Host species and environmental effects on bacterial communities associated with Drosophila in the laboratory and in the natural environment.
ABSTRACT: The fruit fly Drosophila is a classic model organism to study adaptation as well as the relationship between genetic variation and phenotypes. Although associated bacterial communities might be important for many aspects of Drosophila biology, knowledge about their diversity, composition, and factors shaping them is limited. We used 454-based sequencing of a variable region of the bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA gene to characterize the bacterial communities associated with wild and laboratory Drosophila isolates. In order to specifically investigate effects of food source and host species on bacterial communities, we analyzed samples from wild Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans collected from a variety of natural substrates, as well as from adults and larvae of nine laboratory-reared Drosophila species. We find no evidence for host species effects in lab-reared flies; instead, lab of origin and stochastic effects, which could influence studies of Drosophila phenotypes, are pronounced. In contrast, the natural Drosophila-associated microbiota appears to be predominantly shaped by food substrate with an additional but smaller effect of host species identity. We identify a core member of this natural microbiota that belongs to the genus Gluconobacter and is common to all wild-caught flies in this study, but absent from the laboratory. This makes it a strong candidate for being part of what could be a natural D. melanogaster and D. simulans core microbiome. Furthermore, we were able to identify candidate pathogens in natural fly isolates.
Project description:Almost all animals possess gut microbial communities, but the nature of these communities varies immensely. For example, in social bees and mammals, the composition is relatively constant within species and is dominated by specialist bacteria that do not live elsewhere; in laboratory studies and field surveys of Drosophila melanogaster, however, gut communities consist of bacteria that are ingested with food and that vary widely among individuals and localities. We addressed whether an ecological specialist in its natural habitat has a microbiota dominated by gut specialists or by environmental bacteria. Drosophila nigrospiracula is a species that is endemic to the Sonoran Desert and is restricted to decaying tissues of two giant columnar cacti, Pachycereus pringlei (cardón cactus) and Carnegiea gigantea (saguaro cactus). We found that the D. nigrospiracula microbiota differs strikingly from that of the cactus tissue on which the flies feed. The most abundant bacteria in the flies are rare or completely absent in the cactus tissue and are consistently abundant in flies from different cacti and localities. Several of these fly-associated bacterial groups, such as the bacterial order Orbales and the genera Serpens and Dysgonomonas, have been identified in prior surveys of insects from the orders Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, and Diptera, including several Drosophila species. Although the functions of these bacterial groups are mostly unexplored, Orbales species studied in bees are known to break down plant polysaccharides and use the resulting sugars. Thus, these bacterial groups appear to be specialized to the insect gut environment, where they may colonize through direct host-to-host transmission in natural settings.IMPORTANCE Flies in the genus Drosophila have become laboratory models for microbiota research, yet the bacteria commonly used in these experiments are rarely found in wild-caught flies and instead represent bacteria also present in the food. This study shows that an ecologically specialized Drosophila species possesses a distinctive microbiome, composed of bacterial types absent from the flies' natural food but widespread in other wild-caught insects. This study highlights the importance of fieldwork-informed microbiota research.
Project description:Most associations between animals and their gut microbiota are dynamic, involving sustained transfer of food-associated microbial cells into the gut and shedding of microorganisms into the external environment with feces, but the interacting effects of host and microbial factors on the composition of the internal and external microbial communities are poorly understood. This study on laboratory cultures of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster reared in continuous contact with their food revealed time-dependent changes of the microbial communities in the food that were strongly influenced by the presence and abundance of Drosophila. When germfree Drosophila eggs were aseptically added to nonsterile food, the microbiota in the food and flies converged to a composition dramatically different from that in fly-free food, showing that Drosophila has microbiota-independent effects on the food microbiota. The microbiota in both the flies that developed from unmanipulated eggs (bearing microorganisms) and the associated food was dominated by the bacteria most abundant on the eggs, demonstrating effective vertical transmission via surface contamination of eggs. Food coinoculated with a four-species defined bacterial community of Acetobacter and Lactobacillus species revealed the progressive elimination of Lactobacillus from the food bearing few or no Drosophila, indicating the presence of antagonistic interactions between Acetobacter and Lactobacillus. Drosophila at high densities ameliorated the Acetobacter/Lactobacillus antagonism, enabling Lactobacillus to persist. This study with Drosophila demonstrates how animals can have major, coordinated effects on the composition of microbial communities in the gut and immediate environment.
