Free access
Volume 24, Number 1, 1993
Page(s) 19 - 23
Apidologie 24 (1993) 19-23
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19930102

Enzymatic activity of strains of Ascosphaera apis, an entomopathogenic fungus of the honey bee, Apis mellifera

M. Gilliam and B.J. Lorenz

US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Carl Hayden Bee Research Center, 2000 E. Allen Road, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA

Abstract - Unmated +, unmated -, and mated strains of Ascosphaera apis, the honey bee chalkbrood pathogen, were examined for production of 19 enzymes using the API ZYM system. All strains produced alkaline phosphatase, butyrate esterase, leucine aminopeptidase, acid phosphatase, and β-glucosidase. Since valine aminopeptidase was produced by unmated but not by mated strains, it may be a useful enzyme for identification of mycelial strains of the fungus. β-Galactosidase and α-mannosidase may be candidate marker enzymes for identification of both unmated and mated strains. Few other molds associated with honey bees produce these 3 enzymes. Use of enzymes as taxonomic aids could simplify tests of bees and hive products for A apis, particularly unmated strains.

Key words: Ascosphaera / enzyme / honey bee / chalkbrood