Free Access
Volume 37, Number 1, January-February 2006
Page(s) 19 - 30
Published online 13 December 2005
Apidologie 37 (2006) 19-30
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2005051

Genetic subpopulations of Varroa mites and their Apis cerana hosts in Thailand

Natapot Warrita, Deborah Roan Smitha and Chariya Lekprayoonb

a  Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA
b  Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, 10330, Thailand

(Received 15 July 2004 - revised 19 May 2005 - accepted 5 June 2005 - published online 13 December 2005)

Abstract - Thailand is the only place known where large populations of Mainland and Sundaland Apis cerana come into contact and where native strains of both Varroa destructor and V. jacobsoni occur. This provides a unique opportunity to investigate occurrence of Varroa species and mitochondrial lineages on different genetic lineages of A. cerana in a natural setting. We sampled Thai Varroa and A. cerana on a north to south transect, and identified mite and bee mtDNA haplotypes by RFLPs and COI sequence. Ranges of Mainland and Sundaland A. cerana meet at the Kra ecotone, between 10°34'N and 11°24'N. Varroa jacobsoni was found on both Sundaland and Mainland A. cerana; south of Kra ecotone (on Sundaland A. cerana) mites had the Malaysia haplotype, while north of Kra ecotone (on Mainland A. cerana) mites had the NorthThai1 or NorthThai2 haplotype. Varroa destructor was only found in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai Provinces (18°36'N, 98°48'E) at altitudes above 1000 m. We found no evidence of V. destructor with so-called Japan-Thailand haplotype on Thai A. cerana.

Key words: Apis cerana / Varroa / coevolution / mitochondrial DNA / Thailand

Corresponding author: Deborah Roan Smith

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2005