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Microbial community structure in midgut and hindgut of the humus-feeding larva of Pachnoda ephippiata (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae).

ABSTRACT: The guts of soil-feeding macroinvertebrates contain a complex microbial community that is involved in the transformation of ingested soil organic matter. In a companion paper (T. Lemke, U. Stingl, M. Egert, M. W. Friedrich, and A. Brune, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 69:6650-6658, 2003), we show that the gut of our model organism, the humivorous larva of the cetoniid beetle Pachnoda ephippiata, is characterized by strong midgut alkalinity, high concentrations of microbial fermentation products, and the presence of a diverse, yet unstudied microbial community. Here, we report on the community structure of bacteria and archaea in the midgut, hindgut, and food soil of P. ephippiata larvae, determined with cultivation-independent techniques. Clone libraries and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of 16S rRNA genes revealed that the intestines of P. ephippiata larvae contain a complex gut microbiota that differs markedly between midgut and hindgut and that is clearly distinct from the microbiota in the food soil. The bacterial community is dominated by phylogenetic groups with a fermentative metabolism (Lactobacillales, Clostridiales, Bacillales, and Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides [CFB] phylum), which is corroborated by high lactate and acetate concentrations in the midgut and hindgut and by the large numbers of lactogenic and acetogenic bacteria in both gut compartments reported in the companion paper. Based on 16S rRNA gene frequencies, Actinobacteria dominate the alkaline midgut, while the hindgut is dominated by members of the CFB phylum. The archaeal community, however, is less diverse. 16S rRNA genes affiliated with mesophilic Crenarchaeota, probably stemming from the ingested soil, were most frequent in the midgut, whereas Methanobacteriaceae-related 16S rRNA genes were most frequent in the hindgut. These findings agree with the reported restriction of methanogenesis to the hindgut of Pachnoda larvae.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC262301 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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