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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Bee Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #303073

Research Project: Managing Honey Bees against Disease and Colony Stress

Location: Bee Research Laboratory

Title: The ability to cause infection in a pathogenic fungus uncovers a new biological feature of honey bee viruses

Author
item Li, Zhiguo - Zhejiang University
item Su, Songkun - Fujian Agricultural & Forestry University
item Hamilton, Michele
item Yan, Limin - Zhejiang University
item Chen, Yanping - Judy

Submitted to: Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2014
Publication Date: 7/7/2014
Citation: Li, Z., Su, S., Hamilton, M.C., Yan, L., Chen, Y. 2014. The ability to cause infection in a pathogenic fungus uncovers a new biological feature of honey bee viruses. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. 120:18-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jip.2014.05.002.

Interpretive Summary: During recent years increasing attention has been directed towards honey bee viruses because of their association with CCD and declining bee health. In the present study, we demonstrated that honey bee viruses could infect and replicate in a fungal pathogen that causes honey bee chalkbrood disease, revealing a new biological feature of honey bee viruses. Chalkbrood disease is not usually a serious honey bee disease. Future studies are therefore necessary to determine whether the infection of honey bee viruses could affect the ability of the fungus to cause disease in honey bees. The information obtained from this study should be of interest to the researchers, graduate students, apiary inspectors, and beekeepers in the honey bee society worldwide.

Technical Abstract: We demonstrated that honey bee viruses, including Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), Black Queen Cell Virus (BQCV) and Isreali Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV), could infect and replicate in the fungal pathogen Ascosphaera apis, which causes honey bee chalkbrood disease, uncovering a novel biological feature of honey bee viruses. The phylogenetic analysis showed that viruses from A. apis constitute a distinctive lineage, separate from the clades of viruses identified in honey bees. Further studies are warranted to investigate the impact of these viruses on the fitness of their fungal host and the phenotypic effects that the virus-fungus combination has on honey bee hosts.