Multiple fungal infections in the solitary bee, Megachile rotundata

Monday, November 17, 2014: 9:00 AM
C124 (Oregon Convention Center)
Ellen Klinger , Bee Biology & Systematics Laboratory, USDA - ARS, Logan, UT
Rosalind James , USDA - ARS, Logan, UT
Dennis Welker , Biology, Utah State University, Logan, UT
Insect hosts with concomitant infecting pathogens are commonplace in nature.  However, not a great deal is known about how pathogens interact and compete while utilizing the same host. In this study, the dynamics of two naturally occurring fungal pathogens (Ascosphaera spp.) were studied in the solitary bee host, Megachile rotundata. While a high rate of growth in vitro was found in one pathogen, the second, more growth restricted pathogen was significantly more virulent to the bee.  Based on inhibitory growth studies, the presence of another pathogen may alter the way in which both of these pathogens colonize and reproduce in the host.