A field of sunflowers

Journal Club Article for February 28, 2022

On Mon­day, Feb­ru­ary 28, 2022, from 12–1PM EST, we will dis­cuss the linked arti­cle at our next week­ly Jour­nal Club meet­ing. The arti­cle is titled “Med­i­c­i­nal val­ue of sun­flower pollen against bee pathogens”, and will be pre­sent­ed by STEM Research intern Savan­nah Murphy.

Abstract: Glob­al declines in pol­li­na­tors, includ­ing bees, can have major con­se­quences for ecosys­tem ser­vices. Bees are dom­i­nant pol­li­na­tors, mak­ing it imper­a­tive to mit­i­gate declines. Pathogens are strong­ly impli­cat­ed in the decline of native and hon­ey bees. Diet affects bee immune respons­es, sug­gest­ing the poten­tial for flo­ral resources to pro­vide nat­ur­al resis­tance to pathogens. We dis­cov­ered that sun­flower (Helianthus annu­us) pollen dra­mat­i­cal­ly and con­sis­tent­ly reduced a pro­to­zoan pathogen (Crithidia bombi) infec­tion in bum­ble bees (Bom­bus impa­tiens) and also reduced a microsporid­i­an pathogen (Nose­ma cer­anae) of the Euro­pean hon­ey bee (Apis mel­lif­era), indi­cat­ing the poten­tial for broad anti- par­a­sitic effects. In a field sur­vey, bum­ble bees from farms with more sun­flower area had low­er Crithidia infec­tion rates. Giv­en con­sis­tent effects of sun­flower in reduc­ing pathogens, plant­i­ng sun­flower in agroe­cosys­tems and native habi­tat may pro­vide a sim­ple solu­tion to reduce dis­ease and improve the health of eco­nom­i­cal­ly and eco­log­i­cal­ly impor­tant pollinators.


Meet­ing ID: 549 554 5262

Mas­sas­oit STEM events are open to ALL Mas­sas­oit stu­dents, fac­ul­ty, and staff.

Mas­sas­oit Com­mu­ni­ty Col­lege encour­ages per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties to par­tic­i­pate in its pro­grams and activ­i­ties. If you antic­i­pate need­ing any type of accom­mo­da­tion or have ques­tions relat­ed to access for this event, please con­tact the Divi­sion of Sci­ence and Math­e­mat­ics at sciencemath@massasoit.edu in advance of your par­tic­i­pa­tion or visit.

Pho­to by Jeb Buch­man on Unsplash

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