Jay Evans

Jay Evans
United States Department of Agriculture | USDA · Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

About

688
Publications
161,455
Reads
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33,171
Citations
Introduction
Jay Evans currently works at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture. Jay does research in Bioinformatics, Entomology and Genetics. Current lab projects involve interactions among bees, microbes, and mite-transmitted viruses, and efforts to reduce bee losses from chemical and biotic stresses.
Additional affiliations
January 1996 - December 1998
University of Georgia
Position
  • PostDoc Position
September 1989 - December 1995
University of Utah
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
September 1989 - December 1995
University of Utah
Field of study
  • Biology
September 1984 - June 1988
Princeton University
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (688)
Article
Trypanosomatids are increasingly recognized as prevalent in European honey bees (Apis mellifera) and by default are attributed to one recognized species, Crithidia mellificae Langridge and McGhee, 1967. We provide reference genetic and ultrastructural data for type isolates of C. mellificae (ATCC 30254 and 30862) in comparison with two recent isola...
Article
The ecdysteroid biosynthetic pathway involves sequential enzymatic hydroxylations by a group of enzymes collectively known as Halloween gene proteins. Complete sequences for three Halloween genes, spook (Vdspo), disembodied (Vddib) and shade (Vdshd), were identified in varroa mites and sequenced. Phylogenetic analyses of predicted amino acid sequen...
Article
The 5000 arthropod genomes initiative (i5k) has tasked itself with coordinating the sequencing of 5000 insect or related arthropod genomes. The resulting influx of data, mostly from small research groups or communities with little bioinformatics experience, will require visualization, dissemination and curation, preferably from a centralized platfo...
Article
Full-text available
Two species of Spiroplasma (Mollicutes) bacteria were isolated from and described as pathogens of the European honey bee, Apis mellifera, ~30 years ago but recent information on them is lacking despite global concern to understand bee population declines. Here we provide a comprehensive survey for the prevalence of these two Spiroplasma species in...
Article
Full-text available
The first generation of genome sequence assemblies and annotations have had a significant impact upon our understanding of the biology of the sequenced species, the phylogenetic relationships among species, the study of populations within and across species, and have informed the biology of humans. As only a few Metazoan genomes are approaching fin...
Article
Full-text available
Temperature affects growth, metabolism, and interspecific interactions in microbial communities. Within animal hosts, gut bacterial symbionts can provide resistance to parasitic infections. Both infection and populations of symbionts can be shaped by the host body temperature. However, the effects of temperature on the antiparasitic activities of g...
Article
Full-text available
Deformed wing virus (DWV) is a widespread pathogen of Apis mellifera honey bees, and is considered a major causative factor for the collapse of infected honey bee colonies. DWV can be horizontally transmitted among bees through various oral routes, including via food sharing and by interactions of bees with viral-contaminated solid hive substrates....
Article
Full-text available
A metagenomic analysis of the virome of honey bees (Apis mellifera) from an apiary with high rates of unexplained colony losses identified a novel RNA virus. The virus, which was named Apis mellifera solinvivirus 1 (AmSV1), contains a 10.6 kb positive-strand genomic RNA with a single ORF coding for a polyprotein with the protease, helicase, and RNA...
Article
Full-text available
Pollinators have experienced significant declines in the past decade, in part due to emerging infectious diseases. Historically, studies have primarily focused on pathogens in the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera. However, recent work has demonstrated that these pathogens are shared by other pollinators and can negatively affect their health. Here...
Preprint
Full-text available
United States commercial beekeepers prepare honey bee colonies for almond pollination in California each year in late January to early February. This represents the largest managed pollination event in the world and involves more than half of all U.S. honey bee colonies. In winter 2023, numerous colonies in Florida which were graded as suitable for...
Article
Insect sociobiology is the research field that focusses on how and why some lineages of insects abandoned their solitary life styles to live in social groups. The simplest insect social groups are herds, groups of individuals that live together for a portion of their lives, sometimes cooperating with each other, and even helping to rear each other’...
