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Biochemistry Seminar: Dr Gertje Petersen, AbacusBio

Yes, bees are livestock. And you can breed them, too.

Animal breeding has evolved into a highly sophisticated field, making substantial changes to numerous livestock species worldwide. Such changes are largely absent in the Western Honeybee, Apis mellifera. Direct transfer of methodologies can be difficult due to differences in animal biology and production systems. Largely as a result of the high importance of honeybee pollination to agricultural production, beekeeping industries worldwide are changing their management strategies and moving towards large-scale migratory beekeeping. With trucks of hives being moved across countries, honeybee stocks are not able to adapt to their shifting environment without targeted breeding efforts.

While specific issues facing the global honeybee population such as disease or nutritional challenges can currently be managed by the beekeepers, challenges to honeybee health could be more efficiently and permanently addressed with directional selection towards more robust, disease resistant honeybee stocks suited to large-scale beekeeping. Despite a general awareness of the importance of genetics in the global beekeeping community, use of modern animal breeding methods in honeybee breeding has been low. By working closely with commercial operators, honeybee breeding programs can be focused on genetic sustainability as well as economic impact.

Date Tuesday, 16 April 2019
Time 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Audience All University
Event Category Health Sciences
Event Type Departmental Seminar
CampusDunedin
DepartmentBiochemistry
LocationBiochemistry Seminar Room 231

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