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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Bee Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #317951

Research Project: Managing Honey Bees against Disease and Colony Stress

Location: Bee Research Laboratory

Title: Characterization of gut bacteria at different developmental stages of Asian honey bees, Apis cerana

Author
item Guo, Jun - Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item Wu, Jie - Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item Chen, Yanping - Judy
item Evans, Jay
item Dai, Rongguo - Chongqing Academy Of Animal Sciences
item Luo, Wenhua - Chongqing Academy Of Animal Sciences
item Li, Jilian - Chongqing Academy Of Animal Sciences

Submitted to: Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2015
Publication Date: 3/17/2015
Citation: Guo, J., Wu, J., Chen, Y., Evans, J.D., Dai, R., Luo, W., Li, J. 2015. Characterization of gut bacteria at different developmental stages of Asian honey bees, Apis cerana. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. 127: 110-114.

Interpretive Summary: The beneficial bacteria in the gut are essential modulators that regulate digestion, influence immunity and promote health of animal hosts. We conducted a study to characterize the gut bacterial communities across different developmental stages of Asian honey bees and the relationship between the gut bacteria and pathogen infections in honey bees. Our results showed that the infections of honey bee pathogens had significant effects on the presence and quantity of four major bacteria in gut, suggesting that pathogens not only cause diseases in hosts with depressed immunity but also negatively affect the growth of host-associated bacterial gut symbiont communities. The information obtained from this study will be of interest to scientists in bee research societies, as well as the beekeeping community at large.

Technical Abstract: Previous surveys have shown that adult workers of the Asian honey bee Apis cerana harbor four major gut microbes (Bifidobacterium, Snodgrassella alvi, Gilliamella apicola, and Lactobacillus). Using quantitative PCR we characterized gut bacterial communities across the life cycle of A. cerana from larvae to workers. Our results indicate that the presence and quantity of these four bacteria were low on day 1, increased rapidly after day 5, and then peaked during days 10-20. They stabilized from days 20-25 or days 25-30, then dropped to a low level at day 30. In addition, the larvae infected by Sacbrood virus or European foulbrood had significantly lower copies of 16SrRNA genes than healthy individuals.