Friends with benefits: protective symbionts in the honey bee

Monsanto Auditorium

Many animals from partnerships with bacteria to protect them from pathogens, nutritional stresses, and other environmental onslaughts. The eusocial honey bee, Apis mellifera, is host to a characteristic, and specific microbial community and one member of this community predominates in important colony environments: Bombella apis. The symbiont is found associated with honey bee larvae, nursing bee crops, and the queen bee digestive tract. I will present work from our lab highlighting the evolution of this microbe, how it protects bees against fungal infection, and how it serves as a nutritional mutualist for larvae. Our work characterizing this microbe has led to direct applications in agriculture, as environmental stressors continue to impact pollinator health.

This seminar will also be streamed on Zoom. Contact for link.

Speaker Information

Dr. Irene Newton
Department of Biology
Indiana University Bloomington