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Showing posts from April, 2012

Putting our honey bee data in context

Our group recently addressed the effect of within-colony genetic diversity on the associated microbial community of the honeybee Apis melliera [1].  We obtained more than 70,000 pyrosequences from samples of whole worker bees, worker guts, and from bee bread taken from 22 colonies (n= 12 colonies were genetically diverse; n=10 colonies were genetically uniform).  Our research found that the honey bee colonies benefit from the promiscuous mating of queens; diverse colonies were characterized by a reduction in potential pathogens and enrichment for possible probiotic species.  We used well established approaches for clustering (based on 97% sequence identity using average neighbor) and de novo classifying short pyrosequences [2-5] as these sequences are arguably too short for robust phylogenetic analyses [6].  Our approach used the Na├»ve Bayesian Classifier trained on the Arb-Silva dataset and targeted diversity in the V1-V2 region. The utility of this approach is that we could, through…