Reactive oxygen species are regulated by immune deficiency and Toll pathways in determining the host specificity of honeybee gut bacteria

Lizhen Guo, Junbo Tang, Min Tang, Shiqi Luo, Xin Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Host specificity is observed in gut symbionts of diverse animal lineages. But how hosts maintain symbionts while rejecting their close relatives remains elusive. We use eusocial bees and their codiversified gut bacteria to understand host regulation driving symbiotic specificity. The cross-inoculation of bumblebee Gilliamella induced higher prostaglandin in the honeybee gut, promoting a pronounced host response through immune deficiency (IMD) and Toll pathways. Gene silencing and vitamin C treatments indicate that reactive oxygen species (ROS), not antimicrobial peptides, acts as the effector in inhibiting the non-native strain. Quantitative PCR and RNAi further reveal a regulatory function of the IMD and Toll pathways, in which Relish and dorsal-1 may regulate Dual Oxidase (Duox) for ROS production. Therefore, the honeybee maintains symbiotic specificity by creating a hostile gut environment to exotic bacteria, through differential regulation of its immune system, reflecting a co-opting of existing machinery evolved to combat pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2219634120
Pages (from-to)e2219634120
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume120
Issue number33
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2023

Keywords

  • honeybee gut microbe
  • host immune response
  • host specificity
  • prostaglandin
  • ROS

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