Project description:Drosophila suzukii Matsumura is an invasive species of vinegar fly that has become a prominent pest of berries and other soft-skinned fruits. Unlike most other Drosophila species, female D. suzukii flies lay their eggs in ripening and ripe fruits and larvae develop within the fruit. To understand how D. suzukii larvae utilize ripe and ripening fruits, which usually have low levels of protein, we investigated the microbiota of field-captured and laboratory-reared D. suzukii flies and further examined the combined influence of diet and microbes on host fitness. Field-captured flies were associated with diverse microbiota, which varied significantly with sampling location and season. In contrast, laboratory-reared flies possessed strikingly lower bacterial abundance and diversity. A comparison of conventionally reared (CR) and germ-free (GF) flies revealed that the microbiota of D. suzukii does not alter its development significantly but decreases its life span under conditions of a nutrient-sufficient diet. However, the microbiota is essential for D. suzukii development on strawberry-based or blueberry-based fruit diets. This developmental failure could be rescued by reassociation with single bacterial or fungal species or by the addition of a high quantity of heat-killed microbes. In addition, we found that proteins are limiting with respect to fly development on fruit-based diets and that GF flies show signs of protein starvation. Taken together, our study results demonstrate that the microbiota provides key proteins required for the development of D. suzukii reared on fresh fruit. Our work shows that the impact of microbes on fly fitness depends strongly on nutritional conditions.IMPORTANCE Animals are commonly associated with specific microbes, which play important roles in host development and fitness. However, little information about the function of microbes has been available for the important invasive pest Drosophila suzukii, also known as Spotted wing drosophila. Our study results demonstrate that the abundance and structure of microbiota in D. suzukii are strongly affected by the environment, where microbes have variable roles depending on the nutritional situation. For instance, we found that the presence of microbes is deleterious for flies growing on a protein-rich diet and yet is beneficial for flies growing on a diet of protein-poor fruits. Additionally, germ-free flies must feed on microbes to obtain the necessary protein for larval development on strawberries and blueberries. Our report validates the complexity seen in host-microbe interactions and may provide information useful for D. suzukii pest control.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4> The Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata, is a cosmopolitan agricultural pest of worldwide economic importance and a model for the development of the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) for fruit flies of the Tephritidae family (Diptera). SIT relies on the effective mating of laboratory-reared strains and natural populations, and therefore requires an efficient mass-rearing system that will allow for the production of high-quality males. Adaptation of wild flies to an artificial laboratory environment can be accompanied by negative effects on several life history traits through changes in their genetic diversity and symbiotic communities. Such changes may lead to reduced biological quality and mating competitiveness in respect to the wild populations. Profiling wild populations can help understand, and maybe reverse, deleterious effects accompanying laboratory domestication thus providing insects that can efficiently and effectively support SIT application. <h4>Results</h4> In the present study, we analyzed both the genetic structure and gut symbiotic communities of natural medfly populations of worldwide distribution, including Europe, Africa, Australia, and the Americas. The genetic structure of 408 individuals from 15 distinct populations was analyzed with a set of commonly used microsatellite markers. The symbiotic communities of a subset of 265 individuals from 11 populations were analyzed using the 16S rRNA gene-based amplicon sequencing of single individuals (adults). Genetic differentiation was detected among geographically distant populations while adults originated from neighboring areas were genetically closer. Alpha and beta diversity of bacterial communities pointed to an overall reduced symbiotic diversity and the influence of the geographic location on the bacterial profile. <h4>Conclusions</h4> Our analysis revealed differences both in the genetic profile and the structure of gut symbiotic communities of medfly natural populations. The genetic analysis expanded our knowledge to populations not analyzed before and our results were in accordance with the existing scenarios regarding this species expansion and colonization pathways. At the same time, the bacterial communities from different natural medfly populations have been characterized, thus broadening our knowledge on the microbiota of the species across its range. Genetic and symbiotic differences between natural and laboratory populations must be considered when designing AW-IPM approaches with a SIT component, since they may impact mating compatibility and mating competitiveness of the laboratory-reared males. In parallel, enrichment from wild populations and/or symbiotic supplementation could increase rearing productivity, biological quality, and mating competitiveness of SIT-important laboratory strains. <h4>Supplementary Information</h4> The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s12863-020-00946-z.
