Free Access
Volume 38, Number 4, July-August 2007
Page(s) 354 - 367
Published online 10 October 2007
Apidologie 38 (2007) 354-367
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2007021

Incidence and molecular characterization of viruses found in dying New Zealand honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies infested with Varroa destructor

Jacqui H. Todda, Joachim R. De Mirandab and Brenda V. Ballc

a  Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand Limited, Private Bag 92169, Auckland, New Zealand
b  School of Biological Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast BT9 7BL, Northern Ireland
c  Plant and Invertebrate Ecology Division, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Herts, AL5 2JQ, UK

(Received 30 June 2006 - Revised 25 January 2007 - Accepted 21 February 2007 - Published online 10 October 2007)

Abstract - The virus status of New Zealand honey bee colonies infested with Varroa destructor was studied from 2001 to 2003. The viruses CBPV, BQCV, SBV, CWV, and KBV were all found during the study, with CWV and KBV the most common, as inferred from serological and protein profile analyses. DWV, SPV and ABPV were not detected in these colonies. CWV was present in the colonies throughout the season, while the appearance of KBV generally coincided with autumn colony collapse when V. destructor populations were large. Inconsistencies between serological analyses and viral capsid protein profiles of the extracts containing CWV and KBV were probably a result of strain differences between the viruses found in New Zealand and those used to generate the diagnostic antisera. The genome of the New Zealand KBV strain was partially sequenced. Phylogenetic and serological analyses showed this strain to be unique and most closely related to Canadian KBV isolates.

Key words: Apis mellifera / Kashmir bee virus / Varroa destructor / New Zealand

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© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2007