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Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Crack Bumblebee's Genome

May 6, 2015

Scientists from the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and partners decoded the genome sequences of key bumblebee species: the European buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) and the North American common eastern bumblebee (Bombus impatiens). Bees are vital in pollination, thus, understanding their genome would be important for their conservation as well as for crops that feed the world.

The genomes of the bumblebees provide the first insights into the genetics behind the differences in their behaviors and responses to their environments. "These genomic resources help us to understand what it is that makes these bumblebees particularly at risk from challenges to their well-being, such as diseases and pesticides," said Dr. Seth Barribeau of ETH Zurich, one of the authors of the study.

Read the media release from the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics.