Resistance to Pyrethroids in Varroa destructor

Discussion in 'Bee News' started by Americasbeekeeper, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    An Amino Acid Substitution (L925V) Associated with Resistance to Pyrethroids in Varroa destructor
    The Varroa mite, Varroa destructor, is an important pest of honeybees and has played a prominent role in the decline in bee colony numbers over recent years. Although pyrethroids such as tau-fluvalinate and flumethrin can be highly effective in removing the mites from hives, their intensive use has led to many reports of resistance. To investigate the mechanism of resistance in UK Varroa samples, the transmembrane domain regions of the V. destructor voltage-gated sodium channel (the main target site for pyrethroids) were PCR amplified and sequenced from pyrethroid treated/untreated mites collected at several locations in Central/Southern England. A novel amino acid substitution, L925V, was identified that maps to a known hot spot for resistance within the domain IIS5 helix of the channel protein; a region that has also been proposed to form part of the pyrethroid binding site. Using a high throughput diagnostic assay capable of detecting the mutation in individual mites, the L925V substitution was found to correlate well with resistance, being present in all mites that had survived tau-fluvalinate treatment but in only 8 % of control, untreated samples. The potential for using this assay to detect and manage resistance in Varroa-infected hives is discussed.