International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI2018), August 5-10, 2018 in Guarujá, Brazil.

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Mitochondrial DNA polymorphism and heteroplasmy in Varroa destructor populations from Apis mellifera colonies of Argentina

Author(s):
Irina Muntaabski, Irina Muntaabski , Silvia Lanzavecchia , Romina Russo , María Alejandra Palacio , Julieta Merke , Graciela Rodriguez , Jorge Luis Cladera , Alejandra Scannapieco
Institution(s):
Instituto de Genética, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Instituto de Genética, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, Buenos Aires, Argentina ; Instituto de Genética, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, Buenos Aires, Argentina ; Instituto de Genética, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, Buenos Aires, Argentina ; Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, Balcarce, Buenos Aires, Argentina ; Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, EEA Rafaela, Santa Fe, Argentina ; Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, EEA Ascasubi, Buenos Aires, Argentina ; Instituto de Genética, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, Buenos Aires, Argentina ; Instituto de Genética, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Varroa destructor is the most devastating parasite of the western honey bee Apis mellifera and has been implicated in colonies losses recorded around the world. Knowing genetic aspects of this parasite represents an important step forward to the monitoring and control of V. destructor infestation in honey bee hives. The aim of this study was to analyze the genetic diversity of Varroa mite populations from subtropical and temperate climatic areas of Argentina, by analyzing mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) regions at nucleotide level. Phoretic adult Varroa mites were collected from workers of commercial colonies of A. mellifera located in ten localities of Argentina (distributed in 5 provinces: Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Chaco, Formosa, and Tucumán). A partial mtDNA sequence of 839 nucleotides including the coding regions of NADH dehydrogenase subunits 4 and 4L genes was analyzed by sequencing. Based on one variable site within nad4 nucleotide sequence, a new variant of K haplotype (K1-A1) was identified in mites from colonies established in both subtropical and temperate localities, but at different frequencies. Furthermore, the presence of mitochondrial DNA heteroplasmy was evidenced in individual mites from different hives, and also some coexisting in the same colony. Our results are in line with the low genetic variability previously detected for this species but reveal novel intra and inter-hive variation for this new mtDNA marker. This study brings light on how genetic variability of the mite is distributed within eco-climatic regions and apiaries of A. mellifera from Argentina. The genetic variation detected in our V. destructor populations could be further useful to correlate to virulence differences and behavioral traits.
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