Here, we report on the selective isolation of actinomycetes from

Here, we report on the selective isolation of actinomycetes from the gut microbiota of healthy honeybees, and their inhibitory activity against honeybee indigenous bacteria. More than 70% of the sampled honeybees (N>40) in a season carried at least one CFU of actinomycete. The isolates from bees of one location produced inhibitory bioactivities that were almost exclusively against several bee indigenous Bacillus strains and Gram-positive human pathogens but not Escherichia see more coli. An antibiotic-producing actinomycete closely related to Nocardiopsis alba was isolated from the guts in every season of the year. A DNA fragment encoding a homologous gene (phzD) involved

in phenazine biosynthesis was identified in the isolate. Expression of the phzD detected by reverse transcription-PCR can explain the survival of this organism in anaerobic environments as some redox-active extracellular phenazines Tanespimycin cell line are commonly regarded as respiratory electron acceptors. The results raise important questions concerning the roles of the antibiotic-producing actinomycetes and the phenazine-like molecules in honeybee guts and honey. Insect

digestive tracts support communities of symbiotic and transient microorganisms that are increasingly the subjects of studies of microbial diversity and novel bioactive microbial products (Breznak, 2004; Evans & Armstrong, 2006). In general, insect gut DNA ligase microbiota make significant contributions to the nutrition of the insect host, as demonstrated in well-studied examples such as termites, cockroaches, wood-feeding beetles and aphids (Douglas, 1998; Dillon & Dillon, 2004). With the advancement of new sequencing methods, gut microbial communities have been analyzed in an even wider range of insects (Broderick et al., 2004; Xiang et al., 2006; Sen et al., 2009). Honeybees, Apis mellifera, are an

interesting model for studies of gut microorganisms because they have a complex digestive tract. Workers collect nectar (carbohydrate source) and pollen (source of protein, fatty acids, sterols, vitamins and minerals) and bring them back to hives to feed larvae and house bees by oral regurgitation. The nectar and pollen mixed with water are temporarily stored in the crop (honey stomach), an enlargement of the esophagus. The ventriculus (midgut) is the functional stomach followed by an anterior intestine and rectum. Recent metagenomic surveys have shown diverse bacteria in this insect host (Jeyaprakash et al., 2003; Mohr & Tebbe, 2006; Cox-Foster et al., 2007). Understanding their specific contributions to the physiology of honeybees requires isolation of the microorganisms and subsequent biochemical and genetic characterizations. The sporulating actinomycetes are ubiquitous in terrestrial habitats and include common genera such as Streptomyces, Frankia, Nocardia and Micromonospora (Ventura et al., 2007).

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