Population genetics of ectoparasitic mites suggest arms race with honeybee hosts

Beaurepaire, Alexis L.; Moro, Arrigo; Mondet, Fanny; Le Conte, Yves; Neumann, Peter; Locke, Barbara (2019). Population genetics of ectoparasitic mites suggest arms race with honeybee hosts. Scientific reports, 9(1), p. 11355. Springer Nature 10.1038/s41598-019-47801-5

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The ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, is the most severe biotic threat to honeybees (Apis mellifera) globally, usually causing colony death within a few years without treatments. While it is known that a few A. mellifera populations survive mite infestations by means of natural selection, the possible role of mite adaptations remains unclear. To investigate potential changes in mite populations in response to host adaptations, the genetic structure of V. destructor in the mite-resistant A. mellifera population on Gotland, Sweden, was studied. Spatio-temporal genetic changes were assessed by comparing mites collected in these colonies, as well as from neighboring mite-susceptible colonies, in historic (2009) and current (2017/2018) samples. The results show significant changes in the genetic structure of the mite populations during the time frame of this study. These changes were more pronounced in the V. destructor population infesting the mite-resistant honeybee colonies than in the mite-susceptible colonies. These results suggest that V. destructor populations are reciprocating, in a coevolutionary arms race, to the selection pressure induced by their honeybee host. Our data reveal exciting new insights into host-parasite interactions between A. mellifera and its major parasite.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Institute of Bee Health

UniBE Contributor:

Beaurepaire, Alexis; Moro, Arrigo and Neumann, Peter

Subjects:

500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

2045-2322

Publisher:

Springer Nature

Language:

English

Submitter:

Anna Papach

Date Deposited:

27 Mar 2020 09:05

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2020 03:43

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/s41598-019-47801-5

PubMed ID:

31388048

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.142063

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/142063

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