Silvio Erler

Silvio Erler
Julius Kühn-Institut Braunschweig · Institute for Bee Protection

PD Dr.

About

74
Publications
49,953
Reads
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1,623
Citations
Introduction
My research interests can be summarized as follows: - Host-parasite evolution - Biology of social insect diseases - Ageing and immunity of social insects (Apis, Bombus) - Evolution of insect innate immune system and behavioural immunity - Genetic basis of caste determination - Evolution of mitochondrial genomes (social insects, Orthoptera) - Genome annotation, immunity genes (Bombus)
Additional affiliations
March 2022 - present
Technische Universität Braunschweig
Position
  • Privatdozent
October 2019 - July 2020
Julius Kühn-Institute
Position
  • Senior Research Associate
October 2018 - September 2019
Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
Position
  • Chair
Education
May 2013 - April 2018
April 2008 - December 2011
October 2003 - March 2008

Publications

Publications (74)
Article
Full-text available
In the European honey bee (Apis mellifera), the olfactory system is essential for foraging and intraspecific communication via pheromones. Honey bees are equipped with a large repertoire of olfactory receptors belonging to the insect odorant receptor (OR) family. Previous studies have indicated that the transcription level of a few OR types includi...
Article
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Pollinating bees are stressed by highly variable environmental conditions, malnutrition, parasites and pathogens, but may also by getting in contact with microorganisms or entomopathogenic nematodes that are used to control plant pests and diseases. While foraging for water, food, or nest material social as well as solitary bees have direct contact...
Article
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To avoid potential adverse side effects of chemical plant protection products, microbial pest control products (MPCP) are commonly applied as biological alternatives. This study aimed to evaluate the biosafety of a MPCP with the active organism Bacillus thuringiensis ssp. aizawai (strain: ABTS-1857). An in-hive feeding experiment was performed unde...
Article
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This mini-review aims at raising the interest in contractile phage tail-like particles (CPTPs) of bacteria as an efficient and pest-specific alternative to conventional chemical pesticides in agriculture, horticulture and forestry. CPTPs are used by various bacteria in diverse environments for interbacterial competition or for manipulation of eukar...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental monitoring involves the quantification of microscopic cells and particles such as algae, plant cells, pollen, or fungal spores. Traditional methods using conventional microscopy require expert knowledge, are time‐intensive and not well‐suited for automated high throughput. Multispectral imaging flow cytometry (MIFC) allows measurement...
Article
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Honey adulteration generates low quality products on the market. The study aimed to find a simple, specific and less time-consuming method than standard melissopalynology only, for monitoring honey botanical and geographical origin. In this study 42 honey samples from different sources were examined for their botanical origin by using melissopalyno...
Article
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Post-surgery liver failure is a serious complication for patients after extended partial hepatectomies (ePHx). Previously, we demonstrated in the pig model that transplantation of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) improved circulatory maintenance and supported multi-organ functions after 70% liver resection. Mechanisms behind the beneficial MSC effect...
Article
Post-surgery liver failure is a serious complication for patients after extended partial hepatectomies (ePHx). Previously, we demonstrated in the pig model that transplantation of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) improved circulatory maintenance and supported multi-organ functions after 70% liver resection. Mechanisms behind the beneficial MSC effec...
Article
Full-text available
Honey bees (Apis mellifera) perform pollination service for many agricultural crops and contribute to the global economy in agriculture and bee products. However, honey bee health is an ongoing concern, as illustrated by persistent local population decline, caused by some severe bee diseases (e.g., nosemosis, AFB, EFB, chalkbrood). Three natural re...
Article
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European foulbrood (EFB), caused by Melissococcus plutonius, is a globally distributed bacterial brood disease affecting Apis mellifera larvae. There is some evidence, even if under debate, that spreading of the disease within the colony is prevented by worker bees performing hygienic behaviour, including detection and removal of infected larvae. O...
