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Detection of Mblk-1 Gene Polymorphisms in Honey Bees and their Influence on Resistance to Varroa Destructor Mites

Detection of Mblk-1 Gene Polymorphisms in Honey Bees and their Influence on Resistance to Varroa Destructor Mites

Kristina Morkūnienė*, Rūta Insodaitė, Laimutis Kučinskas, Renata Bižienė 

Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Institute of Biology Systems and Genetic Research, LT- 47181 Tilžės st. 18, Kaunas, Lithuania.

*Correspondence | Kristina Morkūnienė, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Institute of Biology Systems and Genetic Research, LT- 47181 Tilžės st. 18, Kaunas, Lithuania; Email: kristina.morkuniene@lsmuni.lt 

ABSTRACT

The Varroa destructor mite is a widespread major pest of honey bees Apis mellifera. The rapid spread of Varroa mites among bee colonies may be due to several factors, including drifting of infested bees, movement of bee swarms, robbing of weakened colonies. However, some bees’ colonies are resistant to V. destructor and that may be related to changes in the amino acid sequence of the Mblk1 protein leading to higher brain functions in bees. In this study, we aimed to test the contribution of three Mblk-1 gene polymorphisms to the resistance to V. destructor mites. This case–control study involved 117 DNA samples that were genotyped for three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) using the real-time polymerase chain reaction method. Statistical analysis was performed with SPSS Statistics 20 and PLINK software. SNP at position 7454459 (Asn → Thr) of Mblk-1 gene mutant allele A was more common in untreated domestic and wild honey bees (18.90% and 8.14% respectively; p=0.001) compared to treated domestic bees which persistently infected with the disease. Regression analysis showed that recessive AA genotype of this polymorphism significantly reduced the odds for varroosis (odds ratio=0.166, 95% confidence interval = 0,049-0,562, p=0.004). SNP at position 7454459 (Asn → Thr) of the Mblk-1 gene has a prominent interface with resistance to varroosis. 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

February

Pakistan J. Zool., Vol. 56, Iss. 1, pp. 01-501

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