Antiparasitic Effects of Three Floral Volatiles on Trypanosomatid Infection in Honey Bees

35 Pages Posted: 14 May 2022

See all articles by Evan Palmer-Young

Evan Palmer-Young

Government of the United States of America - Bee Research Laboratory; Government of the United States of America - United States Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (USDA-ARS)

Lindsey M. Markowitz

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Kyle Grubbs

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Zhang Yi

Guangdong Pharmaceutical University - School of Chinese Medicinal Resource

Miguel Corona

Government of the United States of America - Bee Research Laboratory

Ryan Schwarz

Fort Lewis College

Chen Yanping

USDA-ARS

Jay D. Evans

Government of the United States of America - Bee Research Laboratory

Abstract

Trypanosomatid gut parasites are common in pollinators and costly for social bees. The recently described honey bee trypanosomatid Lotmaria passim is widespread, abundant, and associated with bee mortality and colony losses on multiple continents. The potential for amelioration of infection by antimicrobial plant compounds has been thoroughly studied for closely related trypanosomatids of humans and is an area of active research in bumble bees, but remains relatively unexplored in honey bees. We recently identified several floral volatiles that inhibited growth of L. passim in vitro . Here, we tested the dose-dependent effects of four such compounds on infection, mortality, and food consumption in parasite-inoculated honey bees.We found that diets containing the monoterpenoid carvacrol and the phenylpropanoids cinnamaldehyde and eugenol at >10-fold the inhibitory concentrations for cell cultures reduced infection, with parasite numbers decreased by >90% for carvacrol and cinnamaldehyde and >99% for eugenol; effects of the carvacrol isomer thymol were non-significant. However, both carvacrol and eugenol also reduced bee survival, whereas parasite inoculation did not, indicating costs of phytochemical exposure that could exceed those of infection itself. To our knowledge, this is the first controlled screening of phytochemicals for effects on honey bee trypanosomatid infection, identifying potential treatments for managed bees afflicted with a newly characterized, cosmopolitan intestinal parasite.

Keywords: Plant secondary metabolites, pollinator disease ecology, colony collapse disorder, Leishmaniinae, Crithidia mellificae, Apis mellifera

Suggested Citation

Palmer-Young, Evan and Markowitz, Lindsey M. and Grubbs, Kyle and Yi, Zhang and Corona, Miguel and Schwarz, Ryan and Yanping, Chen and Evans, Jay D., Antiparasitic Effects of Three Floral Volatiles on Trypanosomatid Infection in Honey Bees. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4109839 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4109839

Evan Palmer-Young (Contact Author)

Government of the United States of America - Bee Research Laboratory ( email )

Beltsville, MD
United States

Government of the United States of America - United States Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (USDA-ARS) ( email )

64 Nowelo Street
Hilo, HI 96720
United States

Lindsey M. Markowitz

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Kyle Grubbs

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Zhang Yi

Guangdong Pharmaceutical University - School of Chinese Medicinal Resource ( email )

Miguel Corona

Government of the United States of America - Bee Research Laboratory ( email )

Ryan Schwarz

Fort Lewis College ( email )

1000 Rim Drive
Durango, CO 81301
United States

Chen Yanping

USDA-ARS ( email )

Jay D. Evans

Government of the United States of America - Bee Research Laboratory ( email )

Beltsville, MD
United States

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