Article
Full-text available
Novel transmission routes can allow infectious diseases to spread, often with devastating consequences. Ectoparasitic varroa mites vector a diversity of RNA viruses, having switched hosts from the eastern to western honey bees (Apis cerana to Apis mellifera). They provide an opportunity to explore how novel transmission routes shape disease epidemi...
Article
Full-text available
The expansion of agriculture is responsible for the mass conversion of biologically diverse natural environments into managed agroecosystems dominated by a handful of genetically homogeneous crop species. Agricultural ecosystems typically have very different abiotic and ecological conditions from those they replaced and create potential niches for...
Article
Full-text available
The temperature dependence of infection reflects changes in performance of parasites and hosts. High temperatures often mitigate infection by favoring heat-tolerant hosts over heat-sensitive parasites. Honey bees exhibit endothermic thermoregulation—rare among insects—that can favor resistance to parasites. However, viruses are heavily host-depende...
Preprint
Full-text available
Temperature affects growth, metabolism, and interspecific interactions in microbial communities. Within animal hosts, gut bacterial symbionts can provide resistance to parasitic infections. Infection can also be shaped by host body temperature. However, the effects of temperature on the antiparasitic activities of gut symbionts have seldom been exp...
Article
Pollen is an essential component of bee diets, and rearing bumble bees (Bombus spp.) for commercial use necessitates feeding pollen in mass quantities. This pollen is collected from honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies because neither an artificial diet nor an economical, large-scale pollen collection process from flowers is available. The proven...
Article
Full-text available
Nutritional stress, especially a dearth of pollen, has been linked to honey bee colony losses. Colony-level experiments are critical for understanding the mechanisms by which nutritional stress affects individual honey bee physiology and pushes honey bee colonies to collapse. In this study, we investigated the impact of pollen restriction on key ma...
Presentation
Full-text available
This was one of several opportunities we have had with the great Dr. Batra to tour woods that she knows by heart and has explored for over 50 years in Beltsville Maryland. She will be back out there again this spring when the maples flower and again when her favorite bees emerge
Preprint
Novel transmission routes can allow infectious diseases to spread, often with devastating consequences. Ectoparasitic varroa mites vector a diversity of RNA viruses and, having switched hosts from the eastern to western honey bees (Apis cerana to Apis mellifera). They provide an opportunity to explore how novel transmission routes shape disease epi...
Article
Full-text available
Varroa destructor is a cosmopolitan pest and leading cause of colony loss of the European honey bee. Historically described as a competent vector of honey bee viruses, this arthropod vector is the cause of a global pandemic of Deformed wing virus, now endemic in honeybee populations in all Varroa-infested regions. Our work shows that viral spread i...
Article
Full-text available
Global pollinator declines threaten food production and natural ecosystems. The drivers of declines are complicated and driven by numerous factors such as pesticide use, loss of habitat, rising pathogens due to commercial bee keeping and climate change. Halting and reversing pollinator declines will require a multidisciplinary approach and internat...
Article
Background: The small hive beetle (SHB), Aethina tumida, has emerged as a worldwide threat to honey bees in the past two decades. These beetles harvest nest resources, feed on larval bees, and ultimately spoil nest resources with gelatinous slime together with the fungal symbiont Kodamaea ohmeri. Results: Here, we present the first chromosome-le...
Article
Full-text available
Landscapes can affect parasite epidemiology in wild and agricultural animals. Honey bees are threatened by loss of floral resources and by parasites, principally the mite Varroa destructor and the viruses it vectors. Existing mite control relies heavily on chemical treatments that can adversely affect bees. Alternative, pesticide-free control metho...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Honey bees provides valuable pollination services for world food crops and wild flowering plants which are habitats of many animal species and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, a powerful tool in the fight against climate change. Nevertheless, the honey bee population has been declining and the majority of colony losses occur...
Preprint
Full-text available
The temperature dependence of infection reflects changes in performance of parasites and hosts. High temperatures often mitigate infection by favoring heat-tolerant hosts over heat-sensitive parasites. Honey bees exhibit endothermic thermoregulation—rare among insects—that can favor resistance to parasites. However, viruses are heavily host-depende...
Preprint
Full-text available
The temperature dependence of infection reflects changes in the performance of parasites and hosts. High temperatures (i.e., fever) often mitigate infection by favoring heat-tolerant hosts over heat-sensitive parasites. Honey bees exhibit an endothermic, colony-level temperature regulation that is exceptional among insects and favors resistance to...
Article
Full-text available
Standing genetic variation is the predominant source acted on by selection. Organisms with high genetic diversity generally show faster responses toward environmental change. Nosema ceranae is a microsporidian parasite of honey bees, infecting midgut epithelial cells. High genetic diversity has been found in this parasite, but the mechanism for the...
Article
Full-text available
Nosema ceranae is a honey bee gut parasite that has recently spilled to another honey bee host through trading. The impact of infection on the native host is minor, which is substantial in the novel host. In this study, artificial inoculation simulated the parasite transmission from the native to the novel host. We found that the parasite initiated...
Preprint
Full-text available
The rapid reproductive capacity of Varroa destructor is among the most significant adaptations underpinning its success as a parasite. To exploit their honey bee host, the parasite must rapidly produce offspring that fully develop into adults and mate in an inflexible 9-day window. Inability to meet this deadline brings the fitness of the foundress...
Article
Full-text available
The ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor and the viruses it vectors, including types A and B of Deformed wing virus (DWV), pose a major threat to honey bees, Apis mellifera. Analysis of 256 mites collected from the same set of field colonies on five occasions from May to October 2021 showed that less than a half of them, 39.8% (95% confidence inte...
Article
Trypanosomatid gut parasites are common in pollinators and costly for social bees. The recently described honey bee trypanosomatid Lotmaria passim is widespread, abundant, and correlated with colony losses in some studies. The potential for amelioration of infection by antimicrobial plant compounds has been thoroughly studied for closely related tr...
Article
The genus Arsenophonus has been traditionally considered to comprise heritable bacterial symbionts of arthropods. Recent work has reported a microbe related to the type species Arsenophonus nasoniae as infecting the honey bee, Apis mellifera . The association was unusual for members of the genus in that the microbe–host interaction arose through en...
Article
Full-text available
Beekeeping is a cornerstone activity that has led to the human-mediated, global spread of western honey bees ( Apis mellifera L.) outside their native range of Europe, western Asia, and Africa. The exportation/importation of honey bees (i.e., transfer of honey bees or germplasm between countries) is regulated at the national level in many countries...
Preprint
Full-text available
Deformed wing virus (DWV) is an emerging insect pathogen efficiently transmitted through communicable and vector-borne routes with Apis mellifera. Continual transmission of DWV between hosts and vectors is required for maintenance of the pathogen within the population, and this vector-host-pathogen system offers unique disease transmission dynamics...
Preprint
Full-text available
Deformed wing virus (DWV) is an emerging insect pathogen efficiently transmitted through communicable and vector-borne routes with Apis mellifera . Continual transmission of DWV between hosts and vectors is required for maintenance of the pathogen within the population, and this vector-host-pathogen system offers unique disease transmission dynamic...
Article
Full-text available
Background Insect-vectored Leishmania are responsible for loss of more disability-adjusted life years than any parasite besides malaria. Elucidation of the environmental factors that affect parasite transmission by vectors is essential to develop sustainable methods of parasite control that do not have off-target effects on beneficial insects or en...
Preprint
Full-text available
The ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor and the viruses it vectors, including types A and B of Deformed wing virus (DWV), pose a major threat to honey bees, Apis mellifera. Analysis of 256 mites collected from the same set of colonies on five occasions from May to October 2021 showed that less than a half of them, 39.8% (95% confidence interval (...
Preprint
Full-text available
Varroa destructor is a cosmopolitan pest and leading cause of colony loss of the European honey bee. Historically described as a competent vector of honey bee viruses, this arthropod vector is cause for the global pandemic of Deformed wing virus, now endemic in honeybee populations. Our work shows viral spread is driven by Varroa actively switching...
