species within genera. These differences appear to match overall differences in colony size, especially when Atta workers that return to their nests without leaves are assumed to carry liquid food. We confirm that Panamanian Atta specialize primarily on tree-leaves whereas Acromyrmex focus on collecting flowers and herbal leaves and that species within genera are similar in these overall foraging strategies. Species within genera tended to be spaced out over the three habitat categories that we distinguished (forest, forest edge, open grassland), but each of these habitats normally had only a single predominant Atta and Acromyrmex species. We measured activities of twelve fungus garden decomposition enzymes, belonging to the amylases, cellulases, hemicellulases, pectinases and proteinases, and show that average enzyme activity per unit of fungal mass in Atta gardens is lower than in Acromyrmex gardens. Expression profiles of fungal enzymes in Atta also appeared to be more specialized than in Acromyrmex, possibly reflecting variation in forage material. Our results suggest that species- and genus-level identities of leaf-cutting ants and habitat-specific foraging profiles may give predictable differences in the expression of fungal genes coding for decomposition enzymes. PMID:24718261

  10. Honey bee pathology: current threats to honey bees and beekeeping.

    PubMed

    Genersch, Elke

    2010-06-01

    Managed honey bees are the most important commercial pollinators of those crops which depend on animal pollination for reproduction and which account for 35% of the global food production. Hence, they are vital for an economic, sustainable agriculture and for food security. In addition, honey bees also pollinate a variety of wild flowers and, therefore, contribute to the biodiversity of many ecosystems. Honey and other hive products are, at least economically and ecologically rather, by-products of beekeeping. Due to this outstanding role of honey bees, severe and inexplicable honey bee colony losses, which have been reported recently to be steadily increasing, have attracted much attention and stimulated many research activities. Although the phenomenon "decline of honey bees" is far from being finally solved, consensus exists that pests and pathogens are the single most important cause of otherwise inexplicable colony losses. This review will focus on selected bee pathogens and parasites which have been demonstrated to be involved in colony losses in different regions of the world and which, therefore, are considered current threats to honey bees and beekeeping. PMID:20401479

  11. Relationship of crop radiance to alfalfa agronomic values

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tucker, C. J.; Elgin, J. H., Jr.; Mcmurtrey, J. E., III

    1980-01-01

    Red and photographic infrared spectral data of alfalfa were collected at the time of the third and fourth cuttings using a hand-held radiometer for the earlier alfalfa cutting. Significant linear and non-linear correlation coefficients were found between the spectral variables and plant height, biomass, forage water content, and estimated canopy cover. For the alfalfa of the later cutting, which had experienced a period of severe drought stress which limited growth, the spectral variables were found to be highly correlated with the estimated drought scores.

  12. Feasibility study: Alfalfa leaf meal as a value-added crop and alfalfa stems as biomass fuel. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Gray, A.; Kaan, D.

    1996-05-28

    The grantee recognizes the importance of alfalfa production to agricultural economics in the western United States. With this grant, it secured the assistance of experts at the University of Wyoming to explore alternative uses for and, thus, ways to add value to alfalfa. The study was prompted by periodic unstable demand and price fluctuations for hay. The agricultural infrastructure and expertise for producing alfalfa is well established in the Western U.S. Alfalfa is a well-adapted, environmentally friendly crop which avoids a large fertilizer subsidy by fixing atmospheric nitrogen into a form utilized for plant growth. Leaf-stem fractions were evaluated for forage quality, biofuel energy content, and co-product yield due to seperation procedure. The feasibility of conducting alfalfa leaf-stem separations in both stationary and mobile plants was considered on the basis of three factors: (1) price received for each fraction, (2) cost of the hay to be processed, and (3) cost of processing the hay. Both stationary and mobile separation plants showed positive net income potentials. Alfalfa stem pellets could be marked at appreciably lower cost than equivalent wood pellets for use in wood stoves. The report recommends that sufficient quantities of high-quality alfalfa leaf meal be produced and tested for evaluation in dairy, beef, aquaculture, poultry, and swine rations.

  13. Biological and Molecular Variability of Alfalfa mosaic virus Affecting Alfalfa Crop in Riyadh Region.

    PubMed

    Al-Saleh, Mohammed A; Amer, Mahmoud A

    2013-12-01

    In 2011-2012, sixty nine samples were collected from alfalfa plants showing viral infection symptoms in Riyadh region. Mechanical inoculation with sap prepared from two collected samples out of twenty five possitive for Alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV) by ELISA were produced systemic mosaic on Vigna unguiculata and Nicotiana tabacum, local lesion on Chenopodium amaranticolor and C. quinoa. Vicia faba indicator plants that induce mosaic and mottle with AMV-Sagir isolate and no infection with AMV-Wadi aldawasser isolate. Approximately 700-bp was formed by RT-PCR using AMV coat protein specific primer. Samples from infected alfalfa gave positive results, while healthy plant gave negative result using dot blot hybridization assay. The nucleotide sequences of the Saudi isolates were compared with corresponding viral nucleotide sequences reported in GenBank. The obtained results showed that the AMV from Australia, Brazil, Puglia and China had the highest similarity with AMV-Sajer isolate. While, the AMV from Spain and New Zealaland had the lowest similarity with AMV-Sajer and Wadi aldawasser isolates. The data obtained in this study has been deposited in the GenBank under the accession numbers KC434083 and KC434084 for AMV-Sajer and AMV- Wadialdawasser respectively. This is the first report regarding the gnetic make up of AMV in Saudi Arabia. PMID:25288969

  14. AmeriFlux US-Tw3 Twitchell Alfalfa

    DOE Data Explorer

    Baldocchi, Dennis [University of California, Berkeley

    2016-01-01

    This is the AmeriFlux version of the carbon flux data for the site US-Tw3 Twitchell Alfalfa. Site Description - The Twitchell Alfalfa site is an alfalfa field owned by the state of California and leased to third parties for farming. The tower was installed on May 24, 2013. This site and the surrounding region are part of the San Joaquin - Sacramento River Delta drained beginning in the 1850's and subsequently used for agriculture. The field has been alfalfa for X years…., Crop rotation occurs every 5-6 years. The site is harvested by mowing and bailing several times per year. The field is fallow typically between November and February. The site is irrigated by periodically-flooded ditches surrounding the field. The site is irrigated by raising, and subsequently lowering the water table??

  15. Genetic Variation Within and Among Collections of Falata Alfalfas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Yellow-flowered alfalfa (Medicago sativa subsp. falcata) persists in low precipitation rangeland and grassland environments. The origin of Medicago includes Russia, Mongolia, Scandinavia, and China (Hansen, 1909; Lesins and Lesins, 1979). The presence of legumes improves rangelands and grasslands ...

  16. Cantharidin decreases in vitro digestion of alfalfa and smooth bromegrass.

    PubMed

    Lenssen, A W; Blodgett, S L; Higgins, R A; Nagaraja, T G; Posler, G L; Broce, A B

    1990-10-01

    Blister beetles (Coleoptera:Meloidae) containing the toxin cantharidin can be incorporated with alfalfa (Medicago sativa L) during forage conservation. Cantharidin inadvertently ingested with animal feed may cause illness or death. Little information is available on the effects of cantharidin on ruminant microbial digestion. The objective of our study was to determine cantharidin effects on digestibility of alfalfa and smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss) by measuring in vitro digestible dry matter (IVDDM) and cell wall digestion (CWD). Alfalfa dry matter digestibility, measured after IVDDM at 48 and 96 h fermentation periods, decreased as cantharidin concentration increased. Increasing cantharidin concentration also significantly reduced IVDDM of smooth bromegrass at 24 and 96 h digestion time. The CWD of alfalfa and smooth bromegrass decreased as cantharidin concentration increased. These results indicate that ingestion of cantharidin by ruminants may decrease microbial digestion of fibrous feeds and therefore may decrease the efficiency of feed utilization by ruminants. PMID:2238434

  17. Myocardial infarction following bee sting.

    PubMed

    Puvanalingam, A; Karpagam, P; Sundar, C; Venkatesan, S; Ragunanthanan

    2014-08-01

    Bee stings are commonly encountered worldwide. Various manifestations after bee sting have been described. Local reactions are common. Unusually, manifestations like vomiting, diarrhoea, dyspnoea, generalised oedema, acute renal failure, hypotension and collapse may occur. Rarely vasculitis, serum sickness, neuritis and encephalitis have been described which generally develop days to weeks after a sting. Acute coronary syndromes after hymenoptera stings and other environmental exposures are referred to as the Kounis syndrome or allergic myocardial ischaemia and infarction. We report a 60 year old male who developed myocardial infarction after multiple bee stings over his body. PMID:25856951

  18. Use of Seeds as Fungus Garden Substrate Changes the Organization of Labor Among Leaf-Cutting Ant Workers.

    PubMed

    Hastenreiter, I N; Sales, T A; Camargo, R S; Forti, L C; Lopes, J F S

    2015-08-01

    Seeds of different plant species constitute an alternative but also significant substrate that leaf-cutting ants use to cultivate their fungus garden. However, how they are processed inside the nest and if their use implies differential allocation of worker size classes are still poorly known. Using laboratory colonies of Acromyrmex subterraneus (Forel) as a model, the behaviors related to the processing of three different seeds (sesame, guava, and grape) as fungus substrate were listed. At the same time, we measured how each worker size class contributed to the execution of these behaviors by registering their respective frequency. It was found that medium-sized (1.2 > head width < 1.6 mm) and minimum-sized (head width <1.1 mm) workers assumed the role of incorporation for sesame and grape seeds, respectively. Major-sized workers (head width >1.7 mm) were concentrated on licking and holding guava seeds. Tegument removal was the only task observed that differs between treatment of seeds and treatment of leaves before their incorporation, as described in the literature. It was verified that different species of seeds imply a differential allocation of worker size classes and the inclusion or exclusion of some tasks from the behavioral repertoire. Regardless of the substrate type, leaf-cutting ant workers follow a coordinated and specialized procedure to cultivate the fungus garden but always maintain a high degree of cooperation. PMID:26050554

  19. A macroglomerulus in the antennal lobe of leaf-cutting ant workers and its possible functional significance.

    PubMed

    Kleineidam, C J; Obermayer, M; Halbich, W; Rössler, W

    2005-06-01

    Ants have a well-developed olfactory system, and pheromone communication is essential for regulating social life within their colonies. We compared the organization of primary olfactory centers (antennal lobes, ALs) in the brain of two closely related species of leaf-cutting ants (Atta vollenweideri, Atta sexdens). Both species express a striking size polymorphism associated with polyethism. We discovered that the ALs of large workers contain a substantially enlarged glomerulus (macroglomerulus, MG) at the entrance of the antennal nerve. This is the first description of an MG in non-sexual individuals of an insect. The location of the MG is laterally reversed in the two species, and workers of different size express a disproportional allometry of glomerular volumes. While ALs of large workers contain an MG, glomeruli in small workers are all similar in size. We further compared electroantennogram (EAG) responses to two common trail pheromone components of leaf-cutting ants: 4-methylpyrrol-2-carboxylate and 2-ethyl-3,6-dimethylpyrazine. At high concentrations the ratio of the EAG signals to 2-ethyl-3,6-dimethylpyrazine versus 4-methylpyrrol-2-carboxylate was significantly smaller in A. vollenweideri compared with the ratio of EAG signals to the same two components in A. sexdens. The differences in EAG signals and the species specific MG location in large workers provide correlative evidence that the MG may be involved in the detection of the trail pheromone. PMID:15843501

  20. Learning through the waste: olfactory cues from the colony refuse influence plant preferences in foraging leaf-cutting ants.

    PubMed

    Arenas, Andrés; Roces, Flavio

    2016-08-15

    Leaf-cutting ants learn to avoid plants initially harvested if they prove to be harmful for their symbiotic fungus once incorporated into the nest. At this point, waste particles removed from the fungus garden are likely to contain cues originating from both the unsuitable plant and the damaged fungus. We investigated whether leaf-cutting ant foragers learn to avoid unsuitable plants solely through the colony waste. We fed subcolonies of Acromymex ambiguus privet leaves treated with a fungicide undetectable to the ants, then collected the produced waste, and placed it into the fungus chamber of naive subcolonies. In individual choice tests, naive foragers preferred privet leaves before waste was put into the fungus chamber, but avoided them afterwards. Evidence on the influence of olfactory cues from the waste on decision making by foragers was obtained by scenting and transferring waste particles from subcolonies that had been fed either fungicide-treated or untreated leaves. In choice experiments, foragers from subcolonies given scented waste originating from fungicide-treated leaves collected fewer sugared paper discs with that scent compared with foragers from subcolonies given scented waste from untreated leaves. The results indicate that foragers learn to avoid plants unsuitable for the fungus by associating plant odours and cues from the damaged fungus that are present in waste particles. It is argued that waste particles may contribute to spread information about noxious plants for the fungus within the colony. PMID:27284068

  1. Random amplified polymorphic DNA markers reveal genetic variation in the symbiotic fungus of leaf-cutting ants.

    PubMed

    Doherty, Katherine R; Zweifel, Erica W; Elde, Nels C; McKone, Mark J; Zweifel, Stephan G

    2003-01-01

    RAPD markers were used to examine the degree of genetic variation within the putatively asexual basidiomycete fungus (Lepiotaceae: provisionally named Leucoagaricus gongylophorus) associated with the leaf-cutting ant species Atta cephalotes. We analyzed fungal isolates from ant nests in two geographically distant sites, two isolates from Panama and five isolates from Trinidad. Ten decamer primers were used to amplify total DNA from these seven fungal isolates, and RAPD banding patterns were compared. Genetic similarity among isolates was determined by pair-wise comparisons of the shared number of DNA bands on an agarose gel. There was considerable genetic variation among isolates of the symbiotic fungus even within sites. Pairs of fungal isolates from the two different sites shared an average of only 36% of the bands in their RAPD profiles, while pairs from the within sites shared an average of 72% of the bands. RAPD markers may be useful for further investigation of the genetic structure of the fungal symbiont within species of leaf-cutting ants. PMID:21156584

  2. Behavioral strategies of phorid parasitoids and responses of their hosts, the leaf-cutting ants.

    PubMed

    Elizalde, Luciana; Folgarait, Patricia Julia

    2012-01-01

    Host-searching and oviposition behaviors of parasitoids, and defensive responses of the hosts, are fundamental in shaping the ecology of host-parasitoid interactions. In order to uncover key behavioral features for the little known interactions between phorid parasitoids (Diptera: Phoridae) and their leaf-cutting ant hosts (Formicidae: Attini), host-related behavioral strategies (i.e., host searching and oviposition) for 13 phorid species, and host defensive responses (i.e., hitchhikers and particular body postures) for 11 ant species, were studied. Data was collected at 14 localities, one of them characterized by its high species richness for this host-parasitoid system. Phorid species showed both great variation and specificity in attacking behaviors. Some chose their hosts using either an ambush or an actively searching strategy, while some species attacked ants on different body parts, and specialized on ants performing different tasks, such as when ants were foraging, removing wastes to refuse piles, or repairing the nest. Combining all the behaviors recorded, most phorid species differed in performance in at least one, making it possible to recognize species in the field through their behavior. Phorid species that attacked hosts with greater activity levels showed overall higher attack rates, although there was no significant correlation between attack rates by most phorid species and ant activity outside the nest while parasitoids were attacking. The presence of phorids was a significant determinant for the presence of defensive behaviors by the ants. Although ant species varied in the incidence levels of these defensive behaviors, most ant species reacted against different phorids by utilizing similar behaviors, in contrast to what parasitoids do. General features of the observed phorid-ant interactions were parasitoid specialization and corresponding high interspecific variation in their behaviors, while their hosts showed generalized responses to attacks

  3. Distinct antennal lobe phenotypes in the leaf-cutting ant (Atta vollenweideri).

    PubMed

    Kuebler, L S; Kelber, C; Kleineidam, C J

    2010-02-01

    Leaf-cutting ants (Atta vollenweideri) express a remarkable size polymorphism across the two sexual castes (queens and males) but in particular within the worker caste. Worker size is related to behavior (alloethism), separating workers into behavioral subcastes. The neuronal mechanisms underlying differences in behavior within the worker caste are still unknown. In this study, we first compared selected neuropils, in particular, the antennal lobes (AL) in males, queens, and workers. The males' ALs contain three extremely large, sex-specific glomeruli (macroglomeruli; MGs) and in total comprise fewer glomeruli (242) than the ALs of queens (about 346 glomeruli). In contrast to males, the queen ALs contain only one large glomerulus at a lateral position. The largest number of glomeruli was found in workers (396-442). In a previous paper, we described an MG in the workers' AL, and, in the second part of this study, we show that within workers two distinct, size-related AL phenotypes exist: the MG phenotype (containing a macroglomerulus) and the RG phenotype, with all glomeruli of regular size. This neuroanatomical polyphenism is established during pupal development and separates the worker caste into two neuroanatomical subcastes. Third, we investigate the functional significance of the MG in workers. By using calcium imaging to monitor activity of AL projection neurons, we show that the releaser component of the trail pheromone is represented in the same region as the MG. We propose that phenotypic trait variation in the organization of the ALs leads to differences in odor information processing that finally result in size-related differences in trail-following behavior. PMID:19950119

  4. The Postpharyngeal Gland: Specialized Organ for Lipid Nutrition in Leaf-Cutting Ants

    PubMed Central

    Decio, Pâmela; Vieira, Alexsandro Santana; Dias, Nathalia Baptista; Palma, Mario Sergio; Bueno, Odair Correa

    2016-01-01

    There are several hypotheses about the possible functions of the postpharyngeal gland (PPG) in ants. The proposed functions include roles as cephalic or gastric caeca and diverticulum of the digestive tract, mixing of hydrocarbons, nestmate recognition, feeding larvae, and the accumulation of lipids inside this gland, whose origin is contradictory. The current study aimed to investigate the functions of these glands by examining the protein expression profile of the PPGs of Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Mated females received lipid supplementation and their glands were extracted and analyzed using a proteomic approach. The protocol used combined two-dimensional electrophoresis and shotgun strategies, followed by mass spectrometry. We also detected lipid β-oxidation by immunofluorescent marking of acyl-CoA dehydrogenase. Supplying ants with lipids elicited responses in the glandular cells of the PPG; these included increased expression of proteins related to defense mechanisms and signal transduction and reorganization of the cytoskeleton due to cell expansion. In addition, some proteins in PPG were overexpressed, especially those involved in lipid and energy metabolism. Part of the lipids may be reduced, used for the synthesis of fatty alcohol, transported to the hemolymph, or may be used as substrate for the synthesis of acetyl-CoA, which is oxidized to form molecules that drive oxidative phosphorylation and produce energy for cellular metabolic processes. These findings suggest that this organ is specialized for lipid nutrition of adult leaf-cutting ants and characterized like a of diverticulum foregut, with the ability to absorb, store, metabolize, and mobilize lipids to the hemolymph. However, we do not rule out that the PPG may have other functions in other species of ants. PMID:27149618

  5. The Postpharyngeal Gland: Specialized Organ for Lipid Nutrition in Leaf-Cutting Ants.

    PubMed

    Decio, Pâmela; Vieira, Alexsandro Santana; Dias, Nathalia Baptista; Palma, Mario Sergio; Bueno, Odair Correa

    2016-01-01

    There are several hypotheses about the possible functions of the postpharyngeal gland (PPG) in ants. The proposed functions include roles as cephalic or gastric caeca and diverticulum of the digestive tract, mixing of hydrocarbons, nestmate recognition, feeding larvae, and the accumulation of lipids inside this gland, whose origin is contradictory. The current study aimed to investigate the functions of these glands by examining the protein expression profile of the PPGs of Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Mated females received lipid supplementation and their glands were extracted and analyzed using a proteomic approach. The protocol used combined two-dimensional electrophoresis and shotgun strategies, followed by mass spectrometry. We also detected lipid β-oxidation by immunofluorescent marking of acyl-CoA dehydrogenase. Supplying ants with lipids elicited responses in the glandular cells of the PPG; these included increased expression of proteins related to defense mechanisms and signal transduction and reorganization of the cytoskeleton due to cell expansion. In addition, some proteins in PPG were overexpressed, especially those involved in lipid and energy metabolism. Part of the lipids may be reduced, used for the synthesis of fatty alcohol, transported to the hemolymph, or may be used as substrate for the synthesis of acetyl-CoA, which is oxidized to form molecules that drive oxidative phosphorylation and produce energy for cellular metabolic processes. These findings suggest that this organ is specialized for lipid nutrition of adult leaf-cutting ants and characterized like a of diverticulum foregut, with the ability to absorb, store, metabolize, and mobilize lipids to the hemolymph. However, we do not rule out that the PPG may have other functions in other species of ants. PMID:27149618

  6. Behavioral Strategies of Phorid Parasitoids and Responses of Their Hosts, the Leaf-Cutting Ants

    PubMed Central

    Elizalde, Luciana; Folgarait, Patricia Julia

    2012-01-01

    Host-searching and oviposition behaviors of parasitoids, and defensive responses of the hosts, are fundamental in shaping the ecology of host-parasitoid interactions. In order to uncover key behavioral features for the little known interactions between phorid parasitoids (Diptera: Phoridae) and their leaf-cutting ant hosts (Formicidae: Attini), host-related behavioral strategies (i.e., host searching and oviposition) for 13 phorid species, and host defensive responses (i.e., hitchhikers and particular body postures) for 11 ant species, were studied. Data was collected at 14 localities, one of them characterized by its high species richness for this host-parasitoid system. Phorid species showed both great variation and specificity in attacking behaviors. Some chose their hosts using either an ambush or an actively searching strategy, while some species attacked ants on different body parts, and specialized on ants performing different tasks, such as when ants were foraging, removing wastes to refuse piles, or repairing the nest. Combining all the behaviors recorded, most phorid species differed in performance in at least one, making it possible to recognize species in the field through their behavior. Phorid species that attacked hosts with greater activity levels showed overall higher attack rates, although there was no significant correlation between attack rates by most phorid species and ant activity outside the nest while parasitoids were attacking. The presence of phorids was a significant determinant for the presence of defensive behaviors by the ants. Although ant species varied in the incidence levels of these defensive behaviors, most ant species reacted against different phorids by utilizing similar behaviors, in contrast to what parasitoids do. General features of the observed phorid-ant interactions were parasitoid specialization and corresponding high interspecific variation in their behaviors, while their hosts showed generalized responses to attacks

  7. Polarimetric applications to identify bee honey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Espinosa-Luna, Rafael; Saucedo-Orozco, Izcoatl; Santiago-Lona, Cynthia V.; Franco-Sánchez, Juan M.; Magallanes-Luján, Alejandro

    2011-10-01

    A polarimetric characterization, consisting of the Mueller matrix determination and the measurement of the refractive index, is employed to study bee honey and corn syrup differences. Two samples of commercial marks of bee honey and one sample of commercial mark corn syrup are studied. Results show the corn syrup and one of the bee honey samples have a similar polarimetric behavior, which differs from the second bee honey sample. This behavior can be employed as a simple, qualitative test, to discriminate true bee honey from corn syrup or from adulterated bee honey.s-powe

  8. Cocaine tolerance in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Søvik, Eirik; Cornish, Jennifer L; Barron, Andrew B

    2013-01-01

    Increasingly invertebrates are being used to investigate the molecular and cellular effects of drugs of abuse to explore basic mechanisms of addiction. However, in mammals the principle factors contributing to addiction are long-term adaptive responses to repeated drug use. Here we examined whether adaptive responses to cocaine are also seen in invertebrates using the honey bee model system. Repeated topical treatment with a low dose of cocaine rendered bees resistant to the deleterious motor effects of a higher cocaine dose, indicating the development of physiological tolerance to cocaine in bees. Cocaine inhibits biogenic amine reuptake transporters, but neither acute nor repeated cocaine treatments caused measurable changes in levels of biogenic amines measured in whole bee brains. Our data show clear short and long-term behavioural responses of bees to cocaine administration, but caution that, despite the small size of the bee brain, measures of biogenic amines conducted at the whole-brain level may not reveal neurochemical effects of the drug. PMID:23741423

  9. The conservation and restoration of wild bees.

    PubMed

    Winfree, Rachael

    2010-05-01

    Bees pollinate most of the world's wild plant species and provide economically valuable pollination services to crops; yet knowledge of bee conservation biology lags far behind other taxa such as vertebrates and plants. There are few long-term data on bee populations, which makes their conservation status difficult to assess. The best-studied groups are the genus Bombus (the bumble bees), and bees in the EU generally; both of these are clearly declining. However, it is not known to what extent these groups represent the approximately 20,000 species of bees globally. As is the case for insects in general, bees are underrepresented in conservation planning and protection efforts. For example, only two bee species are on the global IUCN Red List, and no bee is listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, even though many bee species are known to be in steep decline or possibly extinct. At present, bee restoration occurs mainly in agricultural contexts, funded by government programs such as agri-environment schemes (EU) and the Farm Bill (USA). This is a promising approach given that many bee species can use human-disturbed habitats, and bees provide valuable pollination services to crops. However, agricultural restorations only benefit species that persist in agricultural landscapes, and they are more expensive than preserving natural habitat elsewhere. Furthermore, such restorations benefit bees in only about half of studied cases. More research is greatly needed in many areas of bee conservation, including basic population biology, bee restoration in nonagricultural contexts, and the identification of disturbance-sensitive bee species. PMID:20536823

  10. Effects of varroa mites and bee diseases on pollination efficacy of honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Varroa mites and viral diseases are known to affect the efficiency of crop pollination by honey. This study elucidates effects of varroa mites and bee diseases on the foraging behavior of adult bees and the consequences on successful fruit pollination. Four honey bee colonies of about 4,500 bees eac...

  11. Complete nucleotide sequence of Alfalfa mosaic virus isolated from alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) in Argentina.

    PubMed

    Trucco, Verónica; de Breuil, Soledad; Bejerman, Nicolás; Lenardon, Sergio; Giolitti, Fabián

    2014-06-01

    The complete nucleotide sequence of an Alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV) isolate infecting alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) in Argentina, AMV-Arg, was determined. The virus genome has the typical organization described for AMV, and comprises 3,643, 2,593, and 2,038 nucleotides for RNA1, 2 and 3, respectively. The whole genome sequence and each encoding region were compared with those of other four isolates that have been completely sequenced from China, Italy, Spain and USA. The nucleotide identity percentages ranged from 95.9 to 99.1 % for the three RNAs and from 93.7 to 99 % for the protein 1 (P1), protein 2 (P2), movement protein and coat protein (CP) encoding regions, whereas the amino acid identity percentages of these proteins ranged from 93.4 to 99.5 %, the lowest value corresponding to P2. CP sequences of AMV-Arg were compared with those of other 25 available isolates, and the phylogenetic analysis based on the CP gene was carried out. The highest percentage of nucleotide sequence identity of the CP gene was 98.3 % with a Chinese isolate and 98.6 % at the amino acid level with four isolates, two from Italy, one from Brazil and the remaining one from China. The phylogenetic analysis showed that AMV-Arg is closely related to subgroup I of AMV isolates. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a complete nucleotide sequence of AMV from South America and the first worldwide report of complete nucleotide sequence of AMV isolated from alfalfa as natural host. PMID:24510307

  12. Impact of alfalfa on soil and water quality

    SciTech Connect

    Sharma, P.; Moncrief, J.; Gupta, S.

    1997-10-30

    Dominance of row crop agriculture in rolling landscapes of western and Southwestern Minnesota is identified as a primary, non-point source of sediments and associated pollutants reaching the Minnesota River. Currently as a biomass energy project, alfalfa is being promoted in western Minnesota to harvest the leaves for animal feed and stems to generate electricity. As a perennial, leguminous crop grown with minimum inputs, introduction of alfalfa in row cropped lands has potential to improve both in-situ soil productivity and downstream water quality. A field study was initiated in 1996 to compare the volume of runoff and pollutants coming from alfalfa an com-soybean fields in western Minnesota. Two pair of alfalfa and corn-soybean watersheds were instrumented at Morris in the Fall of 1996 to measure rainfall, runoff, and sample water for sediment load, phosphorus, nitrogen, biochemical oxygen demand, and chemical oxygen demand. Simulated rainfall-runoff experiments were conducted on an existing crop rotation - input management study plots at Lamberton to evaluate soil quality effects of the inclusion of alfalfa in a corn-soybean rotation under manure and fertilization management schemes. Alfalfa soil water use as a function of frequency of harvest was also monitored at Morris to evaluate the effect of cutting schedule on soil water use. During the growing season of 1997, alfalfa under a two-cut management scheme used about 25-mm (an inch) more soil water than under a three-cut schedule. The mean differences between the treatments were not significant. The conclusions drawn in this report come from analysis of data collected during one winter-summer hydrologic and crop management cycle. Continued observations through a period of at least 3-5 years is recommended to improve the instrumentation robustness and discern the variability due to climate, soil, and crop management factors.

