Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science





First Advisor

Bryony C. Bonning


The honey bee contributes to approximately one third of crop production relying on pollination. However, managed honey bees are currently challenged by numerous health problems contributing to high levels of colony loss. Honey bee viruses are a major concern for honey bee health, and Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) is a common bee virus with acute negative health impacts and has been associated with colony loss. IAPV is transmitted by contaminated food and feces, and is then taken up through the midgut of bees, triggering systematic infections. As a member of the family Dicistroviridae, IAPV presumably utilizes a receptor-mediated endocytosis for its infection but the molecular mechanisms of this process remain elusive. In this study, we identified a putative receptor for IAPV in honey bee midgut epithelial cells. The putative receptor, aspartic protease [Apis mellifera], was identified by far-western blot with the honey bee brush border membrane vesicles (BBMV) as the prey proteins and IAPV virions and IAPV virus-like particles (VLPs) as the bait proteins. The aspartic protease [Apis mellifera] is predicted to harbor an N-terminal endoplasmic reticulum (ER) secretion sequence, one N-linked and three O-linked glycosylation sites, indicating ER secretion and post-translational modification after maturation of the protein. The absence of a transmembrane domain further suggests this protein could be a glycophosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored protein. These data provide an important first step in elucidating the mechanisms underlying virus entry into honey bee gut cells. Thus, our results provide fundamental knowledge that has the potential to be useful in studying and mitigating the effects of IAPV-mediated colony losses of honey bees.

Copyright Owner

Shunji Li



File Format


File Size

84 pages

Included in

Entomology Commons