Article
Full-text available
Host-parasite co-evolution is a process of reciprocal, adaptive genetic change. In natural conditions, parasites can shift to other host species, given both host and parasite genotypes allow this. Even though host-parasite co-evolution has been extensively studied both theoretically and empirically, few studies have focused on parasite gene flow be...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Host shifts of parasites can have devastating effects on novel hosts. One remarkable example is that of the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, which has shifted hosts from Eastern honey bees (Apis cerana) to Western honey bees (Apis mellifera) and posed a major global threat to apiculture and wild honey bees. Objectives and methods...
Article
Full-text available
The small hive beetle (SHB), a social parasite of beehives, is native to sub-Saharan Africa and has spread to America, Europe, and Australia. Recently, these beetles invaded China, causing widespread colony collapses in the honeybee, Apis cerana. In this study, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified in the beetle genome from its nat...
Article
Full-text available
Gut parasites of plant-eating insects are exposed to antimicrobial phytochemicals that can reduce infection. Trypanosomatid gut parasites infect insects of diverse nutritional ecologies as well as mammals and plants, raising the question of how host diet-associated phytochemicals shape parasite evolution and host specificity. To test the hypothesis...
Preprint
Full-text available
The genus Arsenophonus has been traditionally considered to be comprised of heritable bacterial symbionts of arthropods. Recent work has reported a microbe related to the type species A. nasoniae as infecting the honey bee, Apis mellifera . The association was unusual for members of the genus in that the microbe-host interaction arose through envir...
Article
Full-text available
Host temperature and gut chemistry can shape resistance to parasite infection. Heat and acidity can limit trypanosomatid infection in warm-blooded hosts and could shape infection resistance in insects as well. The colony-level endothermy and acidic guts of social bees provide unique opportunities to study how temperature and acidity shape insect–pa...
Article
Full-text available
As a phoretic parasite and virus vector, the mite Varroa destructor and the associated Deformed wing virus (DWV) form a lethal combination to the honey bee, Apis mellifera. Routine acaricide treatment has been reported to reduce the diversity of mites and select for tolerance against these treatments. Further, different DWV strains face selective p...
Article
Full-text available
Western honey bees (Apis mellifera), a cornerstone to crop pollination in the U.S., are faced with an onslaught of challenges from diseases caused by parasites, pathogens, and pests that affect this economically valuable pollinator. Natural products (NPs), produced by living organisms, including plants and microorganisms, can support health and com...
Article
Full-text available
One of the most serious bacterial pathogens of Western honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus [Hymenoptera: Apidae]) is Melissococcus plutonius, the cause of the disease European foulbrood. Because European foulbrood is highly variable, with diverse outcomes at both the individual and colony levels, it is difficult to diagnose through visual inspectio...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive species are a major driver of ecological and environmental changes that affect human health, food security, and natural biodiversity. The success and impact of biological invasions depend on adaptations to novel abiotic and biotic selective pressures. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying adaptations in invasive parasitic species ar...
Preprint
Full-text available
Gut parasites of plant-eating insects are exposed to antimicrobial phytochemicals that can reduce infection. Trypanosomatid gut parasites infect insects of diverse nutritional ecologies as well as mammals and plants, raising the question of how host diet-associated phytochemicals shape parasite evolution and host specificity. To test the hypothesis...
Preprint
Full-text available
Insect-vectored Leishmania are the second-most debilitating of human parasites worldwide. Elucidation of the environmental factors that affect parasite transmission by vectors is essential to develop sustainable methods of parasite control that do not have off-target effects on beneficial insects or environmental health. Many phytochemicals that in...
Article
Full-text available
Background Varroa destructor mites, and the numerous viruses they vector to their honey bee hosts, are among the most serious threats to honey bee populations, causing mortality and morbidity to both the individual honey bee and colony, the negative effects of which convey to the pollination services provided by honey bees worldwide. Here we use a...
Article
Full-text available
Pollinators are in decline thanks to the combined stresses of disease, pesticides, habitat loss, and climate. Honey bees face numerous pests and pathogens but arguably none are as devastating as Deformed wing virus (DWV). Understanding host-pathogen interactions and virulence of DWV in honey bees is slowed by the lack of cost-effective high-through...
