ARS researchers released two new varieties of blackberry: ‘Twilight’ and ‘Hall’s Beauty.’
Mapping The Asian Giant Hornet’s Genome
Ranging from 1.5 to 2 inches long, the Vespa mandarinia—commonly known as the Asian giant hornet—is the largest wasp in the world. Though its native range extends from northern India to East Asia, the hornet recently made landfall in Washington State and is classified as an invasive species in the United States. The Asian giant hornet is an agricultural concern because it preys upon domestic honey bees and has no natural predators here.
To prevent the invasive species from becoming established in the United States, ARS researchers with the Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, MD, helped lead the mapping of the first complete genome of the Asian giant hornet, as part of ARS’s Ag100Pest Initiative to assemble genomes for the top arthropod pests in this country. Working from just a single hornet’s thorax as a base sample, ARS entomologists and DNA sequence experts produced the entire sequence in just 3 months, demonstrating that genome sequencing can be part of real-time responses to invasive species. With the information from the released reference genome, scientists now have a broader biological picture of the hornet and can develop better tactics against it.
Explore Other Discoveries
Sweet, Juicy, Flavorful Berries
Keepsake Strawberry Is A Keeper
Learn about the Keepsake strawberry developed by ARS
Helping Honey Bee Colonies Chill Out
Putting honey bees into indoor cold storage in October rather than November increases their chances of surviving the winter.
Using Canines to Detect Citrus Virus
Scientists are using dogs to sniff out citrus orchards for the devastating pathogen HBL, also known as Citrus Greening.
Spotted Lanternfly Genome Sequenced
A team of ARS scientists in cooperation with Pacific Biosciences published the first genome of the invasive spotted lanternfly.
Preventing Soil Nutrient Leaching
Researchers determined that winter camelina and pennycress are effective in reducing excess nitrogen and preventing its escape from farmland.