Journal Club Article for February 26th, 2021

We will dis­cuss the linked arti­cle at our next week­ly Jour­nal Club meet­ing. The arti­cle is titled “Using ITS2 metabar­cod­ing and microscopy to analyse shifts in pollen diets of hon­ey bees and bum­ble bees along a mass-flow­er­ing crop gradient”.

Meet­ing ID: 96355527272

Abstract: World­wide pol­li­na­tor declines lead to pol­li­na­tion deficits in crops and wild plants, and man­aged bees are fre­quent­ly used to meet the increas­ing demand for pol­li­na­tion. How­ev­er, their for­ag­ing can be affect­ed by flower avail­abil­i­ty and colony size. We inves­ti­gat­ed how mass-flow­er­ing oilseed rape (OSR) can influ­ence the pollen resource use of small and large hon­ey bee (Apis mel­lif­era L.) and bum­ble bee (Bom­bus ter­restris L.) colonies. Colonies were placed adja­cent to straw­ber­ry fields along a gra­di­ent of OSR avail­abil­i­ty in the land­scapes. We used ITS2 metabar­cod­ing to iden­ti­fy the pollen rich­ness based on ITS2 ampli­con sequenc­ing and microscopy for quan­tifi­ca­tion of tar­get pollen. Bum­ble bees col­lect­ed pollen from more dif­fer­ent plant gen­era than hon­ey bees. In both species, straw­ber­ry pollen col­lec­tion decreased with high OSR avail­abil­i­ty but was facil­i­tat­ed by increas­ing straw­ber­ry flower cov­er. Colony size had no effect. The rela­tion­ship between next-gen­er­a­tion sequenc­ing-gen­er­at­ed ITS2 ampli­con reads and micro­scop­ic pollen counts was pos­i­tive but pollen type-spe­cif­ic. Bum­ble bees and, to a less­er degree, hon­ey bees col­lect­ed pollen from a wide vari­ety of plants. There­fore, in order to sup­port pol­li­na­tors and asso­ci­at­ed pol­li­na­tion ser­vices, future con­ser­va­tion schemes should sus­tain and pro­mote pollen plant rich­ness in agri­cul­tur­al land­scapes. Both bee species respond­ed to the avail­abil­i­ty of flower resources in the land­scape. Although hon­ey bees col­lect­ed slight­ly more straw­ber­ry pollen than bum­ble bees, both can be con­sid­ered as crop pol­li­na­tors. Metabar­cod­ing could pro­vide sim­i­lar quan­ti­ta­tive infor­ma­tion to microscopy, tak­ing into account the pollen types, but there remains high poten­tial to improve the method­olog­i­cal weaknesses.

Mas­sas­oit STEM events are open to ALL Mas­sas­oit stu­dents, fac­ul­ty, and staff.

Mas­sas­oit Com­mu­ni­ty Col­lege encour­ages per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties to par­tic­i­pate in its pro­grams and activ­i­ties. If you antic­i­pate need­ing any type of accom­mo­da­tion or have ques­tions relat­ed to access for this event, please con­tact the Divi­sion of Sci­ence and Math­e­mat­ics at in advance of your par­tic­i­pa­tion or vis­it.

Pho­to by Robin Can­field on Unsplash

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