Compartmentalization of bacterial and fungal microbiomes in the gut of adult honeybees

Matteo Callegari, Elena Crotti, Marco Fusi, Ramona Marasco, Elena Gonella, Ivano De Noni, Diego Romano, Sara Borin, George Tsiamis, Ameur Cherif, Alberto Alma, Daniele Daffonchio

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41 Scopus citations


AbstractThe core gut microbiome of adult honeybee comprises a set of recurring bacterial phylotypes, accompanied by lineage-specific, variable, and less abundant environmental bacterial phylotypes. Several mutual interactions and functional services to the host, including the support provided for growth, hormonal signaling, and behavior, are attributed to the core and lineage-specific taxa. By contrast, the diversity and distribution of the minor environmental phylotypes and fungal members in the gut remain overlooked. In the present study, we hypothesized that the microbial components of forager honeybees (i.e., core bacteria, minor environmental phylotypes, and fungal members) are compartmentalized along the gut portions. The diversity and distribution of such three microbial components were investigated in the context of the physico-chemical conditions of different gut compartments. We observed that changes in the distribution and abundance of microbial components in the gut are consistently compartment-specific for all the three microbial components, indicating that the ecological and physiological interactions among the host and microbiome vary with changing physico-chemical and metabolic conditions of the gut.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Journalnpj Biofilms and Microbiomes
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 7 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-05-10
Acknowledgements: We thank Sadaf Umer and Taskeen Begum for their support in organizing the laboratory work. We also thank Davide Cuttini, beekeeper University of Turin; Melanie Augustina, beekeeper in KAUST; Zohair Fatani, beekeeper in Jeddah; Mr. Walid Hindi Al-Hazmi, Chairman of Madinah Beekeepers association; Mr. Nawaf Hindi Al-Hazmi, member of Medinah Beekeeper association; and Mansour Hussain Al-Sharif, beekeeper in Makkah, for honeybee keeping and collection. We are grateful to Kohloud Seferji and Mr. Ziad Dawood for contact and transportation. D.D. acknowledges the financial support of King Abdullah University and Technology (KAUST) through the RSRC-CCF funding 2019-2020 for “The microbiome and stress adaptation of mangrove honeybee pollinators” and the Circular Carbon Economy initiative (grant number, REI/1/4483-01-01). E.C. acknowledges personal support from “Piano di Sostegno della Ricerca 2018: Linea 2” for the projects “Microbial symbionts of insects (MicroSYM)”.


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