  13. Conserving alfalfa wild relatives: is past introgression with Russian varieties evident today?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Central Asia, particularly Kazakhstan, supports a rich concentration of wild alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) relatives. Because they freely cross with domesticated alfalfa, they are important genetic resources. When identifying in situ populations to conserve, contamination of wild populations with dom...

  14. Honey Bees Inspired Optimization Method: The Bees Algorithm.

    PubMed

    Yuce, Baris; Packianather, Michael S; Mastrocinque, Ernesto; Pham, Duc Truong; Lambiase, Alfredo

    2013-01-01

    Optimization algorithms are search methods where the goal is to find an optimal solution to a problem, in order to satisfy one or more objective functions, possibly subject to a set of constraints. Studies of social animals and social insects have resulted in a number of computational models of swarm intelligence. Within these swarms their collective behavior is usually very complex. The collective behavior of a swarm of social organisms emerges from the behaviors of the individuals of that swarm. Researchers have developed computational optimization methods based on biology such as Genetic Algorithms, Particle Swarm Optimization, and Ant Colony. The aim of this paper is to describe an optimization algorithm called the Bees Algorithm, inspired from the natural foraging behavior of honey bees, to find the optimal solution. The algorithm performs both an exploitative neighborhood search combined with random explorative search. In this paper, after an explanation of the natural foraging behavior of honey bees, the basic Bees Algorithm and its improved versions are described and are implemented in order to optimize several benchmark functions, and the results are compared with those obtained with different optimization algorithms. The results show that the Bees Algorithm offering some advantage over other optimization methods according to the nature of the problem. PMID:26462528

  15. Pollution monitoring using bees: a new service provided by honey bees

    SciTech Connect

    Bromenshenk, J.J.; Thomas, J.M.; Simpson, J.C.; Bishop, M.

    1983-10-01

    The objectives are to provide a tool for assessing pollutant distributions and the effects of pollutants on living systems. The potential of bees as pollution monitors was studied by examining bees exposed to toxic metals near a smelter in Montana and bees in the area surrounding a hazardous waste disposal site near Puget Sound, Washington. Levels of toxic metals in the bees and brood survival were examined. It was concluded bees were, indeed, suitable indicators of pollution levels. (ACR)

  16. Multiwalled carbon nanotubes in alfalfa and wheat: toxicology and uptake

    PubMed Central

    Miralles, Pola; Johnson, Errin; Church, Tamara L.; Harris, Andrew T.

    2012-01-01

    Data on the bioavailability and toxicity of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in the environment, and, in particular, on their interactions with vascular plants, are limited. We investigated the effects of industrial-grade multiwalled CNTs (75 wt% CNTs) and their impurities on alfalfa and wheat. Phytotoxicity assays were performed during both seed germination and seedling growth. The germinations of both species were tolerant of up to 2560 mg l−1 CNTs, and root elongation was enhanced in alfalfa and wheat seedlings exposed to CNTs. Remarkably, catalyst impurities also enhanced root elongation in alfalfa seedlings as well as wheat germination. Thus the impurities, not solely the CNTs, impacted the plants. CNT internalization by plants was investigated using electron microscopy and two-dimensional Raman mapping. The latter showed that CNTs were adsorbed onto the root surfaces of alfalfa and wheat without significant uptake or translocation. Electron microscopy investigations of internalization were inconclusive owing to poor contrast, so Fe3O4-functionalized CNTs were prepared and studied using energy-filter mapping of Fe3O4. CNTs bearing Fe3O4 nanoparticles were detected in the epidermis of one wheat root tip only, suggesting that internalization was possible but unusual. Thus, alfalfa and wheat tolerated high concentrations of industrial-grade multiwalled CNTs, which adsorbed onto their roots but were rarely taken up. PMID:22977097

  17. Biological Relationship of Meloidogyne hapla Populations to Alfalfa Cultivars

    PubMed Central

    Griffin, G. D.; Gray, F. A.

    1995-01-01

    Greenhouse and growth chamber studies were established to determine if there are pathological and physiological differences among Meloidogyne hapla populations from California (CA), Nevada (NV), Utah (UT), and Wyoming (WY) on alfalfa cultivars classified as resistant or susceptible to root-knot nematodes. In the greenhouse, plant survival was not consistent with resistance classifications. While all highly resistant Nevada Synthetic germplasm (Nev Syn XX) plants survived inoculation with all nematode populations, two cultivars classified as moderately resistant ('Chief' and 'Kingstar') survived (P ≤ 0.05) inoculation with M. hapla populations better than did 'Lobo' cultivar, which is classified as resistant. Plant growth of Nev Syn XX was suppressed by only the CA population, whereas growth of the other alfalfa cultivars classified as M. hapla resistant or moderately resistant was suppressed by all nematode populations. Excluding Nev Syn XX, all alfalfa cultivars were severely galled and susceptible to all nematode populations. Except for Nev Syn XX, reproduction did not differ among the nematode populations on alfalfa cultivars. Nev Syn XX was not as favorable a host to CA as were the other cultivars; but, it was a good host (reproductive factor [Rf] = 37). Temperature affected plant resistance; the UT and WY populations were more pathogenic at 15-25 C, and CA was more pathogenic at 30 C. Nev Syn XX was susceptible to all nematode populations, except for CA, at only 30 C, and all other alfalfa cultivars were susceptible to all nematode populations at all temperatures. PMID:19277299

  18. Hologenome theory and the honey bee pathosphere

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent research shows substantial genomic diversity among the parasites and pathogens honey bees encounter, a robust microbiota living within bees, and a genome-level view of relationships across global honey bee races. Different combinations of these genomic complexes may explain regional variatio...

  19. Global Status of Honey Bee Mites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Parasitic bee mites have become a major problem to both beekeepers and honey bees. This chapter updates the latest information we have on the three mite species, Acarapis (tracheal), Varroa and Tropilaelaps that are currently a threat to honey bees. It also updates the current information on the ...

  20. A Review of Bee Virology Progress

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees play a vital role in global food production and sustainable ecological systems. However, honey bee colony losses at the rate of 20%-30% per year in recent years have been devastating to the agricultural industry and ecosystem that rely on honey bees for pollination. Among biotic and abiot...

  1. Antioxidant Activity of Sonoran Desert Bee Pollen

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bee products have been consumed by mankind since antiquity and their health benefits are becoming more apparent. Bee pollen (pollen collected by honey bees) was collected in the high intensity ultraviolet (UV) Sonoran desert and was analyzed by the anti-2,2-diphenyl-1-picryhydrazyl (DPPH) assay and...

  2. Preventing bee mortality with RNA interference

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We present a real world example of the successful use of an RNAi product for disease control. RNAi increased bee health in the presence of the bee viral pathogen, IAPV. The importance of honey bees to the world economy far surpasses their contribution in terms of honey production; they are responsib...

  3. Do Honey Bees Increase Sunflower See Yields?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ten self-fertile commercial sunflowers cultivars were evaluated for seed set with and without exposure to bees. In the first planting, the number of foraging honey bees was smaller than in the second, and seed set for most cultivars did not differ between those excluding bees and ones that were ope...

  4. Alfalfa nitrogen credit to first-year corn: potassium, regrowth, and tillage timing effects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Compared to corn (Zea mays L.) following corn, N guidelines for corn following alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) in the U.S. Corn Belt suggest that N rates for first-year corn after alfalfa be reduced by about 168 kg N/ha when 43 to 53 alfalfa plants per square meter are present at termination; however, ...

  5. Soil N to corn after alfalfa through tillage and regrowth management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Planting corn after alfalfa can eliminate or greatly reduce the nitrogen (N) fertilizer requirement for first-year corn while increasing corn yield potential due to the rotation effect. Current University of Minnesota guidelines regarding alfalfa N credits to corn are based on alfalfa stand density ...

  6. Bacterial population dynamics during the ensiling of Medicago sativa (alfalfa) and subsequent exposure to air

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aims: To describe, at high resolution, the bacterial population dynamics and chemical transformations during the ensiling of alfalfa and subsequent exposure to air. Methods and Results: Samples of alfalfa, ensiled alfalfa, and silage exposed to air were collected and their bacterial population stru...

  7. INFLUENCE OF ENHANCED MALATE DEHYDROGENASE EXPRESSION BY ALFALFA ON DIVERSITY OF RHIZOBACTERIA AND SOIL NUTRIENT AVAILABILITY

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Transgenic alfalfa over-expressing a nodule-enhanced malate dehydrogenase (neMDH) cDNA and untransformed alfalfa plants were grown at the same field site and rhizosphere soils collected after 53 weeks of plant growth. These alfalfa lines differ in the amount and composition of root organic acids pro...

  8. Alfalfa production with subsurface drip irrigation in the Central Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Irrigated alfalfa production is gaining interest because of the growing number of dairies in the semi-arid U.S. Central Great Plains and its longstanding superior profitability compared to other alternative crops grown in the region. Irrigation requirements for alfalfa are great because of alfalfa's...

  9. Comparison of Alfalfa and Orchardgrass Hay as Replacements for Grain in Lactating Dairy Cow Diets

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    While alfalfa has been the predominant perennial forage fed to dairy cows in the Midwest, there has been recent interest to increase use of perennial grasses. This interest is because alfalfa can be expensive to produce (short stand life), the perception that manure cannot be applied to alfalfa, and...

  10. Stand age affects fertilizer nitrogen response in first-year corn following alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The amount of N that alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) provides to subsequent first-year corn (Zea mays L.) depends, in part, on the age of alfalfa at termination. Our objective was to determine how alfalfa stand age affects N availability and fertilizer N requirements for first-year corn. Fertilizer N w...

  11. Combining cropland data layers to identify alfalfa-annual crop rotation patterns and opportunities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) can provide many economic and environmental benefits to crop rotations. Our objectives were to quantify alfalfa stand lengths, identify the two crops following alfalfa, and determine the soil and temporal factors affecting them. The USDA-NASS cropland data layers for 200...

  12. Transgene movement in commercial alfalfa seed production: Implications for seed purity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The United States is a major exporter of alfalfa seed and hay and the organic dairy industry is one of the fastest growing agricultural sectors. With the advent of genetically-engineered (GE) alfalfa concerns have risen regarding the coexistence of GE and non GE alfalfa since the crop is largely ou...

  13. Corn response to nitrogen after alfalfa as affected by tillage and regrowth

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Current N guidelines for corn following alfalfa in Minnesota suggest that when compared to corn following corn, N rates for first-year corn after alfalfa can be reduced by 168 kg N/ha when greater than or equal to 43 alfalfa plants/square meter are present at termination. Two unanswered questions re...

  14. Pythium species causing damping-off of alfalfa in Minnesota: Identification, pathogenicity and fungicide sensitivity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Damping-off and seed rot is an important disease of alfalfa, severely affecting stand establishment when conditions favor the disease. Globally, 15 Pythium species are reported to cause damping-off and seed rot of alfalfa, although surveys of species causing disease on alfalfa in Minnesota are lacki...

  15. Genomic Analysis of Verticillium Wilt Resistance and Drought Tolerance in Alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is the fourth largest crop in the United States. Changing trends to multipurpose uses increases demand for alfalfa. However, the production of alfalfa is challenged by endemic and emerging diseases and adverse environmental factors. Identification of genes/loci controlli...

  16. Do glyphosate resistant feral plants and hay fields spread the transgene to conventional alfalfa seed fields?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In addition to meeting domestic needs, large amounts of alfalfa seed and hay produced in the US are being exported overseas. Because alfalfa is an insect pollinated crop, gene flow is a concern. Adding to this alfalfa readily naturalizes along roadsides, irrigation ditches, and unmanaged habitats; a...

  17. Toxic hepatopathy and photosensitization in cattle fed moldy alfalfa hay.

    PubMed

    Scruggs, D W; Blue, G K

    1994-01-15

    Cattle in 2 herds developed type-3 photosensitization after eating moldy alfalfa hay. Clinical signs included severe epidermal necrosis of unpigmented skin and marked decrease of milk production (herd 1). One herd had 18% mortality. Values for serum gamma-glutamyltransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate transaminase, and serum bilirubin were high in affected cows. Biliary epithelial degeneration and necrosis affecting the smaller bile ductules is the most consistent histologic lesion. Biliary hyperplasia, early portal fibroplasia, hepatocellular vacuolar degeneration and necrosis, and cholestasis were commonly seen. Mold growth on the alfalfa hay associated with prolonged wet weather prior to harvest was common to both herds. The cases reported here document hepatoxicosis and photosensitization associated with feeding moldy alfalfa hay grown in southeastern United States. PMID:7908282

  18. Nest enlargement in leaf-cutting ants: relocated brood and fungus trigger the excavation of new chambers.

    PubMed

    Römer, Daniela; Roces, Flavio

    2014-01-01

    During colony growth, leaf-cutting ants enlarge their nests by excavating tunnels and chambers housing their fungus gardens and brood. Workers are expected to excavate new nest chambers at locations across the soil profile that offer suitable environmental conditions for brood and fungus rearing. It is an open question whether new chambers are excavated in advance, or will emerge around brood or fungus initially relocated to a suitable site in a previously-excavated tunnel. In the laboratory, we investigated the mechanisms underlying the excavation of new nest chambers in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex lundi. Specifically, we asked whether workers relocate brood and fungus to suitable nest locations, and to what extent the relocated items trigger the excavation of a nest chamber and influence its shape. When brood and fungus were exposed to unfavorable environmental conditions, either low temperatures or low humidity, both were relocated, but ants clearly preferred to relocate the brood first. Workers relocated fungus to places containing brood, demonstrating that subsequent fungus relocation spatially follows the brood deposition. In addition, more ants aggregated at sites containing brood. When presented with a choice between two otherwise identical digging sites, but one containing brood, ants' excavation activity was higher at this site, and the shape of the excavated cavity was more rounded and chamber-like. The presence of fungus also led to the excavation of rounder shapes, with higher excavation activity at the site that also contained brood. We argue that during colony growth, workers preferentially relocate brood to suitable locations along a tunnel, and that relocated brood spatially guides fungus relocation and leads to increased digging activity around them. We suggest that nest chambers are not excavated in advance, but emerge through a self-organized process resulting from the aggregation of workers and their density-dependent digging behavior

  19. Structural studies of bee melittin

    SciTech Connect

    Eisenberg, D.; Terwilliger, T.C.; Tsui, F.

    1980-10-01

    The question of how proteins refold in passing from an aqueous phase to an amphipathic environment such as a membrane is beig addressed by a structural study of bee melittin. Melittin is the toxic, main protein of bee venom, and has been shown by others to integrate into natural and synthetic membranes and to lyse a variety of cells. This function is presumably related to its unusual sequence. Except for charges at the N-terminus and at lysine 7, the first 20 residues are largely apolar. In contrast, the last six residues contain four charges and two polar residues.

  20. The plight of the bees

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spivak, M.; Mader, E.; Vaughan, M.; Euliss, N.H.

    2011-01-01

    The loss of biodiversity is a trend that is garnering much concern. As organisms have evolved mutualistic and synergistic relationships, the loss of one or a few species can have a much wider environmental impact. Since much pollination is facilitated by bees, the reported colony collapse disorder has many worried of widespread agricultural fallout and thus deleterious impact on human foodstocks. In this Feature, Spivak et al. review what is known of the present state of bee populations and provide information on how to mitigate and reverse the trend. ?? 2010 American Chemical Society.

  1. Bee cups: Single-use cages for honey bee experiments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees face challenges ranging from poor nutrition to exposure to parasites, pathogens, and environmental chemicals. These challenges drain colony resources and have been tied to both subtle and extreme colony declines, including the enigmatic Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Understanding how ...

  2. Alfalfa seed germination and yield ratio and alfalfa sprout microbial keeping quality following irradiation of seeds and sprouts.

    PubMed

    Rajkowski, K T; Thayer, D W

    2001-12-01

    Foods can be treated with gamma radiation, a nonthermal food process, to inactivate foodborne pathogens and fungi, to kill insects on or in fruits and vegetables, and to increase shelf life. Gamma irradiation is especially well suited for these treatments because of its ability to penetrate commercial pallets of foods. Irradiated fruits, vegetables, poultry, and hamburger have been received favorably by the public and are now available in supermarkets. The use of irradiation on fresh alfalfa sprouts was studied to determine its effect on keeping quality as related to aerobic microbial load. After an irradiation dose of 2 kGy, the total aerobic count decreased from 10(5-8) to 10(3-5) CFU/g, and the total coliform counts decreased from 10(5-8) to 10(3-0) CFU/g. The results showed that the sprouts maintained their structure after irradiation, and the keeping quality was extended to 21 days, which is an increase of 10 days from the usual shelf life. The effect of various doses of irradiation on alfalfa seeds as measured by percent germination and yield ratio (wt/wt) of sprouts was determined. There was little effect on the percent germination, but as the dose increased, the yield ratio of alfalfa sprouts decreased. As the length of growing time increased, so did the yield ratio of the lower dose irradiated seeds (1 to 2 kGy). The irradiation process can be used to increase the shelf life of alfalfa sprouts, and irradiating alfalfa seeds at doses up to 2 kGy does not unacceptably decrease the yield ratio for production of alfalfa sprouts. PMID:11770628

  3. Occurrence of Transgenic Feral Alfalfa (Medicago sativa subsp. sativa L.) in Alfalfa Seed Production Areas in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Greene, Stephanie L.; Kesoju, Sandya R.; Martin, Ruth C.; Kramer, Matthew

    2015-01-01

    The potential environmental risks of transgene exposure are not clear for alfalfa (Medicago sativa subsp. sativa), a perennial crop that is cross-pollinated by insects. We gathered data on feral alfalfa in major alfalfa seed-production areas in the western United States to (1) evaluate evidence that feral transgenic plants spread transgenes and (2) determine environmental and agricultural production factors influencing the location of feral alfalfa, especially transgenic plants. Road verges in Fresno, California; Canyon, Idaho; and Walla Walla, Washington were surveyed in 2011 and 2012 for feral plants, and samples were tested for the CP4 EPSPS protein that conveys resistance to glyphosate. Of 4580 sites surveyed, feral plants were observed at 404 sites. Twenty-seven percent of these sites had transgenic plants. The frequency of sites having transgenic feral plants varied among our study areas. Transgenic plants were found in 32.7%, 21.4.7% and 8.3% of feral plant sites in Fresno, Canyon and Walla Walla, respectively. Spatial analysis suggested that feral populations started independently and tended to cluster in seed and hay production areas, places where seed tended to drop. Significant but low spatial auto correlation suggested that in some instances, plants colonized nearby locations. Neighboring feral plants were frequently within pollinator foraging range; however, further research is needed to confirm transgene flow. Locations of feral plant clusters were not well predicted by environmental and production variables. However, the likelihood of seed spillage during production and transport had predictive value in explaining the occurrence of transgenic feral populations. Our study confirms that genetically engineered alfalfa has dispersed into the environment, and suggests that minimizing seed spillage and eradicating feral alfalfa along road sides would be effective strategies to minimize transgene dispersal. PMID:26699337

  4. Aspartate Aminotransferase in Alfalfa Root Nodules : III. Genotypic and Tissue Expression of Aspartate Aminotransferase in Alfalfa and Other Species.

    PubMed

    Farnham, M W; Griffith, S M; Miller, S S; Vance, C P

    1990-12-01

    Aspartate aminotransferase (AAT) plays an important role in nitrogen metabolism in all plants and is particularly important in the assimilation of fixed N derived from the legume-Rhizoblum symbiosis. Two isozymes of AAT (AAT-1 and AAT-2) occur in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). Antibodies against alfalfa nodule AAT-2 do not recognize AAT-1, and these antibodies were used to study AAT-2 expression in different tissues and genotypes of alfalfa and also in other legume and nonlegume species. Rocket immunoelectrophoresis indicated that nodules of 38-day-old alfalfa plants contained about eight times more AAT-2 than did nodules of 7-day-old plants, confirming the nodule-enhanced nature of this isozyme. AAT-2 was estimated to make up 16, 15, 5, and 8 milligrams per gram of total soluble protein in mature nodules, roots, stems, and leaves, respectively, of effective N(2)-fixing alfalfa. The concentration of AAT-2 in nodules of ineffective non-N(2)-fixing alafalfa genotypes was about 70% less than that of effective nodules. Western blots of soluble protein from nodules of nine legume species indicated that a 40-kilodalton polypeptide that reacts strongly with AAT-2 antibodies is conserved in legumes. Nodule AAT-2 immunoprecipitation data suggested that amide- and ureide-type legumes may differ in expression and regulation of the enzyme. In addition, Western blotting and immunoprecipitations of AAT activity demonstrated that antibodies against alfalfa AAT-2 are highly cross-reactive with AAT enzyme protein in leaves of soybean (Glycine max L.), wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), and maize (Zea mays L.) and in roots of maize, but not with AAT in soybean and wheat roots. Results from this study indicate that AAT-2 is structurally conserved and localized in similar tissues among diverse species. PMID:16667896

  5. Rapid analysis of hay attributes using NIRS. Final report, Task II alfalfa supply system

    SciTech Connect

    1997-10-24

    This final report provides technical information on the development of a near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) system for the analysis of alfalfa hay. The purpose of the system is to provide consistent quality for processing alfalfa stems for fuel and alfalfa leaf meal products for livestock feed. Project tasks were to: (1) develop an NIRS driven analytical system for analysis of alfalfa hay and processed alfalfa products; (2) assist in hiring a qualified NIRS technician and recommend changes in testing equipment necessary to provide accurate analysis; (3) calibrate the NIRS instrument for accurate analyses; and (4) develop prototype equipment and sampling procedures as a first step towards development of a totally automated sampling system that would rapidly sample and record incoming feedstock and outbound product. An accurate hay testing program was developed, along with calibration equations for analyzing alfalfa hay and sun-cured alfalfa pellets. A preliminary leaf steam calibration protocol was also developed. 7 refs., 11 figs., 10 tabs.

  6. Chronic bee paralysis virus and Nosema ceranae experimental co-infection of winter honey bee workers (Apis mellifera L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) is an important viral disease of adult bees which induces significant losses in honey bee colonies. In this study winter worker bees were experimentally infected using three different experiments. Bees were inoculated orally or topically with CBPV to evaluate the l...

  7. Ants, Wasps, and Bees (Hymenoptera)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Stinging wasps, bees, and ants are a problem for farm workers, particularly at harvest when these insects are attracted to ripe fruits. Researchers at the USDA-ARS Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory, Wapato, WA, together with personnel at Oral Roberts University compiled available information o...

  8. Sickness Behavior in Honey Bees.

    PubMed

    Kazlauskas, Nadia; Klappenbach, Martín; Depino, Amaicha M; Locatelli, Fernando F

    2016-01-01

    During an infection, animals suffer several changes in their normal physiology and behavior which may include lethargy, appetite loss, and reduction in grooming and general movements. This set of alterations is known as sickness behavior and although it has been extensively believed to be orchestrated primarily by the immune system, a relevant role for the central nervous system has also been established. The aim of the present work is to develop a simple animal model to allow studying how the immune and the nervous systems interact coordinately during an infection. We administered a bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) into the thorax of honey bees to mimic a bacterial infection, and then we evaluated a set of stereotyped behaviors of the animals that might be indicative of sickness behavior. First, we show that this immune challenge reduces the locomotor activity of the animals in a narrow time window after LPS injection. Furthermore, bees exhibit a loss of appetite 60 and 90 min after injection, but not 15 h later. We also demonstrate that LPS injection reduces spontaneous antennal movements in harnessed animals, which suggests a reduction in the motivational state of the bees. Finally, we show that the LPS injection diminishes the interaction between animals, a crucial behavior in social insects. To our knowledge these results represent the first systematic description of sickness behavior in honey bees and provide important groundwork for the study of the interaction between the immune and the neural systems in an insect model. PMID:27445851

  9. Sickness Behavior in Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

    Kazlauskas, Nadia; Klappenbach, Martín; Depino, Amaicha M.; Locatelli, Fernando F.

    2016-01-01

    During an infection, animals suffer several changes in their normal physiology and behavior which may include lethargy, appetite loss, and reduction in grooming and general movements. This set of alterations is known as sickness behavior and although it has been extensively believed to be orchestrated primarily by the immune system, a relevant role for the central nervous system has also been established. The aim of the present work is to develop a simple animal model to allow studying how the immune and the nervous systems interact coordinately during an infection. We administered a bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) into the thorax of honey bees to mimic a bacterial infection, and then we evaluated a set of stereotyped behaviors of the animals that might be indicative of sickness behavior. First, we show that this immune challenge reduces the locomotor activity of the animals in a narrow time window after LPS injection. Furthermore, bees exhibit a loss of appetite 60 and 90 min after injection, but not 15 h later. We also demonstrate that LPS injection reduces spontaneous antennal movements in harnessed animals, which suggests a reduction in the motivational state of the bees. Finally, we show that the LPS injection diminishes the interaction between animals, a crucial behavior in social insects. To our knowledge these results represent the first systematic description of sickness behavior in honey bees and provide important groundwork for the study of the interaction between the immune and the neural systems in an insect model. PMID:27445851

  10. Improved predictability of fertilizer nitrogen need for corn following alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Accounting for alfalfa nitrogen (N) credits to first-year corn reduces fertilizer N costs, over-application of N, and the risk of nitrate loss to ground water. It is equally important, however, to avoid inadequate N supply for corn. We analyzed nearly all previous research on fertilizer N response i...

  11. Soil particulate organic matter response to incorporation of alfalfa regrowth

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations and the potential effects of climate change have driven a need to understand the potential of agricultural soils to store carbon (C). In Midwestern cropping systems, alfalfa (Medicago sativa) has received attention from researchers because including it in crop r...

  12. Validating potassium fertilizer guidelines in alfalfa-corn rotations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    From 2008 to 2010, on-farm research was conducted on 10 fields with medium soil test K (STK) to validate Minnesota K fertilizer guidelines by determining the effect of K fertilizer applications on alfalfa yield and quality in its last production year and estimating the carryover of excess fertilizer...

  13. The alfalfa yield gap: A review of the evidence

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Knowledge of feasibly attainable crop yields is needed for many purposes, from field-scale management to national policy decisions. For alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), the most widely used estimates of yield in the US are whole-farm reports from the National Agriculture Statistics Service, which are b...

  14. On-Farm Validation of Alfalfa N Credits to Corn

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rotating alfalfa with corn is useful for reducing soil erosion, enhancing soil tilth and carbon storage, reducing weed seedbanks, disrupting the life cycles of disease and insect pests of corn, and supplying nitrogen (N) to the subsequent corn crop. To adjust N fertilizer rates for corn following al...

  15. Aphanomyces root rot of alfalfa: widespread distribution of race 2

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The early spring of 2012 with prolonged wet soil conditions in many parts of the country resulted in reports of poor performance of alfalfa due to Aphanomyces root rot (ARR). Varieties with resistance to ARR are available, although fewer varieties have resistance to both race 1 and race 2 of the pat...

  16. How reliable are N credits from alfalfa to corn?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The first Century farmer and writer, Columella, wrote that alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) 'dungs the land,' and it is likely that most of the benefit he saw was derived from improved nitrogen (N) supply. Today, there is widespread skepticism among growers and farm advisors about how much fertilizer N ...

  17. Accounting for alfalfa N credits increases returns to corn production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Guidelines are relatively consistent across the Upper Midwest regarding the N benefit of alfalfa to the following grain crops. With higher corn yields and prices, however, some growers have questioned these guidelines and whether more N fertilizer is needed for first-year corn following a good stand...

  18. Hourly and daily evapotranspiration of alfalfa under regional advection

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Regional advection often affects the evapotranspiration rates of irrigated crops in the Southern High Plains. In 1998, during a 10-day period (13-22 June) of unusually strong advection, high evapotranspiration (ET) rates for unstressed, irrigated alfalfa (Medicago sativa) were measured with two prec...

  19. In-Situ Use of Ground Water By Alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A replicated column lysimeter study was conducted over a 4 year period to determine the effect of groundwater salinity and depth to ground water on the in-situ use of groundwater by a salt tolerant alfalfa crop. The treatments included a control with no groundwater, and ground water with electrical ...

  20. QTL Underlying Self-Fertility in Tetraploid Alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A potential strategy to decrease the levels of self-seed production during the seed increase stages of alfalfa synthetic cultivar development is selection for decreased self-fertility. The underlying genetics of this trait have not been elucidated, and therefore, a study was designed to identify ge...

