Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Plant Virus Makes Bizarre Kingdom Jump to Honeybees

Heather Callaghan
Activist Post

Another explanation for Colony Collapse Disorder and the rapid decline of honeybees follows a surprising discovery involving a virus that typically infects the Plant Kingdom - Tobacco Ringspot Virus (TRSV).

U.S. and Chinese researchers report their findings in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

The plant virus has somehow jumped to the Animal Kingdom, now infecting honeybees.

The first two sentences of the study abstract hold unsettling implications:
Emerging and reemerging diseases that result from pathogen host shifts are a threat to the health of humans and their domesticates. RNA viruses have extremely high mutation rates and thus represent a significant source of these infectious diseases.