Nosema ceranae

From MicrobeWiki, the student-edited microbiology resource


Ex. [[]]

Characteristics of the symbiont/pathogen

Nosema ceranae [1]

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 gram-negative microbe originated from the microbe Apis cerana and is part a member of the Nosematidae family. This is 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 that the microbe consists 4,475 basepairs.

Characteristics of the host

What host/s is/are involved? Is there host specificity? Are there secondary reservoirs?

Host-Symbiont Interaction

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. This is how one individual is infected. The spores rapidly multiply in the gut of the honeybee ultimately causing death. The infected honeybee then produces feces and the spores are transferred to the other honeybees that live in the same environment through the cleaning and feeding activities in the population

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?

Recent Discoveries

Describe two findings on the symbiosis published within the last two years.


[Sample reference] [[2] 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.]


[2]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