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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Bee Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #354598

Research Project: Managing Honey Bees against Disease and Colony Stress

Location: Bee Research Laboratory

Title: Environmental factors have a strong impact on the composition and diversity of the gut bacterial community of Chinese Black Honeybees

Author
item Zhao, Yazhou - Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item Chen, Yanping - Judy

Submitted to: Bee World
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/3/2018
Publication Date: 4/17/2018
Citation: Zhao, Y., Chen, Y. 2018. Environmental factors have a strong impact on the composition and diversity of the gut bacterial community of Chinese Black Honeybees. Bee World. 93:113. https://doi.org/10.1080/0005772X.2018.1450208.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0005772X.2018.1450208

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The Chinese black honeybees, a distinct subspecies of Apis mellifera which is distributed in North China, has been an important breeding resource. In the previous studies on Chinese black honeybees, little attention has been paid to the diverse population of microbes in the gut that play a vital role in host health. In the present study, we analyzed the gut bacterial communities of Chinese black honeybees using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP). The results showed that the samples from the national nature reserves that are protected and managed so as to preserve and enrich their natural condition and resources for Chinese black honeybees had higher variety and richness of gut bacteria than that collected from unreserved regions that also harbor populations of Chinese black honeybees. The four terminal restriction fragments (T-RFs), 201, 223, 247 and 320 bp, were identified to be the dominant bacteria of Chinese black honeybees. Of which 247 and 320 bp had greater differences between bee groups sampled in different regions and therefore could be used as genetic markers to separate samples collected from the national nature reserves to samples collected from unreserved regions. The results clearly indicate that national nature reserve protects biological diversity and ecological and evolutionary processes which have had a significant influence on the diversity of gut bacteria of Chinese black honeybees. The ubiquity of gut symbiotic bacteria identified in Chinese black honeybee suggests that environmental factors could play an important role in diversity and composition of gut bacteria and warrant further investigation into the functional significance of these gut bacteria for the honeybee health.