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Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.01144

Higher bacterial diversity of gut microbiota in different natural populations of leafhopper vector does not influence WDV transmission

Hui Wang1,  Nan Wu1, Yan Liu1,  Jiban K. Kundu2,  Wenwen Liu1* and  Xifeng Wang1*
  • 1State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection (CAAS), China
  • 2Crop Research Institute (CRI), Czechia

The bacterial communities in the gut of an insect have important ecological and functional effects on the insect. However, the community composition and diversity of the gut microbiota in insects that vector plant viruses are poorly understood. As an important insect vector, Psammotettix alienus transmits various viruses including wheat dwarf virus (WDV). Here, we used the combination of leafhopper and WDV as model to survey the influence of gut microbiota on virus transmission characteristic of insect vector and vice versa. We have characterized 22 phyla and 249 genera of all gut bacterial communities in the leafhopper populations collected from six geographic regions in China. Community composition and diversity varied across different geographic populations. However, WDV transmission efficiencies of these six field populations were all greater than 80% with no significant difference. Interestingly, the transmission efficiency of WDV by laboratory reared insects with decreased gut bacterial diversity was similar to that of field populations. Furthermore, we found that the composition of the leafhopper gut bacteria was dynamic and could reversibly respond to WDV acquisition. Higher bacterial diversity and abundance of gut microbiota in different leafhopper populations did not influence their WDV transmission efficiency, while the acquisition of WDV changes gut microbiota by a dynamic and reversible manner. This report provides insight into the complex relationship between the gut microbiota, insect vector and virus.

Keywords: European grass feeding leafhopper (Psammotettix alienus), 16S rDNA high-throughput sequencing, gut bacterial community, Wheat dwarf virus (WDV), Geographic location

Received: 06 Mar 2019; Accepted: 06 May 2019.

Edited by:

George Tsiamis, University of Patras, Greece

Reviewed by:

Jia Dongsheng, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, China
Elena Gonella, University of Turin, Italy  

Copyright: © 2019 Wang, Wu, Liu, Kundu, Liu and Wang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Dr. Wenwen Liu, State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection (CAAS), Beijing, Beijing Municipality, China, liuwenwen98@163.com
Prof. Xifeng Wang, State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection (CAAS), Beijing, Beijing Municipality, China, xfwang@ippcaas.cn