Medium for development of bee cell cultures (Apis mellifera: Hymenoptera: Apidae)


DOI: 10.1007/s11626-009-9246-x

Cite this article as:
Hunter, W.B. In Vitro Cell.Dev.Biol.-Animal (2010) 46: 83. doi:10.1007/s11626-009-9246-x


A media for the production of cell cultures from hymenopteran species such as honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) was developed. Multiple bee cell cultures were produced when using bee larvae and pupae as starting material and modified Hert–Hunter 70 media. Cell culture systems for bees solves an impasse that has hindered efforts to isolate and screen pathogens which may be influencing or causing colony collapse disorder of bees. Multiple life stages of maturing larvae to early pupae were used to successfully establish cell cultures from the tissues of the head, thorax, and abdomen. Multiple cell types were observed which included free-floating suspensions, fibroblast-like, and epithelia-like monolayers. The final culture medium, WH2, was originally developed for hemipterans, Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri, and leafhopper, Homalodisca vitripennis cell cultures but has been shown to work for a diverse range of insect species such as bees. Bee cell cultures had various doubling times at 21–23°C ranging from 9–15 d. Deformed wing virus was detected in the primary explanted tissues, which tested negative by rt-PCR for Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), Kashmir bee virus, acute bee paralysis virus, and black queen cell virus. Culture inoculation with IAPV from an isolate from Florida field samples, was detectable in cell cultures after two subcultures. Cell culture from hymenoptera species, such as bees, greatly advances the approaches available to the field of study on colony collapse disorders.


Bee Colony collapse disorder CCD Hymenoptera Leafhopper Psyllid Virus 

Copyright information

© The Society for In Vitro Biology 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.USDA, ARS, US Horticultural Research LaboratoryFt. PierceUSA

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