  1. Complete Genome Sequence of the Alfalfa latent virus.

    PubMed

    Nemchinov, Lev G; Shao, Jonathan; Postnikova, Olga A

    2015-01-01

    The first complete genome sequence of the Alfalfa latent carlavirus (ALV) was obtained by primer walking and Illumina RNA sequencing. The virus differs substantially from the Czech ALV isolate and the Pea streak virus isolate from Wisconsin. The absence of a clear nucleic acid-binding protein indicates ALV divergence from other carlaviruses. PMID:25883281

  2. Reducing Alfalfa Brown Root Rot with Crop Rotation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Stand injury resulting from brown root rot (BRR) of alfalfa, caused by Phoma sclerotioides, may be noted this spring as warmer temperatures promote stand emergence. BRR development occurs primarily over the winter and is favored when stands are covered with snow for an extended period of time. It is...

  3. RATE OF YIELD AND QUALITY CHANGE IN ALFALFA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cutting management investigations have documented the effects of harvest date and frequency on alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) forage yield and quality during the production year; more frequent harvest generally reduces annual yield and increases quality. Information is needed on the change in forage ...

  4. Biochemical Conversion of Reduced Lignin Alfalfa Stems Into Ethanol

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) has potential utility as an energy crop for conversion to biofuels because it is already produced commercially, grows as a perennial, and the protein enriched leaves can be marketed for animal feed. In this paper, the biomass processing characteristics of the stem mater...

  5. The role of disease resistance in alfalfa persistence

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To evaluate the effect of disease resistance on alfalfa persistence, a five-year field study was conducted using sixteen cultivars with release dates from 1940 to 1996. Fusarium wilt and anthracnose were the prevalent lethal diseases observed. Disease was present in all cultivars, with higher incide...

  6. Impacts on potential ethanol and crude protein yield in alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) biomass energy production system would produce two products. Leaves would be separated from stems to produce a high protein feed for livestock while stems would be processed to produce ethanol. Therefore, maximum yields of both leaves and stems are essential for profi...

  7. ADVECTION INFLUENCES ON EVAPOTRANSPIRATION OF ALFALFA IN A SEMIARID ENVIRONMENT

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Advective enhancement of crop evapotranspiration (ET) occurs when drier, hotter air is transported into the crop by wind and can be an important factor in the water balance of irrigated crops in a semiarid climate. Thirteen days of moderate to extremely high ET rates of irrigated alfalfa (Medicago ...

  8. Paternity testing in an autotetraploid alfalfa breeding polycross

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Determining unknown parentage in autotetraploid alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) (2n = 4x = 32) can improve breeding gains. Exclusion analysis based paternity testing SAS code is presented, amenable to genotyping errors, for autotetraploid species utilizing co-dominant molecular markers with ambiguous d...

  9. Alfalfa diseases 101: diagnosing common and emerging disease problems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    More than 50 pathogens have been identified that cause significant damage to alfalfa and prevent it from reaching its full potential for producing high yields of quality forage. There has been excellent progress by plant breeders and plant pathologists in developing cultivars with multiple disease a...

  10. Orchardgrass vs. alfalfa for replacing dairy-cow grain

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa is currently the predominant forage fed to lactating dairy cows in the Midwestern United States however interest in incorporating grasses into lactating dairy cow diets has recently been rejuvenated. Due to differences in chemical composition and physical characteristics of grasses and legum...

  11. Screening for Salnity Tolerance Among Falcata Alfalfa PI's

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many western US rangelands high in salinity could benefit from a salt tolerant falcata type alfalfa. Our objective was to use a previously developed greenhouse screening protocol to characterize 32 PI's from the NPGS system for their relative ability to survive increasing levels of NaC1 relative to...

  12. Wet fractionation for improved utilization of alfalfa leaves

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Utilization of alfalfa could be greatly improved if protein-rich leaves were efficiently separated and preserved from fibrous stems. This work envisions a new harvest scheme combining three processes: mechanical leaf separation, dewatering, and fermentation. Gross plant fractionation is accomplished...

  13. Evaluation of alfalfa-tall fescue mixtures across multiple environments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Binary grass-legume mixtures can benefit forage production systems in different ways helping growers cope both with increasing input costs (e.g., N fertilizer, herbicides) and potentially more variable weather. The main objective of this study was to evaluate alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and tall f...

  14. Complete Genome Sequence of the Alfalfa latent virus

    PubMed Central

    Shao, Jonathan; Postnikova, Olga A.

    2015-01-01

    The first complete genome sequence of the Alfalfa latent carlavirus (ALV) was obtained by primer walking and Illumina RNA sequencing. The virus differs substantially from the Czech ALV isolate and the Pea streak virus isolate from Wisconsin. The absence of a clear nucleic acid-binding protein indicates ALV divergence from other carlaviruses. PMID:25883281

  15. Morphological and Molecular Variation in Perennial Medicago (Alfalfa) Germplasm

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is one of the most important cultivated forage legumes worldwide. Understanding the areas of adaptation and genetic variation available in a crop species facilitates efforts to identify suitable germplasm for integration in plant breeding programs. Accessions that repr...

  16. Diversity of field isolates of sinorhizobium meliloti nodulating alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Most alfalfa seed is treated with a rhizobial inoculant consisting of one or more strains of Sinorhizobium meliloti before planting to enhance nodulation of seedlings. However, little is known about the persistence of inoculated strains later in the season. There is also a paucity of information on ...

  17. Characterization of alfalfa populations contrasting for root system architecture (RSA)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The root system architecture affects the capacity for nutrient and water uptake thus impacting biomass yield production and may contribute to the persistence of perennial plants. The objectives of this study were to phenotype the roots of three alfalfa populations and identify differences between di...

  18. Alfalfa genomics: importance to sustainability and ecological services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The use of genomic approaches has the potential to impact alfalfa improvement for any number of traits. We have focused on using genomic and molecular approaches to understand how symbiotic nitrogen fixation, acclimation to phosphorus stress, and cell wall synthesis processes are regulated in alfalf...

  19. Geothermal energy savings for a New Zealand alfalfa drying plant

    SciTech Connect

    van de Wydeven, F.; Freeston, D.H.

    1980-12-01

    The existing alfalfa drying plant was analyzed to determine the efficiency and cost of energy use per unit of production. Further studies are reported of possibilities for energy savings both in the existing plant and in the future development which will incorporate a second dryer and treble the output. (MHR)

  20. Nitrogen management for first-year corn after alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rotating alfalfa with corn can increase corn yield potential due to improved soil physical properties that enhance water infiltration and root extension, altered soil microbial communities, and reduced pest pressure. In addition, fertilizer nitrogen (N) requirements are commonly reduced by about 100...

  1. Managing puncturevine in alfalfa hay and along field edges

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris) is a nuisance and difficult to control weed in alfalfa hay field edges and borders. Puncturevine contaminated hay can contain high levels of nitrates and burs can injure mouths of livestock, lowering the value and quality of the hay. Puncturevine is a summer annual...

  2. Analysis of alfalfa root transcriptome in response to salinity stress

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Illumina RNA-sequencing was performed in two alfalfa genotypes, AZ-88NDC and AZ-GERM SALT-II in order to estimate a broad spectrum of genes affected by and/or involved in adaptation to salt stress. Both accessions were considered susceptible due to the stage at which samples were collected. A total ...

  3. Rate of yield and quality change in alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cutting management investigations have documented the effects of harvest date and frequency on alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) forage yield and quality during the production year; more frequent harvest generally reduces annual yield and increases quality. Information is needed on the change in forage ...

  4. Assessing disease stress and modeling yield losses in alfalfa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guan, Jie

    Alfalfa is the most important forage crop in the U.S. and worldwide. Fungal foliar diseases are believed to cause significant yield losses in alfalfa, yet, little quantitative information exists regarding the amount of crop loss. Different fungicides and application frequencies were used as tools to generate a range of foliar disease intensities in Ames and Nashua, IA. Visual disease assessments (disease incidence, disease severity, and percentage defoliation) were obtained weekly for each alfalfa growth cycle (two to three growing cycles per season). Remote sensing assessments were performed using a hand-held, multispectral radiometer to measure the amount and quality of sunlight reflected from alfalfa canopies. Factors such as incident radiation, sun angle, sensor height, and leaf wetness were all found to significantly affect the percentage reflectance of sunlight reflected from alfalfa canopies. The precision of visual and remote sensing assessment methods was quantified. Precision was defined as the intra-rater repeatability and inter-rater reliability of assessment methods. F-tests, slopes, intercepts, and coefficients of determination (R2) were used to compare assessment methods for precision. Results showed that among the three visual disease assessment methods (disease incidence, disease severity, and percentage defoliation), percentage defoliation had the highest intra-rater repeatability and inter-rater reliability. Remote sensing assessment method had better precision than the percentage defoliation assessment method based upon higher intra-rater repeatability and inter-rater reliability. Significant linear relationships between canopy reflectance (810 nm), percentage defoliation and yield were detected using linear regression and percentage reflectance (810 nm) assessments were found to have a stronger relationship with yield than percentage defoliation assessments. There were also significant linear relationships between percentage defoliation, dry

  5. GAS, STARS, AND STAR FORMATION IN ALFALFA DWARF GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

    Huang Shan; Haynes, Martha P.; Giovanelli, Riccardo; Brinchmann, Jarle; Stierwalt, Sabrina; Neff, Susan G. E-mail: haynes@astro.cornell.edu E-mail: jarle@strw.leidenuniv.nl E-mail: susan.g.neff@nasa.gov

    2012-06-15

    We examine the global properties of the stellar and H I components of 229 low H I mass dwarf galaxies extracted from the ALFALFA survey, including a complete sample of 176 galaxies with H I masses <10{sup 7.7} M{sub Sun} and H I line widths <80 km s{sup -1}. Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) data are combined with photometric properties derived from Galaxy Evolution Explorer to derive stellar masses (M{sub *}) and star formation rates (SFRs) by fitting their UV-optical spectral energy distributions (SEDs). In optical images, many of the ALFALFA dwarfs are faint and of low surface brightness; only 56% of those within the SDSS footprint have a counterpart in the SDSS spectroscopic survey. A large fraction of the dwarfs have high specific star formation rates (SSFRs), and estimates of their SFRs and M{sub *} obtained by SED fitting are systematically smaller than ones derived via standard formulae assuming a constant SFR. The increased dispersion of the SSFR distribution at M{sub *} {approx}< 10{sup 8} M{sub Sun} is driven by a set of dwarf galaxies that have low gas fractions and SSFRs; some of these are dE/dSphs in the Virgo Cluster. The imposition of an upper H I mass limit yields the selection of a sample with lower gas fractions for their M{sub *} than found for the overall ALFALFA population. Many of the ALFALFA dwarfs, particularly the Virgo members, have H I depletion timescales shorter than a Hubble time. An examination of the dwarf galaxies within the full ALFALFA population in the context of global star formation (SF) laws is consistent with the general assumptions that gas-rich galaxies have lower SF efficiencies than do optically selected populations and that H I disks are more extended than stellar ones.

  6. Expression of β-Amylase from Alfalfa Taproots1

    PubMed Central

    Gana, Joyce A.; Kalengamaliro, Newton E.; Cunningham, Suzanne M.; Volenec, Jeffrey J.

    1998-01-01

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) roots contain large quantities of β-amylase, but little is known about its role in vivo. We studied this by isolating a β-amylase cDNA and by examining signals that affect its expression. The β-amylase cDNA encoded a 55.95-kD polypeptide with a deduced amino acid sequence showing high similarity to other plant β-amylases. Starch concentrations, β-amylase activities, and β-amylase mRNA levels were measured in roots of alfalfa after defoliation, in suspension-cultured cells incubated in sucrose-rich or -deprived media, and in roots of cold-acclimated germ plasms. Starch levels, β-amylase activities, and β-amylase transcripts were reduced significantly in roots of defoliated plants and in sucrose-deprived cell cultures. β-Amylase transcript was high in roots of intact plants but could not be detected 2 to 8 d after defoliation. β-Amylase transcript levels increased in roots between September and October and then declined 10-fold in November and December after shoots were killed by frost. Alfalfa roots contain greater β-amylase transcript levels compared with roots of sweetclover (Melilotus officinalis L.), red clover (Trifolium pratense L.), and birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.). Southern analysis indicated that β-amylase is present as a multigene family in alfalfa. Our results show no clear association between β-amylase activity or transcript abundance and starch hydrolysis in alfalfa roots. The great abundance of β-amylase and its unexpected patterns of gene expression and protein accumulation support our current belief that this protein serves a storage function in roots of this perennial species. PMID:9847126

  7. Gas, Stars, and Star Formation in Alfalfa Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huang, Shan; Haynes, Martha P.; Giovanelli, Riccardo; Brinchmann, Jarle; Stierwalt, Sabrina; Neff, Susan G.

    2012-01-01

    We examine the global properties of the stellar and Hi components of 229 low H i mass dwarf galaxies extracted from the ALFALFA survey, including a complete sample of 176 galaxies with H i masses <10(sup 7.7) solar mass and Hi line widths <80 kilometers per second. Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) data are combined with photometric properties derived from Galaxy Evolution Explorer to derive stellar masses (M*) and star formation rates (SFRs) by fitting their UV-optical spectral energy distributions (SEDs). In optical images, many of the ALFALFA dwarfs are faint and of low surface brightness; only 56% of those within the SDSS footprint have a counterpart in the SDSS spectroscopic survey. A large fraction of the dwarfs have high specific star formation rates (SSFRs), and estimates of their SFRs and M* obtained by SED fitting are systematically smaller than ones derived via standard formulae assuming a constant SFR. The increased dispersion of the SSFR distribution at M* approximately less than10(exp 8)M(sub 0) is driven by a set of dwarf galaxies that have low gas fractions and SSFRs; some of these are dE/dSphs in the Virgo Cluster. The imposition of an upper Hi mass limit yields the selection of a sample with lower gas fractions for their M* than found for the overall ALFALFA population. Many of the ALFALFA dwarfs, particularly the Virgo members, have H i depletion timescales shorter than a Hubble time. An examination of the dwarf galaxies within the full ALFALFA population in the context of global star formation (SF) laws is consistent with the general assumptions that gas-rich galaxies have lower SF efficiencies than do optically selected populations and that Hi disks are more extended than stellar ones.

  8. Differential sensitivity of honey bees and bumble bees to a dietary insecticide (imidacloprid).

    PubMed

    Cresswell, James E; Page, Christopher J; Uygun, Mehmet B; Holmbergh, Marie; Li, Yueru; Wheeler, Jonathan G; Laycock, Ian; Pook, Christopher J; de Ibarra, Natalie Hempel; Smirnoff, Nick; Tyler, Charles R

    2012-12-01

    Currently, there is concern about declining bee populations and the sustainability of pollination services. One potential threat to bees is the unintended impact of systemic insecticides, which are ingested by bees in the nectar and pollen from flowers of treated crops. To establish whether imidacloprid, a systemic neonicotinoid and insect neurotoxin, harms individual bees when ingested at environmentally realistic levels, we exposed adult worker bumble bees, Bombus terrestris L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), and honey bees, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), to dietary imidacloprid in feeder syrup at dosages between 0.08 and 125μg l(-1). Honey bees showed no response to dietary imidacloprid on any variable that we measured (feeding, locomotion and longevity). In contrast, bumble bees progressively developed over time a dose-dependent reduction in feeding rate with declines of 10-30% in the environmentally relevant range of up to 10μg l(-1), but neither their locomotory activity nor longevity varied with diet. To explain their differential sensitivity, we speculate that honey bees are better pre-adapted than bumble bees to feed on nectars containing synthetic alkaloids, such as imidacloprid, by virtue of their ancestral adaptation to tropical nectars in which natural alkaloids are prevalent. We emphasise that our study does not suggest that honey bee colonies are invulnerable to dietary imidacloprid under field conditions, but our findings do raise new concern about the impact of agricultural neonicotinoids on wild bumble bee populations. PMID:23044068

  9. Pollination value of male bees: The specialist bee Peponapis pruinosa (Apidae) at summer squash (Cucurbita pepo)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Males can comprise a substantial fraction of the bees that visit flowers, particularly at floral hosts of those bee species that are taxonomic floral specialists for pollen. Despite their prevalence in a number of pollination guilds, contributions of male bees to host pollination have been largely ...

  10. Host Range Expansion of Honey Bee Black Queen Cell Virus in the Bumble Bee, Bombus huntii

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bee viruses display a host range that is not restricted to their original host, European honey bees, Apis mellifera. Here we provide the first evidence that Black Queen Cell Virus (BQCV), one of the most prevalent honey bee viruses, can cause an infection in both laboratory-reared and field-co...

  11. Honey Bee Hemocyte Profiling by Flow Cytometry

    PubMed Central

    Marringa, William J.; Krueger, Michael J.; Burritt, Nancy L.; Burritt, James B.

    2014-01-01

    Multiple stress factors in honey bees are causing loss of bee colonies worldwide. Several infectious agents of bees are believed to contribute to this problem. The mechanisms of honey bee immunity are not completely understood, in part due to limited information about the types and abundances of hemocytes that help bees resist disease. Our study utilized flow cytometry and microscopy to examine populations of hemolymph particulates in honey bees. We found bee hemolymph includes permeabilized cells, plasmatocytes, and acellular objects that resemble microparticles, listed in order of increasing abundance. The permeabilized cells and plasmatocytes showed unexpected differences with respect to properties of the plasma membrane and labeling with annexin V. Both permeabilized cells and plasmatocytes failed to show measurable mitochondrial membrane potential by flow cytometry using the JC-1 probe. Our results suggest hemolymph particulate populations are dynamic, revealing significant differences when comparing individual hive members, and when comparing colonies exposed to diverse conditions. Shifts in hemocyte populations in bees likely represent changing conditions or metabolic differences of colony members. A better understanding of hemocyte profiles may provide insight into physiological responses of honey bees to stress factors, some of which may be related to colony failure. PMID:25285798

  12. Agronomic field evaluation of caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase and caffeoyl CoA 3-O-methyltransferase downregulated alfalfas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is a widely used forage legume. Increasing alfalfa digestibility would increase forage value. One digestibility limitation in alfalfa is stem lignification, which presents an attractive target for genetic manipulation and selection. Lignin biosynthesis is controlled by the...

  13. Transcriptome profiling of gene expression in fall dormant and nondormant alfalfa

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Senhao; Wang, Chengzhang

    2014-01-01

    Fall dormancy (FD) is an adaptive trait in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). It appeared in the regrowth process in late summer or early autumn after alfalfa was harvested. FD affects the biomass accumulation and winter survival in high latitude area. However, the molecular mechanism under FD is still not clear at present. Performing RNA-seq of fall dormant and nondormant alfalfa varieties at different time points, we obtained differentially expressed genes between different FD types or time points. These differentially expressed genes may relate to FD in alfalfa. Here, we provide detailed experimental methods and analysis pipeline in our study (Zhang S et al., De novo Characterization of Fall Dormant and Nondormant Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) Transcriptome and Identification of Candidate Genes Relate to Fall Dormancy, submitted for publication) for reproducible research. Data generated in our work provide a resource to help decipher the molecular mechanism of FD in alfalfa. PMID:26484109

  14. Animal feed compositions containing phytase derived from transgenic alfalfa and methods of use thereof

    DOEpatents

    Austin-Phillips, Sandra; Koegel, Richard G.; Straub, Richard J.; Cook, Mark

    2001-01-01

    A value-added composition of matter containing plant matter from transgenic alfalfa which expresses exogenous phytase activity is disclosed. The phytase activity is a gene product of an exogenous gene encoding for phytase which has been stably incorporated into the genome of alfalfa plants. The transgenic alfalfa expresses phytase activity in nutritionally-significant amounts, thereby enabling its use in animal feeds to eliminate the need for phosphorous supplementation of livestock, poultry, and fish feed rations.

  15. Animal feed compositions containing phytase derived from transgenic alfalfa and methods of use thereof

    DOEpatents

    Austin-Phillips, Sandra; Koegel, Richard G.; Straub, Richard J.; Cook, Mark

    1999-01-01

    A value-added composition of matter containing plant matter from transgenic alfalfa which expresses exogenous phytase activity is disclosed. The phytase activity is a gene product of an exogenous gene encoding for phytase which has been stably incorporated into the genome of alfalfa plants. The transgenic alfalfa expresses phytase activity in nutritionally-significant amounts, thereby enabling its use in animal feeds to eliminate the need for phosphorous supplementation of livestock, poultry, and fish feed rations.

  16. Bumble bee fauna of Palouse Prairie: survey of native bee pollinators in a fragmented ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Hatten, T D; Looney, C; Strange, J P; Bosque-Pérez, N A

    2013-01-01

    Bumble bees, Bombus Latreille (Hymenoptera: Apidae:), are dominant pollinators in the northern hemisphere, providing important pollination services for commercial crops and innumerable wild plants. Nationwide declines in several bumble bee species and habitat losses in multiple ecosystems have raised concerns about conservation of this important group. In many regions, such as the Palouse Prairie, relatively little is known about bumble bee communities, despite their critical ecosystem functions. Pitfall trap surveys for ground beetles in Palouse prairie remnants conducted in 2002-2003 contained considerable by-catch of bumble bees. The effects of landscape context, remnant features, year, and season on bumble bee community composition were examined. Additionally, bees captured in 2002-2003 were compared with historic records for the region to assess changes in the presence of individual species. Ten species of bumble bee were captured, representing the majority of the species historically known from the region. Few detectable differences in bumble bee abundances were found among remnants. Community composition differed appreciably, however, based on season, landscape context, and elevation, resulting in different bee assemblages between western, low-lying remnants and eastern, higherelevation remnants. The results suggest that conservation of the still species-rich bumble bee fauna should take into account variability among prairie remnants, and further work is required to adequately explain bumble bee habitat associations on the Palouse. PMID:23902138

  17. Bumble Bee Fauna of Palouse Prairie: Survey of Native Bee Pollinators in a Fragmented Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Hatten, T. D.; Looney, C.; Strange, J. P.; Bosque-Pérez, N. A.

    2013-01-01

    Bumble bees, Bombus Latreille (Hymenoptera: Apidae:), are dominant pollinators in the northern hemisphere, providing important pollination services for commercial crops and innumerable wild plants. Nationwide declines in several bumble bee species and habitat losses in multiple ecosystems have raised concerns about conservation of this important group. In many regions, such as the Palouse Prairie, relatively little is known about bumble bee communities, despite their critical ecosystem functions. Pitfall trap surveys for ground beetles in Palouse prairie remnants conducted in 2002–2003 contained considerable by-catch of bumble bees. The effects of landscape context, remnant features, year, and season on bumble bee community composition were examined. Additionally, bees captured in 2002–2003 were compared with historic records for the region to assess changes in the presence of individual species. Ten species of bumble bee were captured, representing the majority of the species historically known from the region. Few detectable differences in bumble bee abundances were found among remnants. Community composition differed appreciably, however, based on season, landscape context, and elevation, resulting in different bee assemblages between western, low-lying remnants and eastern, higherelevation remnants. The results suggest that conservation of the still species-rich bumble bee fauna should take into account variability among prairie remnants, and further work is required to adequately explain bumble bee habitat associations on the Palouse. PMID:23902138

  18. Progress in the Study of ALFALFA Galaxy Groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Troischt, Parker; Nichols, Nathan

    2013-04-01

    The Undergraduate ALFALFA (Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA) Team Groups Project is a collaborative undertaking of faculty and students at 11 institutions, aimed at investigating properties of galaxy groups surveyed by the ALFALFA blind HI survey. The survey covers 7,000 square degrees and is expected to include more than 30,000 extragalactic sources when completed. Here we present analysis of HI spectra taken at the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center and report on progress made with developing analysis software tools as part of the UAT study. These tools will be implemented with follow up observations of targeted sources generated from the original blind survey. This work has been supported by NSF grants AST-0724918, AST-0725267 and AST-0725380.

  19. Proteomics Analysis of Alfalfa Response to Heat Stress

    PubMed Central

    Li, Weimin; Wei, Zhenwu; Qiao, Zhihong; Wu, Zinian; Cheng, Lixiang; Wang, Yuyang

    2013-01-01

    The proteome responses to heat stress have not been well understood. In this study, alfalfa (Medicago sativa L. cv. Huaiyin) seedlings were exposed to 25°C (control) and 40°C (heat stress) in growth chambers, and leaves were collected at 24, 48 and 72 h after treatment, respectively. The morphological, physiological and proteomic processes were negatively affected under heat stress. Proteins were extracted and separated by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2-DE), and differentially expressed protein spots were identified by mass spectrometry (MS). Totally, 81 differentially expressed proteins were identified successfully by MALDI-TOF/TOF. These proteins were categorized into nine classes: including metabolism, energy, protein synthesis, protein destination/storage, transporters, intracellular traffic, cell structure, signal transduction and disease/defence. Five proteins were further analyzed for mRNA levels. The results of the proteomics analyses provide a better understanding of the molecular basis of heat-stress responses in alfalfa. PMID:24324825

  20. Effects of tabtoxinine-. beta. -lactam treatments on alfalfa

    SciTech Connect

    Margiotta, E.A.; Weaver, L.M.; Unkefer, P.J. )

    1991-05-01

    Tabtoxinine-{beta}-lactam (T{beta}L), excreted by the tobacco pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tabaci, is an active site directed, irreversible inhibitor of the enzyme glutamine synthetase (GS) (E.C.6.3.2.1). Previously, we have shown infestation of the alfalfa rhizosphere with Pseudomonas syringae pv. tabaci results in selective impairment of GS and increased plant growth and nodule number. We have now shown purified T{beta}L, when administered to alfalfa roots, can produce the same effects as colonization of the rhizosphere with P. syringae pv. tabaci. Results of GS specific activity, nitrogen fixation as measured by acetylene reduction, and plant growth response to T{beta}L dosage are presented.

  1. Developing PYTHON Codes for the Undergraduate ALFALFA Team

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Troischt, Parker; Ryan, Nicholas; Alfalfa Team

    2016-03-01

    We describe here progress toward developing a number of new PYTHON routines to be used by members of the Undergraduate ALFALFA Team. The codes are designed to analyze HI spectra and assist in identifying and categorizing some of the intriguing sources found in the initial blind ALFALFA survey. Numerical integration is performed on extragalactic sources using 21cm line spectra produced with the L-Band Wide receiver at the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center. Prior to the integration, polynomial fits are employed to obtain an appropriate baseline for each source. The codes developed here are part of a larger team effort to use new PYTHON routines in order to replace, upgrade, or supplement a wealth of existing IDL codes within the collaboration. This work has been supported by NSF Grant AST-1211005.

