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Volume 35, Number 4, July-August 2004
Page(s) 431 - 439
Apidologie 35 (2004) 431-439
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2004021

Polymerase Chain Reaction detection of deformed wing virus (DWV) in Apis mellifera and Varroa destructor

Diana Tentchevaa, Laurent Gauthiera, Sandrine Jouvea, Laetitia Canabady-Rochellea, Benjamin Dainata, François Cousseransa, Marc Edouard Colina, Brenda V. Ballb and Max Bergoina

a  Laboratoire de Pathologie Comparée des Invertébrés UMR5087, Université Montpellier II, 34095 Montpellier, France
b  Plant & Invertebrate Ecology Division, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Herts, AL5 2JQ, UK

(Received 29 July 2003; revised 6 November 2003; accepted 8 December 2003)

Abstract - We have developed a specific assay for the detection of deformed wing virus (DWV) in Apis mellifera L. and Varroa destructor based on the reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) technology. Primers were designed from the sequence of a 4700 nucleotides cDNA fragment located in the 3'-end of the DWV genome. This fragment encodes a single open reading frame of 1565 amino acids showing similarity to viral RNA dependent RNA polymerase consensus motif. RT-PCR assays from DWV infected individual mite or bee produced a 395 nucleotide DNA fragment clearly identifiable by agarose gel electrophoresis. The signal in bees having deformed wings was significantly higher than in normal ones. A search for DWV in 40 colonies showed that DWV is broadly distributed in bee colonies and mites. As an average, greater virus prevalence of virus was detected in bees collected in autumn compared to bees collected in spring or during the summer period.

Key words: deformed wing virus (DWV) / diagnosis / bee virus / Varroa destructor

Corresponding author: Laurent Gauthier

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2004

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