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Texas bee phage sequencing

Data from: Global composition of the bacteriophage community in honeybees Raw sequencing reads were deposited in GenBank under accession numbers SRR17894214 to SRR17894216 and under BioProject accession number PRJNA803764.

To define the viral community associated with honey bees, we isolated and sequenced bacteriophages from the digestive tracks of Aphis mellifera from Austin, Texas. Identifying these viruses helps us understand the ecology and evolution of bacteria in the honey bee gut.

The microbial communities in animal digestive systems are critical to host development and health. These assemblages of primarily viruses, bacteria, and fungi stimulate the immune system during development, synthesize important chemical compounds like hormones, aid in digestion, competitively exclude pathogens, etc. The bacteriophages in animal microbiomes are harder to characterize than the bacterial or fungal components of the microbiome and thus we know comparatively little about the temporal and spatial dynamics of bacteriophage communities in animal digestive systems. Recently, the bacteriophages of the honeybee gut were characterized in two European bee populations. Most of the bacteriophages described in these two reports were novel, encoded many metabolic genes in their genomes, and had a community structure that suggests coevolution with their bacterial hosts. To describe the conservation of bacteriophages in bees and begin to understand their role in the bee microbiome, we sequenced the virome of Apis mellifera from Austin, Texas and compared bacteriophage composition between three locations around the world. We found that the majority of bacteriophages from Austin are novel, sharing no sequence similarity to anything in public repositories. However, many bacteriophages are shared among the three bee viromes, indicating specialization of bacteriophages in the bee gut. Our study along with the two previous bee virome studies shows that the bee gut bacteriophage community is simple compared to that of many animals, consisting of several hundred types of bacteriophages that primarily infect four of the dominant bacterial phylotypes in the bee gut.

Data Use
Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication and Certification (CC-PDDC)
Recommended Citation
Busby TJ, Miller CR, Moran NA, Van Leuven JT. 2022. Texas bee phage sequencing [Dataset]. National Center for Biotechnology Information.

US National Science Foundation and Idaho EPSCoR: OIA-1757324
National Institute of General Medical Sciences: P20 GM104420

Release Date
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
University of Texas rooftop hives USA
English (United States)
Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication and Certification
Taylor J. Busby, Craig R. Miller, Nancy A. Moran and James T. VanLeuven
Contact Name
James VanLeuven
Contact Email
Public Access Level
Data available on:: 
Saturday, February 5, 2022