Infections with the Sexually Transmitted Pathogen Nosema apis Trigger an Immune Response in the Seminal Fluid of Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

Julia Grassl, Yan Peng, Barbara Baer-Imhoof, Mat Welch, A. Harvey Millar, Boris Baer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)
458 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Honey bee (Apis mellifera) males are highly susceptible to infections with the sexually transmitted fungal pathogen Nosema apis. However, they are able to suppress this parasite in the ejaculate using immune molecules in the seminal fluid. We predicted that males respond to infections by altering the seminal fluid proteome to minimize the risk to sexually transmit the parasite to the queen and her colony. We used iTRAQ isotopic labeling to compare seminal fluid proteins from infected and noninfected males and found that N. apis infections resulted in significant abundance changes in 111 of the 260 seminal fluid proteins quantitated. The largest group of proteins with significantly changed abundances consisted of 15 proteins with well-known immune-related functions, which included two significantly more abundant chitinases in the seminal fluid of infected males. Chitinases were previously hypothesized to be involved in honey bee antifungal activity against N. apis. Here we show that infection with N. apis triggers a highly specific immune response in the seminal fluid of honey bee males.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-334
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2017

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Infections with the Sexually Transmitted Pathogen Nosema apis Trigger an Immune Response in the Seminal Fluid of Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this