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

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Microbiota and within nurse interactions are necessary for processing stored pollen for new born bees

Author(s):
Belén Branchiccela, Belén Branchiccela , 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. ; Sección Etología. Instituto de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República. Montevideo, Uruguay ; Sección Etología. Instituto de Biología, 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
During the first days of life, newborn honey bees are taken care by nurse bees. These interactions are essential for the acquisition and development of the gut microbiota, which may be involved in defense, immunity and nutrition. During this period, bees receive royal jelly and stored pollen to fulfill their protein requirements. However, pollen may have compounds which can be toxic. In previous studies, newborn bees fed under laboratory conditions with stored pollen showed high mortality, although pollen was not toxic for older bees. The aim of this study was to analyze the role of nurse bees and their gut microbiota in the processing of stored pollen. Newborn bees were reared under laboratory conditions and fed with sugar syrup and stored pollen along the experiment. Bees were divided in 3 groups: control group (C), administration with gut content of nurse bees every 48 hs (GC), or incubation of the newborn bees with 7 days-old nurse bees (N). Daily survival of bees was analyzed. In order to explore different pathways that could be involved in stored pollen processing, we analyzed the expression level of vitellogenin, genes related with immunity and detoxification by qPCR, and gut bacterial community by 16S rDNA sequencing. Infection level of Deformed Wing Virus was analyzed as a sanitary marker. Bees accompanied by nurses showed the highest survival, followed by bees with nurse gut content and finally control group. Gut bacterial diversity was also higher in groups N and GC, in comparison with newborn bees, while no differences were observed between newborn and control bees. Groups N and GC showed higher expression level of vg and less infection level of DWV compared to control group. No differences were observed in genes related to immunity and detoxification pathways. These results suggest that interaction with nurse bees (and their gut bacterial community) is important for newborn bee survival and opens new avenues to deepen in the associated mechanisms.
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