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In-depth proteomic analysis of Varroa destructor: Detection of DWV-complex, ABPV, VdMLV and proteins

We investigated pathogens in the parasitic honeybee mite Varroa destructor using nanoLC-MS/MS (TripleTOF) and 2D-E-MS/MS proteomics approaches supplemented with affinity-chromatography to concentrate trace target proteins. Peptides were detected from the currently uncharacterized Varroa destructor Macula-like virus (VdMLV), the deformed wing virus (DWV)-complex and the acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV). Peptide alignments revealed detection of complete structural DWV-complex block VP2-VP1-VP3, VDV-1 helicase and single-amino-acid substitution A/K/Q in VP1, the ABPV structural block VP1-VP4-VP2-VP3 including uncleaved VP4/VP2, and VdMLV coat protein. Isoforms of viral structural proteins of highest abundance were localized via 2D-E. The presence of all types of capsid/coat proteins of a particular virus suggested the presence of virions in Varroa. Also, matches between the MWs of viral structural proteins on 2D-E and their theoretical MWs indicated that viruses were not digested. The absence/scarce detection of non-structural proteins compared with high-abundance structural proteins suggest that the viruses did not replicate in the mite; hence, virions accumulate in the Varroa gut via hemolymph feeding. Hemolymph feeding also resulted in the detection of a variety of honeybee proteins. The advantages of MS-based proteomics for pathogen detection, false-positive pathogen detection, virus replication, posttranslational modifications, and the presence of honeybee proteins in Varroa are discussed.


Erban, T., Harant, K., Hubalek, M., Vitamvas, P., Kamler, M., Poltronieri, P., Tyl, J., Markovic, M., Titera, D. (2015). In-depth proteomic analysis of Varroa destructor: Detection of DWV-complex, ABPV, VdMLV and honeybee proteins in the mite. Scientific reports, 5.