Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » Vegetable Crops Research » Research » Research Project #441304

Research Project: The Brood Cell Microbiome of Solitary Bees: Origin, Diversity, Function, and Vulnerability

Location: Vegetable Crops Research

Project Number: 5090-21220-004-023-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2019
End Date: Aug 31, 2022

Objective:
Investigate the sources of microbes in bee pollen-provisions, while characterizing the microbial diversity and function in aged pollen-provisions.

Approach:
Thoroughly investigate the bee-microbe symbioses that native pollinators rely upon during larval development, we will 1) investigate the floral and pollen-borne microbes across six of the seven major bee families on Earth; 2) measure the magnitude and breadth of larval reliance on microbial proteins and lipids; 3) set up experiments to separate the effect of pollen type from microbial community composition; and 4) measure the impacts of fungicides on larval bee survival, as mediated by pollen-borne symbionts. To characterize the pollen microbiome, new metagenomics and bio-informatics approaches will quantify microbial identity and diversity in bee-collected pollen. The contributions of these microbial communities to bee nutrition will be quantified, as will the impacts of fungicide doses within the larval pollen provisions.