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Asian giant hornet complete genome released by the Agricultural Research Service

Date: 10.8.2020 

The first complete genome of the Asian giant hornet has been released by a team of Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists. ARS has made the genome available to the research community in AgDataCommons and the National Center for Biotechnology Information, even before publishing the results in a scientific journal to make the data freely accessible as quickly as possible.

Kredit: Matthew L Buffington, ARS.The goal is to produce the genome and make it available quickly after an invasive insect is detected so researchers will have this information immediately to help coordinate an effective response.

Asian giant hornets are the largest wasps in the world, ranging from 1.5 to 2 inches long. Their native range extends from northern India to East Asia. Now, they have been found in western Washington State as well as Vancouver Island and Langley, Canada.

Asian giant hornets concern beekeepers because they can attack honey bee colonies during the late summer and early fall.

The team of ARS entomologists and DNA sequence experts began the task in May in collaboration with the biotechnology company Pacific Biosciences. They were able to rapidly produce the entire genome sequence from the thorax of a single insect frozen from the colony found in the town of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island in September 2019.





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