Association of single nucleotide polymorphisms to resistance to chalkbrood in Apis mellifera
Beth Holloway, H Allen Sylvester, Lelania Bourgeois and Thomas E Rinderer
Chalkbrood is a honey bee brood disease that often affects colonies that are already under stress. Control of the disease can be as simple as ensuring adequate ventilation and food sources or using clean beekeeping equipment. When the infection goes unchecked, however, the overall health and productivity of the colony is greatly decreased. Some strains of honey bees seem to be more troubled by the disease than others. Efforts to control rampant infections have not been widely accepted or successful. Identifying a genetic basis for resistance in the affected larvae would be useful for breeding for improved resistance in bee populations. We here show a statistically significant association between larval chalkbrood resistance and a genomic locus. Selective breeding for larval resistance can probably work in concert with breeding for desirable characteristics such that chalkbrood can become a negligible disease among managed colonies.