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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Bee Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #325823

Research Project: Managing Honey Bees against Disease and Colony Stress

Location: Bee Research Laboratory

Title: A scientific note on detection of honey bee viruses in the darkling beetle (Alphitobius diaperinus), an inhabitant in Apis cerana colonies

Author
item Li, Zhiguo - Fujian Agricultural & Forestry University
item Huang, Shaokang - Fujian Agricultural & Forestry University
item Huang, Weifone - Fujian Agricultural & Forestry University
item Geng, Haiyang - Fujian Agricultural & Forestry University
item Zhao, Yazhou - Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item Li, Meng - Fujian Agricultural & Forestry University
item Chen, Yanping - Judy
item Su, Songkun - Fujian Agricultural & Forestry University

Submitted to: Apidologie
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/12/2016
Publication Date: 3/16/2016
Citation: Li, Z., Huang, S., Huang, W., Geng, H., Zhao, Y., Li, M., Chen, Y., Su, S. 2016. A scientific note on detection of honey bee viruses in the darkling beetle (Alphitobius diaperinus), an inhabitant in Apis cerana colonies. Apidologie. doi: 10.1007/s13592-016-0430-1.

Interpretive Summary: The darkling beetles are omnivorous scavengers that feed on a wide variety of materials. In our study, a species of darkling beetle was found to colonize in Asian honey bee colonies. Of 29 bee colonies investigated, 10 colonies were found to be inhabited by the beetles. Further, two common honey bee viruses, Black queen cell virus (BQCV) and Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) that cause serious infections in honey bees were also found to infect and replicate in the beetles, suggesting that the beetles colonized in bee hives could serve as potential reservoir hosts for bee viruses. This research adds additional importance to the beetle control and will be of interest to the beekeeping community at large.

Technical Abstract: The darkling beetles, Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer), are omnivorous arthropods and pose significant danger to the poultry industry by acting as reservoir and vector of poultry pathogens. Here, the A. diaperinus was first found in the Asian honey bee Apis cerana colonies, and 10 of the 29 hives were found to be inhabited by the beetle. Additionally, Black queen cell virus (BQCV) and Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) that cause infections in honey bee species A. mellifera and A. cerana were found to infect and replicate in A. diaperinus. The phylogenetic analysis of both BQCV and IAPV from A. diaperinus and from honey bees revealed that viral sequences from A. diaperinus formed a distinct branch in comparison to viral sequences from honey bees, suggesting viruses from A. diaperinus have evolved independently during their evolution.