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Genetic variability and pyrethroid susceptibility of the parasitic honey bee mite Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) in Iran

Farjamfar, Mahsa, Saboori, Alireza, González-Cabrera, Joel, Hernández Rodríguez, Carmen Sara
Experimental & applied acarology 2018 v.76 no.1 pp. 139-148
Apis mellifera, DNA fragmentation, Varroa destructor, acarology, alleles, amitraz, apiculture, beekeepers, ectoparasites, evolution, genetic variation, haplotypes, homozygosity, honey bee mites, mite control, mitochondria, mitochondrial genes, organic acids and salts, parasitism, polymerase chain reaction, pyrethrins, restriction fragment length polymorphism, sodium channels, Iran
The ectoparasitic honey bee mite Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman (Acari: Varroidae) is one of the major concerns for worldwide beekeeping. The use of synthetic pyrethroids for controlling the mite was among the most popular treatments until resistance evolved in the mid 1990’s. In Iran, beekeepers are dealing with the parasite and they also used pyrethroids for controlling the mite for a long time. After the evolution of resistance to pyrethroids, they based mite control mostly on treatments with amitraz, organic acids and several management practices. Here we conducted a comprehensive characterization of V. destructor populations parasitizing Apis mellifera in Iran. We determined the genetic variability of mites collected from 28 localities distributed throughout the country. The haplotype of V. destructor was determined by PCR-RFLP, analyzing a fragment of the mitochondrial cox1 gene. It was found that only the Korean haplotype was present in samples from all localities. DNA fragments from cox1, atp6, cox3 and cytb mitochondrial genes were sequenced and the results showed that all samples were identical to the K1-1 or the K1-2 V. destructor haplotypes. Moreover, as it has been reported that resistance to pyrethroids in V. destructor is associated with mutations at position 925 of the voltage-gated sodium channel, a TaqMan®-based allelic discrimination assay was conducted to genotype the mites collected. The results showed that all the mites tested were homozygous for the wild-type allele and, therefore, susceptible to treatment with pyrethroids.