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Chemical detection triggers honey bee defense against a destructive parasitic threat

Abstract : Invasive species events related to globalization are increasing, resulting in parasitic outbreaks. Understanding of host defense mechanisms is needed to predict and mitigate against the consequences of parasite invasion. Using the honey bee Apis mellifera and the mite Varroa destructor, as a host–parasite model, we provide a comprehensive study of a mechanism of parasite detection that triggers a behavioral defense associated with social immunity. Six Varroa-parasitization-specific (VPS) compounds are identified that trigger Varroa-sensitive hygiene (VSH, bees’ key defense against Varroa sp.), enable the selective recognition of a parasitized brood and induce responses that mimic intrinsic VSH activity in bee colonies. We also show that individuals engaged in VSH exhibit a unique ability to discriminate VPS compounds from healthy brood signals. These findings enhance our understanding of a critical mechanism of host defense against parasites, and have the potential to apply the integration of pest management in the beekeeping sector.
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https://hal-univ-rennes1.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03121517
Contributor : Laurent Jonchère Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 26, 2021 - 2:23:07 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, January 26, 2022 - 3:02:55 AM

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Fanny Mondet, Solene Blanchard, Nicolas Barthes, Dominique Beslay, Celia Bordier, et al.. Chemical detection triggers honey bee defense against a destructive parasitic threat. Nature Chemical Biology, Nature Publishing Group, 2021, 17 (5+), pp.524+. ⟨10.1038/s41589-020-00720-3⟩. ⟨hal-03121517⟩

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