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Data from: Introduced bees (Osmia cornifrons) collect pollen from both coevolved and novel host-plant species within their family-level phylogenetic preferences


Vaudo, Anthony et al. (2020), Data from: Introduced bees (Osmia cornifrons) collect pollen from both coevolved and novel host-plant species within their family-level phylogenetic preferences, Dryad, Dataset,


Studying the pollen preferences of introduced bees allows us to investigate how species utilize host-plants when establishing in new environments. Osmia cornifrons is a solitary bee introduced into North America from East-Asia for pollination of crops in the Rosaceae. We investigated whether O. cornifrons 1) more frequently collected pollen from host-plant species they coevolved with from their geographic origin, or 2) prefer hosts-plant species of specific plant taxa independent of origin. To address this question, using pollen metabarcoding we examined the identity and relative abundance of pollen in larval provisions from nests located in different habitats with varying abundance of East-Asian and non-Asian plant species. Our results show that O. cornifrons disproportionately, yet not exclusively, collected pollen from their native range. Plants in the family Rosaceae were their most preferred pollen hosts, where they differentially collected species native to East-Asia, Europe, or North America depending on the landscape. Our results suggest that while O. cornifrons more frequently collect pollen of East-Asian origin, the collection of pollen from novel species within their phylogenetic familial affinities can facilitate pollinator establishment. This phylogenetic preference highlights the effectiveness of O. cornifrons as crop pollinators of a variety of Rosaceae crops from different geographic origins. Ourresults imply that globalization of non-native plant species may ease the naturalization of their coevolved pollinators outside of their native range. 


Data were obtained by pollen metabarcoding of the ITS2 gene region as in the following references:

Keller A, Danner N, Grimmer G, Ankenbrand M, von der Ohe K, et al. Evaluating multiplexed next-generation sequencing as a method in palynology for mixed pollen samples. Plant Biology. 2015;17(2):558-66.

Sickel W, Ankenbrand MJ, Grimmer G, Holzschuh A, Härtel S, Lanzen J, et al. Increased efficiency in identifying mixed pollen samples by meta-barcoding with a dual-indexing approach. BMC ecology. 2015;15(1):20.

Sequences were quality filtered and classified using VSEARCH and DBdatabaser:

Rognes T, Flouri T, Nichols B, Quince C, Mahe F. VSEARCH: a versatile open source tool for metagenomics. Peerj. 2016;4:22.

Keller A, Hohlfeld S, Kolter A, Schultz J, Gemeinholzer B, Ankenbrand MJ. BDdatabaser: On-the-fly reference database creation for (meta-)barcoding. EcoEvoRxiv. 2019. doi: 10.32942/


Usage Notes




USDA-SCRI, Award: PEN04398

USDA-SCRI, Award: MICL05063

USDA Hatch Appropriations, Award: Project #PEN04619

State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania