Sci-Tech

đź“° What if a bee’s identity passes through its gut?

To recognize each other and differentiate themselves from intruders, bees from the same colony share a kind of “membership card” which is a cocktail of molecules that make up part of their skin (cuticular hydrocarbons, or CHC), according to a recent study These are the microorganisms living in the intestine (the intestine is the part of the digestive system that extends from the outlet of the stomach to the anus. In humans and most mammals, this is divided into two parts called …) bees, who would bear the main responsibility for the special composition of these cocktails.
Photo credit: Terry Sharp / Pixabay

A team of researchers from the university (A university is a university whose aim is the production of knowledge (research), its maintenance and its transmission (higher studies). In …) Washington in Saint-Louis wanted to investigate the role of the gut microbiome of bees in examine their detection mechanisms. They analyzed samples from three different colonies of Apis mellifera, the bee (Abeille is an ambiguous native name that denotes certain hymenopterous insects of the Apoidea superfamily in French. In Europe …) to honey and found that although the im The types of microorganisms present in the bee intestine were fairly common from colony to colony, their relative abundance varied, and could cause a difference in the cuticular composition of the bees from each colony. Each colony therefore has a specific microbiome and CHC profile.

Within the colony, bees are constantly sharing food and at the same time (time is a concept developed by humans to understand changes in the world) their microbiome. Thus, two sister bees raised in different hives acquire different microbiomes and therefore develop different CHC profiles. Likewise, two people who are not related but share a similar microbiome might recognize each other as being from the same colony.

But by what mechanism would these microorganisms located in the intestine influence the hydrocarbons present in the skin? (The skin is an organ that consists of several layers of tissue. Among other things, it plays the role of a cover to protect the body.) The bee? “In honeybees, say the researchers, the microbiome affects the production of precursor molecules and the expression of certain genes in the host, that is, the genes that are involved in synthesis and transport (transport is the process of carrying something or someone from one place to another, mostly with vehicles and communication channels …) cuticle oil. “

In addition, other experts have come to similar conclusions when examining a species (In the life sciences, the species (from the Latin species “type” or “appearance”) is the basic taxon of the systematics. The species is a …) leaf-cutter ant , which suggests that the role of the microbiome in recognition mechanisms in insects (Insects is a French-language journal on ecology and entomology for a large audience of amateurs and naturalists. Produced by the Office for Insects and their Environment (Association Act 1901), …) could have a common social origin.

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