Molecular characterization of Nosema bombi (Microsporidia: Nosematidae) and a note on its sites of infection in Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apoidea)
Ingemar Fries; AAD De Ruijter; Robert J Paxton; Alexandre J Da Silva; Susan B Slemenda; Norman J Pieniazek;
Investigations of queen, worker and male bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) showed that all individuals became infected with Nosema bombi. Infections were found in Malpighian tubules, thorax muscles, fat body tissue and nerve tissue, including the brain. Ultrastructural studies revealed thin walled emptied spores in host cell cytoplasm interpreted as autoinfective spores, besides normal spores (environmental spores) intended for parasite transmission between hosts. The nucleotide sequence of the gene coding for the small subunit rRNA (SSU-rRNA) from Microsporidia isolated from B. terrestris, B.lucorum, and B. hortorum were identical, providing evidence that N. bombi infects multiple hosts. The sequence presented here (GenBank Accession no AY008373) is different from an earlier submission to GenBank (Accession no U26158) of a partial sequence of the same gene based on material collected from B. terrestris. It still remains to be investigated if there is species diversity among Microsporidia found in bumble bees.