Development of molecular markers for strain identification in the fungal pathogen of honey bee

Brar K, Waters M, Grassl J and Baer B

University of Western Australia.

Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are of central importance to agriculture as they provide pollination services for many food crops. Dramatic declines have occurred worldwide due to several biotic and abiotic factors but parasites and pathogens have been identified as key contributors. Nosema apis is a globally widespread fungal pathogen that can negatively impact honey bee health. More recent studies have investigated the complex relationship between N. apis and its honey bee host and have provided evidence that there is genetically based variation in the host susceptibility. We quantified the genetic variation with the two marker genes (RPBI and EF1α) in different bee populations throughout Western Australia. The findings we got will help in better understanding of honey bee immune responses to N. apis and in breeding more Nosema tolerant bees.