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      Temporal Analysis of the Honey Bee Microbiome Reveals Four Novel Viruses and Seasonal Prevalence of Known Viruses, Nosema, and Crithidia


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          Honey bees ( Apis mellifera) play a critical role in global food production as pollinators of numerous crops. Recently, honey bee populations in the United States, Canada, and Europe have suffered an unexplained increase in annual losses due to a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Epidemiological analysis of CCD is confounded by a relative dearth of bee pathogen field studies. To identify what constitutes an abnormal pathophysiological condition in a honey bee colony, it is critical to have characterized the spectrum of exogenous infectious agents in healthy hives over time. We conducted a prospective study of a large scale migratory bee keeping operation using high-frequency sampling paired with comprehensive molecular detection methods, including a custom microarray, qPCR, and ultra deep sequencing. We established seasonal incidence and abundance of known viruses, Nosema sp., Crithidia mellificae, and bacteria. Ultra deep sequence analysis further identified four novel RNA viruses, two of which were the most abundant observed components of the honey bee microbiome (∼10 11 viruses per honey bee). Our results demonstrate episodic viral incidence and distinct pathogen patterns between summer and winter time-points. Peak infection of common honey bee viruses and Nosema occurred in the summer, whereas levels of the trypanosomatid Crithidia mellificae and Lake Sinai virus 2, a novel virus, peaked in January.

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          Primer3Plus, an enhanced web interface to Primer3

          Here we present Primer3Plus, a new web interface to the popular Primer3 primer design program as an enhanced alternative for the CGI- scripts that come with Primer3. Primer3 consists of a command line program and a web interface. The web interface is one large form showing all of the possible options. This makes the interface powerful, but at the same time confusing for occasional users. Primer3Plus provides an intuitive user interface using present-day web technologies and has been developed in close collaboration with molecular biologists and technicians regularly designing primers. It focuses on the task at hand, and hides detailed settings from the user until these are needed. We also added functionality to automate specific tasks like designing primers for cloning or step-wise sequencing. Settings and designed primer sequences can be stored locally for later use. Primer3Plus supports a range of common sequence formats, such as FASTA. Finally, primers selected by Primer3Plus can be sent to an order form, allowing tight integration into laboratory ordering systems. Moreover, the open architecture of Primer3Plus allows easy expansion or integration of external software packages. The Primer3Plus Perl source code is available under GPL license from SourceForge. Primer3Plus is available at http://www.bioinformatics.nl/primer3plus.
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            GenBank (R) is a comprehensive database that contains publicly available nucleotide sequences for more than 260 000 named organisms, obtained primarily through submissions from individual laboratories and batch submissions from large-scale sequencing projects. Most submissions are made using the web-based BankIt or standalone Sequin programs and accession numbers are assigned by GenBank staff upon receipt. Daily data exchange with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory Nucleotide Sequence Database in Europe and the DNA Data Bank of Japan ensures worldwide coverage. GenBank is accessible through NCBI's retrieval system, Entrez, which integrates data from the major DNA and protein sequence databases along with taxonomy, genome, mapping, protein structure and domain information, and the biomedical journal literature via PubMed. BLAST provides sequence similarity searches of GenBank and other sequence databases. Complete bimonthly releases and daily updates of the GenBank database are available by FTP. To access GenBank and its related retrieval and analysis services, begin at the NCBI Homepage: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
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              A simple and distinctive microbiota associated with honey bees and bumble bees.

              Specialized relationships with bacteria often allow animals to exploit a new diet by providing a novel set of metabolic capabilities. Bees are a monophyletic group of Hymenoptera that transitioned to a completely herbivorous diet from the carnivorous diet of their wasp ancestors. Recent culture-independent studies suggest that a set of distinctive bacterial species inhabits the gut of the honey bee, Apis mellifera. Here we survey the gut microbiotae of diverse bee and wasp species to test whether acquisition of these bacteria was associated with the transition to herbivory in bees generally. We found that most bee species lack phylotypes that are the same or similar to those typical of A. mellifera, rejecting the hypothesis that this dietary transition was symbiont-dependent. The most common bacteria in solitary bee species are a widespread phylotype of Burkholderia and the pervasive insect associate, Wolbachia. In contrast, several social representatives of corbiculate bees do possess distinctive bacterial phylotypes. Samples of A. mellifera harboured the same microbiota as in previous surveys, and closely related bacterial phylotypes were identified in two Asian honey bees (Apis andreniformis and Apis dorsata) and several bumble bee (Bombus) species. Potentially, the sociality of Apis and Bombus species facilitates symbiont transmission and thus is key to the maintenance of a more consistent gut microbiota. Phylogenetic analyses provide a more refined taxonomic placement of the A. mellifera symbionts. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                7 June 2011
                : 6
                : 6
                [1 ]Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, United State of America
                [2 ]Departments of Medicine, Biochemistry and Biophysics, and Microbiology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America
                [3 ]Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America
                [4 ]Sandler Center for Drug Discovery and Department of Pathology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America
                Martin-Luther-Universität Halle, Germany
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: JLDR MLF CR. Performed the experiments: CR MLF JCE. Analyzed the data: CR MLF JGR JLDR. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: JGR DG RA JLDR. Wrote the paper: MLF CR RA DG JLDR.

                Runckel et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Page count
                Pages: 18
                Research Article
                Animal Management
                Viral Classification
                RNA viruses
                Viral Genera Unassigned to a Family
                Microbial Pathogens
                Veterinary Science
                Veterinary Diseases
                Veterinary Bacteriology
                Veterinary Parasitology
                Veterinary Virology
                Veterinary Epidemiology
                Veterinary Microbiology
                Veterinary Pathology



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