Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 63, Issue 4, pp 629–633 | Cite as

Molecular detection of the tracheal mite Locustacarus buchneri in native and non-native bumble bees in Chile

  • N. Arismendi
  • A. Bruna
  • N. Zapata
  • M. Vargas
Short Communication


Bumble bees (Bombus spp.) are considered one of the most important pollinators of native, non-native, and domesticated plants. Pathogens and parasites, such as the tracheal mite Locustacarus buchneri (Podapolipidae), are harmful to bumble bees. We developed primers based on the mitochondrial CO1 gene for the specific detection of L. buchneri directly from samples of native Bombus dahlbomii and non-native B. terrestris and B. ruderatus. PCR products amplified and sequenced for these primers shared 100 % identity among themselves and around 99–100 % identity with other sequences of L. buchneri reported in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Japan. Bombus terrestris was the most infected species (41 %), followed by B. ruderatus (31 %) and B. dahlbomii (23 %). This is the first report involving L. buchneri in native and non-native bumble bees in Chile. Our described PCR-based detection offers a feasible, specific, and rapid method for the screening of L. buchneri in any bumble bee species.


Bombus dahlbomii PCR detection Specific primers CO1 gene Pollinators 



This study was supported by Grants FONDECYT No. 1140653 and Postdoctoral FONDECYT No. 3150231 from the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research, CONICYT, Chile.


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Copyright information

© International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratories of Virology and Bee Pathology, Faculty of AgronomyUniversidad de ConcepciónChillánChile
  2. 2.Department of Plant Production, Faculty of AgronomyUniversidad de ConcepciónChillánChile

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