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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.02004

Taxonomy, diet, and developmental stage contribute to the structuring of gut-associated bacterial communities in tephritid pest species

  • 1Joint FAO/IAEA Programme of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, Austria
  • 2University of Patras, Greece

Insect-symbiont interactions are receiving much attention in the last years. Symbiotic communities have been found to influence a variety of parameters regarding their host physiology and fitness. Gut symbiotic communities can be dynamic, changing through time and developmental stage. Whether these changes represent real differential needs and preferential relationships has not been addressed yet. In this study, we characterized the structure of symbiotic communities of five laboratory populations that represent five Tephritidae species that are targets for pest control management through the sterile insect technique. These populations are under artificial or semi artificial rearing conditions and their characterization was performed for different developmental stages and ages. Our results demonstrate the presence of a symbiotic community comprising mainly from different Enterobacteriaceae genera. These communities are dynamic across developmental stages, although not highly variable, and appear to have a species-specific profile. Additional factors may contribute to the observed structuring, including diet, rearing practices, and the degree of domestication. Comparison of these results with those derived from natural populations could shed light to changes occurring in the symbiotic level during domestication of Tephritidae populations, elucidate whether such changes are associated with modification of the behaviour in laboratory strains and assess their effects in the quality of the mass rearing insects. This could be beneficial for improving environmentally friendly, species-specific, pest control methods, such as the sterile insect technique.

Keywords: Anastrepha, Bactrocera, sterile insect technique, Pest Control, Laboratory domestication, 16S rRNA, Amplicon sequencing

Received: 02 Apr 2019; Accepted: 15 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Augustinos, Tsiamis, Caceres, ABDALLA and Bourtzis. 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: Prof. Kostas Bourtzis, Joint FAO/IAEA Programme of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, Vienna, 1400, Austria,