Research Article

Rapid method for DNA extraction from the honey bee Apis mellifera and the parasitic bee mite Varroa destructor using lysis buffer and proteinase K

Published: October 22, 2013
Genet. Mol. Res. 12 (4) : 4846-4854 DOI: 10.4238/2013.October.22.4

Abstract

We developed a rapid method for extraction of DNA from honey bees, Apis mellifera, and from the parasitic bee mite, Varroa destructor. The advantages include fast processing and low toxicity of the substances that are utilized. We used lysis buffer with nonionic detergents to lyse cell walls and proteinase K to digest proteins. We tested whole thorax, thoracic muscle mass, legs, and antennae from individual bees; the mites were processed whole (1 mite/sample). Each thorax was incubated whole, without cutting, because exocuticle color pigment darkened the extraction solution, interfering with PCR results. The procedure was performed with autoclaved equipment and laboratory gloves. For each sample, we used 100 μL lysis buffer (2 mL stock solution of 0.5 M Tris/HCl, pH 8.5, 10 mL stock solution of 2 M KCl, 500 μL solution of 1 M MgCl2, 2 mL NP40, and 27.6 g sucrose, completed to 200 mL with bidistilled water and autoclaved) and 2 μL proteinase K (10 mg/mL in bidistilled water previously autoclaved, as proteinase K cannot be autoclaved). Tissues were incubated in the solutions for 1-2 h in a water bath (62°-68°C) or overnight at 37°C. After incubation, the tissues were removed from the extraction solution (lysis buffer + proteinase K) and the solution heated to 92°C for 10 min, for proteinase K inactivation. Then, the solution with the extracted DNA was stored in a refrigerator (4°-8°C) or a freezer (-20°C). This method does not require centrifugation or phenol/chloroform extraction. The reduced number of steps allowed us to sample many individuals/day. Whole mites and bee antennae were the most rapidly processed. All bee tissues gave the same quality DNA. This method, even using a single bee antenna or a single mite, was adequate for extraction and analysis of bee genomic and mitochondrial DNA and mite genomic DNA.

We developed a rapid method for extraction of DNA from honey bees, Apis mellifera, and from the parasitic bee mite, Varroa destructor. The advantages include fast processing and low toxicity of the substances that are utilized. We used lysis buffer with nonionic detergents to lyse cell walls and proteinase K to digest proteins. We tested whole thorax, thoracic muscle mass, legs, and antennae from individual bees; the mites were processed whole (1 mite/sample). Each thorax was incubated whole, without cutting, because exocuticle color pigment darkened the extraction solution, interfering with PCR results. The procedure was performed with autoclaved equipment and laboratory gloves. For each sample, we used 100 μL lysis buffer (2 mL stock solution of 0.5 M Tris/HCl, pH 8.5, 10 mL stock solution of 2 M KCl, 500 μL solution of 1 M MgCl2, 2 mL NP40, and 27.6 g sucrose, completed to 200 mL with bidistilled water and autoclaved) and 2 μL proteinase K (10 mg/mL in bidistilled water previously autoclaved, as proteinase K cannot be autoclaved). Tissues were incubated in the solutions for 1-2 h in a water bath (62°-68°C) or overnight at 37°C. After incubation, the tissues were removed from the extraction solution (lysis buffer + proteinase K) and the solution heated to 92°C for 10 min, for proteinase K inactivation. Then, the solution with the extracted DNA was stored in a refrigerator (4°-8°C) or a freezer (-20°C). This method does not require centrifugation or phenol/chloroform extraction. The reduced number of steps allowed us to sample many individuals/day. Whole mites and bee antennae were the most rapidly processed. All bee tissues gave the same quality DNA. This method, even using a single bee antenna or a single mite, was adequate for extraction and analysis of bee genomic and mitochondrial DNA and mite genomic DNA.