3 years ago

Large-scale cultivation of the bumblebee gut microbiota reveals an underestimated bacterial species diversity capable of pathogen inhibition

Anneleen Parmentier, Peter Vandamme, Ivan Meeus, Guy Smagghe, Regula Schmid-Hempel, Jessy Praet
A total of 1940 isolates from gut samples of 60 bumblebees representing Bombus pascuorum, Bombus terrestris, Bombus lucorum and Bombus lapidarius was collected and identified through state-of the-art taxonomic methods. The bacterial species diversity in these Bombus species exceeded that suggested by phylotype analysis through 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, and revealed that B. pascuorum and B. terrestris had a unique microbiota composition, each. Representatives of most phylotypes reported earlier and detected in the present study were effectively isolated, and included several novel bacterial taxa and species reported for the first time in the bumblebee gut. Isolates were screened in pectin degradation assays and growth inhibition assays against the honeybee pathogens Paenibacillus larvae, Melissococcus plutonius and Ascosphaera apis and the bumblebee parasite Crithidia bombi. While inhibitory activity against each of these pathogens was observed, only one single culture was able to degrade pectin and polygalacturonic acid in vitro. The availability of accurately identified microbial isolates will facilitate future evaluation of the functional potential of the bumblebee gut microbiota. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.13973

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