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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Bee Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #383335

Research Project: Managing Honey Bees Against Disease and Colony Stress

Location: Bee Research Laboratory

Title: Genome and evolutionary analysis of Nosema ceranae: a microsporidian parasite of honey bees

item HUANG, QIANG - Jiangxi Agricultural University
item WU, HAO WU - Jiangxi Agricultural University
item LI, WEN FENG - Guangdong Institute Of Applied Biological Resources
item GUO, RUI - Fujian Agricultural & Forestry University
item XU, JIN SHAN - Chongqing University
item DANG, XIAO QUN - Chongqing University
item MA, ZHENG GANG - Chongqing University
item Chen, Yanping - Judy
item Evans, Jay

Submitted to: Frontiers in Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/29/2021
Publication Date: 5/14/2021
Citation: Huang, Q., Wu, H., Li, W., Guo, R., Xu, J., Dang, X., Ma, Z., Chen, Y., Evans, J.D. 2021. Genome and evolutionary analysis of Nosema ceranae: a microsporidian parasite of honey bees. Frontiers in Microbiology.

Interpretive Summary: Nosema disease is persistent in honey bee colonies and has been linked with colony declines. Here we present a complete genome sequence for Nosema ceranae, the most common nosema parasite in the United States. The genome provides insights into Nosema biology and possible control strategies for this parasite, improving the management tools for honey bee health.

Technical Abstract: Microsporidia comprise a phylum of single cell, intracellular parasites and represent the earliest diverging branch in the fungal kingdom. The microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae primarily infects honey bee gut epithelial cells, leading to impaired memory and suppressed immune responses. We here sequenced and annotated the N. ceranae genome to obtain insight into the pathogenesis and evolution of this microsporidian species. We present a robust 8.8Mbp genome assembly of 2280 protein coding genes, which were 100% expressed during a parasite life cycle. N. ceranae encodes a high number of genes involved in transporting nutrients and energy, as well as drug resistance, when compared with sister species Nosema apis. Our results provide new insights into the pathogenesis of N. ceranae and a blueprint for treatment strategies which target this parasite without harming honey bees. The unique infectious apparatus and transportation pathway members can help to identify treatments to control this parasite.