Comparison of the gut microbiome of Apis melifera ruttneri (lineage A) vs Apis melifera ligustica and carina (lineage C)
Apis mellifera evolved mainly in African, Asian and European continents over thousands of years, leading to the selection of a considerable number of honey bees subspecies that have adapted to various environments such as hot semi-desert zones and cold temperate zones. With the evolution of honey bee in subspecies, it is possible that environmental conditions, food sources and microbial communities typical of the colonized areas have shaped the honey bee gut microbiota. In this study the microbiota of two distinct lineages (mitochondrial haplotypes) of bees Apis mellifera ruttneri (lineage A) and Apis mellifera ligustica and carnica (both lineage C) were compared. Honey bee guts were collected in periods of drought in the respective breeding areas (Malta island and Italian Emilia-Romagna and South Tyrol regions). Microbial DNA from the bee gut was extracted and amplified for the V3-V4 regions of the 16S rRNA gene for bacteria and for ITS2 for fungi.