Article
Full-text available
The BEEBOOK project arose from discussions at early COLOSS (Prevention of Honey Bee COlony LOSSes) meetings. The vision was, and still is, to develop a definitive inventory of standard techniques and methods in honey bee research to ensure that studies performed by different laboratories around the world would be directly comparable. The manual, ti...
Article
Full-text available
Honeybee symbionts, predominantly bacteria, play important roles in honeybee health, nutrition, and pathogen protection, thereby supporting colony health. On the other hand, fungi are often considered indicators of poor bee health, and honeybee microbiome studies generally exclude fungi and yeasts. We hypothesized that yeasts may be an important as...
Preprint
Full-text available
Anthropogenic landscape changes can affect parasite epidemiology in wild and agricultural animals. Honey bees are agricultural animals whose services are threatened by loss of floral resources and by parasites, most notably the invasive mite Varroa destructor . Existing mite control strategies rely heavily on chemical treatments that can adversely...
Article
Honey bee colony losses worldwide call for a more in-depth understanding of the pathogenic and mutualistic components of the honey bee microbiota and their relation with the environment. In this descriptive study, we characterized the yeast and bacterial communities that arise from six substrates associated with honey bees: corbicular pollen, beebr...
Preprint
Full-text available
Host temperature and gut chemistry can shape resistance to parasite infection. Heat and acidity can limit trypanosomatid infection in warm-blooded hosts, and could shape infection resistance in insects as well. The colony-level endothermy and acidic guts of social bees provide unique opportunities to study how temperature and acidity shape insect-p...
Article
Full-text available
In terms of infectious diseases caused by a variety of microorganisms, the ability to promptly and accurately identify the causative agents is the first step on the path to all types of effective management of such infections. Among the various factors that are affecting global bee health, viruses have often been linked to honey bee colony losses a...
Article
Full-text available
Microsporidia comprise a phylum of single cell, intracellular parasites and represent the earliest diverging branch in the fungal kingdom. The microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae primarily infects honey bee gut epithelial cells, leading to impaired memory, suppressed host immune responses and colony collapse under certain circumstances. As the g...
Article
Full-text available
Transmission routes impact pathogen virulence and genetics, therefore comprehensive knowledge of these routes and their contribution to pathogen circulation is essential for understanding host–pathogen interactions and designing control strategies. Deformed wing virus (DWV), a principal viral pathogen of honey bees associated with increased honey b...
Preprint
Full-text available
Pollinators are in decline thanks to the combined stresses of disease, pesticides, habitat loss, and climate. Honey bees face numerous pests and pathogens but arguably none are as devastating as Deformed wing virus (DWV). Understanding host-pathogen interactions and virulence of DWV in honey bees is slowed by the lack of cost-effective high-through...
Chapter
Honey bee fungal diseases, especially Nosema disease caused by the spore‐forming intracellular parasite, Nosema, are listed with the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) and impact the health and performance of honey bees in multiple ways and are often associated with colony losses worldwide. The chapter Fungus Diseases presents an overview of...
Chapter
In the latter part of 2006, several prominent US commercial beekeepers reported an odd decline in the worker populations of their honey bee colonies. The defining trait of this event, soon named colony collapse disorder (CCD), was the rapid loss of female workers in honey bee colonies, from tens of thousands of individuals to several hundred or few...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Varroa destructor mites, and the numerous viruses they vector to their honey bee hosts, are among the most serious threats to honey bee populations, causing mortality and morbidity to both the individual honey bee and colony, the negative effects of which convey to the pollination services provided by honey bees worldwide. Here we use a...
Article
Full-text available
Nosema ceranae (Opisthosporidia: Microsporidia) is an emergent intracellular parasite of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) and causes serious Nosema disease which has been associated with worldwide honey bee colony losses. The only registered treatment for Nosema disease is fumagillin-b, and this has raised concerns about resistance and off-t...
Article
Full-text available
Nosemosis C, a Nosema disease caused by microsporidia parasite Nosema ceranae , is a significant disease burden of the European honey bee Apis mellifera which is one of the most economically important insect pollinators. Nevertheless, there is no effective treatment currently available for Nosema disease and the disease mechanisms underlying the pa...