Genetic Tools for Integrated Management of Pests on Honeybees in the Tropics

M. Pattabhiramaiah, S. Mallikarjunaiah and D. Brueckner,  Genetic Methods and Tools for Managing Crop Pests,  2022.

The Asian honeybee is endemic to Asia where it has been used for honey production and pollination services from time immemorial. They are integral to modern agricultural productivity and to survival and vitality of natural ecosystems. However, recent declines in populations and species diversity threaten both food security and natural habitats. Honeybee colonies are assaulted by numerous pests and pathogens including mites and beetles. Novel, cost-effective pest management practices are desperately needed to preserve colony health. Increased pest pressure levels justify the need for additional control methods. Beekeepers should follow the guidelines of integrated pest management (IPM) as an effective control option that will have a minimum impact on honeybee health. The use of genomic tools and engineering technologies has a great potential for enhancement and sustenance of the health of honeybees. This review focusses on the application of innovative advanced genetic tools such as SIT (sterile insect technique), genome editing, gene drive, RNAi, CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing, and gene pyramiding in honeybee pest management.

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