Document Detail

Activation and interruption of the reproduction of Varroa destructor is triggered by host signals (Apis mellifera).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23376006     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
The reproductive cycle of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor is closely linked to the development of the honey bee host larvae. Using a within colony approach we introduced phoretic Varroa females into brood cells of different age in order to analyze the capacity of certain stages of the honey bee larva to either activate or interrupt the reproduction of Varroa females. Only larvae within 18 hours (worker) and 36 hours (drones), respectively, after cell capping were able to stimulate the mite´s oogenesis. Therewith we could specify for the first time the short time window where honey bee larvae provide the signals for the activation of the Varroa reproduction. Stage specific volatiles of the larval cuticle are at least part of these activation signals. This is confirmed by the successful stimulation of presumably non-reproducing mites to oviposition by the application of a larval extract into the sealed brood cells. According to preliminary quantitative GC-MS analysis we suggest certain fatty acid ethyl esters as candidate compounds. If Varroa females that have just started with egg formation are transferred to brood cells containing host larvae of an elder stage two-thirds of these mites stopped their oogenesis. This confirms the presence of an additional signal in the host larvae allowing the reproducing mites to adjust their own reproductive cycle to the ontogenetic development of the host. From an adaptive point of view that sort of a stop signal enables the female mite to save resources for a next reproductive cycle if the own egg development is not sufficiently synchronized with the development of the host. The results presented here offer the opportunity to analyze exactly those host stages that have the capacity to activate or interrupt the Varroa reproduction in order to identify the crucial host signals.
Eva Frey; Richard Odemer; Thomas Blum; Peter Rosenkranz
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2013-1-30
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of invertebrate pathology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1096-0805     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Invertebr. Pathol.     Publication Date:  2013 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-2-4     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0014067     Medline TA:  J Invertebr Pathol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc.
University of Hohenheim, Apicultural State Institute, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany. Electronic address:
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