, 14:86 | Cite as

Metabolomic analysis of pollen from honey bee hives and from canola flowers

  • H. S. ArathiEmail author
  • L. Bjostad
  • E. Bernklau
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Plant metabolomics and lipidomics


Background and aims

Pollen is essential for successful plant reproduction and critical for plant-pollinator mutualisms, as pollen is essential larval nutrition. However, we understand very little about the chemical constituents of pollen leading us to this exploratory study characterizing plant and beehive pollen.


We performed a metabolomics assay of canola flower pollen and beehive pollen.

Results and discussion

The metabolome of canola pollen is affected by irrigation showing differences in lipids and non-polar secondary metabolites. Metabolome of beehive pollen is affected by plant source showing differences in pentose sugars, myo-inositol and furanose. Further research is needed to document the nutritional bases of plant-pollinator mutualism.


Canola Honey bees Metabolomics p-Coumaric acid Pollen 



Honey bee Health Task Force (North American Pollinator Protection Campaign) and United States Geological Survey grants funded the study. Thanks to Colton O’Brien for help with bee colonies. Proteomics and Metabolomics Facility at Colorado State University analyzed samples, performed data analyses and generated reports that are presented here.

Author Contributions

AHS: study design, data analysis and manuscript preparation. EB&LB: p-coumaric acid analyses and manuscript preparation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declare no potential conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

This research does not involve Human Participants and/or Animals.

Inform Consent

All authors provide consent.

Supplementary material

11306_2018_1381_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (21 kb)
Supplementary material 1. S1: Canola pollen UPLC MS metabolome shown in hierarchical clustering (PDF 21 KB)
11306_2018_1381_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (21 kb)
Supplementary material 2. S2: Canola pollen GC MS metabolome shown in hierarchical clustering (PDF 21 KB)
11306_2018_1381_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (15 kb)
Supplementary material 3. S3: Beehive pollen UPLC MS metabolome shown in hierarchical clustering (PDF 14 KB)
11306_2018_1381_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (23 kb)
Supplementary material 4. S4: Beehive pollen GC MS metabolome shown in hierarchical clustering (PDF 22 KB) (24 mb)
Supplementary material 5 (ZIP 24610 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Soil and Crop SciencesColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management DepartmentColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA

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