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

Front. Physiol. | doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00152

Microorganism-based larval diets affect mosquito development, size and nutritional reserves in the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae)

  • 1Oswaldo Cruz Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Brazil
  • 2Instituto Butantan, Brazil
  • 3Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil
  • 4Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz), Brazil

Background: Mosquito larvae feed on organic detritus from the environment, particularly microorganisms comprising bacteria, protozoa, and algae as well as crustaceans, plant debris, and insect exuviae. Little attention has been paid to nutritional studies in Aedes aegypti larvae. Objectives: We investigated the effects of yeast, bacteria and microalgae diets on larval development, pupation time, adult size, emergence, survivorship, lifespan, and wing morphology. Material and Methods: Microorganisms (or Tetramin® as control) were offered as the only source of food to recently hatched first instar larvae and their development was followed until the adult stage. Protein, carbohydrate, glycogen, and lipid were analyzed in single larvae to correlate energetic reserve accumulation by larva with the developmental rates and nutritional content observed. FITC-labeled microorganisms were offered to fourth instar larvae, and its ingestion was recorded by fluorescence microscopy and quantitation. Results and Discussion: Immature stages developed in all diets, however larvae fed with bacteria and microalgae showed a severe delay in development rates, pupation time, adult emergence and low survivorship. Adult males emerged earlier as expected and had longer survival than females. Diets with better nutritional quality resulted in adults with bigger wings. Asaia sp. and Escherichia coli resulted in better nutrition and developmental parameters and seemed to be the best bacterial candidates to future studies using symbiont-based control. The diet quality was measured and presented different protein and carbohydrate amounts. Bacteria had the lowest protein and carbohydrate rates, yeasts had the highest carbohydrate amount and microalgae showed the highest protein content. Larvae fed with microalgae seem not to be able to process and store these diets properly. Larvae were shown to be able to process yeast cells and store their energetic components efficiently. Conclusion: Together, our results point that Ae .aegypti larvae show high plasticity to feed, being able to develop under different microorganism-based diets. The important role of Ae. aegypti in the spread of infectious diseases requires further biological studies in order to understand the vector physiology and thus to manage the larval natural breeding sites aiming a better mosquito control.

Keywords: Aedes (Ae.) aegypti, nutrition, Digestion, development, insect, Larvae - development, Larvae & pupae, Nutritional reserves, Microorgamisms

Received: 12 Sep 2018; Accepted: 08 Feb 2019.

Edited by:

Bin Tang, Hangzhou Normal University, China

Reviewed by:

Raman Chandrasekar, Kansas State University, United States
Qian Han, Hainan University, China
Zhen Zou, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China  

Copyright: © 2019 Souza, Virginio, Suesdek, Barufi and Genta. 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. Fernando A. Genta, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, gentafernando@gmail.com