BEEKEEPERS and researchers will welcome the unveiling of the small hive beetle’s genome by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their colleagues.
The small hive beetle (SHB) is a major parasite problem of honey bees for which there are few effective treatments.
The SHB (Aethina tumida Murray) genome — a genome is the sum total of all an organism’s DNA; a gene codes for a single protein to be built — is available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genome/annotation_euk/Aethina_tumida/100 and was recently published in GigaScience.
This information will provide crucial keys that should lead to better, more targeted SHB control methods, including insecticidal treatments and possibly even genetic/breeding solutions. The SHB has a strong gene-guided system
that lets the beetle detoxify many insecticides.
Having the genome will allow researchers to gain a more precise understanding of these detoxification genes, so more effective choices for control treatments can be made.