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Deformed wing virus can be transmitted during natural mating in honey bees and infect the queens

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Deformed wing virus is an important contributor to honey bee colony losses. Frequently queen failure is reported as a cause for colony loss. Here we examine whether sexual transmission during multiple matings of queens is a possible way of virus infection in queens. In an environment with high prevalence of deformed wing virus, queens (n = 30) were trapped upon their return from natural mating flights. The last drone’s endophallus (n = 29), if present, was removed from the mated queens for deformed wing virus quantification, leading to the detection of high-level infection in 3 endophalli. After oviposition, viral quantification revealed that seven of the 30 queens had high-level deformed wing virus infections, in all tissues, including the semen stored in the spermathecae. Two groups of either unmated queens (n = 8) with induced egg laying, or queens (n = 12) mated in isolation with drones showing comparatively low deformed wing virus infections served as control. None of the control queens exhibited high-level viral infections. Our results demonstrate that deformed wing virus infected drones are competitive to mate and able to transmit the virus along with semen, which occasionally leads to queen infections. Virus transmission to queens during mating may be common and can contribute noticeably to queen failure.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

DWV titres in the head, thorax, abdomen, ovaries and spermatheca of each queen as along with the viral titres found in sperm taken from each mated queen.Furthermore, for each queen returning mated once or twice, the virus titres in the mating signs are recorded. * This queen was found dead and dissection of the internal organs was impossible. NS: Not Sampled, NA: Not applicable, NE: No endophallus upon return to hive.
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f1: DWV titres in the head, thorax, abdomen, ovaries and spermatheca of each queen as along with the viral titres found in sperm taken from each mated queen.Furthermore, for each queen returning mated once or twice, the virus titres in the mating signs are recorded. * This queen was found dead and dissection of the internal organs was impossible. NS: Not Sampled, NA: Not applicable, NE: No endophallus upon return to hive.

Mentions: All experimental queens were raised in the same nurse colony, and queen production was monitored closely for the presence of DWV and other viruses. All queen larvae and royal jelly samples collected from uncapped queen cells were free of DWV (data not shown). The tissues of most of the newly emerged queens either had no virus at all or contained low titres of DWV (for definitions of virus titres refer to Fig. 1). The titre of DWV in two of the newly emerged queens reached a medium level in the thorax and abdomen. In consequence, the nurse colony used to raise all the experimental queens had a low level of DWV41.


Deformed wing virus can be transmitted during natural mating in honey bees and infect the queens
DWV titres in the head, thorax, abdomen, ovaries and spermatheca of each queen as along with the viral titres found in sperm taken from each mated queen.Furthermore, for each queen returning mated once or twice, the virus titres in the mating signs are recorded. * This queen was found dead and dissection of the internal organs was impossible. NS: Not Sampled, NA: Not applicable, NE: No endophallus upon return to hive.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5016801&req=5

f1: DWV titres in the head, thorax, abdomen, ovaries and spermatheca of each queen as along with the viral titres found in sperm taken from each mated queen.Furthermore, for each queen returning mated once or twice, the virus titres in the mating signs are recorded. * This queen was found dead and dissection of the internal organs was impossible. NS: Not Sampled, NA: Not applicable, NE: No endophallus upon return to hive.
Mentions: All experimental queens were raised in the same nurse colony, and queen production was monitored closely for the presence of DWV and other viruses. All queen larvae and royal jelly samples collected from uncapped queen cells were free of DWV (data not shown). The tissues of most of the newly emerged queens either had no virus at all or contained low titres of DWV (for definitions of virus titres refer to Fig. 1). The titre of DWV in two of the newly emerged queens reached a medium level in the thorax and abdomen. In consequence, the nurse colony used to raise all the experimental queens had a low level of DWV41.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Deformed wing virus is an important contributor to honey bee colony losses. Frequently queen failure is reported as a cause for colony loss. Here we examine whether sexual transmission during multiple matings of queens is a possible way of virus infection in queens. In an environment with high prevalence of deformed wing virus, queens (n = 30) were trapped upon their return from natural mating flights. The last drone’s endophallus (n = 29), if present, was removed from the mated queens for deformed wing virus quantification, leading to the detection of high-level infection in 3 endophalli. After oviposition, viral quantification revealed that seven of the 30 queens had high-level deformed wing virus infections, in all tissues, including the semen stored in the spermathecae. Two groups of either unmated queens (n = 8) with induced egg laying, or queens (n = 12) mated in isolation with drones showing comparatively low deformed wing virus infections served as control. None of the control queens exhibited high-level viral infections. Our results demonstrate that deformed wing virus infected drones are competitive to mate and able to transmit the virus along with semen, which occasionally leads to queen infections. Virus transmission to queens during mating may be common and can contribute noticeably to queen failure.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus