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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Breeding, Genetics, Stock Improvement and Management of Russian Honey Bees for Mite and Small Hive Beetle Control and Pollination

Location: Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Research

Title: External and internal detection of Nosema ceranae on honey bees using real-time PCR

Authors
item Bourgeois, Lanie
item Beaman, Glenda
item Holloway, Beth
item Rinderer, Thomas

Submitted to: Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 4, 2012
Publication Date: January 30, 2012
Citation: Bourgeois, A.L., Beaman, G.D., Holloway, B.A., Rinderer, T.E. 2012. External and internal detection of Nosema ceranae on honey bees using real-time PCR. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 109:323-325

Interpretive Summary: There are numerous methods for molecular-based detection of the microsporidian parasite of honey bees, Nosema ceranae. Here we test for both external and internal parasite loads using a real-time PCR assay to determine the optimum tissue for pathogen detection and the likely sources of variability among assays. External bee washes revealed substantial levels of N. ceranae (2.67 x 104 ± 1.12 x 104), as did head/thorax combined samples (1.83 x 104 ± 4.14 x 103). Mesenteron samples carried the highest parasite loads (3.42 x 106 ± 1.84 x 106), as expected, followed by the proctodaeum (5.50 x 105 ± 3.24 x 105). Mesenteron samples were the most reliable (i.e., had the lowest variance among groupings) and hence are the tissue recommended for molecular-based detection and quantification of N. ceranae.

Technical Abstract: There are numerous methods for molecular-based detection of the microsporidian parasite of honey bees, Nosema ceranae. Here we test for both external and internal parasite loads using a quantitative assay to determine the optimum tissue for pathogen detection and the likely sources of variability among assays. External bee washes revealed substantial levels of N. ceranae, as did head/thorax combined samples. Mesenteron (midgut) samples carried the highest parasite loads, as expected, followed by the proctodaeum (hindgut). Mesenteron samples were the most reliable (i.e., had the lowest variance among groupings) and hence are the tissue recommended for molecular-based detection and quantification of N. ceranae.

Last Modified: 11/22/2014