Project description:Ascosphaera apis is an obligate fungal pathogen of honeybee larvae that leads to chalkbrood, which causes heavy losses for the apiculture in China and many other countries. In this article, guts of 4-, 5-, 6-day-old Apis mellifera ligustica larvae challenged by A. apis (AmT1, AmT2, AmT3) and normal 4-day-old larval guts (AmCK) were sequenced using next-generation sequencing technology. On average, 29,196,197, 28,690,943, 29,779,715 and 30,496,725 raw reads were yielded from these four groups; an average of 29,540,895 clean reads were obtained after quality control. In addition, the mapping ratio of clean reads in treatment and control groups to the Apis mellifera genome were over 97.16%. For more insight please see "Uncovering the immune responses of Apis mellifera ligustica larval gut to Ascosphaera apis infection utilizing transcriptome sequencing" . The raw data were submitted to the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Sequence Read Archive (SRA) database under accession numbers: SRR4084091, SRR4084092, SRR4084095, SRR4084096, SRR4084097, SRR4084098, SRR4084099, SRR4084100, SRR4084101, SRR4084102, SRR4084093, SRR4084094.
Project description:In this study, we examined the impact of Sacbrood virus (SBV), the cause of larval honeybee (Apis mellifera) death, producing a liquefied a larva sac, on the gut bacterial communities on two larval honeybee species, Apis mellifera and Apis cerana. SBV was added into a worker jelly food mixture and bee larvae were grafted into each of the treatment groups for 24 h before DNA/RNA extraction. Confirmation of SBV infection was achieved using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and visual symptomology. The 16S rDNA was sequenced by Illumina sequencing. The results showed the larvae were infected with SBV. The gut communities of infected A. cerana larvae exhibited a dramatic change compared with A. mellifera. In A. mellifera larvae, the Illumina sequencing revealed the proportion of Gilliamella, Snodgrassella and Fructobacillus was not significantly different, whereas in A. cerana, Gilliamella was significantly decreased (from 35.54% to 2.96%), however, with significant increase in Snodgrassella and Fructobacillus. The possibility of cross-infection should be further investigated.
Project description:The native range of the honeybee Apis mellifera encompasses Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, whereas the nine other species of Apis are found exclusively in Asia. It is therefore commonly assumed that A. mellifera arose in Asia and expanded into Europe and Africa. However, other hypotheses for the origin of A. mellifera have also been proposed based on phylogenetic trees constructed from genetic markers. In particular, an analysis based on >1000 single-nucleotide polymorphism markers placed the root of the tree of A. mellifera subspecies among samples from Africa, suggestive of an out-of-Africa expansion. Here, we re-evaluate the evidence for this and other hypotheses by testing the robustness of the tree topology to different tree-building methods and by removing specimens with a potentially hybrid background. These analyses do not unequivocally place the root of the tree of A. mellifera subspecies within Africa, and are potentially consistent with a variety of hypotheses for honeybee evolution, including an expansion out of Asia. Our analyses also support high divergence between western and eastern European populations of A. mellifera, suggesting they are likely derived from two distinct colonization routes, although the sources of these expansions are still unclear.
Project description:Instrumental insemination of Apis mellifera L. queens is a widely employed technique used in honeybee breeding that enables the effective control of mating. However, drone semen represents a potential source of honeybee viruses. In this study, 43 semen doses collected from apparently healthy drones, and consequently used in instrumental insemination, were analysed using PCR or RT-PCR to detect the presence of viral genome of 11 honeybee viruses. In 91% of samples, viral infection was detected. The survey revealed genomes of five viruses, namely Deformed wing virus (DWV), Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV), Black queen cell virus (BQCV), Sacbrood virus (SBV), and A. mellifera filamentous virus (AmFV) in 84%, 19%, 14%, 2%, and 67% of samples, respectively. Single infection (30% of samples) as well as multiple infection (61% of samples) of two, three or four pathogens were also evaluated. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study describing the presence of the BQCV and SBV genome sequence in drone ejaculate. Phylogenetic analysis of BQCV partial helicase gene sequence revealed the high similarity of nucleotide sequence of described Czech strains, which varied from 91.4% to 99.6%. The findings of our study indicate the possibility of venereal transmission of BQCV and SBV.
