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University of Massachusetts Amherst

Tritrophic interactions

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Effects Of Floral Phytochemicals On Growth And Evolution Of A Parasite Of Bumble Bees, Evan Palmer-Young Jan 2018

Effects Of Floral Phytochemicals On Growth And Evolution Of A Parasite Of Bumble Bees, Evan Palmer-Young

Doctoral Dissertations

Background: Nectar and pollen are rich in phytochemicals, some of which can reduce disease in pollinators, including agriculturally important honey and bumble bees. Floral phytochemicals could influence the ecological and evolutionary relationships between plants, their pollinators, and parasites that cause pollinator disease. Antiparasitic effects of phytochemicals could be exploited to ameliorate pollinator disease and decline, and thereby sustain pollinator-dependent agricultural production. However, prior studies showed variable effects of phytochemicals on infection in live bees, where differences in bee genotype, abiotic conditions, and parasite strain could influence results.

Approach: I used cell cultures of the intestinal trypanosome parasite of bumble bees ...