Environmental DNA (eDNA) contained in honey derives from the organisms that directly and indirectly have been involved in the production process of this matrix and that have played a role in the hive ecosystems where the honey has been produced. In this study we set up PCR-based assays to detect the presence of DNA traces left in the honey by two damaging honey bee pests: the small hive beetle (Aethina tumida) and the greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella). DNA was extracted from 82 honey samples produced in Italy and amplified using two specific primer pairs that target the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase I (COI) of A. tumida and two specific primer pairs that target the same gene in G. mellonella. The limit of detection was tested using sequential dilutions of the pest DNA. Only one honey sample produced in Calabria was positive for A. tumida whereas about 66% of all samples were positively amplified for G. mellonella. The use of honey eDNA could be important to establish early and effective measures to contain at the local (e.g., apiary) or regional scales these two damaging pests and, particularly for the small hive beetle, to prevent its widespread diffusion.

Honey Environmental DNA Can Be Used to Detect and Monitor Honey Bee Pests: Development of Methods Useful to Identify Aethina tumida and Galleria mellonella Infestations

Ribani, Anisa;Taurisano, Valeria;Utzeri, Valerio Joe;Fontanesi, Luca
2022

Abstract

Environmental DNA (eDNA) contained in honey derives from the organisms that directly and indirectly have been involved in the production process of this matrix and that have played a role in the hive ecosystems where the honey has been produced. In this study we set up PCR-based assays to detect the presence of DNA traces left in the honey by two damaging honey bee pests: the small hive beetle (Aethina tumida) and the greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella). DNA was extracted from 82 honey samples produced in Italy and amplified using two specific primer pairs that target the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase I (COI) of A. tumida and two specific primer pairs that target the same gene in G. mellonella. The limit of detection was tested using sequential dilutions of the pest DNA. Only one honey sample produced in Calabria was positive for A. tumida whereas about 66% of all samples were positively amplified for G. mellonella. The use of honey eDNA could be important to establish early and effective measures to contain at the local (e.g., apiary) or regional scales these two damaging pests and, particularly for the small hive beetle, to prevent its widespread diffusion.
Ribani, Anisa; Taurisano, Valeria; Utzeri, Valerio Joe; Fontanesi, Luca
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/900048
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