Bioactivity and Botanical Origin of Austroplebeia and Tetragonula Australian Pot-Pollen

  • Elizabeth Pérez-Pérez
  • Miguel Sulbarán-Mora
  • Ortrud Monika Barth
  • Carmelina Flavia Massaro
  • Patricia VitEmail author


Antibacterial properties, antioxidant activity, and bioactive components were measured in ethanolic and methanolic extracts of pot-pollen from Australian stingless bees (Meliponini) Austroplebeia australis, Tetragonula carbonaria, and Tetragonula hockingsi. Tetragonula hockingsi pot-pollen presented the highest flavonoid, polyphenol, and protein concentrations in both ethanolic and methanolic extracts. The antioxidant activity was positively correlated with the polyphenol content. All three pot-pollen extracts were active against both Gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis) and Gram-negative bacteria (Enterobacter cloacae, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa), with lower minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values found in ethanolic extracts than in methanolic extracts. Ethanolic extracts of Tetragonula hockingsi pot-pollen showed the lowest MIC values. A palynological study identified the botanical origin of Australian pot-pollen. We suggest pot-pollen is a food that increases the value of stingless bee products in Australia.



The pot-pollen samples were freshly collected from local stingless beehives and kindly donated by Mr. Robert Luttrell, Highvale, Queensland, Australia. Special thanks to the support of ZG-AVA-FA-01-98-01 from the Council of Development of Scientific, Humanistic, Technological and Artistic, at Universidad de Los Andes; to Dr. F. Huq for sending pot-pollen from Australia to Brazil for palynological analysis; to Massimo Vit for his hospitality during two short stages of P. Vit at USYD in Sydney; and to the National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development “Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, CNPq” for a research fellowship. Dr. DW Roubik carefully commented and improved the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Pérez-Pérez
    • 1
  • Miguel Sulbarán-Mora
    • 1
  • Ortrud Monika Barth
    • 2
  • Carmelina Flavia Massaro
    • 3
  • Patricia Vit
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Biotechnological and Molecular Analysis, Faculty of Pharmacy and Bioanalysis, Universidad de Los AndesMéridaVenezuela
  2. 2.Instituto Oswaldo CruzFiocruzBrazil
  3. 3.School of Earth, Environmental and Biological SciencesScience and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  4. 4.Apitherapy and Bioactivity, Food Science DepartmentFaculty of Pharmacy and Bioanalysis, Universidad de Los AndesMéridaVenezuela
  5. 5.Cancer Research Group, Discipline of Biomedical Science, Cumberland Campus C42, The University of SydneyLidcombeAustralia

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