Article
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Nosema ceranae is a ubiquitous microsporidian pathogen infecting the midgut of honey bees. The infection causes bee nosemosis, a disease associated with malnutrition, dysentery, and lethargic behavior, and results in considerable economic losses in apiculture. The use of a rapid, sensitive, and inexpensive DNA-based molecular detection method assis...
Article
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Bees are essential pollinators and their protection is relevant to secure biodiversity and agricultural production. MonViA-project members and partners collaborate in monitoring projects to develop effective policies to support biodiversity in Germany. In the current case-study, the impact of climate on honey bee population performance was assessed...
Article
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Paenibacillus larvae is the etiological agent of American Foulbrood (AFB), a highly contagious brood disease of honey bees (Apis mellifera). AFB requires mandatory reporting to the veterinary authority in many countries and until now four genotypes, P. larvae ERIC I-IV, have been identified. We isolated a new genotype, ERIC V, from a Spanish honey...
Article
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Honey proteins are essential bee nutrients and antimicrobials that protect honey from microbial spoilage. The majority of the honey proteome includes bee-secreted peptides and proteins, produced in specialised glands; however, bees need to forage actively for nitrogen sources and other basic elements of protein synthesis. Nectar and pollen of diffe...
Article
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The genome of the western honeybee (Apis mellifera) harbors nine transcribed major royal jelly protein genes (mrjp1‐9) which originate from a single‐copy precursor via gene duplication. The first MRJP was identified in royal jelly, a secretion of the bees' hypopharyngeal glands that is used by young worker bees, called nurses, to feed developing la...
Article
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Aging is a risk factor for adipose tissue dysfunction, which is associated with inflammatory innate immune mechanisms. Since the adipose tissue/liver axis contributes to hepatosteatosis, we sought to determine age-related adipose tissue dysfunction in the context of the activation of the innate immune system fostering fatty liver phenotypes. Using...
Article
Full-text available
European foulbrood is a globally distributed brood disease affecting honey bees. It may lead to lethal infections of larvae and, in severe cases, even to colony collapse. Lately, a profound genetic and phenotypic diversity was documented for the causative agent Melissococcus plutonius. However, experimental work on the impact of diverse M. plutoniu...
Article
Several environmental factors (e.g. food source, pesticides, toxins, parasites and pathogens) influence development and maturation of honey bees (Apis mellifera). Therefore, controlled experimental conditions are mandatory when studying the impact of environmental factors: particularly food quality and nutrient consumption. In vitro larval rearing...
Article
Full-text available
Honey bees directly affect and are influenced by their local environment, in terms of food sources, pollinator densities, pathogen and toxin exposure and climate. Currently, there is a lack of studies analyzing these data with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to investigate spatial relationships with the environment. Particularly for inter-colo...
Article
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Social insects have evolved enormous capacities to collectively build nests and defend their colonies against both predators and pathogens. The latter is achieved by a combination of individual immune responses and sophisticated collective behavioral and organizational disease defenses, that is, social immunity. We investigated how the presence or...
Article
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Honey bees are highly prone to infectious diseases, causing colony losses in the worst case. However, they combat diseases through a combination of their innate immune system and social defence behaviours like foraging for health-enhancing plant products (e.g. nectar, pollen and resin). Plant secondary metabolites are not only highly active against...
Article
Full-text available
In Europe, approximately 84% of cultivated crop species depend on insect pollinators, mainly bees. Apis mellifera (the Western honey bee) is the most important commercial pollinator worldwide. The Gram-positive bacterium Melissococcus plutonius is the causative agent of European foulbrood (EFB), a global honey bee brood disease. In order to detect...
Article
Full-text available
Ongoing intensification of rice production systems in Southeast Asia is causing devastating yield losses each year due to rice hoppers. Their continuing development of immunity to resistant rice varieties and pesticide applications further complicates this problem. Hence, there is a high demand for biological control agents of rice hoppers. Egg par...
