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Specialized gut microbiota-host interactions in social bees

Philipp Engel

University of Lausanne
Department Fundamental Microbiology


Engel Lab

Fri | September 13th, 2024
09.00 – 10.00 am

University of Hohenheim
BIO building

Animals often harbor specialized microbial communities their gut. These communities have significant physiological and metabolic effects on their hosts, and hence impact animal health and disease in many ways.

However, understanding mechanisms underlying gut microbiota-host interactions still represents a formidable challenge due to the complex and often inaccessible biology of gut microbial communities and their animal hosts.

Social bees (i.e. honey bees, stingless bees and bumble bees) offer fantastic opportunities to study gut microbiota-host interactions as they harbor relatively simple yet specialized and experimentally tractable gut bacterial communities. In my talk, I will present recent findings from ecological surveys of wild bee species and gnotobiotic bee experiments with honey bees which advance our understanding of the evolution, ecology, and functioning of microbiota-host interactions and provide new insights into bee health.