The discovery of 27 unseen viruses from bees could help scientists develop more effective strategies against the spread of pathogens.
Bees are very important to the healthy development of ecology. When bees collect nectar from different plants, they attach pollen to it and spread it to other plants. This process allows flowering plants to produce fruit and provides an important source of food for different animals and humans. However, in recent years, studies have found that the number of bees has a downward trend, and the virus is one of the causes.
To find traces of the virus in bees, researchers collected a series of DNA and RNA samples from 12 bee species from around the world. Such DNA and RNA are important “blueprints” for the body to synthesize proteins.
To determine what viruses were stored in their bodies, the researchers used new genetic sequencing techniques to sequence viruses in bees. Compared with previous techniques, this new method can sequence various viral genes in samples without knowing what viruses are present in the samples. Using this method, they successfully identified 27 new viruses from 6 families of (family).
Of the 27 newly discovered viruses, researchers have found that one is similar to another that infects plants. Christina Grozinger, a professor of entomology who was involved in the study, said this could reflect whether the virus is transmitted from plants to bees and through it to other plants, or poses health risks to crops and other plants. However, the discovery of the virus does not mean that the situation is serious because there has not yet been sufficient research to find out whether the virus has really infected bees, or whether it has just been eaten by bees rather than infected.
In addition to 27 new viruses, they also found several species of bees found the same virus, reflecting the ability of the virus to spread between different populations and species.
This study will help scientists to understand the current distribution and species of bee viruses. More important is their new approach, which will help future research find out more unknown new viruses from bees around the world.