  2. A simple model for pollen-parent fecundity distributions in bee-pollinated forage legume polycrosses.

    PubMed

    Riday, Heathcliffe; Smith, Mark A; Peel, Michael D

    2015-09-01

    A simple Weibull distribution based empirical model that predicts pollen-parent fecundity distributions based on polycross size alone has been developed in outbred forage legume species for incorporation into quantitative genetic theory. Random mating or panmixis is a fundamental assumption in quantitative genetic theory. Random mating is sometimes thought to occur in actual fact, although a large body of empirical work shows that this is often not the case in nature. Models have been developed to explain many non-random mating phenomena. This paper measured pollen-parent fecundity distributions among outbred perennial forage legume species [autotetraploid alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), autohexaploid kura clover (Trifolium ambiguum M. Bieb.), and diploid red clover (Trifolium pratense L.)] in ten polycrosses ranging in size (N) from 9 to 94 pollinated with bee pollinators [Bumble Bees (Bombus impatiens Cr.) and leafcutter bees (Megachile rotundata F.)]. A Weibull distribution best fit the observed pollen-parent fecundity distributions. After standardizing data among the 10 polycrosses, a single Weibull distribution-based model was obtained with an R (2) of 0.978. The model is able to predict pollen-parent fecundity distributions based on polycross size alone. The model predicts that the effective polycross size will be approximately 9 % smaller than under random mating (i.e., N e/N ~ 0.91). The model is simple and can easily be incorporated into other models or simulations requiring a pollen-parent fecundity distribution. Further work is needed to determine how widely applicable the model is. PMID:26105686

  3. Adenylate cyclase activity in a higher plant, alfalfa (Medicago sativa).

    PubMed Central

    Carricarte, V C; Bianchini, G M; Muschietti, J P; Téllez-Iñón, M T; Perticari, A; Torres, N; Flawiá, M M

    1988-01-01

    An adenylate cyclase activity in Medicago sativa L. (alfalfa) roots was partially characterized. The enzyme activity remains in the supernatant fluid after centrifugation at 105,000 g and shows in crude extracts an apparent Mr of about 84,000. The enzyme is active with Mg2+ and Ca2+ as bivalent cations, and is inhibited by EGTA and by chlorpromazine. Calmodulin from bovine brain or spinach leaves activates this adenylate cyclase. PMID:3128270

  4. Sequential soil transport and its influence on the spatial organisation of collective digging in leaf-cutting ants.

    PubMed

    Pielström, Steffen; Roces, Flavio

    2013-01-01

    The Chaco leaf-cutting ant Atta vollenweideri (Forel) inhabits large and deep subterranean nests composed of a large number of fungus and refuse chambers. The ants dispose of the excavated soil by forming small pellets that are carried to the surface. For ants in general, the organisation of underground soil transport during nest building remains completely unknown. In the laboratory, we investigated how soil pellets are formed and transported, and whether their occurrence influences the spatial organisation of collective digging. Similar to leaf transport, we discovered size matching between soil pellet mass and carrier mass. Workers observed while digging excavated pellets at a rate of 26 per hour. Each excavator deposited its pellets in an individual cluster, independently of the preferred deposition sites of other excavators. Soil pellets were transported sequentially over 2 m, and the transport involved up to 12 workers belonging to three functionally distinct groups: excavators, several short-distance carriers that dropped the collected pellets after a few centimetres, and long-distance, last carriers that reached the final deposition site. When initiating a new excavation, the proportion of long-distance carriers increased from 18% to 45% within the first five hours, and remained unchanged over more than 20 hours. Accumulated, freshly-excavated pellets significantly influenced the workers' decision where to start digging in a choice experiment. Thus, pellets temporarily accumulated as a result of their sequential transport provide cues that spatially organise collective nest excavation. PMID:23457648

  5. Functional role of phenylacetic acid from metapleural gland secretions in controlling fungal pathogens in evolutionarily derived leaf-cutting ants

    PubMed Central

    Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Nash, David R.; Higginbotham, Sarah; Estrada, Catalina; van Zweden, Jelle S.; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Wcislo, William T.; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2015-01-01

    Fungus-farming ant colonies vary four to five orders of magnitude in size. They employ compounds from actinomycete bacteria and exocrine glands as antimicrobial agents. Atta colonies have millions of ants and are particularly relevant for understanding hygienic strategies as they have abandoned their ancestors' prime dependence on antibiotic-based biological control in favour of using metapleural gland (MG) chemical secretions. Atta MGs are unique in synthesizing large quantities of phenylacetic acid (PAA), a known but little investigated antimicrobial agent. We show that particularly the smallest workers greatly reduce germination rates of Escovopsis and Metarhizium spores after actively applying PAA to experimental infection targets in garden fragments and transferring the spores to the ants' infrabuccal cavities. In vitro assays further indicated that Escovopsis strains isolated from evolutionarily derived leaf-cutting ants are less sensitive to PAA than strains from phylogenetically more basal fungus-farming ants, consistent with the dynamics of an evolutionary arms race between virulence and control for Escovopsis, but not Metarhizium. Atta ants form larger colonies with more extreme caste differentiation relative to other attines, in societies characterized by an almost complete absence of reproductive conflicts. We hypothesize that these changes are associated with unique evolutionary innovations in chemical pest management that appear robust against selection pressure for resistance by specialized mycopathogens. PMID:25925100

  6. Prevalence of the genus Cladosporium on the integument of leaf-cutting ants characterized by 454 pyrosequencing.

    PubMed

    Duarte, A P M; Ferro, M; Rodrigues, A; Bacci, M; Nagamoto, N S; Forti, L C; Pagnocca, F C

    2016-09-01

    The relationship of attine ants with their mutualistic fungus and other microorganisms has been studied during the last two centuries. However, previous studies about the diversity of fungi in the ants' microenvironment are based mostly on culture-dependent approaches, lacking a broad characterization of the fungal ant-associated community. Here, we analysed the fungal diversity found on the integument of Atta capiguara and Atta laevigata alate ants using 454 pyrosequencing. We obtained 35,453 ITS reads grouped into 99 molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs). Data analysis revealed that A. capiguara drones had the highest diversity of MOTUs. Besides the occurrence of several uncultured fungi, the mycobiota analysis revealed that the most abundant taxa were the Cladosporium-complex, Cryptococcus laurentii and Epicoccum sp. Taxa in the genus Cladosporium were predominant in all samples, comprising 67.9 % of all reads. The remarkable presence of the genus Cladosporium on the integument of leaf-cutting ants alates from distinct ant species suggests that this fungus is favored in this microenvironment. PMID:27307255

  7. Functional role of phenylacetic acid from metapleural gland secretions in controlling fungal pathogens in evolutionarily derived leaf-cutting ants.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Nash, David R; Higginbotham, Sarah; Estrada, Catalina; van Zweden, Jelle S; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Wcislo, William T; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2015-05-22

    Fungus-farming ant colonies vary four to five orders of magnitude in size. They employ compounds from actinomycete bacteria and exocrine glands as antimicrobial agents. Atta colonies have millions of ants and are particularly relevant for understanding hygienic strategies as they have abandoned their ancestors' prime dependence on antibiotic-based biological control in favour of using metapleural gland (MG) chemical secretions. Atta MGs are unique in synthesizing large quantities of phenylacetic acid (PAA), a known but little investigated antimicrobial agent. We show that particularly the smallest workers greatly reduce germination rates of Escovopsis and Metarhizium spores after actively applying PAA to experimental infection targets in garden fragments and transferring the spores to the ants' infrabuccal cavities. In vitro assays further indicated that Escovopsis strains isolated from evolutionarily derived leaf-cutting ants are less sensitive to PAA than strains from phylogenetically more basal fungus-farming ants, consistent with the dynamics of an evolutionary arms race between virulence and control for Escovopsis, but not Metarhizium. Atta ants form larger colonies with more extreme caste differentiation relative to other attines, in societies characterized by an almost complete absence of reproductive conflicts. We hypothesize that these changes are associated with unique evolutionary innovations in chemical pest management that appear robust against selection pressure for resistance by specialized mycopathogens. PMID:25925100

  8. Sequential Soil Transport and Its Influence on the Spatial Organisation of Collective Digging in Leaf-Cutting Ants

    PubMed Central

    Pielström, Steffen; Roces, Flavio

    2013-01-01

    The Chaco leaf-cutting ant Atta vollenweideri (Forel) inhabits large and deep subterranean nests composed of a large number of fungus and refuse chambers. The ants dispose of the excavated soil by forming small pellets that are carried to the surface. For ants in general, the organisation of underground soil transport during nest building remains completely unknown. In the laboratory, we investigated how soil pellets are formed and transported, and whether their occurrence influences the spatial organisation of collective digging. Similar to leaf transport, we discovered size matching between soil pellet mass and carrier mass. Workers observed while digging excavated pellets at a rate of 26 per hour. Each excavator deposited its pellets in an individual cluster, independently of the preferred deposition sites of other excavators. Soil pellets were transported sequentially over 2 m, and the transport involved up to 12 workers belonging to three functionally distinct groups: excavators, several short-distance carriers that dropped the collected pellets after a few centimetres, and long-distance, last carriers that reached the final deposition site. When initiating a new excavation, the proportion of long-distance carriers increased from 18% to 45% within the first five hours, and remained unchanged over more than 20 hours. Accumulated, freshly-excavated pellets significantly influenced the workers' decision where to start digging in a choice experiment. Thus, pellets temporarily accumulated as a result of their sequential transport provide cues that spatially organise collective nest excavation. PMID:23457648

  9. Hygienic Behavior, Liquid-Foraging, and Trophallaxis in the Leaf-Cutting Ants, Acromyrmex subterraneus and Acromyrmex octospinosus

    PubMed Central

    Richard, Freddie-Jeanne; Errard, Christine

    2009-01-01

    Neotropical leaf-cutting ants (tribe Attini) live in obligate symbiosis with fungus they culture for food. To protect themselves and their fungus garden from pathogens, they minimize the entry of microorganisms through mechanical and chemical means. In this study, focusing on the species Acromyrmex subterraneus and A. octospinosus, (Hymeoptera: Formicidae). Self- and allo-grooming behavior were quantified and it was found that A. octospinosus workers spend less time in self-grooming than A. subterraneus. In the experimental absence of fungus in A. subterraneus, the times spent in these two behaviors are not affected; however workers spend significantly more time immobile. Hygienic and trophallaxis behaviors were examined as well as the possibility that workers exchange food, and the grooming behavior of foraging and non-foraging workers were compared. Behavioral observations revealed that large workers spent more time grooming than small workers, and more than 62% of replete foragers passed collected liquid food via trophallaxis to a nestmate. However, trophallaxis was rarely observed between non-forager workers. These results suggest that trophallaxis permits the exchange of alimentary liquid between colony members, but it is not important for spreading the colony odor signature. PMID:20053118

  10. Social life and sanitary risks: evolutionary and current ecological conditions determine waste management in leaf-cutting ants.

    PubMed

    Farji-Brener, Alejandro G; Elizalde, Luciana; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Amador-Vargas, Sabrina

    2016-05-25

    Adequate waste management is vital for the success of social life, because waste accumulation increases sanitary risks in dense societies. We explored why different leaf-cutting ants (LCA) species locate their waste in internal nest chambers or external piles, including ecological context and accounting for phylogenetic relations. We propose that waste location depends on whether the environmental conditions enhance or reduce the risk of infection. We obtained the geographical range, habitat and refuse location of LCA from published literature, and experimentally determined whether pathogens on ant waste survived to the high soil temperatures typical of xeric habitats. The habitat of the LCA determined waste location after phylogenetic correction: species with external waste piles mainly occur in xeric environments, whereas those with internal waste chambers mainly inhabit more humid habitats. The ancestral reconstruction suggests that dumping waste externally is less derived than digging waste nest chambers. Empirical results showed that high soil surface temperatures reduce pathogen prevalence from LCA waste. We proposed that LCA living in environments unfavourable for pathogens (i.e. xeric habitats) avoid digging costs by dumping the refuse above ground. Conversely, in environments suitable for pathogens, LCA species prevent the spread of diseases by storing waste underground, presumably, a behaviour that contributed to the colonization of humid habitats. These results highlight the adaptation of organisms to the hygienic challenges of social living, and illustrate how sanitary behaviours can result from a combination of evolutionary history and current environmental conditions. PMID:27226469

  11. Correlation between virulence and genetic structure of Escovopsis strains from leaf-cutting ant colonies in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Wallace, Diego E Elizondo; Asensio, Juan G Vargas; Tomás, Adrián A Pinto

    2014-08-01

    Leaf-cutting ants (genera Atta and Acromyrmex) cultivate a specialized fungus for food in underground chambers employing cut plant material as substrate. Parasitism occurs in this agricultural system and plays an important role in colony fitness. The microfungi Escovopsis, a specialized mycoparasite of the fungal cultivar, is highly prevalent among colonies. In this study, we tested the antagonistic activity of several Escovopsis strains from different geographical areas in Costa Rica. We employed a combination of laboratory tests to evaluate virulence, including pure culture challenges, toxicity to fungus garden pieces and subcolony bioassays. We also performed a phylogenetic analysis of these strains in order to correlate their virulence with the genetic structure of this population. The bioassays yielded results consistent between each other and showed significant differences in antagonistic activity among the parasites evaluated. However, no significant differences were found when comparing the results of the bioassays according to the source of the ants' fungal cultivar. The phylogenetic analyses were consistent with these results: whilst the fungal cultivar phylogeny showed a single clade with limited molecular variation, the Escovopsis phylogeny yielded several clades with the most virulent isolates grouping in the same well-supported clade. These results indicate that there are Escovopsis strains better suited to establish their antagonistic effect, whilst the genetic homogeneity of the fungal cultivars limits their ability to modulate Escovopsis antagonism. These findings should be taken into consideration when evaluating the potential of Escovopsis isolates as biocontrol agents for this important agricultural pest in the Neotropics. PMID:24836623

  12. Somatic incompatibility and genetic structure of fungal crops in sympatric Atta colombica and Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutting ants

    PubMed Central

    Kooij, Pepijn W.; Poulsen, Michael; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2015-01-01

    Obligate mutualistic symbioses rely on mechanisms that secure host-symbiont commitments to maximize host benefits and prevent symbiont cheating. Previous studies showed that somatic incompatibilities correlate with neutral-marker-based genetic distances between fungal symbionts of Panamanian Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants, but the extent to which this relationship applies more generally remained unclear. Here we showed that genetic distances accurately predicted somatic incompatibility for Acromyrmex echinatior symbionts irrespective of whether neutral microsatellites or AFLP markers were used, but that such correlations were weaker or absent in sympatric Atta colombica colonies. Further analysis showed that the symbiont clades maintained by A. echinatior and A. colombica were likely to represent separate gene pools, so that neutral markers were unlikely to be similarly correlated with incompatibility loci that have experienced different selection regimes. We suggest that evolutionarily derived claustral colony founding by Atta queens may have removed selection for strong incompatibility in Atta fungi, as this condition makes the likelihood of symbiont swaps much lower than in Acromyrmex, where incipient nests stay open because queens have to forage until the first workers emerge. PMID:26865859

  13. Ultrastructure and physiology of the CO2 sensitive sensillum ampullaceum in the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens.

    PubMed

    Kleineidam, C; Romani, R; Tautz, J; Isidoro, N

    2000-01-01

    The sensilla ampullacea on the apical antennomere of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens were investigated regarding both their responses to CO2 and their ultrastructure. By staining the sensillum during recording, we confirmed that the sensilla ampullacea are responsible for CO2 perception. We showed that the sensory neurons of the sensilla ampullacea are continuously active without adaptation during stimulation with CO2 (test duration: 1 h). This feature should enable ants to assess the absolute CO2 concentration inside their nests. Sensilla ampullacea have been found grouped mainly on the dorso-lateral side of the distal antennal segment. Scanning and transmission electron microscopic investigations revealed that the external pore opens into a chamber which connects to the ampulla via a cuticular duct. We propose protection against evaporation as a possible function of the duct. The ampulla houses a peg which is almost as long as the ampulla and shows cuticular ridges on the external wall. The ridges are separated by furrows with cuticular pores. The peg is innervated by only one sensory neuron with a large soma. Its outer dendritic segment is enveloped by a dendritic sheath up to the middle of the peg. From the middle to the tip numerous dendritic branches (up to 100) completely fill the distal half of the peg. This is the first report of a receptor cell with highly branched dendrites and which probably is tuned to CO2 exclusively. PMID:18088913

  14. Density of mushroom body synaptic complexes limits intraspecies brain miniaturization in highly polymorphic leaf-cutting ant workers

    PubMed Central

    Groh, Claudia; Kelber, Christina; Grübel, Kornelia; Rössler, Wolfgang

    2014-01-01

    Hymenoptera possess voluminous mushroom bodies (MBs), brain centres associated with sensory integration, learning and memory. The mushroom body input region (calyx) is organized in distinct synaptic complexes (microglomeruli, MG) that can be quantified to analyse body size-related phenotypic plasticity of synaptic microcircuits in these small brains. Leaf-cutting ant workers (Atta vollenweideri) exhibit an enormous size polymorphism, which makes them outstanding to investigate neuronal adaptations underlying division of labour and brain miniaturization. We particularly asked how size-related division of labour in polymorphic workers is reflected in volume and total numbers of MG in olfactory calyx subregions. Whole brains of mini, media and large workers were immunolabelled with anti-synapsin antibodies, and mushroom body volumes as well as densities and absolute numbers of MG were determined by confocal imaging and three-dimensional analyses. The total brain volume and absolute volumes of olfactory mushroom body subdivisions were positively correlated with head widths, but mini workers had significantly larger MB to total brain ratios. Interestingly, the density of olfactory MG was remarkably independent from worker size. Consequently, absolute numbers of olfactory MG still were approximately three times higher in large compared with mini workers. The results show that the maximum packing density of synaptic microcircuits may represent a species-specific limit to brain miniaturization. PMID:24807257

  15. Interaction between workers during a short time window is required for bacterial symbiont transmission in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants.

    PubMed

    Marsh, Sarah E; Poulsen, Michael; Pinto-Tomás, Adrián; Currie, Cameron R

    2014-01-01

    Stable associations between partners over time are critical for the evolution of mutualism. Hosts employ a variety of mechanisms to maintain specificity with bacterial associates. Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants farm a fungal cultivar as their primary nutrient source. These ants also carry a Pseudonocardia Actinobacteria exosymbiont on their bodies that produces antifungal compounds that help inhibit specialized parasites of the ants' fungal garden. Major workers emerge from their pupal cases (eclose) symbiont-free, but exhibit visible Actinobacterial coverage within 14 days post-eclosion. Using subcolony experiments, we investigate exosymbiont transmission within Acromyrmex colonies. We found successful transmission to newly eclosed major workers fostered by major workers with visible Actinobacteria in all cases (100% acquiring, n = 19). In contrast, newly eclosed major workers reared without exosymbiont-carrying major workers did not acquire visible Actinobacteria (0% acquiring, n = 73). We further show that the majority of ants exposed to major workers with exosymbionts within 2 hours of eclosion acquired bacteria (60.7% acquiring, n = 28), while normal acquisition did not occur when exposure occurred later than 2 hours post-eclosion (0% acquiring, n = 18). Our findings show that transmission of exosymbionts to newly eclosed major workers occurs through interactions with exosymbiont-covered workers within a narrow time window after eclosion. This mode of transmission likely helps ensure the defensive function within colonies, as well as specificity and partner fidelity in the ant-bacterium association. PMID:25058579

  16. Interaction between Workers during a Short Time Window Is Required for Bacterial Symbiont Transmission in Acromyrmex Leaf-Cutting Ants

    PubMed Central

    Marsh, Sarah E.; Poulsen, Michael; Pinto-Tomás, Adrián; Currie, Cameron R.

    2014-01-01

    Stable associations between partners over time are critical for the evolution of mutualism. Hosts employ a variety of mechanisms to maintain specificity with bacterial associates. Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants farm a fungal cultivar as their primary nutrient source. These ants also carry a Pseudonocardia Actinobacteria exosymbiont on their bodies that produces antifungal compounds that help inhibit specialized parasites of the ants' fungal garden. Major workers emerge from their pupal cases (eclose) symbiont-free, but exhibit visible Actinobacterial coverage within 14 days post-eclosion. Using subcolony experiments, we investigate exosymbiont transmission within Acromyrmex colonies. We found successful transmission to newly eclosed major workers fostered by major workers with visible Actinobacteria in all cases (100% acquiring, n = 19). In contrast, newly eclosed major workers reared without exosymbiont-carrying major workers did not acquire visible Actinobacteria (0% acquiring, n = 73). We further show that the majority of ants exposed to major workers with exosymbionts within 2 hours of eclosion acquired bacteria (60.7% acquiring, n = 28), while normal acquisition did not occur when exposure occurred later than 2 hours post-eclosion (0% acquiring, n = 18). Our findings show that transmission of exosymbionts to newly eclosed major workers occurs through interactions with exosymbiont-covered workers within a narrow time window after eclosion. This mode of transmission likely helps ensure the defensive function within colonies, as well as specificity and partner fidelity in the ant-bacterium association. PMID:25058579

  17. Density-dependence and within-host competition in a semelparous parasite of leaf-cutting ants

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, William OH; Petersen, Klaus S; Ugelvig, Line V; Pedersen, Dorthe; Thomsen, Lene; Poulsen, Michael; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2004-01-01

    Background Parasite heterogeneity and within-host competition are thought to be important factors influencing the dynamics of host-parasite relationships. Yet, while there have been many theoretical investigations of how these factors may act, empirical data is more limited. We investigated the effects of parasite density and heterogeneity on parasite virulence and fitness using four strains of the entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae, and its leaf-cutting ant host Acromyrmex echinatior as the model system. Results The relationship between parasite density and infection was sigmoidal, with there being an invasion threshold for an infection to occur (an Allee effect). Although spore production was positively density-dependent, parasite fitness decreased with increasing parasite density, indicating within-host scramble competition. The dynamics differed little between the four strains tested. In mixed infections of three strains the infection-growth dynamics were unaffected by parasite heterogeneity. Conclusions The strength of within-host competition makes dispersal the best strategy for the parasite. Parasite heterogeneity may not have effected virulence or the infection dynamics either because the most virulent strain outcompeted the others, or because the interaction involved scramble competition that was impervious to parasite heterogeneity. The dynamics observed may be common for virulent parasites, such as Metarhizium, that produce aggregated transmission stages. Such parasites make useful models for investigating infection dynamics and the impact of parasite competition. PMID:15541185

  18. Leaf-cutting ant nests near roads increase fitness of exotic plant species in natural protected areas

    PubMed Central

    Farji-Brener, Alejandro G; Ghermandi, Luciana

    2008-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms that promote the invasion of natural protected areas by exotic plants is a central concern for ecology. We demonstrated that nests of the leaf-cutting ant, Acromyrmex lobicornis, near roadsides promote the abundance, growth and reproduction of two exotic plant species, Carduus nutans and Onopordum acanthium, in a national park in northern Patagonia, Argentina and determine the mechanisms that produce these effects. Refuse dumps (RDs) from ant nests have a higher nutrient content than nearby non-nest soils (NNSs); foliar nutrient content and their 15N isotopic signature strongly suggest that plants reach and use these nutrients. Both species of exotic plants in RDs were 50–600% more abundant; seedlings had 100–1000% more foliar area and root and leaf biomass; and adult plants produced 100–300% more seeds than nearby NNS plants. Plants can thus gain access to and benefit from the nutrient content of ant RD, supporting the hypotheses that enhanced resource availability promotes exotic plant performance that could increase the likelihood of biological invasions. The two exotics produce an estimated of 8 385 000 more seeds ha−1 in areas with ant nests compared with areas without; this exceptional increase in seed production represents a potential threat to nearby non-invaded communities. We propose several management strategies to mitigate this threat. Removal efforts of exotics should be focused on ant RDs, where plants are denser and represent a higher source of propagules. PMID:18364316

  19. Branching angles reflect a trade-off between reducing trail maintenance costs or travel distances in leaf-cutting ants.

    PubMed

    Farji-Brener, Alejandro Gustavo; Chinchilla, Federico; Umaña, María Natalia; Ocasio-Torres, Maríia Elena; Chauta-Mellizo, Alexander; Acosta-Rojas, Diana; Marinaro, Sofía; Curth, Mónica de Torres; Amador-Vargas, Sabrina

    2015-02-01

    The design of transport paths in consuming entities that use routes to access food should be under strong selective pressures to reduce costs and increase benefits. We studied the adaptive nature of branching angles in foraging trail networks of the two most abundant tropical leaf-cutting ant species. We mathematically assessed how these angles should reflect the relative weight of the pressure for reducing either trail maintenance effort or traveling distances. Bifurcation angles of ant foraging trails strongly differed depending on the location of the nests. Ant colonies in open areas showed more acute branching angles, which best shorten travel distances but create longer new trail sections to maintain than a perpendicular branch, suggesting that trail maintenance costs are smaller compared to the benefit of reduced traveling distance. Conversely, ant colonies in forest showed less acute branching angles, indicating that maintenance costs are of larger importance relative to the benefits of shortening travel distances. The trail pattern evident in forests may be attributable to huge amounts of litterfall that .increase trail maintenance costs, and the abundant canopy cover that reduces traveling costs by mitigating direct sunlight and rain. These results suggest that branching angles represent a trade-off between reducing maintenance work and shortening travel distances, illustrating how animal constructions can adjust to diverse environmental conditions. This idea may help to understand diverse networks systems, including urban travel networks. PMID:26240872

  20. Salt preferences of honey bee water foragers.

    PubMed

    Lau, Pierre W; Nieh, James C

    2016-03-01

    The importance of dietary salt may explain why bees are often observed collecting brackish water, a habit that may expose them to harmful xenobiotics. However, the individual salt preferences of water-collecting bees were not known. We measured the proboscis extension reflex (PER) response of Apis mellifera water foragers to 0-10% w/w solutions of Na, Mg and K, ions that provide essential nutrients. We also tested phosphate, which can deter foraging. Bees exhibited significant preferences, with the most PER responses for 1.5-3% Na and 1.5% Mg. However, K and phosphate were largely aversive and elicited PER responses only for the lowest concentrations, suggesting a way to deter bees from visiting contaminated water. We then analyzed the salt content of water sources that bees collected in urban and semi-urban environments. Bees collected water with a wide range of salt concentrations, but most collected water sources had relatively low salt concentrations, with the exception of seawater and swimming pools, which had >0.6% Na. The high levels of PER responsiveness elicited by 1.5-3% Na may explain why bees are willing to collect such salty water. Interestingly, bees exhibited high individual variation in salt preferences: individual identity accounted for 32% of variation in PER responses. Salt specialization may therefore occur in water foragers. PMID:26823100

  1. The Plight of the Honey Bee

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hockridge, Emma

    2010-01-01

    The decline of colonies of honey bees across the world is threatening local plant biodiversity and human food supplies. Neonicotinoid pesticides have been implicated as a major cause of the problem and are banned or suspended in several countries. Other factors could also be lowering the resistance of bees to opportunist infections by, for…

  2. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees face numerous biotic threats from viruses to bacteria, fungi, protists, and mites. Here we describe a thorough analysis of microbes harbored by worker honey bees collected from field colonies in geographically distinct regions of Turkey. Turkey is one of the World’s most important centers...

  3. Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kessler, Sébastien C.; Tiedeken, Erin Jo; Simcock, Kerry L.; Derveau, Sophie; Mitchell, Jessica; Softley, Samantha; Stout, Jane C.; Wright, Geraldine A.

    2015-05-01

    The impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators is highly controversial. Sublethal concentrations alter the behaviour of social bees and reduce survival of entire colonies. However, critics argue that the reported negative effects only arise from neonicotinoid concentrations that are greater than those found in the nectar and pollen of pesticide-treated plants. Furthermore, it has been suggested that bees could choose to forage on other available flowers and hence avoid or dilute exposure. Here, using a two-choice feeding assay, we show that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, do not avoid nectar-relevant concentrations of three of the most commonly used neonicotinoids, imidacloprid (IMD), thiamethoxam (TMX), and clothianidin (CLO), in food. Moreover, bees of both species prefer to eat more of sucrose solutions laced with IMD or TMX than sucrose alone. Stimulation with IMD, TMX and CLO neither elicited spiking responses from gustatory neurons in the bees' mouthparts, nor inhibited the responses of sucrose-sensitive neurons. Our data indicate that bees cannot taste neonicotinoids and are not repelled by them. Instead, bees preferred solutions containing IMD or TMX, even though the consumption of these pesticides caused them to eat less food overall. This work shows that bees cannot control their exposure to neonicotinoids in food and implies that treating flowering crops with IMD and TMX presents a sizeable hazard to foraging bees.

  4. Cell culture techniques in honey bee research

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cell culture techniques are indispensable in most if not all life science disciplines to date. Wherever cell culture models are lacking scientific development is hampered. Unfortunately this has been and still is the case in honey bee research because permanent honey bee cell lines have not yet been...

  5. Biological effects of ultraviolet irradiation on bees

    SciTech Connect

    Es`kov, E.K.

    1995-09-01

    The influence of natural solar and artificial ultraviolet irradiation on developing bees was studied. Lethal exposures to irradiation at different stages of development were determined. The influence of irradiation on the variability of the morphometric features of bees was revealed. 5 refs., 1 fig.

  6. Pathogen webs in collapsing honey bee colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent losses in honey bee colonies are unusual in their severity, geographical distribution, and, in some cases, failure to present recognized symptoms of known disease. Domesticated honey bees face numerous pests and pathogens, tempting hypotheses that colony collapses arise from exposure to new o...

  7. Bumble bees of the western United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bumble bees (genus Bombus) are critical pollinators of flowering plants. Thirty species of bumble bees are native to the western United States and this publication is a guide to the natural history and identification of these species. We present phenology graphs, host-plant associations, detailed ...

  8. Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides.

