Vol. 62, 2023
Genetic Profile of the
Parasitic Varroan Mite Varroa
(Arachnida: Mesostigmata: Varroidae) in Taiwan: a New Taiwanese
Haplotype Intermediate Between the Highly Virulent Russian and Less
Virulent Japanese Types Identified in the Honey Bee Host Apis cerana
Hua1,2, Panuwan Chantawannakul3,4,
Cheng-Lung Tsai1,5, and Wen-Bin Yeh1,*
of Entomology, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan.
*Correspondence: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Yeh).
E-mail: email@example.com (Hua); firstname.lastname@example.org
2Department of Plant Medicine, National Pingtung
University of Science and Technology, Pingtung 912, Taiwan
of Biology, Faculty of Science, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai,
Thailand. E-mail: email@example.com (Chantawannakul)
Center of Microbial Diversity and Sustainable Utilization, Faculty of
Science, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
of Entomology and Nematology, Ft. Lauderdale Research & Education
Center, University of Florida, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33314, USA
(Received 30 June 2022 / Accepted 3
January 2023 / Published 31 March 2023)
Communicated by Benny K.K. Chan
The Modern beekeeping industry is
being challenged by the varroan mite and its transmitted pathogens.
Various types of Varroa destructor
exhibit different levels of virulence toward honey bees, but only the
Japanese (J) and Russian (R) types were found to infect Apis mellifera. Type R was more
highly virulent against A. mellifera
in comparison with type J. Examining the genetic profile of Varroa
species is therefore of crucial importance in apiary management. In
this study, maternally inherited mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) and bisexual nuclear internal
transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences of
V. destructor individuals from Taiwan were determined. All 168 COI sequences observed in
populations obtained from A.
mellifera were identical and belonged to type J, with one base
difference to that of populations collected from A. cerana; the new type is named ‘T
type’ (Taiwan type). ITS sequences of V.
destructor and its sister species V. jacobsoni were identical. A
network analysis based on 611 COI
sequences compiled from references indicated the presence of 27
haplotypes in V. destructor.
Epidemic history and relationship analyses of V. destructor showed that the basal
haplotypes were those from A. cerana
and many R-extending haplotypes infesting A. mellifera involving amino acid
substitutions. Calibration dating based on COI analysis revealed that V. destructor differentiated
from its sibling lineage (occurring in Sri Lanka) prior to 1.3 million
years ago (Mya). The ancestral haplotype retention and drift in V. destructor that occurred
locally during 0.10–0.64 Mya might be relevant to its host A. cerana,
which had been isolated geologically. The highly virulent type R was
spreading quickly and could gradually outcompete the common and less
virulent type J. Type T, being intermediate between types R and J,
ought to be studied to better understand the pathogenic mechanism of V. destructor in A. mellifera. Moreover, for areas
where type R does not occur, such as Taiwan,
quarantine requirements are crucial for reducing invasion risks.
Key words: Mite, Varroa destructor, Bee, COI, ITS.
Citation: Hua T, Chantawannakul P, Tsai
CL, Yeh WB. 2023. Genetic profile of the parasitic varroan mite Varroa destructor
(Arachnida: Mesostigmata: Varroidae) in Taiwan: a new Taiwanese
haplotype intermediate between the highly virulent Russian and less
virulent Japanese types identified in the honey bee host Apis cerana. Zool Stud 62:11. doi:10.6620/ZS.2023.62-11.
materials: Fig. S1丨
Fig. S2丨Fig. S3丨Table. S1丨Table S2