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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Bee Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #367243

Research Project: Managing Honey Bees against Disease and Colony Stress

Location: Bee Research Laboratory

Title: Effects of a resident yeast from the honey bee gut on immunity, microbiota and Nosema disease

item TAUBER, JAMES - Non ARS Employee
item Nguyen, Phuong Vy
item Lopez, Dawn
item Evans, Jay

Submitted to: Insects
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/6/2019
Publication Date: 9/13/2019
Citation: Tauber, J., Nguyen, P.T., Lopez, D.L., Evans, J.D. 2019. Effects of a resident yeast from the honey bee gut on immunity, microbiota and Nosema disease. Insects. 10(9):296.

Interpretive Summary: Along with a challenging set of parasites and pathogens, honey bees contain numerous microbes in their guts that can impact bee health. Bacteria from the honey bee gut have received much attention but little is known about the fungi, and especially yeast, found in the bee gut. Here we have isolated one common fungus and have then shown how it interacts with an important bee parasite, Nosema. Understanding how microbes interact in the bee gut can lead to new cures and healthier pollinators.

Technical Abstract: The western honey bee (Apis mellifera) has a core bacterial microbiota that is well described and important for health. Honey bees also host a yeast community that is poorly understood with respect to dynamics and impacts on bee health. In this work we present two studies focusing on the consequences of dysbiosis when honey bees were control-fed a yeast previously isolated from the honey bee gut, Wickerhamomyces anomalus, both in the presence and absence of the pathogenic microsporidian fungus Nosema ceranae. Yeast augmentation for bees with developed microbiota appeared immunomodulatory (lowered immunity and hormone-related gene expression) and impacted the microbial community while yeast augmentation for newly emerged bees without an established bacterial background did not show the same effect. In newly emerged bees that had ahadhaving a baseline level of W. anomalus, we observed that the addition of N. ceranae led to a decrease in yeast levels. Overall, we show that yeasts can impact the microbiome and honey bee immunity and physiology.