    PubMed

    Kessler, Sébastien C; Tiedeken, Erin Jo; Simcock, Kerry L; Derveau, Sophie; Mitchell, Jessica; Softley, Samantha; Radcliffe, Amy; Stout, Jane C; Wright, Geraldine A

    2015-05-01

    The impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators is highly controversial. Sublethal concentrations alter the behaviour of social bees and reduce survival of entire colonies. However, critics argue that the reported negative effects only arise from neonicotinoid concentrations that are greater than those found in the nectar and pollen of pesticide-treated plants. Furthermore, it has been suggested that bees could choose to forage on other available flowers and hence avoid or dilute exposure. Here, using a two-choice feeding assay, we show that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, do not avoid nectar-relevant concentrations of three of the most commonly used neonicotinoids, imidacloprid (IMD), thiamethoxam (TMX), and clothianidin (CLO), in food. Moreover, bees of both species prefer to eat more of sucrose solutions laced with IMD or TMX than sucrose alone. Stimulation with IMD, TMX and CLO neither elicited spiking responses from gustatory neurons in the bees' mouthparts, nor inhibited the responses of sucrose-sensitive neurons. Our data indicate that bees cannot taste neonicotinoids and are not repelled by them. Instead, bees preferred solutions containing IMD or TMX, even though the consumption of these pesticides caused them to eat less food overall. This work shows that bees cannot control their exposure to neonicotinoids in food and implies that treating flowering crops with IMD and TMX presents a sizeable hazard to foraging bees. PMID:25901684

  9. The problem of disease when domesticating bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    When disease strikes a hive of bees, it can devastate the colony and spread to the entire beekeeping operation. All bees are susceptible to diseases, and when they are domesticated, their population densities increase to suit human needs, making them more susceptible. Most attempts at disease contro...

  10. Meeting wild bees' needs on rangelands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Some arid rangeland regions, notably those with warm dry climates of the temperate zones, host great diversities of native bees, primarily non-social species among which are many floral specialists. Rangeland bee faunas are threatened indirectly by invasive exotic weeds wherever these displace nat...

  11. Physiology and biochemistry of honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Despite their tremendous economic importance, honey bees are not a typical model system for studying general questions of insect physiology. This is primarily due to the fact that honey bees live in complex social settings which impact their physiological and biochemical characteristics. Not surpris...

  12. Bees diversified in the age of eudicots

    PubMed Central

    Cardinal, Sophie; Danforth, Bryan N.

    2013-01-01

    Reliable estimates on the ages of the major bee clades are needed to further understand the evolutionary history of bees and their close association with flowering plants. Divergence times have been estimated for a few groups of bees, but no study has yet provided estimates for all major bee lineages. To date the origin of bees and their major clades, we first perform a phylogenetic analysis of bees including representatives from every extant family, subfamily and almost all tribes, using sequence data from seven genes. We then use this phylogeny to place 14 time calibration points based on information from the fossil record for an uncorrelated relaxed clock divergence time analysis taking into account uncertainties in phylogenetic relationships and the fossil record. We explore the effect of placing a hard upper age bound near the root of the tree and the effect of different topologies on our divergence time estimates. We estimate that crown bees originated approximately 123 Ma (million years ago) (113–132 Ma), concurrently with the origin or diversification of the eudicots, a group comprising 75 per cent of angiosperm species. All of the major bee clades are estimated to have originated during the Middle to Late Cretaceous, which is when angiosperms became the dominant group of land plants. PMID:23363629

  13. Stress Responses in Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) 1

    PubMed Central

    Kessmann, Helmut; Edwards, Robert; Geno, Paul W.; Dixon, Richard A.

    1990-01-01

    The isoflavonoid conjugates medicarpin-3-O-glucoside-6″-O-malonate (MGM), afrormosin-7-O-glucoside (AG), and afrormosin-7-O-glucoside-6″-O-malonate (AGM) were isolated and characterized from cell suspension cultures of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), where they were the major constitutive secondary metabolites. They were also found in alfalfa roots but not in other parts of the plant. The phytoalexin medicarpin accumulated rapidly in suspension cultured cells treated with elicitor from Colletotrichum lindemuthianum, and this was subsequently accompanied by an increase in the levels of MGM. In contrast, net accumulation of afrormosin conjugates was not affected by elicitor treatment. Labeling studies with [14C]phenylalanine indicated that afrormosin conjugates were the major de novo synthesized isoflavonoid products in unelicited cells. During elicitation, [14C]phenylalanine was incorporated predominantly into medicarpin, although a significant proportion of the newly synthesized medicarpin was also conjugated. Treatment of 14C-labeled, elicited cells with l-α-aminooxy-β-phenylpropionic acid, a potent inhibitor of PAL activity in vivo, resulted in the initial appearance of labeled medicarpin of very low specific activity, suggesting that the phytoalexin could be released from a preformed conjugate under these conditions. Our data draw attention to the involvement of isoflavone hydroxylases during the constitutive and elicitor-induced accumulation of isoflavonoids and their conjugates in alfalfa cell cultures. PMID:16667691

  14. Evaluation of two supplements for the prevention of alfalfa bloat.

    PubMed

    Hall, J W; Walker, I; Majak, W

    1994-11-01

    Poloxalene and a mineral mixture feed supplement patented for the treatment of emphysema, polyarthritis, and other pectin related diseases were tested in two trials for their ability to prevent bloat in cattle fed fresh alfalfa. Each trial had a crossover design using three Jersey steers with rumen fistulas per group. Each trial period continued until the total number of cases of bloat reached > or = 24. Treatments were given at 0800 each day. The mineral mixture was given at 100 g/d and 190 mg/kg body weight per day in the first and second trials, respectively. Poloxalene, which was tested only in the second trial, was given at 23 mg/kg body weight per day. Each group of steers was then fed 200 kg of freshly harvested alfalfa in the vegetative to early bloom stages of growth at 0830. In the first trial, only 69% as many cases of bloat occurred on the mineral mixture as on the control treatment, but no significant difference was detected in the second trial. The potency of the alfalfa may have been higher in the second trial, when forage dry matter was lower, magnesium and soluble nitrogen were higher, and bloat occasionally occurred twice a day. Bloat did not occur when the steers were treated with poloxalene. In these trials, poloxalene was completely effective in preventing bloat, but the mineral mixture was only partially so. PMID:7866960

  15. Primary photosensitization related to ingestion of alfalfa silage by cattle.

    PubMed

    House, J K; George, L W; Oslund, K L; Galey, F D; Stannard, A W; Koch, L M

    1996-11-01

    A herd of 650 Holstein cows was examined for skin disease. Approximately 400 of the lactating adults were affected, but heifers, calves, and nonlactating cows were clinically normal. The condition was characteristic of primary photosensitization. Milk production of the affected cows was normal. Affected cows did not appear to be ill, and none of the cows was icteric. Three of 7 cows had high serum gamma-glutamyltransferase activities, but in the other 4 cows, activity was within the reference range. Serum activities of other hepatic enzymes were within reference ranges in the 7 cows that were examined. Hepatic biopsy specimens from 3 cows were normal. Specimens from 4 other cows had changes that ranged from minimal to mild, chronic, lymphoplasmacytic periportal hepatitis to acute, random, necrotizing hepatitis. Development of photosensitivity was related to ingestion of alfalfa silage. Acetone extracts of the alfalfa silage, but not of other feedstuffs, were found to inhibit growth of Candida albicans under ultraviolet light. Cows experimentally fed a diet composed exclusively of the alfalfa silage developed skin lesions after 6 days, but did not have detectable serum concentrations of phylloerythrin. PMID:8899027

  16. Bee Ranges and Almond Orchard Locations: Contemporary Visualization

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    When trapping pollen from almonds, a site map showing the location of bee hives and their flight range provided information on where the bees were flying and from what type of terrain the bees were collecting forage. We used this information to determine where bees might be flying to collect food s...

  17. Assessing grooming behavior of Russian honey bees toward Varroa destructor.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The grooming behavior of Russian bees was compared to Italian bees. Overall, Russian bees had significantly lower numbers of mites than the Italian bees with a mean of 1,937 ± 366 and 5,088 ± 733 mites, respectively. This low mite population in the Russian colonies was probably due to the increased ...

  18. Transcriptional responses in honey bee larvae infected with chalkbrood fungus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Diseases and other stress factors working synergistically weaken honey bee health and may play a major role in the losses of bee populations in recent years. Among a large number of bee diseases, chalkbrood has been on the rise. We present here the experimental identification of honey bee genes that...

  19. Allee effects and colony collapse disorder in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We propose a mathematical model to quantify the hypothesis that a major ultimate cause of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in honey bees is the presence of an Allee effect in the growth dynamics of honey bee colonies. In the model, both recruitment of adult bees as well as mortality of adult bees have...

  20. Effects of long distance transportation on honey bee physiology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Despite the requirement of long distance transportation of honey bees used for pollination, we understand little how transportation affects honey bees. Three trials were conducted to study the effects of long distance transportation on honey bee physiology. Newly emerged bees from one colony were sp...

  1. HONEY BEES AT YOUR SWIMMING POOL: NOT A GOOD MIX

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In order to keep bees from becoming a nuisance around residential areas, certain steps must be taken by homeowners. Bees will forage any open water source. Making the water unpalatable, by adding soap or vinegar, will reduce bee visitation. In addition, eliminating bees as they forage on water ou...

  2. Hot spots in the bee hive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bujok, Brigitte; Kleinhenz, Marco; Fuchs, Stefan; Tautz, Jürgen

    2002-06-01

    Honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera) maintain temperatures of 35-36°C in their brood nest because the brood needs high and constant temperature conditions for optimal development. We show that incubation of the brood at the level of individual honeybees is done by worker bees performing a particular and not yet specified behaviour: such bees raise the brood temperature by pressing their warm thoraces firmly onto caps under which the pupae develop. The bees stay motionless in a characteristic posture and have significantly higher thoracic temperatures than bees not assuming this posture in the brood area. The surface of the brood caps against which warm bees had pressed their thorax were up to 3.2°C warmer than the surrounding area, confirming that effective thermal transfer had taken place.

  3. Antiviral Defense Mechanisms in Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

    Brutscher, Laura M.; Daughenbaugh, Katie F.; Flenniken, Michelle L.

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees are significant pollinators of agricultural crops and other important plant species. High annual losses of honey bee colonies in North America and in some parts of Europe have profound ecological and economic implications. Colony losses have been attributed to multiple factors including RNA viruses, thus understanding bee antiviral defense mechanisms may result in the development of strategies that mitigate colony losses. Honey bee antiviral defense mechanisms include RNA-interference, pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) triggered signal transduction cascades, and reactive oxygen species generation. However, the relative importance of these and other pathways is largely uncharacterized. Herein we review the current understanding of honey bee antiviral defense mechanisms and suggest important avenues for future investigation. PMID:26273564

  4. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies

    PubMed Central

    Tozkar, Cansu Ö.; Kence, Meral; Kence, Aykut; Huang, Qiang; Evans, Jay D.

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees face numerous biotic threats from viruses to bacteria, fungi, protists, and mites. Here we describe a thorough analysis of microbes harbored by worker honey bees collected from field colonies in geographically distinct regions of Turkey. Turkey is one of the World's most important centers of apiculture, harboring five subspecies of Apis mellifera L., approximately 20% of the honey bee subspecies in the world. We use deep ILLUMINA-based RNA sequencing to capture RNA species for the honey bee and a sampling of all non-endogenous species carried by bees. After trimming and mapping these reads to the honey bee genome, approximately 10% of the sequences (9–10 million reads per library) remained. These were then mapped to a curated set of public sequences containing ca. Sixty megabase-pairs of sequence representing known microbial species associated with honey bees. Levels of key honey bee pathogens were confirmed using quantitative PCR screens. We contrast microbial matches across different sites in Turkey, showing new country recordings of Lake Sinai virus, two Spiroplasma bacterium species, symbionts Candidatus Schmidhempelia bombi, Frischella perrara, Snodgrassella alvi, Gilliamella apicola, Lactobacillus spp.), neogregarines, and a trypanosome species. By using metagenomic analysis, this study also reveals deep molecular evidence for the presence of bacterial pathogens (Melissococcus plutonius, Paenibacillus larvae), Varroa destructor-1 virus, Sacbrood virus, and fungi. Despite this effort we did not detect KBV, SBPV, Tobacco ringspot virus, VdMLV (Varroa Macula like virus), Acarapis spp., Tropilaeleps spp. and Apocephalus (phorid fly). We discuss possible impacts of management practices and honey bee subspecies on microbial retinues. The described workflow and curated microbial database will be generally useful for microbial surveys of healthy and declining honey bees. PMID:25852743

  5. Genetic stock identification of Russian honey bees.

    PubMed

    Bourgeois, Lelania; Sheppard, Walter S; Sylvester, H Allen; Rinderer, Thomas E

    2010-06-01

    A genetic stock certification assay was developed to distinguish Russian honey bees from other European (Apis mellifera L.) stocks that are commercially produced in the United States. In total, 11 microsatellite and five single-nucleotide polymorphism loci were used. Loci were selected for relatively high levels of homogeneity within each group and for differences in allele frequencies between groups. A baseline sample consisted of the 18 lines of Russian honey bees released to the Russian Bee Breeders Association and bees from 34 queen breeders representing commercially produced European honey bee stocks. Suitability tests of the baseline sample pool showed high levels of accuracy. The probability of correct assignment was 94.2% for non-Russian bees and 93.3% for Russian bees. A neighbor-joining phenogram representing genetic distance data showed clear distinction of Russian and non-Russian honey bee stocks. Furthermore, a test of appropriate sample size showed a sample of eight bees per colony maximizes accuracy and consistency of the results. An additional 34 samples were tested as blind samples (origin unknown to those collecting data) to determine accuracy of individual assignment tests. Only one of these samples was incorrectly assigned. The 18 current breeding lines were represented among the 2009 blind sampling, demonstrating temporal stability of the genetic stock identification assay. The certification assay will be used through services provided by a service laboratory, by the Russian Bee Breeders Association to genetically certify their stock. The genetic certification will be used in conjunction with continued selection for favorable traits, such as honey production and varroa and tracheal mite resistance. PMID:20568639

  6. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Tozkar, Cansu Ö; Kence, Meral; Kence, Aykut; Huang, Qiang; Evans, Jay D

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees face numerous biotic threats from viruses to bacteria, fungi, protists, and mites. Here we describe a thorough analysis of microbes harbored by worker honey bees collected from field colonies in geographically distinct regions of Turkey. Turkey is one of the World's most important centers of apiculture, harboring five subspecies of Apis mellifera L., approximately 20% of the honey bee subspecies in the world. We use deep ILLUMINA-based RNA sequencing to capture RNA species for the honey bee and a sampling of all non-endogenous species carried by bees. After trimming and mapping these reads to the honey bee genome, approximately 10% of the sequences (9-10 million reads per library) remained. These were then mapped to a curated set of public sequences containing ca. Sixty megabase-pairs of sequence representing known microbial species associated with honey bees. Levels of key honey bee pathogens were confirmed using quantitative PCR screens. We contrast microbial matches across different sites in Turkey, showing new country recordings of Lake Sinai virus, two Spiroplasma bacterium species, symbionts Candidatus Schmidhempelia bombi, Frischella perrara, Snodgrassella alvi, Gilliamella apicola, Lactobacillus spp.), neogregarines, and a trypanosome species. By using metagenomic analysis, this study also reveals deep molecular evidence for the presence of bacterial pathogens (Melissococcus plutonius, Paenibacillus larvae), Varroa destructor-1 virus, Sacbrood virus, and fungi. Despite this effort we did not detect KBV, SBPV, Tobacco ringspot virus, VdMLV (Varroa Macula like virus), Acarapis spp., Tropilaeleps spp. and Apocephalus (phorid fly). We discuss possible impacts of management practices and honey bee subspecies on microbial retinues. The described workflow and curated microbial database will be generally useful for microbial surveys of healthy and declining honey bees. PMID:25852743

  7. Assessment of Genetic Diversity Among Nondormant and Semi-Dormant Alfalfa Populations using Sequence Related Amplified Polymorphisms (SRAPs)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Synthetic alfalfa populations consist of genetically heterogeneous plants, which has contributed to difficulties in applying molecular markers for examining genetic relationships among alfalfa cultivars. Molecular marker techniques combined with bulked plant DNA analyses provide perhaps the best com...

  8. GENETIC MAPPING FORAGE YIELD, PLANT HEIGHT, AND REGROWTH AT MULTIPLE HARVESTS IN TETRAPLOID ALFALFA (MEDICAGO SATIVA L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crosses between Medicago sativa subspecies falcata and sativa result in high levels of heterosis for alfalfa forage production. However, desirable alfalfa cultivars must have acceptable performance for other agronomic traits including regrowth following harvest and appropriate autumn dormancy. In ...

  9. Identifying OH Imposters in the ALFALFA HI Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suess, Katherine; Darling, Jeremiah K.; Haynes, Martha P.; Giovanelli, Riccardo

    2015-01-01

    OH megamasers (OHMs) are rare, luminous molecular masers that are typically observed in (ultra) luminous infrared galaxies and serve as markers of major galaxy mergers. In blind emission line surveys such as the ALFALFA (Arecibo Legacy Fast Arecibo L-Band Feed Array) survey for neutral hydrogen (HI) in the local universe, OHMs at z~0.2 can mimic z~0.05 HI lines. We present the results of optical spectroscopy of ambiguous HI detections in the ALFALFA 40% data release [1] detected by WISE but with uncertain optical counterparts. The optical redshifts, obtained from observations at the Apache Point Observatory 3.5m telescope, identified 127 HI optical counterparts and discovered five new OHMs. Fifty-six candidates remain ambiguous. The new OHMs are the first detected in a blind spectral line survey.The number of OHMs in ALFALFA matches predictions based on the OH luminosity function [2]. Additionally, the OHMs found in a blind survey do not seem to differ from those found in previous targeted surveys. This provides validation of the methods used in previous IR-selected OHM surveys and indicates there is no previously unknown OHM-producing population at z~0.2. We also provide a method for future surveys to separate OH and HI lines without expensive spectral observations. This method utilizes infrared colors and magnitudes, such as WISE mid-IR data. Since the fraction of OHMs found in flux-limited HI surveys is expected to increase with the redshift of the survey [3], this analysis can be applied to future flux-limited high-redshift hydrogen surveys.We thank the ALFALFA team for observing and producing the survey dataset. The ALFALFA team at Cornell is supported by NSF AST-1107390 and the Brinson Foundation.[1] Haynes, M. P., R. Giovanelli, A. M. Martin, K. M. Hess, A. Saintonge, et al. 2011, Astron J, 142, 142[2] Darling, J. & R. Giovanelli 2002, Astrophys J, 572, 810[3] Briggs, F. H. 1998, A&A, 336, 815

  10. Sex ratios in bumble bees

    PubMed Central

    Bourke, A. F. G.

    1997-01-01

    The median proportion of investment in females among 11 populations of seven bumble bee (Bombus) species was 0.32 (range 0.07 to 0.64). By contrast, two species of workerless social parasites in the related genus Psithyrus had female-biased sex allocation, the reasons for which remain unclear. Male-biased sex allocation in Bombus contradicts the predictions of Trivers and Hare's sex ratio model for the social Hymenoptera, which are that the population sex investment ratio should be 0.5 (1:1) under queen control and 0.75 (3:1 females:males) under worker control (assuming single, once-mated, outbred queens and non-reproductive workers). Male bias in Bombus does not appear to be either an artefact, or purely the result of symbiotic sex ratio distorters. According to modifications of the Trivers–Hare model, the level of worker male-production in Bombus is insufficient to account for observed levels of male bias. There is also no evidence that male bias arises from either local resource competition (related females compete for resources) or local mate enhancement (related males cooperate in securing mates). Bulmer presented models predicting sexual selection for protandry (males are produced before females) in annual social Hymenoptera and, as a consequence (given some parameter values), male-biased sex allocation. Bumble bees fit the assumptions of Bulmer's models and are protandrous. These models therefore represent the best current explanation for the bees' male-biased sex investment ratios. This conclusion suggests that the relative timing of the production of the sexes strongly influences sex allocation in the social Hymenoptera.

  11. Identification of molecular markers associated with verticillium wilt resistance in alfalfa (medicago sativa l.) using high-resolution melting

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Verticillium wilt (VW), caused by the soilborne fungus, Verticillium alfalfae, is one of the most serious diseases of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) worldwide. To identify loci associated with resistance to VW, an association study was conducted using autotetraploid alfalfa populations composed of 352...

  12. Assessing the potential of forage alfalfa crops to serve as Xylella fastidiosa, primary inoculum sources in the San Joaquin Valley

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The potential for forage alfalfa to serve as a primary inoculum source of Xylella fastidiosa in the San Joaquin Valley of California was evaluated. Laboratory inoculation of fourteen cultivars of alfalfa indicated that all alfalfa cultivars tested were equally suitable hosts for X. fastidiosa. Inci...

  13. Systemic lupus erythematosus-like syndrome in monkeys fed alfalfa sprouts: role of a nonprotein amino acid.

    PubMed

    Malinow, M R; Bardana, E J; Pirofsky, B; Craig, S; McLaughlin, P

    1982-04-23

    Hematologic and serologic abnormalities similar to those observed in human systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) developed in cynomolgus macaques fed alfalfa sprouts. L-Canavanine sulfate, a constituent of alfalfa sprouts, was incorporated into the diet and reactivated the syndrome in monkeys in which an SLE-like syndrome had previously been induced by the ingestion of alfalfa seeds or sprouts. PMID:7071589

  14. Production of bio-oil from alfalfa stems by fluidized-bed fast pyrolysis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study focused on the production of bio-oil from alfalfa stem material. Two alfalfa maturity stages, harvested at early bud and full flower stages of development, were examined to evaluate the impact of variation in cell wall polysaccharide and lignin content on pyrolysis oil yields, production ...

  15. Yield and ion relations of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) in response to irrigation with saline waters

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa is a major forage crop utilized in arid and semi-arid regions under irrigation; these regions are commonly impacted by saline water and soils. Four commercial non-dormant, purported salt tolerant Alfalfa cultivars 'Salado', 'S&W8421s', 'S&W9720' and 'S&W9215' were grown in 24 outdoor sand ta...

  16. Research seeks to improve the establishment and subsequent yield of alfalfa interseeded into silage corn

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This popular press article briefly describes the potential benefits of using prohexadione-calcium for enhancing the establishment of alfalfa interseeded into silage corn. Prohexadione sprayed in June with drop nozzles at 10 to 14 oz ai/A typically reduced alfalfa top growth by about 20% in July and ...

  17. Molecular marker identified selfed progeny and their breeding implications in tetraploid alfalfa synthetics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is a major forage legume. Selfing (i.e. self-pollination) in alfalfa is possible, particularly in the absence of pollen from another genotype. Selfing has also been shown to occur in insect pollinated seed production fields. Reported selfing rates under field conditions ...

  18. Sustainable biomass energy production and rural economic development using alfalfa as feedstock

    SciTech Connect

    DeLong, M.M.; Swanberg, D.R.; Oelke, E.A.

    1995-11-01

    Alfalfa is a well-known and widely-planted crop that offers environmental and soil conservation advantages when grown as a 4-year segment in a 7-year rotation with corn and soybeans. Alfalfa fixes nitrogen from the air, thereby enhancing soil nitrogen and decreasing the need for manufactured nitrogen fertilizer. With alfalfa yields of 4 dry tons per acre per year and with separate alfalfa leaves being sold as a high-value animal feed, separated alfalfa stems can be economically viable fuel feedstock for a gasifier combined cycle power plant. This paper reports on a feasibility study for an integrated biomass power system, where an energy crop (alfalfa) is coupled to a processing plant and a power plant (integrated gasification combined cycle with hot gas cleanup) in a way that benefits the joint venture of an alfalfa producers cooperative and a utility entity. The sale of a mid-level protein animal feed co-product and electricity both support the production cost of alfalfa. The co-product/fuel processing operation uses a common train of equipment, thereby requiring neither product to carry the total cost. The power plant provides an important continuous demand for the feedstock and results in continuous supply of leaf product to provide a reliable supply needed for the leaf meal product.

  19. Validating Topdressed K Fertilizer Recommendations in an Alfalfa-Corn Rotation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Potassium (K) fertilizer prices are higher than average and may reduce bottom line returns for alfalfa growers. Potassium supports plant stress tolerance and plays a critical role in alfalfa yield by moving sugars from shoots to roots. Current University of Minnesota recommendations are to apply bet...

  20. Mycoleptodiscus Crown and Root Rot of Alfalfa: An Emerging Problem in Minnesota and Wisconsin?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mycoleptodiscus crown and root rot was observed on alfalfa plants from southeastern MN and southwestern WI during the summer of 2009. The disease was observed in new plantings and established stands. Although the disease has been known since the 1950's, it has not caused severe problems in alfalfa p...

  1. Transcriptome analysis of resistant and susceptible alfalfa cultivars infected with root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nematodes are one of the major limiting factors in alfalfa production. Root knot nematodes (RKN, Meloidogyne spp.) are widely distributed and economically important sedentary endoparasites of agricultural crops (Castagnone-Sereno et al. 2013) and they may inflict significant damage to alfalfa fields...

  2. A system for identification of candidate genes controlling cell wall synthesis in alfalfa stems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Usefulness of alfalfa for livestock feeding and production of lignocellulose-derived ethanol would be improved by genetic alteration of stem cell wall concentration and composition. This could be accomplished through selective breeding and transgenic technologies. However, development of alfalfa cel...

  3. Alfalfa transgene dispersal and adventitious presence: understanding grower perception of risk

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recognizing the importance of coexistence, the alfalfa industry has developed a set of Best Management Practices (BMP) to maintain separation of GE and conventional production. But the success of BMP depends upon the degree that growers comply. Therefore we surveyed 530 alfalfa hay and seed producer...

  4. Gain from selection for 16- and 96-h in vitro NDF digestibility of alfalfa stems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa is a high-quality forage, but stems are high in NDF and of limited digestibility. A gain from selection study with alfalfa populations selected for divergent in vitro NDF digestibility (IVNDFD) was planted at St. Paul and Becker, MN. Two cycles of selection were conducted starting with a bas...

  5. Extraction, composition, and functional properties of dried alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) leaf protein

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa, traditionally used for animal feed, has attracted attention as a potential feedstock for biofuels and the viability of the process would be enhanced by co-products with value-added uses. This study describes extraction of protein from dried alfalfa leaves and the functional properties of th...

  6. Quantitative evaluation of fiber from nonforage sources used to replace alfalfa silage.

    PubMed

    Swain, S M; Armentano, L E

    1994-08-01

    The effectiveness of NDF from nonforage fiber sources was evaluated in two trials using midlactation Holsteins. Dietary NDF was added to the basal diet using either alfalfa silage or a nonforage high fiber feed. Diets were fed for 21 d. In trial 1, four amounts of alfalfa were fed. Basal milk fat percentage was 2.61% at 144 g of alfalfa NDF/kg of diet and increased linearly by .066 for each additional 1% alfalfa NDF added, up to 22.8 g of alfalfa NDF/kg of diet. Based on one amount of added nonforage fiber, the ratio of fat test increase to NDF added was .014 for brewers grains, .040 for oat hulls, and .047 for corn gluten feed. In trial 2, one amount of added alfalfa and each nonforage fiber source was used. The ratio of fat test increase to added NDF was .094 for alfalfa, .043 for brewers grains, .067 for oat hulls, .038 for corn gluten feed, .041 for beet pulp, and .044 for malt sprouts. When added to low fiber diets, NDF from the nonforage fiber sources elevated milk fat concentration approximately one-half as effectively as did NDF from alfalfa. Chewing activity was less affected by nonforage NDF than was milk fat concentration. PMID:7962854

  7. Ensuring coexistence of GE and non-GE alfalfa: status of current research efforts

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa routinely places among the top five crops in the nation in terms of both farmgate value and total acreage. In 2011 USDA APHIS announced the complete deregulation of glyphosate-resistant alfalfa in 2011. Since then grower demand for RRA seed has surged. Recognizing the need to support all fac...

  8. INCIDENCE OF INTROGRESSION BETWEEN CULTIVATED ALFALFA AND WILD RELATIVES IN NORTHWESTERN KAZAKHSTAN.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Central Asia is considered the primary center of origin for alfalfa and has a rich diversity of taxa in the Medicago sativa Complex. An exploration was carried out in 2000 to collect germplasm of wild relatives of alfalfa in Northwestern Kazakhstan. Russian scientists had previously proposed areas w...

  9. Identification of Drought Response Genes fom Two Alfalfa Cultivars Using Medicago Truncatula Microarrays

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As the first step to identify drought-responsive genes in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and understand how nitrogen fixation interacts with drought response, the alfalfa Ladak and 53V08 were studied when subjected to drought stress. A small set of genes shared by these two cultivars were identified ...

  10. Water transfer in an alfalfa/maize association. [Medicago sativa; Zea mays

    SciTech Connect

    Corak, S.J.; Blevins, D.G.; Pallardy, S.G.

