Colony collapse disorder (CCD) among honey bee populations in the United States has resulted in the loss of between 50% and 90% of hive colonies. Previous studies have pointed to the possibility that an infectious agent could be involved. A recent study published in Science magazine used unbiased metagenomic analysis to survey microflora present in normal and CCD-affected hives to determine whether a pathological agent could be linked to CCD. The authors found that the presence of one virus, Israeli acute paralysis virus of bees (IAPV), showed a strong correlation with colony collapse disorder. In addition to the important economical implications, this work also represents a novel use for massively parallel next generation sequencing technology which has enabled this type of high level metagenomic study.
You will hear our panel, which includes two of the study’s authors, discussing:
How metagenomics can be applied in the discovery of unknown pathogens.
The importance of study design and data analysis in metagenomics research.
How recent technological advances have made this type of study possible ovarian cancer