Geographically widespread honeybee-gut symbiont subgroups show locally distinct antibiotic-resistant patterns

Jane Ludvigsen, Davide Porcellato, Trine M. L'Abée-Lund, Gro Amdam, Knut Rudi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

How long-term antibiotic treatment affects host bacterial associations is still largely unknown. The honeybee-gut microbiota has a simple composition, so we used this gut community to investigate how long-term antibiotic treatment affects host-associated microbiota. We investigated the phylogenetic relatedness, genomic content (GC percentage, genome size, number of genes and CRISPR) and antibiotic-resistant genes (ARG) for strains from two abundant members of the honeybee core gut microbiota (Gilliamella apicola and Snodgrassella alvi). Domesticated honeybees are subjected to geographically different management policies, so we used two research apiaries, representing different antibiotic treatment regimens in their apiculture: low antibiotic usage (Norway) and high antibiotic usage (Arizona, USA). We applied whole-genome shotgun sequencing on 48 G. apicola and 22 S. alvi. We identified three predominating subgroups of G. apicola in honeybees from both Norway and Arizona. For G. apicola, genetic content substantially varied between subgroups and distance similarity calculations showed similarity discrepancy between subgroups. Functional differences between subgroups, such as pectin-degrading enzymes (G. apicola), were also identified. In addition, we identified horizontal gene transfer (HGT) of transposon (Tn10)-associated tetracycline resistance (Tet B) across the G. apicola subgroups in the Arizonan honeybees, using interspace polymorphisms in the Tet B determinant. Our results support that honeybee-gut symbiont subgroups can resist long-term antibiotic treatment and maintain functionality through acquisition of geographically distinct antibiotic-resistant genes by HGT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6590-6607
Number of pages18
JournalMolecular Ecology
Volume26
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

Fingerprint

honeybee
symbiont
antibiotics
symbionts
honey bees
digestive system
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Horizontal Gene Transfer
gene transfer
Norway
intestinal microorganisms
gene
Beekeeping
Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats
genome
apiculture
Genes
Tetracycline Resistance
Genome Size
apiaries

Keywords

  • Apis mellifera
  • gut symbionts
  • population ecology
  • tetracycline resistance
  • WGS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics

Cite this

Geographically widespread honeybee-gut symbiont subgroups show locally distinct antibiotic-resistant patterns. / Ludvigsen, Jane; Porcellato, Davide; L'Abée-Lund, Trine M.; Amdam, Gro; Rudi, Knut.

In: Molecular Ecology, Vol. 26, No. 23, 01.12.2017, p. 6590-6607.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ludvigsen, Jane ; Porcellato, Davide ; L'Abée-Lund, Trine M. ; Amdam, Gro ; Rudi, Knut. / Geographically widespread honeybee-gut symbiont subgroups show locally distinct antibiotic-resistant patterns. In: Molecular Ecology. 2017 ; Vol. 26, No. 23. pp. 6590-6607.
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