    1987-07-01

    The authors investigated the possibility of interspecific water transfer in an alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and maize (Zea mays L.) association. An alfalfa plant was grown through two vertically stacked plastic tubes. A 5 centimeter air gap between tubes was bridged by alfalfa roots. Five-week old maize plants with roots confined to the top tube were not watered, while associated alfalfa roots had free access to water in the bottom tube (the -/+ treatment). Additional treatments included: top and bottom tubes watered (+/+), top and bottom tubes droughted (-/-), and top tube droughted after removal of alfalfa root bridges and routine removal of alfalfa tillers (-*). Predawn leaf water potential of maize in the -/+ treatment fell to -1.5 megapascals 13 days after the start of drought; thereafter, predawn and midday potentials were maintained near -1.9 megapascals. Leaf water potentials of maize in the -/- and -* treatments declined steadily; all plants in these treatments were completely desiccated before day 50. High levels of tritium activity were detected in water extracted from both alfalfa and maize leaves after /sup 3/H/sub 2/O was injected into the bottom -/+ tube at day 70 or later. Maize in the -/+ treatment was able to survive an otherwise lethal period of drought by utilizing water lost by alfalfa roots.

  11. Inoculant effects on alfalfa silage: in vitro gas and volatile fatty acid production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa silages from two similar trials, 15 treatments with an untreated control and 14 lactic acid bacterial inoculants, were analyzed for in vitro ruminal gas production. First cut (477 g DM/kg) and second cut (393 g DM/kg) alfalfa had been ensiled in glass jars for a minimum of 30 days at room te...

  12. Responses of Medicago sativa and M. falcata type alfalfas to different defoliation times and grass competition

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Incorporating alfalfa into rangelands can enhance the quantity and quality of forage production. We evaluated the impact of defoliation timing and selective defoliation on two grazing- (Anik and SCMF 3713) and one hay-type alfalfas (Vernal) near Mandan, North Dakota, USA. Entries were space-plante...

  13. Alfalfa root health and disease management: a foundation for maximizing production potential and stand life

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Beneath the lush green leaves of an alfalfa plant is a surprisingly large root system. It is this large root system that is at the heart of the valuable traits of the crop. Many factors influence root growth and root health of alfalfa, but diseases can be especially important. Several different dise...

  14. Molecular marker identified selfed progeny and their breeding implications in tetraploid alfalfa synthetics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is a major forage legume. Selfing (i.e. self-pollination) in alfalfa is possible, particularly in the absence of pollen from another genotype. Selfing has also been shown to occur in insect pollinated seed production fields. Reported selfing rates under field conditions...

  15. Storage characteristics of large round and square alfalfa bales: low-moisture wrapped bales

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Substantial dry matter (DM) and quality losses have been reported for partially dried alfalfa that has been rained on before moisture reduction to levels acceptable for dry hay storage. The objective of this research was to determine the feasibility of preserving alfalfa baled at less than 45% mois...

  16. Should Yield or Quality be the 'Rule' at Alfalfa Harvest Time?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Extensive cutting management research has documented the effects of date and frequency of harvest on alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) forage yield and quality. Information is lacking, however, on the change in quality relative to yield that occurs as alfalfa matures within individual harvest periods. ...

  17. Roadside alfalfa: Innocent bystanders or conveyers of genetically-engineered traits?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Clumps of alfalfa are a common sight along roads and vacant lots in areas that grow alfalfa for hay or seed. So what role do feral roadside plants play in dispersing transgenes? Is there a risk that transgenic feral plants serve as reservoirs or conduits that might facilitate the movement of transg...

  18. Prohexadione-calcium improves stand density and yield of alfalfa interseeded into silage corn

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Interseeded alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) could serve as a dual-purpose crop to provide groundcover for silage corn (Zea mays L.) and forage during subsequent years of production, but interspecific competition often leads to poor stands of alfalfa and unsatisfactory yields of corn. Four experiments e...

  19. Field Testing of Alfalfa Cultivars for resistance to Sclerotinia Crown and Stem Rot: Problems and Progress

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sclerotinia crown and stem rot (SCSR), caused by Sclerotinia trifoliorum, often causes severe losses in late-summer seeded alfalfa. The disease may be especially destructive when no-till methods are used. Most alfalfa cultivars presently available may be severely damaged when inoculcum concentrat...

  20. Using Gene Arrays as Tools to Develop Alfalfa as a Biomass Crop

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa has considerable potential as a biomass feedstock for producing cellulosic ethanol. The model that we propose for alfalfa as a biomass crop involves stripping leaves from stems. The leaves would be used as a protein supplement for livestock while the stems would be used for cellulosic ethano...

  1. Prolonged field exposure after cut alfalfa receives rain reduces ensilability and nutritive value

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conserving high-quality alfalfa silage during unstable, inclement weather is a challenge. Within a series of experiments, rainfall events were applied to wilting alfalfa by both simulated (using a rainfall simulator) and natural methods across four different harvests. Based on our studies, the ensi...

  2. Mapping fall dormancy and winter injury in tetraploid alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa is a widely planted perennial forage crop. Dormancy in autumn (fall dormancy) is generally negatively correlated with winter injury in alfalfa. To understand the genetic basis of the two traits, we identified quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling autumn growth and winter injury using a...

  3. Economics of growth regulator treatment of alfalfa seed for interseeding into silage corn

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Previous studies have focused on interseeding of alfalfa into corn for use as a temporary cover crop rather than as a means of jump-starting alfalfa production after corn. In ongoing field studies, we are evaluating whether plant growth regulators (PGR) may be used to aid the establishment of inters...

  4. Potato Leafhopper Injury and Fusarium Crown Rot Effects on Three Alfalfa Populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Evidence suggests homopterous insects and crown-rotting Fusarium species interact to impose stresses affecting alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) persistence. Our objective was to investigate interactions of Fusarium crown rot and potato leafhopper (Empoasca fabae Harris) in three alfalfa populations dif...

  5. A comparative study of alfalfa and Medicago truncatula stem traits: morphology, chemical composition, and ruminal digestibility

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is an agronomically important forage, but digestibility of stem cell wall material is low. Because the tetraploid genome of alfalfa complicates genetic dissection of complex pathways, Medicago truncatula (Gaertn.) could serve as a model for stem cell wall development in ...

  6. microRNAs and microRNA Targets Involved in Alfalfa Stem Development

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To examine the possible involvement of microRNAs (miRNAs) in alfalfa stem development, we hybridized 32P-labeled total miRNA purified from elongating and post-elongation stem internodes (ES and PES, respectively) of alfalfa clone 252 to a miRNA-macroarray that contained a total of 70 reference anti-...

  7. microRNAs and microRNA Targets Involved in Alfalfa Stem Development

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To examine the possible involvement of microRNAs in alfalfa stem development, we hybridized 32P-labled total microRNAs purified from elongating and post-elongation stem internodes (ES and PES, respectively) of the alfalfa Clone 252 to a microRNA dot blot that contains a total of 70 reference anti-mi...

  8. Single-Feature Polymorphism Discovery in the Transcriptome of Tetraploid Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa (L.) ssp. sativa ) has economic importance as a forage crop for livestock and potential for development as a biofuel feedstock. Advances in alfalfa breeding, genetics, and genomics have been slow because this crop is an allogamous autotetraploid (2n = 4x = 32) with complex p...

  9. Effects of dairy slurry on silage fermentation characteristics and nutritive value of alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Dairy producers frequently ask questions about the risks associated with applying dairy slurry to growing alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). Our objectives were to determine the effects of applying dairy slurry on the subsequent nutritive value and fermentation characteristics of alfalfa balage. Dairy sl...

  10. Honey bees selectively avoid difficult choices

    PubMed Central

    Perry, Clint J.; Barron, Andrew B.

    2013-01-01

    Human decision-making strategies are strongly influenced by an awareness of certainty or uncertainty (a form of metacognition) to increase the chances of making a right choice. Humans seek more information and defer choosing when they realize they have insufficient information to make an accurate decision, but whether animals are aware of uncertainty is currently highly contentious. To explore this issue, we examined how honey bees (Apis mellifera) responded to a visual discrimination task that varied in difficulty between trials. Free-flying bees were rewarded for a correct choice, punished for an incorrect choice, or could avoid choosing by exiting the trial (opting out). Bees opted out more often on difficult trials, and opting out improved their proportion of successful trials. Bees could also transfer the concept of opting out to a novel task. Our data show that bees selectively avoid difficult tasks they lack the information to solve. This finding has been considered as evidence that nonhuman animals can assess the certainty of a predicted outcome, and bees’ performance was comparable to that of primates in a similar paradigm. We discuss whether these behavioral results prove bees react to uncertainty or whether associative mechanisms can explain such findings. To better frame metacognition as an issue for neurobiological investigation, we propose a neurobiological hypothesis of uncertainty monitoring based on the known circuitry of the honey bee brain. PMID:24191024

  11. Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides

    PubMed Central

    Simcock, Kerry L.; Derveau, Sophie; Mitchell, Jessica; Softley, Samantha; Stout, Jane C.; Wright, Geraldine A.

    2015-01-01

    The impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators is highly controversial. Sublethal concentrations alter the behaviour of social bees and reduce survival of entire colonies1-3. However, critics argue that the reported negative effects only arise from neonicotinoid concentrations that are greater than those found in the nectar and pollen of pesticide-treated plants4. Furthermore, it has been suggested that bees could choose to forage on other available flowers and hence avoid or dilute exposure4,5. Here, using a two-choice feeding assay, we show that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, do not avoid nectar-relevant concentrations of three of the most commonly-used neonicotinoids, imidacloprid (IMD), thiamethoxam (TMX), and clothianidin (CLO) in food. Moreover, bees of both species prefer to eat more of sucrose solutions laced with IMD or TMX than sucrose alone. Stimulation with IMD, TMX, and CLO neither elicited spiking responses from gustatory neurons in the bees’ mouthparts nor inhibited the responses of sucrose-sensitive neurons. Our data indicate that bees cannot taste neonicotinoids and are not repelled by them. Instead, bees preferred solutions containing IMD or TMX even though the consumption of these pesticides caused them to eat less food overall. This work shows that bees cannot control their exposure to neonicotinoids in food and implies that treating flowering crops with IMD and TMX presents a significant hazard to foraging bees. PMID:25901684

  12. Gentle Africanized bees on an oceanic island

    PubMed Central

    Rivera-Marchand, Bert; Oskay, Devrim; Giray, Tugrul

    2012-01-01

    Oceanic islands have reduced resources and natural enemies and potentially affect life history traits of arriving organisms. Among the most spectacular invasions in the Western hemisphere is that of the Africanized honeybee. We hypothesized that in the oceanic island Puerto Rico, Africanized bees will exhibit differences from the mainland population such as for defensiveness and other linked traits. We evaluated the extent of Africanization through three typical Africanized traits: wing size, defensive behavior, and resistance to Varroa destructor mites. All sampled colonies were Africanized by maternal descent, with over 65% presence of European alleles at the S-3 nuclear locus. In two assays evaluating defense, Puerto Rican bees showed low defensiveness similar to European bees. In morphology and resistance to mites, Africanized bees from Puerto Rico are similar to other Africanized bees. In behavioral assays on mechanisms of resistance to Varroa, we directly observed that Puerto Rican Africanized bees groomed-off and bit the mites as been observed in other studies. In no other location, Africanized bees have reduced defensiveness while retaining typical traits such as wing size and mite resistance. This mosaic of traits that has resulted during the invasion of an oceanic island has implications for behavior, evolution, and agriculture. PMID:23144660

  13. Soldiers in a Stingless Bee.

    PubMed

    Hammel, Benedikt; Vollet-Neto, Ayrton; Menezes, Cristiano; Nascimento, Fabio S; Engels, Wolf; Grüter, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    The differentiation of workers into morphological subcastes (e.g., soldiers) represents an important evolutionary transition and is thought to improve division of labor in social insects. Soldiers occur in many ant and termite species, where they make up a small proportion of the workforce. A common assumption of worker caste evolution is that soldiers are behavioral specialists. Here, we report the first test of the "rare specialist" hypothesis in a eusocial bee. Colonies of the stingless bee Tetragonisca angustula are defended by a small group of morphologically differentiated soldiers. Contrary to the rare specialist hypothesis, we found that soldiers worked more (+34%-41%) and performed a greater variety of tasks (+23%-34%) than other workers, particularly early in life. Our results suggest a "rare elite" function of soldiers in T. angustula, that is, that they perform a disproportionately large amount of the work. Division of labor was based on a combination of temporal and physical castes, but soldiers transitioned faster from one task to the next. We discuss why the rare specialist assumption might not hold in species with a moderate degree of worker differentiation. PMID:27277408

  14. Complete genome sequence of a new enamovirus from Argentina infecting alfalfa plants showing dwarfism symptoms.

    PubMed

    Bejerman, Nicolás; Giolitti, Fabián; Trucco, Verónica; de Breuil, Soledad; Dietzgen, Ralf G; Lenardon, Sergio

    2016-07-01

    Alfalfa dwarf disease, probably caused by synergistic interactions of mixed virus infections, is a major and emergent disease that threatens alfalfa production in Argentina. Deep sequencing of diseased alfalfa plant samples from the central region of Argentina resulted in the identification of a new virus genome resembling enamoviruses in sequence and genome structure. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that it is a new member of the genus Enamovirus, family Luteoviridae. The virus is tentatively named "alfalfa enamovirus 1" (AEV-1). The availability of the AEV-1 genome sequence will make it possible to assess the genetic variability of this virus and to construct an infectious clone to investigate its role in alfalfa dwarfism disease. PMID:27068164

  15. Bee Pollen: Chemical Composition and Therapeutic Application

    PubMed Central

    Komosinska-Vassev, Katarzyna; Olczyk, Pawel; Kaźmierczak, Justyna; Olczyk, Krystyna

    2015-01-01

    Bee pollen is a valuable apitherapeutic product greatly appreciated by the natural medicine because of its potential medical and nutritional applications. It demonstrates a series of actions such as antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, anticancer immunostimulating, and local analgesic. Its radical scavenging potential has also been reported. Beneficial properties of bee pollen and the validity for their therapeutic use in various pathological condition have been discussed in this study and with the currently known mechanisms, by which bee pollen modulates burn wound healing process. PMID:25861358

  16. Genetic component in learning ability in bees.

    PubMed

    Kerr, W E; Moura Duarte, F A; Oliveira, R S

    1975-10-01

    Twenty-five bees, five from each of five hives, were trained to collect food at a table. When the bee reached the table, time was recorded for 12 visits. Then a blue and yellow pan was substituted for the original metal pan, and time and correct responses were recorded for 30 trips (discrimination phase). Finally, food was taken from the pan and extinction was recorded as incorrect responses for 20 visits. Variance analysis was carried out, and genetic variance was undetected for discrimination, but was detected for extinction. It is concluded that learning is very important for bees, so that any impairment in such ability affects colony survival. PMID:1191157

  17. African bees to control African elephants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollrath, Fritz; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain

    2002-11-01

    Numbers of elephants have declined in Africa and Asia over the past 30 years while numbers of humans have increased, both substantially. Friction between these two keystone species is reaching levels which are worryingly high from an ecological as well as a political viewpoint. Ways and means must be found to keep the two apart, at least in areas sensitive to each species' survival. The aggressive African bee might be one such method. Here we demonstrate that African bees deter elephants from damaging the vegetation and trees which house their hives. We argue that bees can be employed profitably to protect not only selected trees, but also selected areas, from elephant damage.

  18. Why do leafcutter bees cut leaves? New insights into the early evolution of bees.

    PubMed

    Litman, Jessica R; Danforth, Bryan N; Eardley, Connal D; Praz, Christophe J

    2011-12-01

    Stark contrasts in clade species diversity are reported across the tree of life and are especially conspicuous when observed in closely related lineages. The explanation for such disparity has often been attributed to the evolution of key innovations that facilitate colonization of new ecological niches. The factors underlying diversification in bees remain poorly explored. Bees are thought to have originated from apoid wasps during the Mid-Cretaceous, a period that coincides with the appearance of angiosperm eudicot pollen grains in the fossil record. The reliance of bees on angiosperm pollen and their fundamental role as angiosperm pollinators have contributed to the idea that both groups may have undergone simultaneous radiations. We demonstrate that one key innovation--the inclusion of foreign material in nest construction--underlies both a massive range expansion and a significant increase in the rate of diversification within the second largest bee family, Megachilidae. Basal clades within the family are restricted to deserts and exhibit plesiomorphic features rarely observed among modern bees, but prevalent among apoid wasps. Our results suggest that early bees inherited a suite of behavioural traits that acted as powerful evolutionary constraints. While the transition to pollen as a larval food source opened an enormous ecological niche for the early bees, the exploitation of this niche and the subsequent diversification of bees only became possible after bees had evolved adaptations to overcome these constraints. PMID:21490010

  19. Why do leafcutter bees cut leaves? New insights into the early evolution of bees

    PubMed Central

    Litman, Jessica R.; Danforth, Bryan N.; Eardley, Connal D.; Praz, Christophe J.

    2011-01-01

    Stark contrasts in clade species diversity are reported across the tree of life and are especially conspicuous when observed in closely related lineages. The explanation for such disparity has often been attributed to the evolution of key innovations that facilitate colonization of new ecological niches. The factors underlying diversification in bees remain poorly explored. Bees are thought to have originated from apoid wasps during the Mid-Cretaceous, a period that coincides with the appearance of angiosperm eudicot pollen grains in the fossil record. The reliance of bees on angiosperm pollen and their fundamental role as angiosperm pollinators have contributed to the idea that both groups may have undergone simultaneous radiations. We demonstrate that one key innovation—the inclusion of foreign material in nest construction—underlies both a massive range expansion and a significant increase in the rate of diversification within the second largest bee family, Megachilidae. Basal clades within the family are restricted to deserts and exhibit plesiomorphic features rarely observed among modern bees, but prevalent among apoid wasps. Our results suggest that early bees inherited a suite of behavioural traits that acted as powerful evolutionary constraints. While the transition to pollen as a larval food source opened an enormous ecological niche for the early bees, the exploitation of this niche and the subsequent diversification of bees only became possible after bees had evolved adaptations to overcome these constraints. PMID:21490010

  20. Synergistic effects of non-Apis bees and honey bees for pollination services.

    PubMed

    Brittain, Claire; Williams, Neal; Kremen, Claire; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2013-03-01

    In diverse pollinator communities, interspecific interactions may modify the behaviour and increase the pollination effectiveness of individual species. Because agricultural production reliant on pollination is growing, improving pollination effectiveness could increase crop yield without any increase in agricultural intensity or area. In California almond, a crop highly dependent on honey bee pollination, we explored the foraging behaviour and pollination effectiveness of honey bees in orchards with simple (honey bee only) and diverse (non-Apis bees present) bee communities. In orchards with non-Apis bees, the foraging behaviour of honey bees changed and the pollination effectiveness of a single honey bee visit was greater than in orchards where non-Apis bees were absent. This change translated to a greater proportion of fruit set in these orchards. Our field experiments show that increased pollinator diversity can synergistically increase pollination service, through species interactions that alter the behaviour and resulting functional quality of a dominant pollinator species. These results of functional synergy between species were supported by an additional controlled cage experiment with Osmia lignaria and Apis mellifera. Our findings highlight a largely unexplored facilitative component of the benefit of biodiversity to ecosystem services, and represent a way to improve pollinator-dependent crop yields in a sustainable manner. PMID:23303545

  1. Seed-Set Evaluation of Four Male-Sterile, Female-Fertile Soyban Lines Using Alfalfa Leaf-Cutter Bees and Honey Bees as Pollinators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Male-sterile, female-fertile plants have been used to produce hybrid soybean seed. Manual cross-pollination using male-sterile plants to produce large quantities of hybrid seed is difficult and time-consuming, because of the low success rate in cross-pollination. Insect pllinators may be suitable ...

  2. Caste-specific expression patterns of immune response and chemosensory related genes in the leaf-cutting ant, Atta vollenweideri.

    PubMed

    Koch, Sarah I; Groh, Katrin; Vogel, Heiko; Hansson, Bill S; Hannson, Bill S; Kleineidam, Christoph J; Grosse-Wilde, Ewald

    2013-01-01

    Leaf-cutting ants are evolutionary derived social insects with elaborated division of labor and tremendous colony sizes with millions of workers. Their social organization is mainly based on olfactory communication using different pheromones and is promoted by a pronounced size-polymorphism of workers that perform different tasks within the colony. The size polymorphism and associated behaviors are correlated to distinct antennal lobe (AL) phenotypes. Two worker phenotypes differ in number of olfactory glomeruli in the AL and the presence or absence of an extremely large glomerulus (macroglomerulus), involved in trail-pheromone reception. The males' AL contains three macroglomeruli which are presumably involved in detection of sex-pheromone components. We investigated the antennal transcriptome data of all major castes (males, queens and workers) and two worker subcastes (large and tiny workers). In order to identify putative odorant receptor genes involved in pheromone detection, we identified differentially expressed odorant receptor genes (OR-genes) using custom microarrays. In total, we found 185 OR-gene fragments that are clearly related to ORs and we identified orthologs for 70 OR-genes. Among them one OR-gene differs in relative expression between the two worker subcastes by a factor of >3 and thus is a very promising candidate gene for the trail-pheromone receptor. Using the relative expression of OR-genes in males versus queens, we identified 2 candidates for sex-pheromone receptor genes in males. In addition, we identified genes from all other chemosensory related gene families (13 chemosensory protein genes, 8 odorant binding protein genes, 2 sensory-neuron membrane protein genes, 7 ionotropic receptor genes, 2 gustatory receptor genes), and we found ant-specific expansions in the chemosensory protein gene family. In addition, a large number of genes involved in immune defense exhibited differential expression across the three different castes, and some

  3. Caste-Specific Expression Patterns of Immune Response and Chemosensory Related Genes in the Leaf-Cutting Ant, Atta vollenweideri

    PubMed Central

    Koch, Sarah I.; Groh, Katrin; Vogel, Heiko; Hannson, Bill S.; Kleineidam, Christoph J.; Grosse-Wilde, Ewald

    2013-01-01

    Leaf-cutting ants are evolutionary derived social insects with elaborated division of labor and tremendous colony sizes with millions of workers. Their social organization is mainly based on olfactory communication using different pheromones and is promoted by a pronounced size-polymorphism of workers that perform different tasks within the colony. The size polymorphism and associated behaviors are correlated to distinct antennal lobe (AL) phenotypes. Two worker phenotypes differ in number of olfactory glomeruli in the AL and the presence or absence of an extremely large glomerulus (macroglomerulus), involved in trail-pheromone reception. The males' AL contains three macroglomeruli which are presumably involved in detection of sex-pheromone components. We investigated the antennal transcriptome data of all major castes (males, queens and workers) and two worker subcastes (large and tiny workers). In order to identify putative odorant receptor genes involved in pheromone detection, we identified differentially expressed odorant receptor genes (OR-genes) using custom microarrays. In total, we found 185 OR-gene fragments that are clearly related to ORs and we identified orthologs for 70 OR-genes. Among them one OR-gene differs in relative expression between the two worker subcastes by a factor of >3 and thus is a very promising candidate gene for the trail-pheromone receptor. Using the relative expression of OR-genes in males versus queens, we identified 2 candidates for sex-pheromone receptor genes in males. In addition, we identified genes from all other chemosensory related gene families (13 chemosensory protein genes, 8 odorant binding protein genes, 2 sensory-neuron membrane protein genes, 7 ionotropic receptor genes, 2 gustatory receptor genes), and we found ant-specific expansions in the chemosensory protein gene family. In addition, a large number of genes involved in immune defense exhibited differential expression across the three different castes, and some

  4. Expressed sequence tags from Atta laevigata and identification of candidate genes for the control of pest leaf-cutting ants

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Leafcutters are the highest evolved within Neotropical ants in the tribe Attini and model systems for studying caste formation, labor division and symbiosis with microorganisms. Some species of leafcutters are agricultural pests controlled by chemicals which affect other animals and accumulate in the environment. Aiming to provide genetic basis for the study of leafcutters and for the development of more specific and environmentally friendly methods for the control of pest leafcutters, we generated expressed sequence tag data from Atta laevigata, one of the pest ants with broad geographic distribution in South America. Results The analysis of the expressed sequence tags allowed us to characterize 2,006 unique sequences in Atta laevigata. Sixteen of these genes had a high number of transcripts and are likely positively selected for high level of gene expression, being responsible for three basic biological functions: energy conservation through redox reactions in mitochondria; cytoskeleton and muscle structuring; regulation of gene expression and metabolism. Based on leafcutters lifestyle and reports of genes involved in key processes of other social insects, we identified 146 sequences potential targets for controlling pest leafcutters. The targets are responsible for antixenobiosis, development and longevity, immunity, resistance to pathogens, pheromone function, cell signaling, behavior, polysaccharide metabolism and arginine kynase activity. Conclusion The generation and analysis of expressed sequence tags from Atta laevigata have provided important genetic basis for future studies on the biology of leaf-cutting ants and may contribute to the development of a more specific and environmentally friendly method for the control of agricultural pest leafcutters. PMID:21682882

  5. Variation in Pseudonocardia antibiotic defence helps govern parasite-induced morbidity in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants

    PubMed Central

    Poulsen, Michael; Cafaro, Matías J.; Erhardt, Daniel P.; Little, Ainslie E. F.; Gerardo, Nicole M.; Tebbets, Brad; Klein, Bruce S.; Currie, Cameron R.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Host–parasite associations are potentially shaped by evolutionary reciprocal selection dynamics, in which parasites evolve to overcome host defences and hosts are selected to counteract these through the evolution of new defences. This is expected to result in variation in parasite-defence interactions, and the evolution of resistant parasites causing increased virulence. Fungus-growing ants maintain antibiotic-producing Pseudonocardia (Actinobacteria) that aid in protection against specialized parasites of the ants’ fungal gardens, and current evidence indicates that both symbionts have been associated with the ants for millions of years. Here we examine the extent of variation in the defensive capabilities of the ant–actinobacterial association against Escovopsis (parasite-defence interactions), and evaluate how variation impacts colonies of fungus-growing ants. We focus on five species of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants, crossing 12 strains of Pseudonocardia with 12 strains of Escovopsis in a Petri plate bioassay experiment, and subsequently conduct subcolony infection experiments using resistant and non-resistant parasite strains. Diversity in parasite-defence interactions, including pairings where the parasites are resistant, suggests that chemical variation in the antibiotics produced by different actinobacterial strains are responsible for the observed variation in parasite susceptibility. By evaluating the role this variation plays during infection, we show that infection of ant subcolonies with resistant parasite strains results in significantly higher parasite-induced morbidity with respect to garden biomass loss. Our findings thus further establish the role of Pseudonocardia-derived antibiotics in helping defend the ants’ fungus garden from the parasite Escovopsis, and provide evidence that small molecules can play important roles as antibiotics in a natural system. PMID:22896766

  6. Yet More “Weeds” in the Garden: Fungal Novelties from Nests of Leaf-Cutting Ants

    PubMed Central

    Augustin, Juliana O.; Groenewald, Johannes Z.; Nascimento, Robson J.; Mizubuti, Eduardo S. G.; Barreto, Robert W.; Elliot, Simon L.; Evans, Harry C.

    2013-01-01

    Background Symbiotic relationships modulate the evolution of living organisms in all levels of biological organization. A notable example of symbiosis is that of attine ants (Attini; Formicidae: Hymenoptera) and their fungal cultivars (Lepiotaceae and Pterulaceae; Agaricales: Basidiomycota). In recent years, this mutualism has emerged as a model system for studying coevolution, speciation, and multitrophic interactions. Ubiquitous in this ant-fungal symbiosis is the “weedy” fungus Escovopsis (Hypocreales: Ascomycota), known only as a mycoparasite of attine fungal gardens. Despite interest in its biology, ecology and molecular phylogeny—noting, especially, the high genetic diversity encountered—which has led to a steady flow of publications over the past decade, only two species of Escovopsis have formally been described. Methods and Results We sampled from fungal gardens and garden waste (middens) of nests of the leaf-cutting ant genus Acromyrmex in a remnant of subtropical Atlantic rainforest in Minas Gerais, Brazil. In culture, distinct morphotypes of Escovopsis sensu lato were recognized. Using both morphological and molecular analyses, three new species of Escovopsis were identified. These are described and illustrated herein—E. lentecrescens, E. microspora, and E. moelleri—together with a re-description of the genus and the type species, E. weberi. The new genus Escovopsioides is erected for a fourth morphotype. We identify, for the first time, a mechanism for horizontal transmission via middens. Conclusions The present study makes a start at assigning names and formal descriptions to these specific fungal parasites of attine nests. Based on the results of this exploratory and geographically-restricted survey, we expect there to be many more species of the genus Escovopsis and its relatives associated with nests of both the lower and higher Attini throughout their neotropical range, as suggested in previous studies. PMID:24376525

  7. Selenium and sulfur relationships in alfalfa and soil under field conditions, San Joaquin Valley, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Severson, R.C.; Gough, L.P.

