Midgut bacterial communities in the giant Asian honeybee (Apis dorsata) across 4 developmental stages: A comparative study

Prakaimuk Saraithong, Yihong Li, Kanokporn Saenphet, Zhou Chen, Panuwan Chantawannakul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Bacterial communities are known to play important roles during the developmental stages of insects, but current knowledge of bacteria associated with the midgut of Apis dorsata, the giant Asian honeybee, is limited. Using polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis (PCR-DGGE) and 16S rRNA sequencing, the aim of this study was to determine the dynamics of bacterial community structure across four A. dorsata life stages in different geographical locations. The results reveal that bacterial diversity increased as the bee progressed through larval stage to newly emerged worker and old worker. However, in the pupal stage, no bands identified as bacteria could be observed. Overall, 2 bacterial phyla (Proteobacteria and Firmicutes) and 4 classes (Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, and Bacilli) were identified, but the frequency varied among the different stages and locations. The classes of Gammaproteobacteria and Bacilli dominated among larval, newly emerged worker and old worker developmental stages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-92
Number of pages12
JournalInsect Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017



  • 16S rRNA gene
  • Apis dorsata
  • DGGE
  • gut flora
  • insect bacteria
  • microbial diversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Insect Science

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