Title: Fine mapping for SNP markers associated with VSH behavior Authors
Submitted to: American Bee Research Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 11, 2013
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH) is a trait that effectively reduces varroa mite populations by removal of brood cells that contain primarily reproductive mites. Breeding for VSH has proven to be a successful control of mite populations in both pure VSH colonies as well as in out-crossed populations. Selection of queens that carry the hygienic trait requires colony-based phenotyping beyond the reach for most bee breeders. Marker assisted selection of VSH queens could substantially reduce the labor requirements of that for classical selection while increasing the overall VSH trait in the breeding stock. Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) mapping (Tsuruda et al.,2012 PLoS ONE 7(11)) identified a genomic interval that associates with the VSH trait. The QTL contains several candidate genes that could be involved in the VSH trait in bees based on known functions in other model systems. We performed fine scale mapping to refine the QTL interval and identify additional molecular markers that could be used for marker assisted selection. Several markers located within two particularly interesting candidate genes associate strongly with the phenotype. mRNA sequencing suggests that a splice variant of one of the genes may result in the VSH trait. The strongest associating marker was used to genotype 28 colonies of either Italian or VSH stock in a single-blind study. Predictions for colony phenotype based on marker genotype proved to be accurate for 89% of the colonies when a strict set of prediction criteria were followed. This validation of a strong molecular marker associating with the VSH trait suggests that marker assisted selection may be highly effective for increasing VSH in breeding stocks at reduced costs and effort.