Deformed Wing Virus Of Honeybees

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Jessica Fannon – Week 7 Report PhD Project Title: Deformed Wing Virus of Honeybees Supervisor: Prof. David Evans, School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick. Background. Insect pollinators play a vital role in the majority of terrestrial ecosystems and the survival and productivity of many wild and agricultural plants depends upon successful pollination by insects [1,2]. In a 2005 assessment of the potential impact of pollinator decline, it was estimated that the total economic value of insect pollination worldwide amounted to €153 billion annually, representing 9.5% of the total value of world agricultural production of human food in that year [3]. The European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is the world’s most economically…show more content…
mellifera, when the European honey bee began to be kept in areas where A. cerana is endemic [8]. A. mellifera proved to be a far more susceptible host due to differences between the species in brood development and, with the assistance of modern, globalized beekeeping practices, Varroa has been able to spread across most of the world. There is general consensus among honeybee researchers that the mites’ close association with honey bee viruses plays a significant part in explaining why their introduction to A. mellifera has proved so costly in terms of honey bee health. Varroa mites can transmit multiple viruses to their hosts and these viruses, not the mites themselves, may be responsible for a significant proportion of the harm that bees experience when they are parasitized by Varroa [9-11]. Viruses transmitted by feeding mites are able to pass directly into the developing pupae or adult bee’s hemolymph, thus bypassing the usual routes of transmission and therefore the honey bees’ existing defenses [12] Deformed wing virus (DWV; Iflaviridae) a picorna-like single-stranded, positive-sense, RNA virus, is one of many viruses infecting honeybees and one of the most heavily investigated due to its close association with Varroa mites and honey bee overwintering losses. DWV is extremely widespread, it was found to be present in 95% of British apiaries in a survey conducted by
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