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Modifications of the cuticular hydrocarbon profile of Apis mellifera worker bees in the presence of the ectoparasitic mite Varroa jacobsoni in brood cells

  • M. SALVY (a1) (a2), C. MARTIN (a1), A.G. BAGNÈRES (a3), É. PROVOST (a3), M. ROUX (a4), Y. LE CONTE (a1) and J.L. CLÉMENT (a3)...

Abstract

Varroa jacobsoni is an ectoparasite of Apis mellifera which invades brood cells, on 8-day-old larvae several hours before cell capping. Reproduction of the parasite takes place in the capped brood cells during the nymphose of the bee. Cuticular hydrocarbons of unparasitized bees and of bees parasitized by Varroa jacobsoni were extracted and analysed by gas chromatography (GC) coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Three developmental stages of worker honey bees were studied: larvae, pupae and emergent adults. The comparison between unparasitized and parasitized hosts was performed with Principal Components Analysis coupled with a multivariate variance analysis. The cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of honey bees were qualitatively similar, for the 3 developmental stages and regardless of the presence of Varroa in the cells. Nevertheless, comparison of the relative proportions of hydrocarbons showed that the cuticular profiles of pupae and emergent adults parasitized by 1 mite and of larvae parasitized by 2 mites were significantly different from the corresponding unparasitized individuals. Such modifications could be regarded (i) as a cause of the multi-infestation in larvae during invasion of brood and (ii) as a consequence of stress and/or removal of proteins contained in the haemolymph of the host during its development.

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Corresponding author

Corresponding author: INRA, Unité de Zoologie et d'Apidologie, Domaine St-Paul, Site Agroparc, 84914 Avignon Cedex 9, France. Tel: +33 491 16 45 89. Fax: +33 491 16 58 50. E-mail: salvy@avignon.inra.fr

Keywords

Modifications of the cuticular hydrocarbon profile of Apis mellifera worker bees in the presence of the ectoparasitic mite Varroa jacobsoni in brood cells

  • M. SALVY (a1) (a2), C. MARTIN (a1), A.G. BAGNÈRES (a3), É. PROVOST (a3), M. ROUX (a4), Y. LE CONTE (a1) and J.L. CLÉMENT (a3)...

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