Article
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Honeybees are prone to parasite and pathogen infestations/infections due to their social colony life. Bacterial pathogens in particular lead to destructive infections of the brood. European foulbrood is caused by the bacterium Melissococcus plutonius in combination with several other Gram-positive bacteria (Achromobacter eurydice, Bacillus pumilus,...
Preprint
Full-text available
On-going intensification of rice production systems in Southeast Asia is causing devastating yield losses each year due to rice hoppers. Continuing development of immunity to resistant rice varieties and pesticide application further complicate this problem. Hence, there is a high demand for biological control agents. Egg parasitoid wasps are among...
Article
Natural honey bee products, especially propolis are well known for their biological properties. However, less well known are the impact of propolis’ single phenolic substances and variation across different landscapes, geographic locations and botanical origins. Here, we determined the chemical composition of propolis samples collected in different...
Article
Full-text available
In patients, acute kidney injury (AKI) is often due to haemodynamic impairment associated with hepatic decompensation following extended liver surgery. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) supported tissue protection in a variety of acute and chronic diseases, and might hence ameliorate AKI induced by extended liver resection. Here, 70% liver resection wa...
Article
Social insects are the target of numerous pathogens. This is because the high density of closely-related individuals frequently interacting with each other enhances the transmission and establishment of pathogens. This high selective pressure results in the rapid evolution of immune genes, which might be counteracted by a reduced effective populati...
Conference Paper
Introduction: Honeybee's self-produced gland secretions and foraged hive products should chiefly facilitate medication and sanitation of the colony. Apis mellifera developed several behavioral defense strategies known as ‘social immunity'. The main nutrients of a bee colony, honey and pollen, contain many plant compounds that prevent microparasite...
Article
Viral diseases are one of the multiple factors associated with honeybee colony losses. Apart from their innate immune system, including the RNAi machinery, honeybees can use secondary plant metabolites to reduce or fully cure pathogen infections. Here, we tested the antiviral potential of Laurus nobilis leaf ethanolic extracts on forager honeybees...
Article
Full-text available
Honeybee collected pollen exhibits high nutritional and pharmaceutical benefits for the human diet and medicine. Pollen’s antioxidant, anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory, anti-atherosclerosis, and cardioprotective activity, depending on the floral origin, are well known. Recent studies proposed that pollen may also be an excellent cancer-fighting candi...
Article
Apitherapy promises cures for diseases in human folk medicine, but the effects of honeybee produced and foraged compounds on bee health are less known. Yet, hive products should chiefly facilitate medication and sanitation of the honeybees themselves rather than other organisms.We here review the impact of both self-produced gland secretions and fo...
Article
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Apoptosis is not only pivotal for development, but also for pathogen defence in multicellular organisms. Although numerous intracellular pathogens are known to interfere with the host’s apoptotic machinery to overcome this defence, its importance for host-parasite coevolution has been neglected. We conducted three inoculation experiments to investi...
Conference Paper
Hintergrund: Der Anstieg der Morbiditäts- und Mortalitätsrate im Zusammenhang mit einem akuten Nierenversagen (ANV) konnte für ein weites Spektrum klinischer Komplikationen gezeigt werden. Besonders die akute Schädigung der Niere nach Ischämie-Reperfusion der Leber ist weit verbreitet (40 – 85%). Sie erhöht die Mortalität und Morbidität der Patient...
Conference Paper
Acute kidney injury (AKI) bears high morbidity and mortality risks for patients demanding for strong efforts in intensive care units. Often, AKI results from surgical procedures with hemodynamic disturbance like cardiovascular interventions or extended liver resection. The acute kidney injury is characterized by the decrease of the glomerular iltra...
Article
Full-text available
Sociality has many rewards, but can also be dangerous, as high population density and low genetic diversity, common in social insects, is ideal for parasite transmission. Despite this risk, honeybees and other sequenced social insects have far fewer canonical immune genes relative to solitary insects. Social protection from infection, including beh...
