Chalkbrood is one of the major fungal diseases of honey bee brood. Systemic mycoses caused by the fungus Ascosphaera apis may significantly reduce brood population, and consequently, colony strength and productivity. Developing genetic marker(s) associated with the enhanced brood survival will be useful for breeding bees with resistance to this fungal disease. In this study we tested previously identified genetic markers (AMB-00612262, AMB-00858654) with the highest LOD (logarithm of odds) significance threshold value in a single mapping population of Russian honey bee stock that exhibits a variety of chalkbrood responses. Two additional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (AMB-00858574, AMB-01151447) flanking this region were investigated to strengthen the potential correlation of the genotype to chalkbrood resistance (ChbR) phenotype. The objective of this study was to determine whether these biomarkers correlate with the ChbR phenotype in populations of the honey bee other than the original mapping population of Russian honey bees. Genetic markers showing the strongest association with the ability of honey bee larvae to survive fungal infection can be tested in Marker Assisted Selection (MAS). Our results suggest that there is no statistically significant correlation between the four genetic markers and chalkbrood survival in any of the honey bee stocks (Russian, VSH and Carniolan) tested in this study.
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