Expression and Activity of Lysozyme in Apis Mellifera Carnica Brood Infested with Varroa Destructor

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Varroa destructor is a parasitic mite that attacks the honey bee, and previous studies have suggested that parasitosis caused by this mite is accompanied by immunosuppresion in the host. In this study, the effect of mite infestation on the expression of the lysozyme-1 (lys-1) gene and lysozyme activity in Apis mellifera carnica was determined. The experiment was carried out on the five developmental stages of honey bee workers and drones. Developmental and gender-related differences in gene expression and lysozyme activity were observed in a Varroa destructor-infested brood. The relative expression of the lys-1 gene increased in a infested worker brood and decreased in a drone brood except for P3 pupae. In the final stage of development, the lys-1 gene expression was significantly lower in infested newly emerged workers and drones. Changes in the relative expression of the lys-1 gene in infested individuals was poorly manifested at the level of enzyme activity, whereas at the two final stages of development (P5 and I) there was a positive correlation between relative lys-1 expression and lysozyme activity in infested bees of both genders (r=0.988, r=0.999, respectively). The results of this study indicate that V. destructor influences the lysozyme-linked immune response in bees.

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Journal of Apicultural Science

The Journal of Research Institute of Horticulture and Apicultural Research Association

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