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Interfering reduces transcription of a specific gene, the first step of making a gene, a piece of DNA, into a protein.This process, also known as “gene knockdown,” has been successful in reducing the mating success and the number of eggs produced by cattle ticks, which threaten cows and other livestock around the world.Using a single gene with a known mechanism will be more cost effective and safe to the honeybees.The results may have applications beyond honeybees, too.Photo by Zachary Huang(Click to enlarge) Having the double-whammy of eating bees and spreading disease makes Varroa mites the number-one suspect of honeybee population declines worldwide.

This study was supported by the Almond Board of California, the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, the National Honey Board, MSU’s Project GREEEN, Michigan Beekeepers Association, National Natural Science Foundation of China, General Project of Jiangxi Provincial Department of Education and a fellowship from the China Scholarship Council.Watch our video | Andrews offers students distinctive ethnic and cultural diversity opportunities that equip them to better understand, serve and change the world around them in God-centered, thoughtful and meaningful ways.Those opportunities range from our top ranked diverse Berrien Springs campus to students, campuses, programs, study tours and opportunities that literally span the globe.“It’s worth noting that Da reduced reproduction in species of mosquitoes and Drosophila,” Huang said.“Future research could help not only protect honeybees, but also reduce disease-carrying mosquitoes or crop-damaging pests.” Additional MSU researchers contributing to this study include Guowu Bian and Zhiyong Xi.