Parasitology Research

, Volume 114, Issue 9, pp 3373–3383 | Cite as

Distribution and diversity of Nosema bombi (Microsporidia: Nosematidae) in the natural populations of bumblebees (Bombus spp.) from West Siberia

  • Valeriya VavilovaEmail author
  • Irina Sormacheva
  • Michal Woyciechowski
  • Natalia Eremeeva
  • Victor Fet
  • Aneta Strachecka
  • Sergey I. Bayborodin
  • Alexander Blinov
Original Paper


Nosema bombi is an obligate intracellular parasite of bumblebees (Hymenoptera, Bombus spp.), which has significant negative effect on individual bumblebees, colony fitness, and development. Recently, several new genetic variants of N. bombi without a defined taxonomic status were identified in natural bumblebee populations from Russia, China, and several European countries, as well as N. ceranae, originally isolated from honey bees, was described in bumblebee species. Thus, it is required to investigate more Nosema variability in bumblebee populations for identifying new genetic Nosema variants. In our study, we used several methods such as total DNA isolation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification, cloning, sequencing, and comparative and phylogenetic analysis to investigate a prevalence of N. bombi and its diversity in the natural populations of bumblebees across West Siberia. DNA was extracted from intestinal bumblebee tissues. Identification of the parasite was conducted, using PCR with primers specific for the ribosomal RNA gene cluster and methionine aminopeptidase 2 gene of N. bombi followed by sequencing. Seven hundred twenty-seven individual bumblebees belonging to 16 species were tested; 64 specimens revealed presence of the parasite. Prevalence of Nosema bombi infection was different in each region and varied from 4 to 20 %. No infection was found in Bombus agrorum (n = 194) and Bombus equestris (n = 132), both common bumblebees in West Siberia. Three different genetic variants of the same species, N. bombi, were identified. The first variant belonged to N. bombi (AY008373) identified by Fies et al. (J Apicult Res 40:91–96, 2001), second (N. bombi WS2) was identical to the West Siberian variant identified by Szentgyörgyi et al. (Polish Journal of Ecology 59:599–610, 2011), and the last variant, N. bombi WS3, was new. The results led us to suggest that the prevalence of the N. bombi is related to the population structure of bumblebees and distribution of the particular genetic variants of N. bombi.


Bumblebees Bombus Microsporidia Nosema Ribosomal gene cluster Genetic variant 



This study was supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation (Agreement no. 8124 from 23.07.2012), the 6th EU Framework Programme ALARM GOCE-CT-2003-506675 Integrated Project, the 7th EU Framework Programme STEP—244090, and the Jagiellonian University grant DS/BiNoZ/INoS/761.

Supplementary material

436_2015_4562_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (134 kb)
Table S1 (PDF 134 kb)
436_2015_4562_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (794 kb)
Figure S1 (PDF 794 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valeriya Vavilova
    • 1
    Email author
  • Irina Sormacheva
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michal Woyciechowski
    • 3
  • Natalia Eremeeva
    • 4
  • Victor Fet
    • 5
  • Aneta Strachecka
    • 6
  • Sergey I. Bayborodin
    • 1
  • Alexander Blinov
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Cytology and Genetics SB RASNovosibirskRussian Federation
  2. 2.Novosibirsk State UniversityNovosibirskRussian Federation
  3. 3.Institute of Environmental SciencesJagiellonian UniversityKrakowPoland
  4. 4.Biological FacultyKemerovo State UniversityKemerovoRussian Federation
  5. 5.Department of Biological SciencesMarshall UniversityHuntingtonUSA
  6. 6.Department of Biological Basis of Animal Production, Faculty of Biology and Animal BreedingUniversity of Life SciencesLublinPoland

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