Characterization of fructophilic lactic microbiota of Apis mellifera from the Caucasus Mountains
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Microbial symbionts of honeybee colony are considered as promising tools to support the honeybee population welfare. The majority of existing honeybee microbiota studies is focused on genetic description of the honeybee-associated microbiome fingerprints. The lack of a deeper knowledge on the bacterial community colonizing the honeybee niche, which may be helpful in encouraging industrial applications of this microbiota, led us to undertake this study. The biodiversity of the cultivable fructophilic lactic acid bacteria (FLAB) isolated from adult honeybee intestine and beebread samples was studied. Phenotypic properties of probiotic interest, such as the adhesive potential using in vitro models and adhesion determinants, were also investigated. Antibiotic resistance profiles as reliable markers to evaluate the impact of long-term and current exposure of honeybees to antibiotics were phenotypically determined on the isolated lactic acid bacteria (LAB). The mannose-specific adhesion and high cell surface hydrophobicity found in the studied FLAB isolates sheds light on the effective adaptation of microbiota to specific ecologic niche. It is the first report of phenotypically detected antibiotic resistance profiles of honeybee endogenous bacteria and the first account of minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values for four antibiotics used in beekeeping practice.
KeywordsFructophilic lactic acid bacteria Honeybees Microbial adhesion Caucasus
The author I.J. would like to express his gratitude to the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation (SRNSF) for partial support allowing his PhD training in Italy. The author also expresses his gratitude to the Service of Science and Technology of the French Embassy in Tbilisi for the fellowship allowing his PhD training in France.
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