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Title: Genomic mapping and candidate genes as approaches to MAS of VSH

item Bilodeau, Lanie

Submitted to: International Congress of Entomology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/20/2016
Publication Date: 9/25/2016
Citation: Bourgeois, A.L. 2016. Genomic mapping and candidate genes as approaches to MAS of VSH. International Congress of Entomology.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Introduction: Identification of genes and proteins associated with traits of interest allows for identification of molecular or biochemical markers which can be used to screen parents for desirable alleles and used in marker-assisted selection (MAS). Employing MAS for improvement or maintenance of resistance to the mite Varroa destructor in honey bees (Apis mellifera) would prevent the need for exposure or challenge tests that can be costly, time consuming and imprecise. Bees selected to exhibit the Varroa-Sensitive Hygiene (VSH) trait are good candidates for the application of the MAS breeding tool because the trait is technically challenging to measure and individual bees exhibiting the various behavioral components of the trait can be used for marker identification. Methods: Both high resolution quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping and expression analysis of candidate genes were used for identification of potential markers using VSH honey bees individually phenotyped for uncapping and removal behaviors. Results/Conclusions: Four of the 59 putative genes in the QTL were highly relevant to the VSH-specific activities measured and are likely involved in sensory function. Expression analysis of these candidates and a suite of odorant binding proteins identified three genes that varied among bees that did and did not remove infested pupae. In all cases, expression was elevated in bees that exhibited the removal behavior. Annotated functions of each of these genes have relevance to sensory perception and associated behavior, indicating good potential for further characterization and development of each for MAS for improved Varroa resistance.