Newly Identified Gut Bacteria In Bees Improves Memory

Dec, 2021 - By WMR

Newly Identified Gut Bacteria In Bees Improves Memory

New study revealed a particular species of gut bacteria enhances memory performance of bees, and according to the scientists, this mechanism may translate to humans.

A collaborated study between scientists from Jiangnan University, China, and Queen Mary University of London and the University of Oulu, Finland revealed a specific species of gut bacteria called as Lactobacillus apis improved memory performance in bumblebees. According to the scientists, this study offers compelling understanding of relationship between the brain and the microbiome, and this mechanism could translate to humans.

The scientists tested memory performance of some bees. They developed a memory test where the bees were set free in an enclosed setting that contained ten different colored artificial flowers. Five of these colored flowers had sweet solution and the remaining five were linked to a bitter solution. With five short search trips, these bees were trained to differentiate between the bitter and the sweet flowers. The team then kept these bees restricted to their nests for three days before setting them free again. They tracked movements of bees to measure how deeply they remembered which were bitter and which were sweet flowers.

After sampling the gut microbiom to find out the relation between specific gut bacteria species and better memory, they found that, a species known as Lactobacillus apis was linked to better memory performance of the bees. The team found that these gut bacteria play a role in metabolic pathway that is mediated by molecules called as glycerophospholipids. The more amount of this specific gut bacteria in bee’s gut, the more glycerophospholipids was observed, which improved the memory in bees. In humans supplementation of glycerophospholipids has been indicated as a way for maintaining cerebral structural integrity with the age. These new findings add into the information of gut-brain relationship in organisms, and it could also be applicable to humans.

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