[Bioforum] does DNA change?

don gilbert via bioforum%40net.bio.net (by gilbertd from indiana.edu)
Tue Sep 11 13:22:52 EST 2007


Mira,

It is now known that the honey bee does not have genetic
defenses for many viruses like the one presumed for colony
collapse disorder.  So rather than having lost genes recently,
it did not have these genes to work with, as other insects have for
disease resistance.

- Don Gilbert

"Apis mellifera has fewer genes for innate immunity  [than
its insect relatives] and it evolves more slowly. ...
    Honeybees live in highly crowded nests, providing
favourable demographic conditions for infectious diseases.
Honeybee pathogens are well known and include viral,
bacterial, fungal and protist pathogens, along with other
parasites. ...
    Curiously, given the predicted disease pressures in honeybee
colonies, the honeybee genome encodes fewer proteins
implicated in insect immune pathways when compared to other
insect genomes. ...
    The results suggest that honeybees use novel immune
pathways, are poorly defended against pathogens at the
individual level, and/or have immune systems that are
narrowly focused on a relatively small group of coevolved
pathogens. "

 From The Honeybee Genome Sequencing Consortium, "Insights into
social insects from the genome of the honeybee Apis
mellifera" Nature, Vol 443|26 October 2006|
doi:10.1038/nature05260



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