, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 248–256 | Cite as

Four quantitative trait loci associated with low Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia) spore load in the honeybee Apis mellifera

  • Qiang Huang
  • Per Kryger
  • Yves Le Conte
  • H. Michael G. Lattorff
  • F. Bernhard Kraus
  • Robin F. A. Moritz
Original article


Nosema ceranae has been recently introduced into the honeybee Apis mellifera as a novel microsporidian gut parasite. To locate the genetic region involved in N. ceranae infection tolerance, we fed N. ceranae spores to haploid drones of a F1 hybrid queen produced from a cross between a queen of a Nosema-resistant bred strain and drones of susceptible colonies. The spore loads of the infected F1 drones were used as the phenotype to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with N. ceranae spore load. One hundred forty-eight infected drones were individually genotyped with microsatellite markers at an average marker distance of 20 cM along the genome. Four QTLs were significantly associated with low spore load, explaining 20.4 % of total spore load variance. Moreover, a candidate gene Aubergine (Aub) within the major QTL region was significantly overexpressed in drones with low spore loads than in those with high spore loads. Our results confirm the genetic basis of Nosema tolerance in the selected strain and show that both additive effects and epistatic interactions among the QTLs interfere with the tested phenotype.


Apis mellifera drone Nosema QTL 

Supplementary material

13592_2013_243_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (368 kb)
ESM 1(PDF 367 kb)


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Copyright information

© INRA, DIB and Springer-Verlag France 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qiang Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Per Kryger
    • 3
  • Yves Le Conte
    • 4
  • H. Michael G. Lattorff
    • 1
    • 5
  • F. Bernhard Kraus
    • 1
    • 6
  • Robin F. A. Moritz
    • 1
    • 7
    • 8
  1. 1.Institut für Biology/Zoologie, Molekulare ÖkologieMartin-Luther-Universität Halle-WittenbergHalleGermany
  2. 2.Honeybee Research InstituteJiangxi Agricultural UniversityNanchangChina
  3. 3.Department of Agroecology, Section of Entomology and Plant PathologyAarhus UniversitySlagelseDenmark
  4. 4.INRA, UR 406 Abeilles et Environnement, Laboratoire de Biologie et Protection de l’abeilleAvignon Cedex 9France
  5. 5.Institut für Biology/Zoologie, TierphysiologieMartin-Luther-Universität Halle -WittenbergHalleGermany
  6. 6.Department of Laboratory MedicineUniversity Hospital Halle (Saale)Halle (Saale)Germany
  7. 7.RoBeeTechUniversitatea de Stiinte Agricole si Medicina Vetereinaria Cluj-NapocaCluj-NapocaRomania
  8. 8.Department of Zoology and EntomologyUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa

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