    1992-01-01

    Relationships between total Se and S or soluble SeO4 and SO4 in soils and tissue concentrations in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), under field conditions in the San Joaquin Valley of California, suggest that the rate of accumulation of Se in alfalfa may be reduced in areas where high Se and S concentrations in soils were measured. These data suggest that the balance between carbonate and sulfate minerals in soil may have a greater influence on uptake of Se by alfalfa than does the balance of SeO4 and SO4 in soil solution. Soil and alfalfa were sampled from areas representing a wide range in soil Se and S concentrations. Specific sampling locations were selected based on a previous study of Se, S, and other elements where 721 soil samples were collected to map landscape variability and distribution of elements. Six multiple-linear regression equations were developed between total and/or soluble soil chemical constituents and tissue concentrations of Se in alfalfa. We chose a regression model that accounted for 72% of the variability in alfalfa Se concentrations based on an association of elements in soil (total C, S, Se, and Sr) determined by factor analysis. To prepare a map showing the spatial distribution of estimated alfalfa Se concentrations, the model was applied to the data from the previously collected 721 soil samples. Estimated alfalfa Se concentrations in most of the study area were within a range that is predicted to produce alfalfa with neither Se deficiency nor toxicity when consumed by livestock. A few small areas are predicted to produce alfalfa that potentially would not meet minimum dietary needs of livestock.

  8. Effects of Alfalfa Meal on Growth Performance and Gastrointestinal Tract Development of Growing Ducks

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, J. F.; Song, X. M.; Huang, X.; Zhou, W. D.; Wu, J. L.; Zhu, Z. G.; Zheng, H. C.; Jiang, Y. Q.

    2012-01-01

    A study was conducted to evaluate effects of alfalfa meal on growth performance and gastrointestinal tract development of growing layer ducks to provide evidence for application of alfalfa meal in the duck industry. Two hundred and fifty-six healthy Shaoxing 7-wk old growing layer ducks were selected and randomly allocated to 1 of 4 dietary treatments based on corn and soybean meal and containing 0, 3, 6, and 9% of alfalfa meal for 8 wks. Each treatment consisted of 4 replicates of 16 ducks each. Briefly, birds were raised in separate compartments, and each compartment consisted of three parts: indoor floor house, adjacent open area and a connecting water area. The results showed: i) Growing ducks fed alfalfa meal diet were not significantly different in average daily gain, feed intake and gain-to-feed ratio from those fed no alfalfa diet (p>0.05). ii) Alfalfa meal increased the ratio crop, gizzard to live weight, caecum to live weight, the caecum index of growing ducks (p<0.05). iii) Villus height in duodenum and jejunum of growing ducks increased significantly with the increase of alfalfa meal levels (p<0.05). Crypt depth in duodenum and jejunum of growing ducks decreased significantly with the increase of alfalfa meal levels (p<0.05). This experiment showed that feeding of alfalfa meal to growing layer ducks could improve gastrointestinal tract growth and small intestinal morphology without effect on performance. This experiment provides evidence that alfalfa meal is a very valuable feedstuff for growing layer ducks. PMID:25049501

  9. Identifying OH Imposters in the ALFALFA Neutral Hydrogen Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suess, Katherine A.; Darling, Jeremy; Haynes, Martha P.; Giovanelli, Riccardo

    2016-06-01

    OH megamasers (OHMs) are rare, luminous molecular masers that are typically observed in (ultra) luminous infrared galaxies and serve as markers of major galaxy mergers. In blind emission line surveys such as the Arecibo Legacy Fast Arecibo L-Band Feed Array (ALFALFA) survey for neutral hydrogen (H I), OHMs at z ˜ 0.2 can mimic z ˜ 0.05 H I lines. We present the results of optical spectroscopy of ambiguous H I detections in the ALFALFA 40 per cent data release detected by the Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) but with uncertain optical counterparts. The optical redshifts, obtained from observations at the Apache Point Observatory, revealed five new OHMs and identified 129 H I optical counterparts. 60 candidates remain ambiguous. The new OHMs are the first detected in a blind spectral line survey. The number of OHMs in ALFALFA is consistent with predictions from the OH luminosity function. Additionally, the mid-infrared magnitudes and colours of the OHM host galaxies found in a blind survey do not seem to differ from those found in previous targeted surveys. This validates the methods used in previous IR-selected OHM surveys and indicates there is no previously unknown OHM-producing population at z ˜ 0.2. We also provide a method for future surveys to separate OH megamasers from 99 per cent of H I line emitters without optical spectroscopy by using WISE infrared colours and magnitudes. Since the fraction of OHMs found in flux-limited H I surveys is expected to increase with the survey's redshift, this selection method can be applied to future flux-limited high-redshift hydrogen surveys.

  10. [Population dynamics of ground carabid beetles and spiders in a wheat field along the wheat-alfalfa interface and their response to alfalfa mowing].

    PubMed

    Liu, Wen-Hui; Hu, Yi-Jun; Hu, Wen-Chao; Hong, Bo; Guan, Xiao-Qing; Ma, Shi-Yu; He, Da-Han

    2014-09-01

    Taking the wheat-alfalfa and wheat-wheat interfaces as model systems, sampling points were set by the method of pitfall trapping in the wheat field at the distances of 3 m, 6 m, 9 m, 12 m, 15 m, 18 m, 21 m, 24 m, and 27 m from the interface. The species composition and abundance of ground carabid beetles and spiders captured in pitfalls were investigated. The results showed that, to some extent there was an edge effect on species diversity and abundance of ground carabid beetles and spiders along the two interfaces. A marked edge effect was observed between 15 m and 18 m along the alfalfa-wheat interface, while no edge effect was found at a distance over 20 m. The edge effect along the wheat-wheat interface was weaker in comparison to the alfalfa-wheat interface. Alfalfa mowing resulted in the migration of a large number of ground carabid beetles and spiders to the adjacent wheat filed. During ten days since mowing, both species and abundance of ground carabid beetles and spiders increased in wheat filed within the distance of 20 m along the alfalfa-wheat interface. The spatial distribution of species diversity of ground beetles and spiders, together with the population abundance of the dominant Chlaenius pallipes and Pardosa astrigera, were depicted, which could directly indicate the migrating process of natural enemy from alfalfa to wheat field. PMID:25757322

  11. Seed coating with a neonicotinoid insecticide negatively affects wild bees.

    PubMed

    Rundlöf, Maj; Andersson, Georg K S; Bommarco, Riccardo; Fries, Ingemar; Hederström, Veronica; Herbertsson, Lina; Jonsson, Ove; Klatt, Björn K; Pedersen, Thorsten R; Yourstone, Johanna; Smith, Henrik G

    2015-05-01

    Understanding the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on bees is vital because of reported declines in bee diversity and distribution and the crucial role bees have as pollinators in ecosystems and agriculture. Neonicotinoids are suspected to pose an unacceptable risk to bees, partly because of their systemic uptake in plants, and the European Union has therefore introduced a moratorium on three neonicotinoids as seed coatings in flowering crops that attract bees. The moratorium has been criticized for being based on weak evidence, particularly because effects have mostly been measured on bees that have been artificially fed neonicotinoids. Thus, the key question is how neonicotinoids influence bees, and wild bees in particular, in real-world agricultural landscapes. Here we show that a commonly used insecticide seed coating in a flowering crop can have serious consequences for wild bees. In a study with replicated and matched landscapes, we found that seed coating with Elado, an insecticide containing a combination of the neonicotinoid clothianidin and the non-systemic pyrethroid β-cyfluthrin, applied to oilseed rape seeds, reduced wild bee density, solitary bee nesting, and bumblebee colony growth and reproduction under field conditions. Hence, such insecticidal use can pose a substantial risk to wild bees in agricultural landscapes, and the contribution of pesticides to the global decline of wild bees may have been underestimated. The lack of a significant response in honeybee colonies suggests that reported pesticide effects on honeybees cannot always be extrapolated to wild bees. PMID:25901681

  12. Interactions Among Selected Endoparasitic Nematodes and Three Pseudomonads on Alfalfa

    PubMed Central

    Bookbinder, M. G.; Bloom, J. R.; Lukezic, F. L.

    1982-01-01

    Meloidogyne hapla, Pratylenchus penetrans, and Helicotylenchus dihystera, reduced the growth of 'Saranac AR alfalfa seedlings when applied at concentrations of 50 nematodes per plant. All except P. penetrans reduced seedling growth when applied at 25 per seedling. M. hapla reduced growth when applied at 12 per seedling. Nematodes interacted with three pseudomonads to produce greater growth reductions than were obtained with single pathogens, suggesting synergistic relationships. Ditylenchus dipsaci, applied at 25 or 50 nematodes per seedling, reduced plant weight compared with weights of control plants, but did not interact with test bacteria. All of the nematodes except D. dipsaci produced root wounds which were invaded by bacteria. PMID:19295682

  13. Octopamine influences honey bee foraging preference.

    PubMed

    Giray, Tugrul; Galindo-Cardona, Alberto; Oskay, Devrim

    2007-07-01

    Colony condition and differences in individual preferences influence forage type collected by bees. Physiological bases for the changing preferences of individual foragers are just beginning to be examined. Recently, for honey bees octopamine is shown to influence age at onset of foraging and probability of dance for rewards. However, octopamine has not been causally linked with foraging preference in the field. We tested the hypothesis that changes in octopamine may alter forage type (preference hypothesis). We treated identified foragers orally with octopamine or its immediate precursor, tyramine, or sucrose syrup (control). Octopamine-treated foragers switched type of material collected; control bees did not. Tyramine group results were not different from the control group. In addition, sugar concentrations of nectar collected by foragers after octopamine treatment were lower than before treatment, indicating change in preference. In contrast, before and after nectar concentrations for bees in the control group were similar. These results, taken together, support the preference hypothesis. PMID:17574568

  14. Octopamine influences honey bee foraging preference

    PubMed Central

    Giray, Tugrul; Galindo, Alberto; Oskay, Devrim

    2010-01-01

    Colony condition and differences in individual preferences influence forage type collected by bees. Physiological bases for the changing preferences of individual foragers are just beginning to be examined. Recently, for honey bees octopamine is shown to influence age at onset of foraging and probability of dance for rewards. However, octopamine has not been causally linked with foraging preference in the field. We tested the hypothesis that changes in octopamine may alter forage type (preference hypothesis). We treated identified foragers orally with octopamine or its immediate precursor, tyramine, or sucrose syrup (control). Octopamine treated foragers switched type of material collected, control bees did not. Tyramine group results were not different from the control group. In addition, sugar concentrations of nectar collected by foragers after octopamine treatment were lower than before treatment, indicating change in preference. In contrast, before and after nectar concentrations for bees in the control group were similar. These results, taken together, support the preference hypothesis. PMID:17574568

  15. Gut microbial communities of social bees.

    PubMed

    Kwong, Waldan K; Moran, Nancy A

    2016-06-01

    The gut microbiota can have profound effects on hosts, but the study of these relationships in humans is challenging. The specialized gut microbial community of honey bees is similar to the mammalian microbiota, as both are mostly composed of host-adapted, facultatively anaerobic and microaerophilic bacteria. However, the microbial community of the bee gut is far simpler than the mammalian microbiota, being dominated by only nine bacterial species clusters that are specific to bees and that are transmitted through social interactions between individuals. Recent developments, which include the discovery of extensive strain-level variation, evidence of protective and nutritional functions, and reports of eco-physiological or disease-associated perturbations to the microbial community, have drawn attention to the role of the microbiota in bee health and its potential as a model for studying the ecology and evolution of gut symbionts. PMID:27140688

  16. Mass envenomations by honey bees and wasps.

    PubMed Central

    Vetter, R S; Visscher, P K; Camazine, S

    1999-01-01

    Stinging events involving honey bees and wasps are rare; most deaths or clinically important incidents involve very few stings (< 10) and anaphylactic shock. However, mass stinging events can prove life-threatening via the toxic action of the venom when injected in large amounts. With the advent of the Africanized honey bee in the southwestern United States and its potential for further spread, mass envenomation incidents will increase. Here we review the literature on mass stinging events involving honey bees and wasps (i.e., yellowjackets, wasps, and hornets). Despite different venom composition in the two insect groups, both may cause systemic damage and involve hemolysis, rhabdomyolysis, and acute renal failure. Victim death may occur due to renal failure or cardiac complications. With supportive care, however, most victims should be able to survive attacks from hundreds of wasps or approximately 1000 honey bees. PMID:10344177

  17. Neonicotinoid pesticides severely affect honey bee queens

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Geoffrey R.; Troxler, Aline; Retschnig, Gina; Roth, Kaspar; Yañez, Orlando; Shutler, Dave; Neumann, Peter; Gauthier, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    Queen health is crucial to colony survival of social bees. Recently, queen failure has been proposed to be a major driver of managed honey bee colony losses, yet few data exist concerning effects of environmental stressors on queens. Here we demonstrate for the first time that exposure to field-realistic concentrations of neonicotinoid pesticides during development can severely affect queens of western honey bees (Apis mellifera). In pesticide-exposed queens, reproductive anatomy (ovaries) and physiology (spermathecal-stored sperm quality and quantity), rather than flight behaviour, were compromised and likely corresponded to reduced queen success (alive and producing worker offspring). This study highlights the detriments of neonicotinoids to queens of environmentally and economically important social bees, and further strengthens the need for stringent risk assessments to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services that are vulnerable to these substances. PMID:26459072

  18. Neonicotinoid pesticides severely affect honey bee queens.

    PubMed

    Williams, Geoffrey R; Troxler, Aline; Retschnig, Gina; Roth, Kaspar; Yañez, Orlando; Shutler, Dave; Neumann, Peter; Gauthier, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    Queen health is crucial to colony survival of social bees. Recently, queen failure has been proposed to be a major driver of managed honey bee colony losses, yet few data exist concerning effects of environmental stressors on queens. Here we demonstrate for the first time that exposure to field-realistic concentrations of neonicotinoid pesticides during development can severely affect queens of western honey bees (Apis mellifera). In pesticide-exposed queens, reproductive anatomy (ovaries) and physiology (spermathecal-stored sperm quality and quantity), rather than flight behaviour, were compromised and likely corresponded to reduced queen success (alive and producing worker offspring). This study highlights the detriments of neonicotinoids to queens of environmentally and economically important social bees, and further strengthens the need for stringent risk assessments to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services that are vulnerable to these substances. PMID:26459072

  19. Field-Level Sublethal Effects of Approved Bee Hive Chemicals on Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L)

    PubMed Central

    Berry, Jennifer A.; Hood, W. Michael; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Delaplane, Keith S.

    2013-01-01

    In a study replicated across two states and two years, we tested the sublethal effects on honey bees of the miticides Apistan (tau fluvalinate) and Check Mite+ (coumaphos) and the wood preservative copper naphthenate applied at label rates in field conditions. A continuous covariate, a colony Varroa mite index, helped us disambiguate the effects of the chemicals on bees while adjusting for a presumed benefit of controlling mites. Mite levels in colonies treated with Apistan or Check Mite+ were not different from levels in non-treated controls. Experimental chemicals significantly decreased 3-day brood survivorship and increased construction of queen supercedure cells compared to non-treated controls. Bees exposed to Check Mite+ as immatures had higher legacy mortality as adults relative to non-treated controls, whereas bees exposed to Apistan had improved legacy mortality relative to non-treated controls. Relative to non-treated controls, Check Mite+ increased adult emergence weight. Although there was a treatment effect on a test of associative learning, it was not possible to statistically separate the treatment means, but bees treated with Apistan performed comparatively well. And finally, there were no detected effects of bee hive chemical on colony bee population, amount of brood, amount of honey, foraging rate, time required for marked released bees to return to their nest, percentage of released bees that return to the nest, and colony Nosema spore loads. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine sublethal effects of bee hive chemicals applied at label rates under field conditions while disambiguating the results from mite control benefits realized from the chemicals. Given the poor performance of the miticides at reducing mites and their inconsistent effects on the host, these results defend the use of bee health management practices that minimize use of exotic hive chemicals. PMID:24204638

  20. Decline and conservation of bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Goulson, D; Lye, G C; Darvill, B

    2008-01-01

    Declines in bumble bee species in the past 60 years are well documented in Europe, where they are driven primarily by habitat loss and declines in floral abundance and diversity resulting from agricultural intensification. Impacts of habitat degradation and fragmentation are likely to be compounded by the social nature of bumble bees and their largely monogamous breeding system, which renders their effective population size low. Hence, populations are susceptible to stochastic extinction events and inbreeding. In North America, catastrophic declines of some bumble bee species since the 1990s are probably attributable to the accidental introduction of a nonnative parasite from Europe, a result of global trade in domesticated bumble bee colonies used for pollination of greenhouse crops. Given the importance of bumble bees as pollinators of crops and wildflowers, steps must be taken to prevent further declines. Suggested measures include tight regulation of commercial bumble bee use and targeted use of environmentally comparable schemes to enhance floristic diversity in agricultural landscapes. PMID:17803456

  1. The Undergraduate ALFALFA Team: Outcomes for Over 250 Undergraduate Participants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Troischt, Parker; Koopmann, Rebecca A.; Haynes, Martha P.; ALFALFA Team

    2016-01-01

    The NSF-sponsored Undergraduate ALFALFA (Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA) Team (UAT) is a consortium of 19 institutions founded to promote undergraduate research and faculty development within the extragalactic ALFALFA HI blind survey project and follow-up programs. In this talk we present outcomes for the more than 250 undergraduate students who have who have participated in the program during the 8 years of funding. 40% of these students have been women and members of underrepresented groups. To date 148 undergraduate students have attended annual workshops at Arecibo Observatory, interacting with faculty, graduate students, their peers, and Arecibo staff in lectures, group activities, tours, and observing runs. Team faculty have supervised 159 summer research projects and 120 academic year (e.g., senior thesis) projects. 68 students have traveled to Arecibo Observatory for observing runs and 55 have presented their results at national meetings such as the AAS. Through participation in the UAT, students are made aware of career paths they may not have previously considered. More than 90% of alumni are attending graduate school and/or pursuing a career in STEM. 42% of those pursuing graduate degrees in Physics or Astronomy are women. This work has been supported by NSF grants AST-0724918/0902211, AST-075267/0903394, AST-0725380, and AST-1211005

  2. Bumble bee fauna of Palouse Prairie: survey of native bee pollinators in a fragmented ecosystem

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bumble bees are dominant pollinators in the northern hemisphere, providing important pollination services for commercial crops and innumerable wild plants. Nationwide declines in several bumble bee species and habitat loss in multiple ecosystems have raised concern about conservation of this import...

  3. Cage-Fighting Bees: Can Aggressive Competition Increase Pollination Efficacy for an Oligolectic Native Bee?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pollination efficacy of the oligolectic bee Ptilothrix bombiformis was measured as the number of pollen grains delivered to virgin Hibiscus stigmas. Such specialized bee foragers are often assumed to be highly efficient pollinators. Intriguingly, however, we discovered females fight over host blooms...

  4. Imidacloprid Alters Foraging and Decreases Bee Avoidance of Predators

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Ken; Chen, Weiwen; Dong, Shihao; Liu, Xiwen; Wang, Yuchong; Nieh, James C.

    2014-01-01

    Concern is growing over the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides, which can impair honey bee cognition. We provide the first demonstration that sublethal concentrations of imidacloprid can harm honey bee decision-making about danger by significantly increasing the probability of a bee visiting a dangerous food source. Apis cerana is a native bee that is an important pollinator of agricultural crops and native plants in Asia. When foraging on nectar containing 40 µg/L (34 ppb) imidacloprid, honey bees (Apis cerana) showed no aversion to a feeder with a hornet predator, and 1.8 fold more bees chose the dangerous feeder as compared to control bees. Control bees exhibited significant predator avoidance. We also give the first evidence that foraging by A. cerana workers can be inhibited by sublethal concentrations of the pesticide, imidacloprid, which is widely used in Asia. Compared to bees collecting uncontaminated nectar, 23% fewer foragers returned to collect the nectar with 40 µg/L imidacloprid. Bees that did return respectively collected 46% and 63% less nectar containing 20 µg/L and 40 µg/L imidacloprid. These results suggest that the effects of neonicotinoids on honey bee decision-making and other advanced cognitive functions should be explored. Moreover, research should extend beyond the classic model, the European honey bee (A. mellifera), to other important bee species. PMID:25025334

  5. Modelling the Dynamics of Feral Alfalfa Populations and Its Management Implications

    PubMed Central

    Bagavathiannan, Muthukumar V.; Begg, Graham S.; Gulden, Robert H.; Van Acker, Rene C.

    2012-01-01

    Background Feral populations of cultivated crops can pose challenges to novel trait confinement within agricultural landscapes. Simulation models can be helpful in investigating the underlying dynamics of feral populations and determining suitable management options. Methodology/Principal Findings We developed a stage-structured matrix population model for roadside feral alfalfa populations occurring in southern Manitoba, Canada. The model accounted for the existence of density-dependence and recruitment subsidy in feral populations. We used the model to investigate the long-term dynamics of feral alfalfa populations, and to evaluate the effectiveness of simulated management strategies such as herbicide application and mowing in controlling feral alfalfa. Results suggest that alfalfa populations occurring in roadside habitats can be persistent and less likely to go extinct under current roadverge management scenarios. Management attempts focused on controlling adult plants alone can be counterproductive due to the presence of density-dependent effects. Targeted herbicide application, which can achieve complete control of seedlings, rosettes and established plants, will be an effective strategy, but the seedbank population may contribute to new recruits. In regions where roadside mowing is regularly practiced, devising a timely mowing strategy (early- to mid-August for southern Manitoba), one that can totally prevent seed production, will be a feasible option for managing feral alfalfa populations. Conclusions/Significance Feral alfalfa populations can be persistent in roadside habitats. Timely mowing or regular targeted herbicide application will be effective in managing feral alfalfa populations and limit feral-population-mediated gene flow in alfalfa. However, in the context of novel trait confinement, the extent to which feral alfalfa populations need to be managed will be dictated by the tolerance levels established by specific production systems for specific

  6. Recipe for a busy bee: microRNAs in Honey Bee caste determination.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xiangqian; Su, Songkun; Skogerboe, Geir; Dai, Shuanjin; Li, Wenfeng; Li, Zhiguo; Liu, Fang; Ni, Ruifeng; Guo, Yu; Chen, Shenglu; Zhang, Shaowu; Chen, Runsheng

    2013-01-01

    Social caste determination in the honey bee is assumed to be determined by the dietary status of the young larvae and translated into physiological and epigenetic changes through nutrient-sensing pathways. We have employed Illumina/Solexa sequencing to examine the small RNA content in the bee larval food, and show that worker jelly is enriched in miRNA complexity and abundance relative to royal jelly. The miRNA levels in worker jelly were 7-215 fold higher than in royal jelly, and both jellies showed dynamic changes in miRNA content during the 4(th) to 6(th) day of larval development. Adding specific miRNAs to royal jelly elicited significant changes in queen larval mRNA expression and morphological characters of the emerging adult queen bee. We propose that miRNAs in the nurse bee secretions constitute an additional element in the regulatory control of caste determination in the honey bee. PMID:24349106

  7. Recipe for a Busy Bee: MicroRNAs in Honey Bee Caste Determination

    PubMed Central

    Skogerboe, Geir; Dai, Shuanjin; Li, Wenfeng; Li, Zhiguo; Liu, Fang; Ni, Ruifeng; Guo, Yu; Chen, Shenglu; Zhang, Shaowu; Chen, Runsheng

    2013-01-01

    Social caste determination in the honey bee is assumed to be determined by the dietary status of the young larvae and translated into physiological and epigenetic changes through nutrient-sensing pathways. We have employed Illumina/Solexa sequencing to examine the small RNA content in the bee larval food, and show that worker jelly is enriched in miRNA complexity and abundance relative to royal jelly. The miRNA levels in worker jelly were 7–215 fold higher than in royal jelly, and both jellies showed dynamic changes in miRNA content during the 4th to 6th day of larval development. Adding specific miRNAs to royal jelly elicited significant changes in queen larval mRNA expression and morphological characters of the emerging adult queen bee. We propose that miRNAs in the nurse bee secretions constitute an additional element in the regulatory control of caste determination in the honey bee. PMID:24349106

  8. Fungicide contamination reduces beneficial fungi in bee bread based on an area-wide field study in honey bee, Apis mellifera, colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fermentation by fungi converts stored pollen into bee bread that is fed to and eaten by honey bee larvae, Apis mellifera. To explore the relationship between fungicide spraying and bee bread fungi, samples of bee bread collected from bee colonies pollinating orchards from seven locations over two y...

  9. Winter Survival of Individual Honey Bees and Honey Bee Colonies Depends on Level of Varroa destructor Infestation

    PubMed Central

    van Dooremalen, Coby; Gerritsen, Lonne; Cornelissen, Bram; van der Steen, Jozef J. M.; van Langevelde, Frank; Blacquière, Tjeerd

    2012-01-01

    Background Recent elevated winter loss of honey bee colonies is a major concern. The presence of the mite Varroa destructor in colonies places an important pressure on bee health. V. destructor shortens the lifespan of individual bees, while long lifespan during winter is a primary requirement to survive until the next spring. We investigated in two subsequent years the effects of different levels of V. destructor infestation during the transition from short-lived summer bees to long-lived winter bees on the lifespan of individual bees and the survival of bee colonies during winter. Colonies treated earlier in the season to reduce V. destructor infestation during the development of winter bees were expected to have longer bee lifespan and higher colony survival after winter. Methodology/Principal Findings Mite infestation was reduced using acaricide treatments during different months (July, August, September, or not treated). We found that the number of capped brood cells decreased drastically between August and November, while at the same time, the lifespan of the bees (marked cohorts) increased indicating the transition to winter bees. Low V. destructor infestation levels before and during the transition to winter bees resulted in an increase in lifespan of bees and higher colony survival compared to colonies that were not treated and that had higher infestation levels. A variety of stress-related factors could have contributed to the variation in longevity and winter survival that we found between years. Conclusions/Significance This study contributes to theory about the multiple causes for the recent elevated colony losses in honey bees. Our study shows the correlation between long lifespan of winter bees and colony loss in spring. Moreover, we show that colonies treated earlier in the season had reduced V. destructor infestation during the development of winter bees resulting in longer bee lifespan and higher colony survival after winter. PMID:22558421

  10. The fungal symbiont of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants expresses the full spectrum of genes to degrade cellulose and other plant cell wall polysaccharides

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The fungus gardens of leaf-cutting ants are natural biomass conversion systems that turn fresh plant forage into fungal biomass to feed the farming ants. However, the decomposition potential of the symbiont Leucocoprinus gongylophorus for processing polysaccharides has remained controversial. We therefore used quantifiable DeepSAGE technology to obtain mRNA expression patterns of genes coding for secreted enzymes from top, middle, and bottom sections of a laboratory fungus-garden of Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutting ants. Results A broad spectrum of biomass-conversion-relevant enzyme genes was found to be expressed in situ: cellulases (GH3, GH5, GH6, GH7, AA9 [formerly GH61]), hemicellulases (GH5, GH10, CE1, GH12, GH74), pectinolytic enzymes (CE8, GH28, GH43, PL1, PL3, PL4), glucoamylase (GH15), α-galactosidase (GH27), and various cutinases, esterases, and lipases. In general, expression of these genes reached maximal values in the bottom section of the garden, particularly for an AA9 lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase and for a GH5 (endocellulase), a GH7 (reducing end-acting cellobiohydrolase), and a GH10 (xylanase), all containing a carbohydrate binding module that specifically binds cellulose (CBM1). Although we did not directly quantify enzyme abundance, the profile of expressed cellulase genes indicates that both hydrolytic and oxidative degradation is taking place. Conclusions The fungal symbiont of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants can degrade a large range of plant polymers, but the conversion of cellulose, hemicellulose, and part of the pectin occurs primarily towards the end of the decomposition process, i.e. in the bottom section of the fungus garden. These conversions are likely to provide nutrients for the fungus itself rather than for the ants, whose colony growth and reproductive success are limited by proteins obtained from ingesting fungal gongylidia. These specialized hyphal tips are hardly produced in the bottom section of fungus gardens

  11. Colonies of Bumble Bees (Bombus impatiens) Produce Fewer Workers, Less Bee Biomass, and Have Smaller Mother Queens Following Fungicide Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Bernauer, Olivia M.; Gaines-Day, Hannah R.; Steffan, Shawn A.

