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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Baton Rouge, Louisiana » Honey Bee Lab » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #368922

Research Project: Genetics and Breeding in Support of Honey Bee Health

Location: Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Research

Title: Identification and assessment of insecticide target sites in the genome of the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida

item Rinkevich, Frank
item Bilodeau, Lanie

Submitted to: BMC Genomics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/6/2020
Publication Date: 2/12/2020
Citation: Rinkevich Jr, F.D., Bourgeois, A.L. 2020. Identification and assessment of insecticide target sites in the genome of the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida. BMC Genomics. 1-12.

Interpretive Summary: Small hive beetle, Aethina tumida, is a pest of honey bee colonies due to destructive feeding on nearly all materials within a colony. As the range and impacts of small hive beetle expand, beekeepers have become accustomed to control of small hive beetle with a number of synthetic insecticides. This manuscript identifies and evaluates the major insecticide target sites in the nervous system of the small hive beetle. This analysis indicates that small hive beetle has the full compliment of insecticide target sites seen in other insects and the sequences largely indicate that these insecticide target sites are susceptible to insecticides. This information provides background information on the potential insecticide sensitivity in small hive beetle as a basis for selective insecticide control and resistance monitoring.

Technical Abstract: The small hive beetle, Aethina tumida, is a rapidly emerging global pest of honey bee colonies. Infestation by small hive beetles may be extremely destructive as the larvae feed on honey, pollen, and honey bee larvae which may cause honey bees to abscond and render colony infrastructure unusable. Due to the impacts small hive beetles have on honey bees, a wide variety of physical, cultural, and chemical control measures have been implemented to manage small hive beetle infestations. The use of insecticides to control small hive beetle populations is a developing management tactic. This manuscript reports on the identification and comparison of major insecticide target sites in the small hive beetle genome. Genes for insecticide target sites are highly conserved with other insects. In silico transcript diversity of these genes from the annotated genome is lower than the typically higher transcriptional repertoire reported in other species. No mutations that result in target-site insecticide insensitivity were observed. This recently published small hive beetle genome likely serves as reference for insecticide-susceptible versions of insecticide target sites.