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Cross-Species Infection of Deformed Wing Virus Poses a New Threat to Pollinator Conservation

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The Deformed wing virus (family Iflaviridae, genus Iflavirus, DWV), one of the most prevalent and common viruses in honey bees, Apis mellifera L., is present in both laboratory-reared and wild populations of bumble bees, Bombus huntii Greene. Our studies showed that DWV infection spreads throughout the entire body of B. huntii and that the concentration of DWV is higher in workers than in males both collected in the field and reared in the laboratory, implying a possible association between the virus infection and foraging activities. Further results showed that gut tissue of B. huntii can support the replication of DWV, suggesting that B. huntii is a biological host for DWV, as are honey bees. Bumble bees and honey bees sometimes share nectar and pollen resources in the same field. The geographical proximity of two host species probably plays an important role in host range breadth of the virus.

Keywords: bumble bee; honey bee; host expansion; virus

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EC10355

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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