Project description:Associated microorganisms ("microbiota") play a central role in determining many animals' survival and reproduction characteristics. The impact of these microbial influences on an animal's fitness, or population growth, in a given environment has not been defined as clearly. We focused on microbiota-dependent host fitness by measuring life span and fecundity in Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies reared individually with 14 different bacterial species. Consistent with previous observations, the different bacteria significantly influenced the timing of fly life span and fecundity. Using Leslie matrices, we show that fly fitness was lowest when the microbes caused the flies to invest in life span over fecundity. Computational permutations showed that the positive fitness effect of investing in reproduction was reversed if fly survival over time was low, indicating that the observed fitness influences of the microbes could be context dependent. Finally, we showed that fly fitness is not influenced by bacterial genes that shape fly life span or fly triglyceride content, a trait that is related to fly survival and reproduction. Also, metagenome-wide association did not identify any microbial genes that were associated with variation in fly fitness. Therefore, the bacterial genetic basis for influencing fly fitness remains unknown. We conclude that bacteria influence a fly's reproductive timing more than total reproductive output and that (e.g., environmental) conditions that influence fly survival likely determine which bacteria benefit fly fitness. <b>IMPORTANCE</b> The ability of associated microorganisms ("microbiota") to influence animal life history traits has been recognized and investigated, especially in the past 2 decades. For many microbial communities, there is not always a clear definition of whether the microbiota or its members are beneficial, pathogenic, or relatively neutral to their hosts' fitness. In this study, we report the influence of individual members of the microbiota on Drosophila melanogaster fitness using Leslie matrices that combine the microbial influences on fly survival and reproduction into a single fitness measure. Our results are consistent with a previous report that, in the laboratory, acetic acid bacteria are more beneficial to the flies than many strains of lactic acid bacteria. We add to the previous finding by showing that this benefit depends on fly survival rate. Together, our work helps to show how the microbiota of a fly influences its laboratory fitness and how these effects may translate to a wild setting.
Project description:Drosophila melanogaster is emerging as an important model of non-pathogenic host-microbe interactions. The genetic and experimental tractability of Drosophila has led to significant gains in our understanding of animal-microbial symbiosis. However, the full implications of these results cannot be appreciated without the knowledge of the microbial communities associated with natural Drosophila populations. In particular, it is not clear whether laboratory cultures can serve as an accurate model of host-microbe interactions that occur in the wild, or those that have occurred over evolutionary time. To fill this gap, we characterized natural bacterial communities associated with 14 species of Drosophila and related genera collected from distant geographic locations. To represent the ecological diversity of Drosophilids, examined species included fruit-, flower-, mushroom-, and cactus-feeders. In parallel, wild host populations were compared to laboratory strains, and controlled experiments were performed to assess the importance of host species and diet in shaping bacterial microbiome composition. We find that Drosophilid flies have taxonomically restricted bacterial communities, with 85% of the natural bacterial microbiome composed of only four bacterial families. The dominant bacterial taxa are widespread and found in many different host species despite the taxonomic, ecological, and geographic diversity of their hosts. Both natural surveys and laboratory experiments indicate that host diet plays a major role in shaping the Drosophila bacterial microbiome. Despite this, the internal bacterial microbiome represents only a highly reduced subset of the external bacterial communities, suggesting that the host exercises some level of control over the bacteria that inhabit its digestive tract. Finally, we show that laboratory strains provide only a limited model of natural host-microbe interactions. Bacterial taxa used in experimental studies are rare or absent in wild Drosophila populations, while the most abundant associates of natural Drosophila populations are rare in the lab.