Antimicrobial peptides play a functional role in bumblebee anti-trypanosome defense

Dev Comp Immunol. 2014 Feb;42(2):240-3. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2013.09.004. Epub 2013 Sep 20.


Bumblebees, amongst the most important of pollinators, are under enormous population pressures. One of these is disease. The bumblebee and its gut trypanosome Crithidia bombi are one of the fundamental models of ecological immunology. Although there is previous evidence of increased immune gene expression upon Crithidia infection, recent work has focussed on the bumblebee's gut microbiota. Here, by knocking down gene expression using RNAi, we show for the first time that antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have a functional role in anti-Crithidia defense.

Keywords: Antimicrobial peptides; Crithidia bombi; Gut microbiota; RNAi.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / genetics
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / immunology*
  • Bees / genetics
  • Bees / immunology*
  • Bees / parasitology*
  • Crithidia / immunology*
  • Defensins / genetics
  • Defensins / immunology*
  • Host-Parasite Interactions / genetics
  • Host-Parasite Interactions / immunology*
  • Insect Proteins / genetics
  • Insect Proteins / immunology*
  • RNA Interference
  • RNA, Small Interfering


  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Defensins
  • Insect Proteins
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • abaecin protein, Apis mellifera