WASHINGTON — A team of international researchers have discovered 27 new, previously unknown viruses in bees.
The finding, published in journal Scientific Reports, could help scientists design strategies to prevent the spread of viral pathogens among these important pollinators.
“Populations of bees around the world are declining, and viruses are known to contribute to these declines,” said David Galbraith, research scientist at Bristol Myers Squibb and a recent Penn State graduate.
“Despite the importance of bees as pollinators of flowering plants in agricultural and natural landscapes and the importance of viruses to bee health, our understanding of bee viruses is surprisingly limited.”
For the study, the team collected samples of DNA and RNA, which is responsible for the synthesis of proteins, from 12 bee species in nine countries across the world to investigate viruses in bees.
They, then, developed a technique that efficiently detected both previously identified and 27 never-seen-before viruses belonging to at least six new families in a single experiment.
Among the new viruses the team identified was one that is similar to a virus that infects plants.
“It is possible that bees may acquire viruses from plants, and could then spread these viruses to other plants, posing a risk to agricultural crops,” said Christina Grozinger, distinguished professor of entomology and director of the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State.
The team also found that some of the viruses exist in multiple bee species — such as in honey bees and in bumble bees.
Galbraith added, “This finding highlights the importance of monitoring bee populations brought into the United States due to the potential for these species to transmit viruses to local pollinator populations.”
Balmiki Education Foundation School students develop robot
BHADRAPUR— Students from Balmiki Education Foundation based in Birtamodh, Jhapa have developed several instruments including robot, drone and censor car.
Eighth grader Roshan Kumar Saha and his colleagues made a robot at the cost of Rs 180,000.
The robot developed by the students was kept at Science Exhibition of the school on Monday.