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Gut microbiota affects tephritid (Diptera: Tephritidae) fruit fly development, physiology, behavior, and thus the quality of flies mass-reared for the sterile insect technique (SIT), a target-specific, sustainable, environmentally benign form of pest management. The Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni (Tephritidae), is a significant horticultural pest in Australia and can be managed with SIT. Little is known about the impacts that laboratory-adaptation (domestication) and mass-rearing have on the tephritid larval gut microbiome. Read lengths of previous fruit fly next-generation sequencing (NGS) studies have limited the resolution of microbiome studies, and the diversity within populations is often overlooked. In this study, we used a new near full-length (>?1300 nt) 16S rRNA gene amplicon NGS approach to characterize gut bacterial communities of individual B. tryoni larvae from two field populations (developing in peaches) and three domesticated populations (mass- or laboratory-reared on artificial diets). RESULTS:Near full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences were obtained for 56 B. tryoni larvae. OTU clustering at 99% similarity revealed that gut bacterial diversity was low and significantly lower in domesticated larvae. Bacteria commonly associated with fruit (Acetobacteraceae, Enterobacteriaceae, and Leuconostocaceae) were detected in wild larvae, but were largely absent from domesticated larvae. However, Asaia, an acetic acid bacterium not frequently detected within adult tephritid species, was detected in larvae of both wild and domesticated populations (55 out of 56 larval gut samples). Larvae from the same single peach shared a similar gut bacterial profile, whereas larvae from different peaches collected from the same tree had different gut bacterial profiles. Clustering of the Asaia near full-length sequences at 100% similarity showed that the wild flies from different locations had different Asaia strains. CONCLUSIONS:Variation in the gut bacterial communities of B. tryoni larvae depends on diet, domestication, and horizontal acquisition. Bacterial variation in wild larvae suggests that more than one bacterial species can perform the same functional role; however, Asaia could be an important gut bacterium in larvae and warrants further study. A greater understanding of the functions of the bacteria detected in larvae could lead to increased fly quality and performance as part of the SIT.
Project description:The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is preferentially found on fermenting fruits. The yeasts that dominate the microbial communities of these substrates are the primary food source for developing D. melanogaster larvae, and adult flies manifest a strong olfactory system-mediated attraction for the volatile compounds produced by these yeasts during fermentation. Although most work on this interaction has focused on the standard laboratory yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a wide variety of other yeasts naturally ferment fallen fruit. Here we address the open question of whether D. melanogaster preferentially associates with distinct yeasts in different, closely-related environments. We characterized the spatial and temporal dynamics of Drosophila-associated fungi in Northern California wineries that use organic grapes and natural fermentation using high-throughput, short-amplicon sequencing. We found that there is nonrandom structure in the fungal communities that are vectored by flies both between and within vineyards. Within wineries, the fungal communities associated with flies in cellars, fermentation tanks, and pomace piles are distinguished by varying abundances of a small number of yeast species. To investigate the origins of this structure, we assayed Drosophila attraction to, oviposition on, larval development in, and longevity when consuming the yeasts that distinguish vineyard microhabitats from each other. We found that wild fly lines did not respond differentially to the yeast species that distinguish winery habitats in habitat specific manner. Instead, this subset of yeast shares traits that make them attractive to and ensure their close association with Drosophila.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Insect pests belonging to genus Bactrocera sp. (Diptera: Tephritidae) pose major biotic stress on various fruits and vegetable crops around the world. Zeugodacus and Bactrocera sp. are associated with diverse bacterial communities which play an important role in the fitness of sterile insects. The wild populations of melon fly, Zeugodacus cucurbitae (Coquillett) and Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) were collected from pumpkin and mango fields, respectively. The laboratory populations of Z. cucurbitae and B. dorsalis were mass-reared on bottle gourd and sweet banana, respectively. Bacterial communities present in the gut of wild and mass-reared mature (~?12?days old) and newly emerged (<?1?h after emergence) male and female adults of Z. cucurbitae and B. dorsalis were assessed. We used Illumina HiSeq next-generation sequencing of 16S rRNA gene to profile the gut bacterial communities of wild and mass-reared mature and newly emerged Z. cucurbitae and B. dorsalis adults.