Send to

Choose Destination
J Proteome Res. 2017 Jan 6;16(1):319-334. doi: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.6b00051. Epub 2016 Jul 29.

Infections with the Sexually Transmitted Pathogen Nosema apis Trigger an Immune Response in the Seminal Fluid of Honey Bees (Apis mellifera).

Author information

Centre for Integrative Bee Research (CIBER) and ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology and ‡School of Animal Biology, The University of Western Australia , Bayliss Building, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.


Honey bee (Apis mellifera) males are highly susceptible to infections with the sexually transmitted fungal pathogen Nosema apis. However, they are able to suppress this parasite in the ejaculate using immune molecules in the seminal fluid. We predicted that males respond to infections by altering the seminal fluid proteome to minimize the risk to sexually transmit the parasite to the queen and her colony. We used iTRAQ isotopic labeling to compare seminal fluid proteins from infected and noninfected males and found that N. apis infections resulted in significant abundance changes in 111 of the 260 seminal fluid proteins quantitated. The largest group of proteins with significantly changed abundances consisted of 15 proteins with well-known immune-related functions, which included two significantly more abundant chitinases in the seminal fluid of infected males. Chitinases were previously hypothesized to be involved in honey bee antifungal activity against N. apis. Here we show that infection with N. apis triggers a highly specific immune response in the seminal fluid of honey bee males.


antimicrobial proteins; fertility; host parasite interactions; proteomics; sexually transmitted disease

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society Icon for University of Western Australia Profiles and Research Repository
Loading ...
Support Center