Population genetics and host specificity of Varroa destructor mites infesting eastern and western honeybees

Lin, Zheguang; Wang, Shuai; Neumann, Peter; Chen, Gongwen; Page, Paul; Li, Li; Hu, Fuliang; Zheng, Huoqing; Dietemann, Vincent (2021). Population genetics and host specificity of Varroa destructor mites infesting eastern and western honeybees (In Press). Journal of pest science Springer 10.1007/s10340-020-01322-7

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In a globalized world, parasites are often brought in contact with new potential hosts. When parasites successfully shift host, severe diseases can emerge at a large cost to society. However, the evolutionary processes leading to successful shifts are rarely understood, hindering risk assessment, prevention, or mitigation of their effects. Here, we screened populations of Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic mite of the honeybee genus Apis, to investigate their genetic structure and reproductive potential on new and original hosts. From the patterns identified, we deduce the factors that influenced the macro- and microevolutionary processes that led to the structure observed. Among the mite variants identified, we found two genetically similar populations that differed in their reproductive abilities and thus in their host specificity. These lineages could interbreed, which represents a threat due to the possible increased virulence of the parasite on its original host. However, interbreeding was unidirectional from the host-shifted to the nonshifted native mites and could thus lead to speciation of the former. The results improve our understanding of the processes affecting the population structure and evolution of this economically important mite genus and suggest that introgression between shifted and nonshifted lineages may endanger the original host.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Neumann, Peter

Subjects:

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

ISSN:

1612-4758

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Anna Papach

Date Deposited:

24 Mar 2021 17:21

Last Modified:

24 Mar 2021 17:31

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s10340-020-01322-7

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/153505

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/153505

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