Pyrosequencing Analysis of the Bacterial Communities in the Guts of Honey Bees Apis cerana and Apis mellifera in Korea
Jae-Hyung Ahn, In-Pyo Hong, Jeung-Im Bok, Byung-Yong Kim, Jaekyeong Song, and Hang-Yeon Weon*
National Academy of Agricultural Science, Rural Development Administration, Suwon 441-707, Republic of Korea
Journal of Microbiology, 50(5),735-745, 2012,
honey bee, gut, bacterial community, 16S rRNA gene, pyrosequencing
The bacterial communities in the guts of the adults and larvae of the Asian honey bee Apis cerana and the European honey bee Apis mellifera were surveyed by pyrosequencing the 16S rRNA genes. Most of the gut bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences were highly similar to the known honey bee-specific ones and affiliated with Pasteurellaceae or lactic acid bacteria (LAB). The numbers of operational taxonomic units (OTUs, defined at 97% similarity) were lower in the larval guts (6 or 9) than in the adult guts (18 or 20), and the frequencies of Pasteurellaceae-related OTUs were higher in the larval guts while those of LAB-related OTUs in the adult guts. The frequencies of Lactococcus, Bartonella, Spiroplasma, Enterobacteriaceae, and Flavobacteriaceae-related OTUs were much higher in A. cerana guts while Bifidobacterium and Lachnospiraceae-related OTUs were more abundant in A. mellfera guts. The bacterial community structures in the midguts and hindguts of the adult honey bees were not different for A. cerana, but significantly different for A. mellifera. The above results substantiated the previous observation that honey bee guts are dominated by several specific bacterial groups, and also showed that the relative abundances of OTUs could be markedly changed depending on the developmental stage, the location within the gut, and the honey bee species. The possibility of using the gut bacterial community as an indicator of honey bee health was discussed.