Next Article in Journal
Antiviral Effects of Hydroxychloroquine and Type I Interferon on In Vitro Fatal Feline Coronavirus Infection
Next Article in Special Issue
Detection and Replication of Moku Virus in Honey Bees and Social Wasps
Previous Article in Journal
Unexpected Genetic Diversity of Two Novel Swine MRVs in Italy
Previous Article in Special Issue
Pesticide–Virus Interactions in Honey Bees: Challenges and Opportunities for Understanding Drivers of Bee Declines
Open AccessArticle

Tolerance of Honey Bees to Varroa Mite in the Absence of Deformed Wing Virus

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Canberra 2601, Australia
Coffee Industry Corporation Ltd., Goroka 441, Papua New Guinea
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Canberra 2601, Australia
Research and Development Division, Abu Dhabi Agriculture & Food Safety Authority, Al Ain, UAE
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2020, 12(5), 575;
Received: 4 May 2020 / Revised: 19 May 2020 / Accepted: 20 May 2020 / Published: 23 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Honey Bee Virus Research)
The global spread of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor has emphasized the significance of viruses as pathogens of honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations. In particular, the association of deformed wing virus (DWV) with V. destructor and its devastating effect on honey bee colonies has led to that virus now becoming one of the most well-studied insect viruses. However, there has been no opportunity to examine the effects of Varroa mites without the influence of DWV. In Papua New Guinea (PNG), the sister species, V. jacobsoni, has emerged through a host-shift to reproduce on the local A. mellifera population. After initial colony losses, beekeepers have maintained colonies without chemicals for more than a decade, suggesting that this bee population has an unknown mite tolerance mechanism. Using high throughput sequencing (HTS) and target PCR detection, we investigated whether the viral landscape of the PNG honey bee population is the underlying factor responsible for mite tolerance. We found A. mellifera and A. cerana from PNG and nearby Solomon Islands were predominantly infected by sacbrood virus (SBV), black queen cell virus (BQCV) and Lake Sinai viruses (LSV), with no evidence for any DWV strains. V. jacobsoni was infected by several viral homologs to recently discovered V. destructor viruses, but Varroa jacobsoni rhabdovirus-1 (ARV-1 homolog) was the only virus detected in both mites and honey bees. We conclude from these findings that A. mellifera in PNG may tolerate V. jacobsoni because the damage from parasitism is significantly reduced without DWV. This study also provides further evidence that DWV does not exist as a covert infection in all honey bee populations, and remaining free of this serious viral pathogen can have important implications for bee health outcomes in the face of Varroa. View Full-Text
Keywords: Apis; Varroa jacobsoni; pollinator; virus discovery; iflavirus; RNA viruses; next-generation sequencing Apis; Varroa jacobsoni; pollinator; virus discovery; iflavirus; RNA viruses; next-generation sequencing
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Roberts, J.M.K.; Simbiken, N.; Dale, C.; Armstrong, J.; Anderson, D.L. Tolerance of Honey Bees to Varroa Mite in the Absence of Deformed Wing Virus. Viruses 2020, 12, 575.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Search more from Scilit
Back to TopTop