Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 524675
Title A diverse range of novel RNA viruses in geographically distinct honey bee populations
Author(s) Remnant, Emily J.; Shi, Mang; Buchmann, Gabriele; Blacquière, Tjeerd; Holmes, Edward C.; Beekman, Madeleine; Ashe, Alyson
Source Journal of Virology 91 (2017)16. - ISSN 0022-538X
Department(s) Biointeractions and Plant Health
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2017
Keyword(s) Arthropod vectors - Insect viruses - Metagenomics - Negative-strand RNA virus - Phylogenetic analysis - Plus-strand RNA virus - RNA interference

Understanding the diversity and consequences of viruses present in honey bees is critical for maintaining pollinator health and managing the spread of disease. The viral landscape of honey bees (Apis mellifera) has changed dramatically since the emergence of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor, which increased the spread of virulent variants of viruses such as deformed wing virus. Previous genomic studies have focused on colonies suffering from infections by Varroa and virulent viruses, which could mask other viral species present in honey bees, resulting in a distorted view of viral diversity. To capture the viral diversity within colonies that are exposed to mites but do not suffer the ultimate consequences of the infestation, we examined populations of honey bees that have evolved naturally or have been selected for resistance to Varroa. This analysis revealed seven novel viruses isolated from honey bees sampled globally, including the first identification of negative-sense RNA viruses in honey bees. Notably, two rhabdoviruses were present in three geographically diverse locations and were also present in Varroa mites parasitizing the bees. To characterize the antiviral response, we performed deep sequencing of small RNA populations in honey bees and mites. This provided evidence of a Dicer-mediated immune response in honey bees, while the viral small RNA profile in Varroa mites was novel and distinct from the response observed in bees. Overall, we show that viral diversity in honey bee colonies is greater than previously thought, which encourages additional studies of the bee virome on a global scale and which may ultimately improve disease management.

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