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Data from: Museum samples reveal rapid evolution by wild honey bees exposed to a novel parasite

Citation

Mikheyev, Alexander S.; Tin, Mandy M. Y.; Arora, Jatin; Seeley, Thomas D. (2016), Data from: Museum samples reveal rapid evolution by wild honey bees exposed to a novel parasite, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.vn607

Abstract

Understanding genetic changes caused by novel pathogens and parasites can reveal mechanisms of adaptation and genetic robustness. Using whole-genome sequencing of museum and modern specimens, we describe the genomic changes in a wild population of honey bees in North America following the introduction of the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor. Even though colony density in the study population is the same today as in the past, a major loss of haplotypic diversity occurred, indicative of a drastic mitochondrial bottleneck, caused by massive colony mortality. In contrast, nuclear genetic diversity did not change, though hundreds of genes show signs of selection. The genetic diversity within each bee colony, particularly as a consequence of polyandry by queens, may enable preservation of genetic diversity even during population bottlenecks. These findings suggest that genetically diverse honey bee populations can recover from introduced diseases by evolving rapid tolerance, while maintaining much of the standing genetic variation.

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