    2015-01-01

    Bees provide vital pollination services to the majority of flowering plants in both natural and agricultural systems. Unfortunately, both native and managed bee populations are experiencing declines, threatening the persistence of these plants and crops. Agricultural chemicals are one possible culprit contributing to bee declines. Even fungicides, generally considered safe for bees, have been shown to disrupt honey bee development and impair bumble bee behavior. Little is known, however, how fungicides may affect bumble bee colony growth. We conducted a controlled cage study to determine the effects of fungicide exposure on colonies of a native bumble bee species (Bombus impatiens). Colonies of B. impatiens were exposed to flowers treated with field-relevant levels of the fungicide chlorothalonil over the course of one month. Colony success was assessed by the number and biomass of larvae, pupae, and adult bumble bees. Bumble bee colonies exposed to fungicide produced fewer workers, lower total bee biomass, and had lighter mother queens than control colonies. Our results suggest that fungicides negatively affect the colony success of a native bumble bee species and that the use of fungicides during bloom has the potential to severely impact the success of native bumble bee populations foraging in agroecosystems. PMID:26463198

  12. Colonies of Bumble Bees (Bombus impatiens) Produce Fewer Workers, Less Bee Biomass, and Have Smaller Mother Queens Following Fungicide Exposure.

    PubMed

    Bernauer, Olivia M; Gaines-Day, Hannah R; Steffan, Shawn A

    2015-01-01

    Bees provide vital pollination services to the majority of flowering plants in both natural and agricultural systems. Unfortunately, both native and managed bee populations are experiencing declines, threatening the persistence of these plants and crops. Agricultural chemicals are one possible culprit contributing to bee declines. Even fungicides, generally considered safe for bees, have been shown to disrupt honey bee development and impair bumble bee behavior. Little is known, however, how fungicides may affect bumble bee colony growth. We conducted a controlled cage study to determine the effects of fungicide exposure on colonies of a native bumble bee species (Bombus impatiens). Colonies of B. impatiens were exposed to flowers treated with field-relevant levels of the fungicide chlorothalonil over the course of one month. Colony success was assessed by the number and biomass of larvae, pupae, and adult bumble bees. Bumble bee colonies exposed to fungicide produced fewer workers, lower total bee biomass, and had lighter mother queens than control colonies. Our results suggest that fungicides negatively affect the colony success of a native bumble bee species and that the use of fungicides during bloom has the potential to severely impact the success of native bumble bee populations foraging in agroecosystems. PMID:26463198

  13. POLLUTION MONITORING OF PUGET SOUND WITH HONEY BEES

    EPA Science Inventory

    To show that honey bees are effective biological monitors of environmental contaminants over large geographic areas, beekeepers of Puget Sound, Washington, collected pollen and bees for chemical analysis. From these data, kriging maps of arsenic, cadmium, and fluoride were genera...

  14. Pollution monitoring of Puget Sound with honey bees

    SciTech Connect

    Bromenshenk, J.J.; Carlson, S.R.; Simpson, J.C.; Thomas, J.M.

    1985-02-08

    To show that honey bees are effective biological monitors of environmental contaminants over large geographic areas, beekeepers of Puget Sound, Washington, collected pollen and bees for chemical analysis. From these data, kriging maps of arsenic, cadmium, and fluoride were generated. Results, based on actual concentrations of contaminants in bee tissues, show that the greatest concentrations of contaminants occur close to Commencement Bay and that honey bees are effective as large-scale monitors. 27 references, 2 figures.

  15. Alfalfa microsymbionts from different ITS and nodC lineages of Ensifer meliloti and Ensifer medicae symbiovar meliloti establish efficient symbiosis with alfalfa in Spanish acid soils.

    PubMed

    Ramírez-Bahena, Martha-Helena; Vargas, Margarita; Martín, María; Tejedor, Carmen; Velázquez, Encarna; Peix, Álvaro

    2015-06-01

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is an important crop worldwide whose cropping in acid soils is hampered by the poor nodulation and yield commonly attributed to the sensitivity of its endosymbionts to acid pH. In this work, we isolated several acid-tolerant strains from alfalfa nodules in three acid soils in northwestern Spain. After grouping by RAPD fingerprinting, most strains were identified as Ensifer meliloti and only two strains as Ensifer medicae according to their 16S-23S intergenic spacer (ITS) sequences that allowed the differentiation of two groups within each one of these species. The two ITS groups of E. meliloti and the ITS group I of E. medicae have been previously found in Medicago nodules; however, the group II of E. medicae has been only found to date in Prosopis alba nodules. The analysis of the nodC gene showed that all strains isolated in this study belong to the symbiovar meliloti, grouping with the type strains of E. meliloti or E. medicae, but some harboured nodC gene alleles different from those found to date in alfalfa nodules. The strains of E. medicae belong to the symbiovar meliloti which should be also recognised in this species, although they harboured a nodC allele phylogenetically divergent to those from E. meliloti strains. Microcosm experiments showed that inoculation of alfalfa with selected acid-tolerant strains significantly increased yields in acid soils representing a suitable agricultural practice for alfalfa cropping in these soils. PMID:25586575

  16. Assessing Patterns of Admixture and Ancestry in Canadian Honey Bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Canada has a large beekeeping industry comprised of 8483 beekeepers managing 672094 23 colonies. Canadian honey bees, like all honey bees in the New World, originate from centuries of importation of predominately European honey bees, but their precise ancestry remains unknown. There have been no i...

  17. The Thinker versus a Quilting Bee: Contrasting Images.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thayer-Bacon, Barbara J.

    1999-01-01

    Offers the image of the quilting bee as a contrasting representation of critical thinking (or constructive thinking), comparing the two images, discussing a quilting bee representation of knowledge construction in terms of the tools used by quilters (knowers), and summarizing the transformation of critical thinking theory that a quilting bee image…

  18. Creating and Evaluating Artificial Domiciles for Bumble Bees

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Golick, Douglas A.; Ellis, Marion D.; Beecham, Brady

    2006-01-01

    Bumble bees are valuable pollinators of native and cultivated flora. Despite our knowledge of bumble bee nest site selection, most efforts to attract bumble bees to artificial domiciles have been met with limited success. Creating and evaluating artificial domiciles provides students an opportunity to investigate a real problem. In this lesson,…

  19. 29 CFR 780.123 - Raising of bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Raising of bees. 780.123 Section 780.123 Labor Regulations... Raising of Livestock, Bees, Fur-Bearing Animals, Or Poultry § 780.123 Raising of bees. The term “raising of * * * bees” refers to all of those activities customarily performed in connection with...

  20. 29 CFR 780.123 - Raising of bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Raising of bees. 780.123 Section 780.123 Labor Regulations... Raising of Livestock, Bees, Fur-Bearing Animals, Or Poultry § 780.123 Raising of bees. The term “raising of * * * bees” refers to all of those activities customarily performed in connection with...

  1. 29 CFR 780.123 - Raising of bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Raising of bees. 780.123 Section 780.123 Labor Regulations... Raising of Livestock, Bees, Fur-Bearing Animals, Or Poultry § 780.123 Raising of bees. The term “raising of * * * bees” refers to all of those activities customarily performed in connection with...

  2. 29 CFR 780.123 - Raising of bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Raising of bees. 780.123 Section 780.123 Labor Regulations... Raising of Livestock, Bees, Fur-Bearing Animals, Or Poultry § 780.123 Raising of bees. The term “raising of * * * bees” refers to all of those activities customarily performed in connection with...

  3. 29 CFR 780.123 - Raising of bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Raising of bees. 780.123 Section 780.123 Labor Regulations... Raising of Livestock, Bees, Fur-Bearing Animals, Or Poultry § 780.123 Raising of bees. The term “raising of * * * bees” refers to all of those activities customarily performed in connection with...

  4. Symbiotic bacteria on the cuticle of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex subterraneus subterraneus protect workers from attack by entomopathogenic fungi.

    PubMed

    Mattoso, Thalles C; Moreira, Denise D O; Samuels, Richard I

    2012-06-23

    Although only discovered in 1999, the symbiotic filamentous actinobacteria present on the integument of certain species of leaf-cutting ants have been the subject of intense research. These bacteria have been shown to specifically suppress fungal garden parasites by secretion of antibiotics. However, more recently, a wider role for these bacteria has been suggested from research revealing their generalist anti-fungal activity. Here we show, for the first time, evidence for a role of these bacteria in the defence of young worker ants against a fungal entomopathogen. Experimental removal of the bacterial bio-film using an antibiotic resulted in a significant increase in susceptibility of worker ants to infection by the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae. This is the first direct evidence for the advantage of maintaining a bacterial bio-film on the cuticle as a defensive strategy of the ants themselves and not exclusively for protection of the fungus garden. PMID:22130174

  5. A pest is a pest is a pest? The dilemma of neotropical leaf-cutting ants: Keystone taxa of natural ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fowler, Harold G.; Pagani, Maria Inez; da Silva, Osvaldo Aulino; Forti, Luis Carlos; da Silva, Virgilio Pereira; de Vasconcelos, Heraldo Luis

    1989-11-01

    Leaf-cutting ants of the genera Acromyrmex and Atta are considered the principal polyphagous pests of the Neotropics Although some members of these genera are of economic importance, have a broad geographic distribution, and are extremely good colonizers, others are endemic and closely interact with native ecosystems. Control is generally practiced against any colony, irrespective of its taxonomic status. Indiscriminate control coupled with habitat destruction threatens endemic species with extinction, and, through habitat simplification, favors other pest species. As nests of Atta are large, having several square meters of nest surface, the endemic taxa can be easily used as environmental indicators for natural ecosystems Likewise, the pest species can be used to detect environmental disturbance As these ants are keystone species and easily identified by nonspecialists, efforts should be made to integrate these into viable conservation programs

  6. Social apoptosis in honey bee superorganisms.

    PubMed

    Page, Paul; Lin, Zheguang; Buawangpong, Ninat; Zheng, Huoqing; Hu, Fuliang; Neumann, Peter; Chantawannakul, Panuwan; Dietemann, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Eusocial insect colonies form superorganisms, in which nestmates cooperate and use social immunity to combat parasites. However, social immunity may fail in case of emerging diseases. This is the case for the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, which switched hosts from the Eastern honeybee, Apis cerana, to the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, and currently is the greatest threat to A. mellifera apiculture globally. Here, we show that immature workers of the mite's original host, A. cerana, are more susceptible to V. destructor infestations than those of its new host, thereby enabling more efficient social immunity and contributing to colony survival. This counterintuitive result shows that susceptible individuals can foster superorganism survival, offering empirical support to theoretical arguments about the adaptive value of worker suicide in social insects. Altruistic suicide of immature bees constitutes a social analogue of apoptosis, as it prevents the spread of infections by sacrificing parts of the whole organism, and unveils a novel form of transgenerational social immunity in honey bees. Taking into account the key role of susceptible immature bees in social immunity will improve breeding efforts to mitigate the unsustainably high colony losses of Western honey bees due to V. destructor infestations worldwide. PMID:27264643

  7. Global information sampling in the honey bee

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Brian R.

    2008-06-01

    Central to the question of task allocation in social insects is how workers acquire information. Patrolling is a curious behavior in which bees meander over the face of the comb inspecting cells. Several authors have suggested it allows bees to collect global information, but this has never been formally evaluated. This study explores this hypothesis by answering three questions. First, do bees gather information in a consistent manner as they patrol? Second, do they move far enough to get a sense of task demand in distant areas of the nest? And third, is patrolling a commonly performed task? Focal animal observations were used to address the first two predictions, while a scan sampling study was used to address the third. The results were affirmative for each question. While patrolling, workers collected information by performing periodic clusters of cell inspections. Patrolling bees not only traveled far enough to frequently change work zone; they often visited every part of the nest. Finally, the majority of the bees in the middle-age caste were shown to move throughout the nest over the course of a few hours in a manner suggestive of patrolling. Global information collection is contrary to much current theory, which assumes that workers respond to local information only. This study thus highlights the nonmutually exclusive nature of various information collection regimes in social insects.

  8. Stingless Bees as Alternative Pollinators of Canola.

    PubMed

    Witter, Sidia; Nunes-Silva, Patrícia; Lisboa, Bruno B; Tirelli, Flavia P; Sattler, Aroni; Both Hilgert-Moreira, Suzane; Blochtein, Betina

    2015-06-01

    Alternative pollinators can ensure pollination services if the availability of the managed or most common pollinator is compromised. In this study, the behavior and pollination efficiency of Apis mellifera L. and two species of stingless bees, Plebeia emerina Friese and Tetragonisca fiebrigi Schwarz, were evaluated and compared in flowers of Brassica napus L. 'Hyola 61'. A. mellifera was an efficient pollinator when collecting nectar because it effectively touched the reproductive organs of the flower. In contrast, stingless bees were efficient pollinators only when collecting pollen. The number of pollen grains deposited on the stigma after a single visit by worker bees of the three species was greater than the number of grains resulting from pollination without the bee visits. On average, the three species deposited enough pollen grains to fertilize all of the flower ovules. A. mellifera and P. emerina had similar pollination efficiency because no significant differences were observed in the characteristics of the siliques produced. Although T. fiebrigi is also an effective pollinator, the seed mass produced by their pollination was lower. Native bees promoted similar rates of fruit set compared with A. mellifera. Thus, P. emerina has potential to be used for pollination in canola crops. PMID:26470207

  9. Does bee pollen cause to eosinophilic gastroenteropathy?

    PubMed Central

    Güç, Belgin Usta; Asilsoy, Suna; Canan, Oğuz; Kayaselçuk, Fazilet

    2015-01-01

    Bee pollen is given to children by mothers in order to strengthen their immune systems. There are no studies related with the side effects of bee polen in the literature. In this article, the literature was reviewed by presenting a case of allergic eosinophilic gastropathy related with bee polen. A 5-year old child was admitted due to abdominal pain. Edema was detected on the eyelids and pretibial region. In laboratory investigations, pathology was not detected in terms of hepatic and renal causes that would explain the protein loss of the patient diagnosed with hypoproteinemia and hypoalbuminemia. Urticaria was detected during the follow-up visit. When the history of the patient was deepened, it was learned that bee pollen was given to the patient every day. The total eosinophil count was found to be 1 800/mm3. Allergic gastroenteropathy was considered because of hypereosinophilia and severe abdominal pain and endoscopy was performed. Biopsy revealed abundant eosinophils in the whole gastric mucosa. A diagnosis of allergic eosinophilic gastropathy was made. Bee polen was discontinued. Abdominal pain and edema disappeared in five days. Four weeks later, the levels of serum albumin and total eosinophil returned to normal. PMID:26568697

  10. Does bee pollen cause to eosinophilic gastroenteropathy?

    PubMed

    Güç, Belgin Usta; Asilsoy, Suna; Canan, Oğuz; Kayaselçuk, Fazilet

    2015-09-01

    Bee pollen is given to children by mothers in order to strengthen their immune systems. There are no studies related with the side effects of bee polen in the literature. In this article, the literature was reviewed by presenting a case of allergic eosinophilic gastropathy related with bee polen. A 5-year old child was admitted due to abdominal pain. Edema was detected on the eyelids and pretibial region. In laboratory investigations, pathology was not detected in terms of hepatic and renal causes that would explain the protein loss of the patient diagnosed with hypoproteinemia and hypoalbuminemia. Urticaria was detected during the follow-up visit. When the history of the patient was deepened, it was learned that bee pollen was given to the patient every day. The total eosinophil count was found to be 1 800/mm(3). Allergic gastroenteropathy was considered because of hypereosinophilia and severe abdominal pain and endoscopy was performed. Biopsy revealed abundant eosinophils in the whole gastric mucosa. A diagnosis of allergic eosinophilic gastropathy was made. Bee polen was discontinued. Abdominal pain and edema disappeared in five days. Four weeks later, the levels of serum albumin and total eosinophil returned to normal. PMID:26568697

  11. Honey Bee Infecting Lake Sinai Viruses

    PubMed Central

    Daughenbaugh, Katie F.; Martin, Madison; Brutscher, Laura M.; Cavigli, Ian; Garcia, Emma; Lavin, Matt; Flenniken, Michelle L.

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees are critical pollinators of important agricultural crops. Recently, high annual losses of honey bee colonies have prompted further investigation of honey bee infecting viruses. To better characterize the recently discovered and very prevalent Lake Sinai virus (LSV) group, we sequenced currently circulating LSVs, performed phylogenetic analysis, and obtained images of LSV2. Sequence analysis resulted in extension of the LSV1 and LSV2 genomes, the first detection of LSV4 in the US, and the discovery of LSV6 and LSV7. We detected LSV1 and LSV2 in the Varroa destructor mite, and determined that a large proportion of LSV2 is found in the honey bee gut, suggesting that vector-mediated, food-associated, and/or fecal-oral routes may be important for LSV dissemination. Pathogen-specific quantitative PCR data, obtained from samples collected during a small-scale monitoring project, revealed that LSV2, LSV1, Black queen cell virus (BQCV), and Nosema ceranae were more abundant in weak colonies than strong colonies within this sample cohort. Together, these results enhance our current understanding of LSVs and illustrate the importance of future studies aimed at investigating the role of LSVs and other pathogens on honey bee health at both the individual and colony levels. PMID:26110586

  12. Social apoptosis in honey bee superorganisms

    PubMed Central

    Page, Paul; Lin, Zheguang; Buawangpong, Ninat; Zheng, Huoqing; Hu, Fuliang; Neumann, Peter; Chantawannakul, Panuwan; Dietemann, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Eusocial insect colonies form superorganisms, in which nestmates cooperate and use social immunity to combat parasites. However, social immunity may fail in case of emerging diseases. This is the case for the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, which switched hosts from the Eastern honeybee, Apis cerana, to the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, and currently is the greatest threat to A. mellifera apiculture globally. Here, we show that immature workers of the mite’s original host, A. cerana, are more susceptible to V. destructor infestations than those of its new host, thereby enabling more efficient social immunity and contributing to colony survival. This counterintuitive result shows that susceptible individuals can foster superorganism survival, offering empirical support to theoretical arguments about the adaptive value of worker suicide in social insects. Altruistic suicide of immature bees constitutes a social analogue of apoptosis, as it prevents the spread of infections by sacrificing parts of the whole organism, and unveils a novel form of transgenerational social immunity in honey bees. Taking into account the key role of susceptible immature bees in social immunity will improve breeding efforts to mitigate the unsustainably high colony losses of Western honey bees due to V. destructor infestations worldwide. PMID:27264643

  13. Honey Bee Infecting Lake Sinai Viruses.

    PubMed

    Daughenbaugh, Katie F; Martin, Madison; Brutscher, Laura M; Cavigli, Ian; Garcia, Emma; Lavin, Matt; Flenniken, Michelle L

    2015-06-01

    Honey bees are critical pollinators of important agricultural crops. Recently, high annual losses of honey bee colonies have prompted further investigation of honey bee infecting viruses. To better characterize the recently discovered and very prevalent Lake Sinai virus (LSV) group, we sequenced currently circulating LSVs, performed phylogenetic analysis, and obtained images of LSV2. Sequence analysis resulted in extension of the LSV1 and LSV2 genomes, the first detection of LSV4 in the US, and the discovery of LSV6 and LSV7. We detected LSV1 and LSV2 in the Varroa destructor mite, and determined that a large proportion of LSV2 is found in the honey bee gut, suggesting that vector-mediated, food-associated, and/or fecal-oral routes may be important for LSV dissemination. Pathogen-specific quantitative PCR data, obtained from samples collected during a small-scale monitoring project, revealed that LSV2, LSV1, Black queen cell virus (BQCV), and Nosema ceranae were more abundant in weak colonies than strong colonies within this sample cohort. Together, these results enhance our current understanding of LSVs and illustrate the importance of future studies aimed at investigating the role of LSVs and other pathogens on honey bee health at both the individual and colony levels. PMID:26110586

  14. Improving ethanol production from alfalfa stems via ambient-temperature acid pretreatment and washing.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Shengfei; Weimer, Paul J; Hatfield, Ronald D; Runge, Troy M; Digman, Matthew

    2014-10-01

    The concept of co-production of liquid fuel (ethanol) along with animal feed on farm was proposed, and the strategy of using ambient-temperature acid pretreatment, ensiling and washing to improve ethanol production from alfalfa stems was investigated. Alfalfa stems were separated and pretreated with sulfuric acid at ambient-temperature after harvest, and following ensiling, after which the ensiled stems were subjected to simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) for ethanol production. Ethanol yield was improved by ambient-temperature sulfuric acid pretreatment before ensiling, and by washing before SSF. It was theorized that the acid pretreatment at ambient temperature partially degraded hemicellulose, and altered cell wall structure, resulted in improved cellulose accessibility, whereas washing removed soluble ash in substrates which could inhibit the SSF. The pH of stored alfalfa stems can be used to predict the ethanol yield, with a correlation coefficient of +0.83 for washed alfalfa stems. PMID:25151072

  15. Outbreak of Salmonella serotype Saintpaul infections associated with eating alfalfa sprouts - United States, 2009.

    PubMed

    2009-05-15

    On February 24, 2009, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services identified six isolates of Salmonella serotype Saintpaul with collection dates from February 7--14. Salmonella Saintpaul is not a commonly detected serotype; during 2008, only three Salmonella Saintpaul isolates were identified in Nebraska. This report summarizes the preliminary results of the investigation of this outbreak, which has identified 228 cases in 13 states and implicated the source as alfalfa sprouts produced at multiple facilities using seeds that likely originated from a common grower. On April 26, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC recommended that consumers not eat raw alfalfa sprouts, including sprout blends containing alfalfa sprouts, until further notice. On May 1, FDA alerted sprout growers and retailers that a seed supplier was withdrawing voluntarily from the market all lots of alfalfa seeds with a specific three-digit prefix. PMID:19444155

  16. Mapping Sleeping Bees within Their Nest: Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Worker Honey Bee Sleep

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Barrett Anthony; Stiegler, Martin; Klein, Arno; Tautz, Jürgen

    2014-01-01

    Patterns of behavior within societies have long been visualized and interpreted using maps. Mapping the occurrence of sleep across individuals within a society could offer clues as to functional aspects of sleep. In spite of this, a detailed spatial analysis of sleep has never been conducted on an invertebrate society. We introduce the concept of mapping sleep across an insect society, and provide an empirical example, mapping sleep patterns within colonies of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Honey bees face variables such as temperature and position of resources within their colony's nest that may impact their sleep. We mapped sleep behavior and temperature of worker bees and produced maps of their nest's comb contents as the colony grew and contents changed. By following marked bees, we discovered that individuals slept in many locations, but bees of different worker castes slept in different areas of the nest relative to position of the brood and surrounding temperature. Older worker bees generally slept outside cells, closer to the perimeter of the nest, in colder regions, and away from uncapped brood. Younger worker bees generally slept inside cells and closer to the center of the nest, and spent more time asleep than awake when surrounded by uncapped brood. The average surface temperature of sleeping foragers was lower than the surface temperature of their surroundings, offering a possible indicator of sleep for this caste. We propose mechanisms that could generate caste-dependent sleep patterns and discuss functional significance of these patterns. PMID:25029445

  17. BeeDoctor, a versatile MLPA-based diagnostic tool for screening bee viruses.

    PubMed

    De Smet, Lina; Ravoet, Jorgen; de Miranda, Joachim R; Wenseleers, Tom; Mueller, Matthias Y; Moritz, Robin F A; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2012-01-01

    The long-term decline of managed honeybee hives in the world has drawn significant attention to the scientific community and bee-keeping industry. A high pathogen load is believed to play a crucial role in this phenomenon, with the bee viruses being key players. Most of the currently characterized honeybee viruses (around twenty) are positive stranded RNA viruses. Techniques based on RNA signatures are widely used to determine the viral load in honeybee colonies. High throughput screening for viral loads necessitates the development of a multiplex polymerase chain reaction approach in which different viruses can be targeted simultaneously. A new multiparameter assay, called "BeeDoctor", was developed based on multiplex-ligation probe dependent amplification (MLPA) technology. This assay detects 10 honeybee viruses in one reaction. "BeeDoctor" is also able to screen selectively for either the positive strand of the targeted RNA bee viruses or the negative strand, which is indicative for active viral replication. Due to its sensitivity and specificity, the MLPA assay is a useful tool for rapid diagnosis, pathogen characterization, and epidemiology of viruses in honeybee populations. "BeeDoctor" was used for screening 363 samples from apiaries located throughout Flanders; the northern half of Belgium. Using the "BeeDoctor", virus infections were detected in almost eighty percent of the colonies, with deformed wing virus by far the most frequently detected virus and multiple virus infections were found in 26 percent of the colonies. PMID:23144717

  18. BeeDoctor, a Versatile MLPA-Based Diagnostic Tool for Screening Bee Viruses

    PubMed Central

    De Smet, Lina; Ravoet, Jorgen; de Miranda, Joachim R.; Wenseleers, Tom; Mueller, Matthias Y.; Moritz, Robin F. A.; de Graaf, Dirk C.

    2012-01-01

    The long-term decline of managed honeybee hives in the world has drawn significant attention to the scientific community and bee-keeping industry. A high pathogen load is believed to play a crucial role in this phenomenon, with the bee viruses being key players. Most of the currently characterized honeybee viruses (around twenty) are positive stranded RNA viruses. Techniques based on RNA signatures are widely used to determine the viral load in honeybee colonies. High throughput screening for viral loads necessitates the development of a multiplex polymerase chain reaction approach in which different viruses can be targeted simultaneously. A new multiparameter assay, called “BeeDoctor”, was developed based on multiplex-ligation probe dependent amplification (MLPA) technology. This assay detects 10 honeybee viruses in one reaction. “BeeDoctor” is also able to screen selectively for either the positive strand of the targeted RNA bee viruses or the negative strand, which is indicative for active viral replication. Due to its sensitivity and specificity, the MLPA assay is a useful tool for rapid diagnosis, pathogen characterization, and epidemiology of viruses in honeybee populations. “BeeDoctor” was used for screening 363 samples from apiaries located throughout Flanders; the northern half of Belgium. Using the “BeeDoctor”, virus infections were detected in almost eighty percent of the colonies, with deformed wing virus by far the most frequently detected virus and multiple virus infections were found in 26 percent of the colonies. PMID:23144717

  19. The early bee catches the flower - circadian rhythmicity influences learning performance in honey bees, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Lehmann, Marina; Gustav, David

    2010-01-01

    Circadian rhythmicity plays an important role for many aspects of honey bees’ lives. However, the question whether it also affects learning and memory remained unanswered. To address this question, we studied the effect of circadian timing on olfactory learning and memory in honey bees Apis mellifera using the olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension reflex paradigm. Bees were differentially conditioned to odours and tested for their odour learning at four different “Zeitgeber” time points. We show that learning behaviour is influenced by circadian timing. Honey bees perform best in the morning compared to the other times of day. Additionally, we found influences of the light condition bees were trained at on the olfactory learning. This circadian-mediated learning is independent from feeding times bees were entrained to, indicating an inherited and not acquired mechanism. We hypothesise that a co-evolutionary mechanism between the honey bee as a pollinator and plants might be the driving force for the evolution of the time-dependent learning abilities of bees. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00265-010-1026-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:21350590

  20. Mapping sleeping bees within their nest: spatial and temporal analysis of worker honey bee sleep.

    PubMed

    Klein, Barrett Anthony; Stiegler, Martin; Klein, Arno; Tautz, Jürgen

    2014-01-01

    Patterns of behavior within societies have long been visualized and interpreted using maps. Mapping the occurrence of sleep across individuals within a society could offer clues as to functional aspects of sleep. In spite of this, a detailed spatial analysis of sleep has never been conducted on an invertebrate society. We introduce the concept of mapping sleep across an insect society, and provide an empirical example, mapping sleep patterns within colonies of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Honey bees face variables such as temperature and position of resources within their colony's nest that may impact their sleep. We mapped sleep behavior and temperature of worker bees and produced maps of their nest's comb contents as the colony grew and contents changed. By following marked bees, we discovered that individuals slept in many locations, but bees of different worker castes slept in different areas of the nest relative to position of the brood and surrounding temperature. Older worker bees generally slept outside cells, closer to the perimeter of the nest, in colder regions, and away from uncapped brood. Younger worker bees generally slept inside cells and closer to the center of the nest, and spent more time asleep than awake when surrounded by uncapped brood. The average surface temperature of sleeping foragers was lower than the surface temperature of their surroundings, offering a possible indicator of sleep for this caste. We propose mechanisms that could generate caste-dependent sleep patterns and discuss functional significance of these patterns. PMID:25029445