Isolation and identification of Lactobacillus bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract of the dwarf honey bee, Apis florea Fabricius, 1973 (Hymenoptera: Apidae)
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Recent research in bacteria-insect symbiosis has shown that lactic acid bacteria (LAB) establish symbiotic relationships with several Apis species. The current study was carried out to isolate and identify Lactobacillus bacteria housed in the gastrointestinal tract of the Asian dwarf honey bee (Apis florea), which is distributed in different regions of Iran. The current study was performed using 100 Gram-stained isolates, which were tested for catalase activity. Bacterial universal primers were used to amplify 16S rDNA genes isolated from bacterial colonies. Sequencing was done for 16S rDNA genes isolated from 43 bacteria. The phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that Lactobacillus flora found in the gastrointestinal tract of A. florea encompassed eight different phenotypes classified as three different species: L. kunkeei, L. plantarum, and L. apis. According to the specific association between bacteria and A. florea, we classified the Apis populations into three zones. Furthermore, the association of L. plantarum with insects foraging in citrus orchards might be explained by differences in nectar and pollen components resulting in the growth of different species of bacteria.
KeywordsApis florea lactic acid bacteria 16S rDNA symbiosis Iran
All the authors have read and approved the submitted manuscript.
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