Date of Thesis

4-24-2014

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)

Degree Type

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Marie Pizzorno

Abstract

Honeybees are an essential component of today¿s agricultural system because of their role as pollinators. However, viruses, including a member of the Picornavirales order known commonly as Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), are compromising the health of honeybee colonies. Many picornaviruses, such as poliovirus, have been studied in depth because of their relation to human disease, but also because of their use of an Internal Ribosome Entry Site (IRES) to initiate translation. The primary goal of this thesis was to determine if the 5¿ Non-Translated Region (NTR) of Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) functions as an IRES. A secondary goal was to determine if there are specific parts of that 5¿ NTR that are important to IRES function. Six plasmids were constructed by inserting three different sections of the 5¿ NTR of DWV, in both sense and antisense directions, between two reporter genes. These plasmids, along with several control plasmids, were transfected into Sf9 cells, and post-transfection luciferase assays were conducted. Results were inconclusive. This could have been due to an inability of the plasmids to be expressed in Sf9 cells, an error in the construction of the plasmids, or a mechanical error in the assay procedure. At this time it appears most likely that the 5¿ NTR of DWV may be cell-type or species specific, and the next step would be to transfect the plasmids into a recently developed cultured honeybee cell line.

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