Side by side headshots of Jon Snow, JJ Miranda, Allison Lopatkin, and Jennifer Mansfield

On September 3, 2021, Jonathan SnowJJ Miranda, Allison Lopatkin, and Jennifer Mansfield, all biological science professors at Barnard College, published new research in The Journal of Experimental Biology, titled “Thermal stress induces tissue damage and a broad shift in regenerative signaling pathways in the honey bee digestive tract.” With their co-authors, Dunay Bach, Miriam Holzman, and Fatoumata Wague, the researchers, led by Professor Snow, evaluated thermal stress in honey bees, focusing on the recent die-off event of these insects in the United States, and their high capacity to endure thermal stress. 

The study investigates thermotolerance in honey bees by coupling thermal stress and RNAseq to identify broad transcriptional remodeling of signaling pathways, including pathways involved in digestive tract regeneration. The researchers found that thermal stress affects many pathways, indicating a shard program of damage response. This research is vital for the characterization of tissue damage response programs in the honey bee.