About this item:

611 Views | 457 Downloads

Author Notes:

Corresponding author: Travis Dynes, Emory University, 400 Dowman Dr W505, Atlanta, GA 30322, (404) 487-8302, tdynes@emory.edu.

We thank Nicholas Weaver, Brett Nolan, Ben Rouse, and Cindy Bee for maintaining the colonies and mite collection. We are also grateful to Lucy Anderson, Laila Atalla, Andre Delva, Ashley Ellis, Ian Fried, David Gruenewald, Aaron Hopes, Elsa Lake, Kristen McCrae, Ivan Shoemaker, and Alison Tammany for assistance with DNA extraction and microsatellite scoring. We are grateful to Michel Solignac for providing data needed for rarefaction analyses.


Research Funding:

This research was supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (AFRI grant No. 2011-67013-30131 to BJB, JCdR, and KSD), the National Institutes of Health (R01-109501-01, to JCdR, BJB, and KSD) and the National Science Foundation (DGE-1444932, to TLD).


  • Varroa destructor
  • population genetic structure
  • haplodiploidy
  • sib mating
  • inbred

Fine scale population genetic structure of Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic mite of the honey bee (Apis mellifera)


Journal Title:



Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Varroa destructor is an obligate ectoparasitic mite and the most important biotic threat currently facing honey bees (Apis mellifera). We used neutral microsatellites to analyze previously unreported fine scale population structure of V. destructor, a species characterized by extreme lack of genetic diversity owing to multiple bottleneck events, haplodiploidy, and primarily brother-sister matings. Our results surprisingly indicate that detectable hierarchical genetic variation exists between apiaries, between colonies within an apiary, and even within colonies. This finding of within-colony parasite diversity provides empirical evidence that the spread of V. destructor is not accomplished solely by vertical transmission but that horizontal transmission (natural or human-mediated) must occur regularly.

Copyright information:

© INRA, DIB and Springer-Verlag France 2016.

Export to EndNote