University of Minnesota Background
The importance of honey bee research
Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is a threat to the survival of honey bees and could significantly disrupt agricultural production. CCD research into how pathogens and toxic compounds affect honey bees is a rapidly expanding field. However this research is limited by the lack in vitro cultures composed of honey bee cells. Instead researchers must use precious whole organisms (bees) or colonies, limiting progress and the types of studies that can be carried out. To address this limitation, researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed the first and only honey bee cell-line that supports continuous culturing of the insect cells.
The cell line, named AmE-711, was isolated and characterized from primary cell cultures derived from fragmented honey bee embryonic tissues without the use of retroviruses or transfection of human oncogenes. The cell culture system that has been developed has potential application for studies aimed at honey bee development, genetics, pathogenesis, transgenesis, and toxicology.
”A Cell Line Resource Derived from Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Embryonic Tissues.” PLOS ONE, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0069831
”In vivo and in vitro infection dynamics of honey bee viruses.” Scientific Reports, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep22265
Stage of Development
Fully established cell line that has been characterized and published.
First and only continuous honey bee cell-line available
Facilitates in depth biochemical study of cellular pathways and mechanisms
Cells remain viable and replicate for more than 40-50 generations, translating to over a year of culture in the lab
Basic honey bee and insect research
Product testing (including herbicides and pesticides)
This cell line is fully developed and available for license.