<h4>Results</h4>We found diverse bacterial composition in the gut of wild and mass-reared Z. cucurbitae (ZC) and B. dorsalis (BD) with varied relative abundance. Few taxonomic groups were common to both the species. The most dominant phyla in all samples of Z. cucurbitae and B. dorsalis adults were Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria. The phylum Proteobacteria occurred more in wild Z. cucurbitae (~?87.72%) and B. dorsalis (~?83.87%) as compared to mass-reared Z. cucurbitae (64.15%) and B. dorsalis (~?80.96%). Higher relative abundance of Phylum Firmicutes was observed in mass-reared fruit fly than wild adults. Cyanobacteria/Chloroplast and Actinobacteria were also present with very low relative abundance in both wild as well as mass-reared melon fly and Oriental fruit fly. Enterobacteriaceae (61.21%) was dominant family in the gut of both wild and mass-reared adults. Providencia and Lactococcus were dominant genera with varied relative abundance in wild as well as in mass-reared mature and newly emerged fruit fly adults of both species. Some of the genera like Morganella and Serratia were only detected in mass-reared mature and newly emerged Z. cucurbitae and B. dorsalis adults. Principal Coordinate Analysis (PCoA) showed that fruit fly adult samples were grouped based on species and age of the adults while no grouping was observed on the basis of sex of the adult fruit fly.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The gut bacterial communities associated with wild and mass-reared mature and newly emerged adults of Z. cucurbitae and B. dorsalis showed variation that depends on species and age of the insects. Understanding the gut microbiota of wild and mass-reared Z. cucurbitae and B. dorsalis using high throughput technology will help to illustrate microbial diversity and this information could be used to develop efficient mass-rearing protocols for successful implementation of sterile insect technique (SIT).
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Mass-rearing, domestication and gamma irradiation of tephritid fruit flies used in sterile insect technique (SIT) programmes can negatively impact fly quality and performance. Symbiotic bacteria supplied as probiotics to mass-reared fruit flies may help to overcome some of these issues. However, the effects of tephritid ontogeny, sex, diet and irradiation on their microbiota are not well known.<h4>Results</h4>We have used next-generation sequencing to characterise the bacterial community composition and structure within Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt), by generating 16S rRNA gene amplicon libraries derived from the guts of 58 individual teneral and mature, female and male, sterile and fertile adult flies reared on artificial larval diets in a laboratory or mass-rearing environment, and fed either a full adult diet (i.e. sugar and yeast hydrolysate) or a sugar only adult diet. Overall, the amplicon sequence read volume in tenerals was low and smaller than in mature adult flies. Operational taxonomic units (OTUs), belonging to the families Enterobacteriaceae (8 OTUs) and Acetobacteraceae (1 OTU) were most prevalent. Enterobacteriaceae dominated laboratory-reared tenerals from a colony fed a carrot-based larval diet, while Acetobacteraceae dominated mass-reared tenerals from a production facility colony fed a lucerne chaff based larval diet. As adult flies matured, Enterobacteriaceae became dominant irrespective of larval origin. The inclusion of yeast in the adult diet strengthened this shift away from Acetobacteraceae towards Enterobacteriaceae. Interestingly, irradiation increased 16S rRNA gene sequence read volume.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our findings suggest that bacterial populations in fruit flies experience significant bottlenecks during metamorphosis. Gut bacteria in teneral flies were less abundant and less diverse, and impacted by colony origin. In contrast, mature adult flies had selectively increased abundances for some gut bacteria, or acquired these bacteria from the adult diet and environment. Furthermore, irradiation augmented bacterial abundance in mature flies. This implies that either some gut bacteria were compensating for damage caused by irradiation or irradiated flies had lost their ability to regulate bacterial load. Our findings suggest that the adult stage prior to sexual maturity may be ideal to target for probiotic manipulation of fly microbiota to increase fly performance in SIT programmes.