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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Baton Rouge, Louisiana » Honey Bee Lab » Research » Research Project #438046

Research Project: Identification of Genetic Markers of Amitraz Resistance in Varroa destructor

Location: Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Research

Project Number: 6050-21000-016-006-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 1, 2020
End Date: May 31, 2023

Varroa mites represent the most significant cause of honey bee colony losses in the USA. As such, beekeepers often rely on synthetic miticides to control Varroa infestation. However, over reliance and overuse of these miticides can lead to resistant Varroa populations, as in the case for fluvalinate and coumaphos. While amitraz remains largely effective, anecdotal reports of amitraz resistance have increased in frequency. Field surveys have demonstrated bona fide cases of amitraz resistance. The goal of this project is to identify the genetic elements that are associated with amitraz resistance, understand the population structure of amitraz resistant Varroa, and develop molecular diagnostic tools to rapidly assess amitraz resistant Varroa.

We will collect amitraz resistant Varroa from across the USA as well as amitraz-susceptible populations. Whole genome sequencing will be performed on these samples to provide the data to identify genomic elements associated with amitraz resistance.