Article
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The shift from solitary to social behavior is one of the major evolutionary transitions. Primitively eusocial bumblebees are uniquely placed to illuminate the evolution of highly eusocial insect societies. Bumblebees are also invaluable natural and agricultural pollinators, and there is widespread concern over recent population declines in some spe...
Article
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The domesticated silkworm Bombyx mori L. comprises a large number of geographical breeds and hybrid lines. Knowing the genetic structure of those may provide information to improve the conservation of commercial lines by estimating inbreeding over generations and the consequences of excessive use of those lineages. Here, we analyzed the genetic div...
Article
Honeybees, Apis mellifera, have several prophylactic disease defense strategies, including the foraging of antibiotic, antifungal, and antiviral compounds of plant products. Hence, honey and pollen contain many compounds that prevent fungal and bacterial growth and inhibit viral replication. Since these compounds are also fed to the larvae by nurse...
Article
Full-text available
Honeybee colonies offer an excellent environment for microbial pathogen development. The highest virulent, colony killing, bacterial agents are Paenibacillus larvae causing American foulbrood (AFB), and European foulbrood (EFB) associated bacteria. Besides the innate immune defense, honeybees evolved behavioral defenses to combat infections. Foragi...
Article
To date five different theories compete in explaining the biological mechanisms of senescence or ageing in invertebrates. Physiological, genetical, and environmental mechanisms form the image of ageing in individuals and groups. Social insects, especially the honeybee Apis mellifera, present exceptional model systems to study developmentally relate...
Article
In the honeybee, Apis mellifera, the queen larvae are fed with a diet exclusively composed of royal jelly (RJ), a secretion of the hypopharyngeal gland of young worker bees that nurse the brood. Up to 15% of RJ is composed of proteins, the nine most abundant of which have been termed major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs). Although it is widely accepte...
Article
Both climatic and geographic factors play an important role for the biogeographic distribution of species. The Carpathian mountain ridge has been suggested as a natural geographic divide between the two honeybee subspecies Apis mellifera carnica and A. m. macedonica. We sampled one worker from one colony each at 138 traditional apiaries located acr...
Article
Full-text available
Background In the honeybee Apis mellifera, female larvae destined to become a queen are fed with royal jelly, a secretion of the hypopharyngeal glands of young nurse bees that rear the brood. The protein moiety of royal jelly comprises mostly major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs) of which the coding genes (mrjp1-9) have been identified on chromosome 1...
Article
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Background Colostrum has many beneficial effects on newborns due to its main compounds (proteins, fats, lactose, essential fatty acids, amino acids) as well as protective antibodies that confer to the body. The buffaloes are the second important species for milk production in the world after cows. The importance of the species is also conferred by...
Article
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Ergonomic growth phases of annual social insect societies strongly influence horizontally transmitted parasites. Herein, we focused on the impact of tempo-ral changes in host demography on the population structure of a horizontally transmitted parasite. Seasonal fluctuations in prevalence and the occurrence of multiple infections of the gut parasit...
Article
Thirteen years after his seminal book Parasites in social insects, Paul SCHMID-HEMPEL published the monograph Evolutionary parasitology that will serve as a basic refer-ence for students, teaching and scientific staff in several fields: parasitology, immunology, ecology and evolution. In his new monograph, he combined fundamentals of evolu-tionary...
Article
Full-text available
Social insects are prone to attack by parasites as they provide numerous resources of food and brood, homeostatic nest conditions and a high density of individuals, enhancing the transmission of parasites. The defence of social insects might occur at different levels, the individual and the group. Individual defence occurs in part via the innate im...
Article
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Local adaptation within host-parasite systems can evolve by several non-exclusive drivers (e.g., host species-genetic adaptation; ecological conditions-ecological adaptation, and time-temporal adaptation). Social insects, especially bumblebees, with an annual colony life history not only provide an ideal system to test parasite transmission within...