International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI2018), August 5-10, 2018 in Guarujá, Brazil.

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Influence of diet on social and individual immunity, and gut microbial community in honey bees

Author(s):
Karina Antúnez, Loreley Castelli , Belén Branchiccela , Héctor Romero , Ciro Invernizzi , Estela Santos , Pablo Zunino , Karina Antúnez
Institution(s):
Departamento de Microbiología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable, Montevideo, Uruguay; Departamento de Microbiología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable, Montevideo, Uruguay ; Departamento de Microbiología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable, Montevideo, Uruguay ; Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay ; Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay ; Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay ; Departamento de Microbiología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable, Montevideo, Uruguay ; Departamento de Microbiología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable, Montevideo, Uruguay
Apis mellifera colony loss episodes have been reported around the world and have been associated with malnutrition (reduction in pollen availability and diversity), intoxication with pesticides and herbicides, and pests and pathogens. To overcome the infection by different pathogens honey bees have evolved different strategies that go from social behaviors to individual immune response, including the maintenance of the gut microbial community. In this study we tested the effect of pollen diets (Eucalyptus grandis monofloral and polyfloral stored pollen) on social and individual immunity, as in gut bacterial community of honey bees. We fed newly emerged bees with different diets and evaluated bee survival, gene expression and bacterial gut community composition. Although feeding on different pollen diets did not affect bee survival, it affected the expression of vitellogenin,  immune related genes and bacterial gut composition. In particular, the consumption of E. grandis stored pollen resulted in a significant reduction of the expression of lysozyme, hymenoptaecin, glucose oxidase and vitellogenin compared to polyfloral pollen. It also decreased the abundance of Lactobacillus spp. compared to polyfloral diet. These results suggests that diet influence the bee defense mechanisms and can be useful to understand the impact of modern agriculture on honey bee health. 
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