WIKI IN PROGRESS
Characteristics of the symbiont/pathogen
What kind of microbe is it (eg Cell morphology, shape, phylogenetic classification)? Is its genome sequenced, and if so, how big is the genome?
Nosema ceranae, a microsporidia, is part a member of the Nosematidae family. Nosema ceranae is a fungi, and a spore forming, rod or oval shaped microbe that measures approximately 3.9-5.3 µm in length and 2.0-2.5 µm in width. Nosema ceranae has three developmental stages: Meronts, which is the earliest stage, and during this stage the plasma membrane of the microbe makes direct contact with the cytoplasm of the host. During sporont stage the microbe becomes elongated and oval and consists of a dense cytoplasm, yet there is no distinct internal structures. The third stage is the Sporoblast stage, the microbe is smaller during this stage than the sporont stage, and has a distinct cell wall as well as two nuclei. After a complete sequencing of Nosema ceranae'’'s genome, it was shown to consists of 2.75.8 MB and had a strong AT bias.
Characteristics of the host
What host/s is/are involved? Is there host specificity? Are there secondary reservoirs?
The symbiont relationship with Nosema ceranae and the honey bee originated in the Asian honey bee Apis cerana, but has since then switched host to infect the European honey bee Apis mellifera.
What kind of interaction do host and symbiont have? How is the host affected by the relationship? How does the host acquire and transmit the symbiont? Is the interaction obligate or facultative?
Nosema ceranae and the honeybee have a parasitic relationship, meaning that the N. ceranae benefits while the honey bee is harmed throughout the process. N. ceranae forms spores which are then ingested by the honey bee through water or food. These spores then invade the gut epithelium immediately. The spores rapidly multiply in the gut and then are excreted and the spores are transferred to the other honeybees that live in the same colony through the cleaning and feeding activities. Nosema ceranae decrease the honeybees ability to obtain nutrients from the environment which ultimately shortens their lifespan. Nosema ceranae can effect the overall colony growth and hinder winter survival.
Molecular Insights into the Symbiosis
Describe molecular/genetic studies on the symbiosis.
Ecological and Evolutionary Aspects
What is the evolutionary history of the interaction? Do particular environmental factors play a role in regulating the symbiosis?
Describe two findings on the symbiosis published within the last two years.
[Sample reference] [ Seemanapalli SV, Xu Q, McShan K, Liang FT. 2010. Outer surface protein C is a dissemination-facilitating factor of Borrelia burgdorferi during mammalian infection. PLoS One 5:e15830.]
Chen,Y., Evans,J., Murphy,C., Gutell,R., Zuker,M., Gundensen-Rindal,D and Pettis,J. 2009. Morphological, molecular, and phylogenetic characterization of Nosema ceranae, a microsporidian parasite isolated from the European honey bee, Apis mellifera. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology 56: 142-147.
Edited by [Lacey Berry], student of Grace Lim-Fong