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Title: Transcriptomic and functional resources for the Small Hive Beetle Aethina tumida, a worldwide parasite of honey bees

item Tarver, Matthew
item HUANG, QIANG - University Of Halle
item De Guzman, Lilia
item Rinderer, Thomas
item Holloway, Beth
item REESE, JUSTIN - Genformatics, Llc
item WEAVER, DANIEL - Genformatics, Llc
item Evans, Jay

Submitted to: Genomics Data
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/15/2016
Publication Date: 8/24/2016
Citation: Tarver, M.R., Huang, Q., De Guzman, L.I., Rinderer, T.E., Holloway, B.A., Reese, J., Weaver, D., Evans, J.D. 2016. Transcriptomic and functional resources for the Small Hive Beetle Aethina tumida, a worldwide parasite of honey bees. Genomics Data. 9:97-99.

Interpretive Summary: Honey bees face numerous parasites and pathogens. The small hive beetle (SHB) has caused substantial damage to honey bee colonies and has led to significant expenses for bee management since arriving in the US in the 1990's. SHB are especially damaging to smaller colonies, including colonies used for newly mated queens. Genetic information for SHB can lead to novel controls and can help regulate movement of mites across countries and regions of the U.S. Here we describe the first attempt to analyze the protein-coding genes of SHB, describing >10,000 gene components. The results will enable new stategies for researchers and ultimately by beekeepers to control this persistent pest.

Technical Abstract: The small hive beetle (SHB), Aethina tumida, is a major pest of managed honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies in the United States and Australia, and an emergent threat in Europe. While strong honey bee colonies generally keep SHB populations in check, weak or stressed colonies can succumb to infestations. This parasite has spread from a sub-Saharan Africa to three continents, leading to immense management and regulatory costs. Identification of physiological weaknesses in the SHB may elucidate mechanisms that can be targeted by chemical control. Further, critical SHB proteins might be impacted by RNA interference targeting their encoding transcripts. To improve understanding of SHB biology, we performed a transcriptomic analysis involving deep sequencing of multiple life stages and both sexes of this species. The assembled transcriptome appears to be nearly complete, as judged by conserved insect orthologs and the ability to find plausible homologs for 11,952 proteins described from the genome of the red flour beetle. Expressed genes include each of the major metabolic, developmental and sensory groups, along with genes for proteins involved with immune defenses and insecticide resistance. We also present a total of 23,085 high-quality SNP’s for the assembled contigs. We highlight potential differences between this beetle and its honey bee hosts, and suggest mechanisms of future research into the biology and control of this species. SNP resources will allow functional genetic analyses and analyses of dispersal for this invasive pest.