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MBio. 2016 Apr 26;7(2):e02164-15. doi: 10.1128/mBio.02164-15.

The Bee Microbiome: Impact on Bee Health and Model for Evolution and Ecology of Host-Microbe Interactions.

Author information

1
Department of Fundamental Microbiology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland philipp.engel@unil.ch benjamin.dainat@agroscope.admin.ch.
2
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA.
3
Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, California, USA.
4
USDA, Carl Hayden Bee Research Center, Tucson, Arizona, USA.
5
Department of Biology, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
6
Department of Microbiology, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California, USA.
7
U.S. Geological Survey, Fort Collins Science Center, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA.
8
Bioinformatics Infrastructure for Life Sciences (BILS), Linköpings Universitet Victoria Westling, Linköping, Sweden, and Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
9
Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
10
Institute for Biology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.
11
Department of Fundamental Microbiology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
12
USDA, ARS Bee Research Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland, USA.
13
Fasteris SA, Plan -les-Ouates, Switzerland.
14
Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, USA.
15
SLU, BVF, Virologi, Uppsala, Sweden.
16
Department of Biology, North Life Sciences, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, USA.
17
Department of Fundamental Microbiology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
18
SLU, Institutionen för Husdjursgenetik, Uppsala, Sweden.
19
Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, United Kingdom.
20
Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge , Massachusetts , USA.
21
Department of Biology, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA.
22
Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA.
23
Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley , California , USA.
24
Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA.
25
School of Biological Sciences, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois, USA.
26
ETHZ Institut für Integrative Biologie, Zurich, Switzerland.
27
University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
28
Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA.
29
Agroscope, Swiss Bee Research Centre, Bern, Switzerland Bee Health Extension Service, Apiservice, Bern , Switzerland philipp.engel@unil.ch benjamin.dainat@agroscope.admin.ch.

Abstract

As pollinators, bees are cornerstones for terrestrial ecosystem stability and key components in agricultural productivity. All animals, including bees, are associated with a diverse community of microbes, commonly referred to as the microbiome. The bee microbiome is likely to be a crucial factor affecting host health. However, with the exception of a few pathogens, the impacts of most members of the bee microbiome on host health are poorly understood. Further, the evolutionary and ecological forces that shape and change the microbiome are unclear. Here, we discuss recent progress in our understanding of the bee microbiome, and we present challenges associated with its investigation. We conclude that global coordination of research efforts is needed to fully understand the complex and highly dynamic nature of the interplay between the bee microbiome, its host, and the environment. High-throughput sequencing technologies are ideal for exploring complex biological systems, including host-microbe interactions. To maximize their value and to improve assessment of the factors affecting bee health, sequence data should be archived, curated, and analyzed in ways that promote the synthesis of different studies. To this end, the BeeBiome consortium aims to develop an online database which would provide reference sequences, archive metadata, and host analytical resources. The goal would be to support applied and fundamental research on bees and their associated microbes and to provide a collaborative framework for sharing primary data from different research programs, thus furthering our understanding of the bee microbiome and its impact on pollinator health.

PMID:
27118586
PMCID:
PMC4850275
DOI:
10.1128/mBio.02164-15
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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