Bidirectional Transfer of RNAi between Honey Bee and Varroa destructor: Varroa Gene Silencing Reduces Varroa Population
We previously reported that honey bees fed on double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) with a sequence homologous to that of the Israeli acute paralysis virus are protected from the viral disease. Here we show that dsRNA ingested by bees is transferred to the Varroa mite and from mite on to a parasitized bee. This cross-species, reciprocal exchange of dsRNA between bee and Varroa engendered targeted gene silencing in the latter, and resulted in an over 60% decrease in the mite population.