Honey bee predisposition of resistance to ubiquitous mite infestations

Bart J.G. Broeckx, Lina De Smet, Tjeerd Blacquière, Kevin Maebe, Mikalaï Khalenkow, Mario Van Poucke, Bjorn Dahle, Peter Neumann, Kim Bach Nguyen, Guy Smagghe, Dieter Deforce, Filip Van Nieuwerburgh, Luc Peelman, Dirk C. de Graaf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Host-parasite co-evolution history is lacking when parasites switch to novel hosts. This was the case for Western honey bees (Apis mellifera) when the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, switched hosts from Eastern honey bees (Apis cerana). This mite has since become the most severe biological threat to A. mellifera worldwide. However, some A. mellifera populations are known to survive infestations, largely by suppressing mite population growth. One known mechanism is suppressed mite reproduction (SMR), but the underlying genetics are poorly understood. Here, we take advantage of haploid drones, originating from one queen from the Netherlands that developed Varroa-resistance, whole exome sequencing and elastic-net regression to identify genetic variants associated with SMR in resistant honeybees. An eight variants model predicted 88% of the phenotypes correctly and identified six risk and two protective variants. Reproducing and non-reproducing mites could not be distinguished using DNA microsatellites, which is in agreement with the hypothesis that it is not the parasite but the host that adapted itself. Our results suggest that the brood pheromone-dependent mite oogenesis is disrupted in resistant hosts. The identified genetic markers have a considerable potential to contribute to a sustainable global apiculture.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2019

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Mite Infestations
Honey
Mites
Bees
Varroidae
Parasites
Reproduction
Beekeeping
Exome
Oogenesis
Haploidy
Pheromones
Population Growth
Genetic Markers
Netherlands
Microsatellite Repeats
History
Phenotype
DNA

Cite this

Broeckx, B. J. G., De Smet, L., Blacquière, T., Maebe, K., Khalenkow, M., Van Poucke, M., ... de Graaf, D. C. (2019). Honey bee predisposition of resistance to ubiquitous mite infestations. Scientific Reports, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-44254-8
Broeckx, Bart J.G. ; De Smet, Lina ; Blacquière, Tjeerd ; Maebe, Kevin ; Khalenkow, Mikalaï ; Van Poucke, Mario ; Dahle, Bjorn ; Neumann, Peter ; Bach Nguyen, Kim ; Smagghe, Guy ; Deforce, Dieter ; Van Nieuwerburgh, Filip ; Peelman, Luc ; de Graaf, Dirk C. / Honey bee predisposition of resistance to ubiquitous mite infestations. In: Scientific Reports. 2019 ; Vol. 9, No. 1.
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abstract = "Host-parasite co-evolution history is lacking when parasites switch to novel hosts. This was the case for Western honey bees (Apis mellifera) when the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, switched hosts from Eastern honey bees (Apis cerana). This mite has since become the most severe biological threat to A. mellifera worldwide. However, some A. mellifera populations are known to survive infestations, largely by suppressing mite population growth. One known mechanism is suppressed mite reproduction (SMR), but the underlying genetics are poorly understood. Here, we take advantage of haploid drones, originating from one queen from the Netherlands that developed Varroa-resistance, whole exome sequencing and elastic-net regression to identify genetic variants associated with SMR in resistant honeybees. An eight variants model predicted 88{\%} of the phenotypes correctly and identified six risk and two protective variants. Reproducing and non-reproducing mites could not be distinguished using DNA microsatellites, which is in agreement with the hypothesis that it is not the parasite but the host that adapted itself. Our results suggest that the brood pheromone-dependent mite oogenesis is disrupted in resistant hosts. The identified genetic markers have a considerable potential to contribute to a sustainable global apiculture.",
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Broeckx, BJG, De Smet, L, Blacquière, T, Maebe, K, Khalenkow, M, Van Poucke, M, Dahle, B, Neumann, P, Bach Nguyen, K, Smagghe, G, Deforce, D, Van Nieuwerburgh, F, Peelman, L & de Graaf, DC 2019, 'Honey bee predisposition of resistance to ubiquitous mite infestations' Scientific Reports, vol. 9, no. 1. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-44254-8

Honey bee predisposition of resistance to ubiquitous mite infestations. / Broeckx, Bart J.G.; De Smet, Lina; Blacquière, Tjeerd; Maebe, Kevin; Khalenkow, Mikalaï; Van Poucke, Mario; Dahle, Bjorn; Neumann, Peter; Bach Nguyen, Kim; Smagghe, Guy; Deforce, Dieter; Van Nieuwerburgh, Filip; Peelman, Luc; de Graaf, Dirk C.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 9, No. 1, 24.05.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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T1 - Honey bee predisposition of resistance to ubiquitous mite infestations

AU - Broeckx, Bart J.G.

AU - De Smet, Lina

AU - Blacquière, Tjeerd

AU - Maebe, Kevin

AU - Khalenkow, Mikalaï

AU - Van Poucke, Mario

AU - Dahle, Bjorn

AU - Neumann, Peter

AU - Bach Nguyen, Kim

AU - Smagghe, Guy

AU - Deforce, Dieter

AU - Van Nieuwerburgh, Filip

AU - Peelman, Luc

AU - de Graaf, Dirk C.

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N2 - Host-parasite co-evolution history is lacking when parasites switch to novel hosts. This was the case for Western honey bees (Apis mellifera) when the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, switched hosts from Eastern honey bees (Apis cerana). This mite has since become the most severe biological threat to A. mellifera worldwide. However, some A. mellifera populations are known to survive infestations, largely by suppressing mite population growth. One known mechanism is suppressed mite reproduction (SMR), but the underlying genetics are poorly understood. Here, we take advantage of haploid drones, originating from one queen from the Netherlands that developed Varroa-resistance, whole exome sequencing and elastic-net regression to identify genetic variants associated with SMR in resistant honeybees. An eight variants model predicted 88% of the phenotypes correctly and identified six risk and two protective variants. Reproducing and non-reproducing mites could not be distinguished using DNA microsatellites, which is in agreement with the hypothesis that it is not the parasite but the host that adapted itself. Our results suggest that the brood pheromone-dependent mite oogenesis is disrupted in resistant hosts. The identified genetic markers have a considerable potential to contribute to a sustainable global apiculture.

AB - Host-parasite co-evolution history is lacking when parasites switch to novel hosts. This was the case for Western honey bees (Apis mellifera) when the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, switched hosts from Eastern honey bees (Apis cerana). This mite has since become the most severe biological threat to A. mellifera worldwide. However, some A. mellifera populations are known to survive infestations, largely by suppressing mite population growth. One known mechanism is suppressed mite reproduction (SMR), but the underlying genetics are poorly understood. Here, we take advantage of haploid drones, originating from one queen from the Netherlands that developed Varroa-resistance, whole exome sequencing and elastic-net regression to identify genetic variants associated with SMR in resistant honeybees. An eight variants model predicted 88% of the phenotypes correctly and identified six risk and two protective variants. Reproducing and non-reproducing mites could not be distinguished using DNA microsatellites, which is in agreement with the hypothesis that it is not the parasite but the host that adapted itself. Our results suggest that the brood pheromone-dependent mite oogenesis is disrupted in resistant hosts. The identified genetic markers have a considerable potential to contribute to a sustainable global apiculture.

U2 - 10.1038/s41598-019-44254-8

DO - 10.1038/s41598-019-44254-8

M3 - Article

VL - 9

JO - Scientific Reports

JF - Scientific Reports

SN - 2045-2322

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