The Effect of Artificial Media and Temperature on the Growth and Development of the Honey Bee Brood Pathogen Ascosphaera apis
Department of Genetics and Agricultural Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of South Bohemia, Studentska 1668, 370 05 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
Department of Zoology, Fisheries, Hydrobiology and Apiculture, Faculty of AgriSciences, Mendel University in Brno, Zemedelska 1, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic
Department of Agroecosystems, Faculty of Agriculture, University of South Bohemia, Studentska 1668, 370 05 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
Department of Crop Production, Faculty of Agriculture, University of South Bohemia, Studentska 1668, 370 05 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Entomology, 370 05 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gill Diamond
Received: 5 April 2021 / Revised: 3 May 2021 / Accepted: 8 May 2021 / Published: 12 May 2021
Chalkbrood is a worldwide spread honey bee brood disease caused by the fungal pathogen Ascosphaera apis. The disease is commonly treated with fungicides, but due to the accumulation of residues, these fungicides have been banned in many countries, including European Union countries. Since then, control of chalkbrood has been problematic. The disease is fatal to individual honey bee larvae and can cause significant losses in terms of both bee numbers and colony productivity, and can even in some cases lead to colony collapse. Owing to these reasons, in vitro fungus cultivation is necessary to properly understand its pathogenesis as well as life cycle for the possible future development of an efficient and environmentally friendly control method. Therefore, in this study, several artificial media and different temperatures were evaluated to see their impact on the growth and development of A. apis. Furthermore, one of the media was modified by the addition of crushed honey bee brood to simulate natural conditions. This medium was found to be the most suitable for fungus reproductive structure production. In addition, a biological pattern was found explaining the relationships between temperature and the size of the fungal reproductive structures.