Xylocopa sonorina
Xylocopa sonorina foraging on sage blossoms. Photo: Kathy Keatley Garvey for UCANR.

Microbiome analysis of social carpenter bees

Rachel Vannette and members of her lab, including 2021 cohort member Michael Yu, used 16S sequencing to determine that the social carpenter bees Xylocopa sonorina and Xylocopa tabaniformis orpifex share microflora species in their crop and gut, but also host microbiomes that vary by species and geographic location. Further, their results suggest that the microbiomes of bee species with simple social groups can have characteristics typically associated with bees that have more complex social structures.

You can read a preprint of this work, which also is in review at a major journal.

Madeline Handy, Dino Sbardellati, Michael Yu, et al. Incipiently social carpenter bees (Xylocopa) host distinctive gut bacterial communities and display geographic structure as revealed by full-length 16S sequencing. Authorea. February 02, 2022.
DOI: 10.22541/au.164380444.43685568/v1

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