Project description:The honeybee (Apis mellifera) queen mates during nuptial flights, in the so-called drone congregation area where many males from surrounding colonies gather. Using 20 highly polymorphic microsatellite loci, we studied a sample of 142 drones captured in a congregation close to Oberursel (Germany). A parentage test based on lod score showed that this sample contained one group of four brothers, six groups of three brothers, 20 groups of two brothers and 80 singletons. These values are very close to a Poisson distribution. Therefore, colonies were apparently equally represented in the drone congregation, and calculations showed that the congregation comprised males that originated from about 240 different colonies. This figure is surprisingly high. Considering the density of colonies around the congregation area and the average flight range of males, it suggests that most colonies within the recruitment perimeter delegated drones to the congregation with an equal probability, resulting in an almost perfect panmixis. Consequently, the relatedness between a queen and her mates, and hence the inbreeding coefficient of the progeny, should be minimized. The relatedness among the drones mated to the same queen is also very low, maximizing the genetic diversity among the different patrilines of a colony.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones and workers show differences in morphology, physiology, and behavior. Because the functions of drones are more related to colony reproduction, and those of workers relate to both survival and reproduction, we hypothesize that the microclimate for worker brood is more precisely regulated than that of drone brood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:We assessed temperature and relative humidity (RH) inside honey bee colonies for both drone and worker brood throughout the three-stage development period, using digital HOBO® Data Loggers. The major findings of this study are that 1) both drone and worker castes show the highest temperature for eggs, followed by larvae and then pupae; 2) temperature in drones are maintained at higher precision (smaller variance) in drone eggs and larvae, but at a lower precision in pupae than the corresponding stages of workers; 3) RH regulation showed higher variance in drone than workers across all brood stages; and 4) RH regulation seems largely due to regulation by workers, as the contribution from empty honey combs are much smaller compared to that from adult workers. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:We conclude that honey bee colonies maintain both temperature and humidity actively; that the microclimate for sealed drone brood is less precisely regulated than worker brood; and that combs with honey contribute very little to the increase of RH in honey bee colonies. These findings increase our understanding of microclimate regulation in honey bees and may have implications for beekeeping practices.
Project description:Apis mellifera syriaca is the native honeybee subspecies of Jordan and much of the Middle East. It expresses behavioral adaptations to a regional climate with very high temperatures, nectar dearth in summer, attacks of the Oriental wasp Vespa orientalis and in most cases it is resistant to varroa mites. The Thorax control sample of A. m. syriaca in this experiment was originally collected and stored since 2001 from Wadi Ben Hammad a remote valley in the southern region of Jordan. Using morphometric and Mitochondrial DNA markers it was proved that bees from this area had show higher similarity than other samples collected from the Middle East as represented by reference samples collected in 1952 by Brother Adam. The samples L1-L5 are collected from the National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension breading apiary which was originally established for the conservation of Apis mellifera syriaca. Goal was to use the genetic information in the breeding for varroa resistant bees and to determine the successfulness of this conservation program. Project funded by USAID-MERC grant number: TA-MOU-09-M29-075. Overall design: Agilent two-color CGH experiment,Organism: Apis mellifera,Agilent Custom Apis mellifera aCGH, 2X400K(AMADID:035669) designed by Genotypic Technology Private Limited Labeling kit: Agilent Genomic DNA labeling Kit (Part Number: 5190-0453) Jordan Bee legs vs. Syriaca Bee thorax
Project description:Two microsporidians are known to infect honey bees: Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae. Whereas population genetics data for the latter have been released in the last few years, such information is still missing for N. apis. Here we analyze the patterns of nucleotide polymorphism at three single-copy loci (PTP2, PTP3 and RPB1) in a collection of Apis mellifera isolates from all over the world, naturally infected either with N. apis (N = 22) or N. ceranae (N = 23), to provide new insights into the genetic diversity, demography and evolution of N. apis, as well as to compare them with evidence from N. ceranae. Neutral variation in N. apis and N. ceranae is of the order of 1%. This amount of diversity suggests that there is no substantial differentiation between the genetic content of the two nuclei present in these parasites, and evidence for genetic recombination provides a putative mechanism for the flow of genetic information between chromosomes. The analysis of the frequency spectrum of neutral variants reveals a significant surplus of low frequency variants, particularly in N. ceranae, and suggests that the populations of the two pathogens are not in mutation-drift equilibrium and that they have experienced a population expansion. Most of the variation in both species occurs within honey bee colonies (between 62%-90% of the total genetic variance), although in N. apis there is evidence for differentiation between parasites isolated from distinct A. mellifera lineages (20%-34% of the total variance), specifically between those collected from lineages A and C (or M). This scenario is consistent with a long-term host-parasite relationship and contrasts with the lack of differentiation observed among host-lineages in N. ceranae (< 4% of the variance), which suggests that the spread of this emergent pathogen throughout the A. mellifera worldwide population is a recent event.