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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Bee Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #321492

Title: MicroRNAs of host honey bees, Apis mellifera respond to the infection of Microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae

item HUANG, QIANG - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)
item Chen, Yanping - Judy
item WANG, RUI WU - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item SCHWARZ, RYAN - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)
item Evans, Jay

Submitted to: Scientific Reports
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/30/2015
Publication Date: 12/1/2015
Citation: Huang, Q., Chen, Y., Wang, R., Schwarz, R., Evans, J.D. 2015. MicroRNAs of host honey bees, Apis mellifera respond to the infection of Microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae. Scientific Reports. doi: 10.1038/srep 17494 2.

Interpretive Summary: Nosema disease is one of the most important factors in honey bee health, yet the abilities of bees to fight off this disease are still unclear. Here we examine RNA used to regulate honey bee genes to determine how bees respond to infection by this parasite, and how the parasite itself changes bee physiology in ways that hurts bee health. The results are relevant for the breeding of resistant bees by beekeepers and the current debate over the impacts of the Nosema parasite on bee health.

Technical Abstract: In order to clarify the impacts of Nosema ceranae infection on the expression levels of honey bees’ MicroRNAs (miRNAs), we deep-sequenced honey bee miRNAs daily across a full 6-day parasite reproduction cycle. 18 miRNAs were significantly differentially expressed in honey bees infected by N. ceranae, potentially targeting over 400 genes. Target genes were enriched in functions of ion binding, signaling, nucleus, transmembrane transporters and DNA binding. Based on Enzyme Code analysis, nine biological pathways were identified by screening target genes against Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) database. Out of nine pathways, seven were involved in metabolism. Our results suggest that miRNAs of host honey bees are altered to regulate metabolism to respond N. ceranae infection.