Annals of Microbiology

, Volume 66, Issue 4, pp 1387–1395 | Cite as

Characterization of fructophilic lactic microbiota of Apis mellifera from the Caucasus Mountains

  • Irakli Janashia
  • Domenico Carminati
  • Lia Rossetti
  • Miriam Zago
  • Maria Emanuela Fornasari
  • Thomas HaertléEmail author
  • Nina Chanishvili
  • Giorgio Giraffa
Original Article


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.


Fructophilic 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.

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (PDF 71 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and the University of Milan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irakli Janashia
    • 1
    • 5
  • Domenico Carminati
    • 2
  • Lia Rossetti
    • 2
  • Miriam Zago
    • 2
  • Maria Emanuela Fornasari
    • 2
  • Thomas Haertlé
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Nina Chanishvili
    • 1
  • Giorgio Giraffa
    • 2
  1. 1.Eliava Institute of Bacteriophages, Microbiology and VirologyTbilisiGeorgia
  2. 2.Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l’Analisi dell’Economia Agraria, Centro di Ricerca per le Produzioni Foraggere e Lattiero-Casearie (CREA-FLC)LodiItaly
  3. 3.FIP, UR1268, Biopolymers Interactions AssembliesINRANantes Cedex 3France
  4. 4.Department of Animal Nutrition and Feed ManagementPoznan University of Life SciencesPoznańPoland
  5. 5.Javakhishvili Tbilisi State UniversityTbilisiGeorgia

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