The inconstant gut microbiota of Drosophila species revealed by 16S rRNA gene analysis.
ABSTRACT: The gut microorganisms in some animals are reported to include a core microbiota of consistently associated bacteria that is ecologically distinctive and may have coevolved with the host. The core microbiota is promoted by positive interactions among bacteria, favoring shared persistence; its retention over evolutionary timescales is evident as congruence between host phylogeny and bacterial community composition. This study applied multiple analyses to investigate variation in the composition of gut microbiota in drosophilid flies. First, the prevalence of five previously described gut bacteria (Acetobacter and Lactobacillus species) in individual flies of 21 strains (10 Drosophila species) were determined. Most bacteria were not present in all individuals of most strains, and bacterial species pairs co-occurred in individual flies less frequently than predicted by chance, contrary to expectations of a core microbiota. A complementary pyrosequencing analysis of 16S rRNA gene amplicons from the gut microbiota of 11 Drosophila species identified 209 bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs), with near-saturating sampling of sequences, but none of the OTUs was common to all host species. Furthermore, in both of two independent sets of Drosophila species, the gut bacterial community composition was not congruent with host phylogeny. The final analysis identified no common OTUs across three wild and four laboratory samples of D. melanogaster. Our results yielded no consistent evidence for a core microbiota in Drosophila. We conclude that the taxonomic composition of gut microbiota varies widely within and among Drosophila populations and species. This is reminiscent of the patterns of bacterial composition in guts of some other animals, including humans.
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:Resident gut bacteria are constantly influencing the immune system, yet the role of the immune system in shaping microbiota composition during an organism's life span has remained unclear. Experiments in mice have been inconclusive due to differences in husbandry schemes that led to conflicting results. We used Drosophila as a genetically tractable system with a simpler gut bacterial population structure streamlined genetic backgrounds and established cross schemes to address this issue. We found that, depending on their genetic background, young flies had microbiota of different diversities that converged with age to the same Acetobacteraceae-dominated pattern in healthy flies. This pattern was accelerated in immune-compromised flies with higher bacterial load and gut cell death. Nevertheless, immune-compromised flies resembled their genetic background, indicating that familial transmission was the main force regulating gut microbiota. In contrast, flies with a constitutively active immune system had microbiota readily distinguishable from their genetic background with the introduction and establishment of previously undetectable bacterial families. This indicated the influence of immunity over familial transmission. Moreover, hyperactive immunity and increased enterocyte death resulted in the highest bacterial load observed starting from early adulthood. Cohousing experiments showed that the microenvironment also played an important role in the structure of the microbiota where flies with constitutive immunity defined the gut microbiota of their cohabitants. Our data show that, in Drosophila, constitutively active immunity shapes the structure and density of gut microbiota.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Elucidating gut microbiota among gallstone patients as well as the complex bacterial colonization of cholesterol gallstones may help in both the prediction and subsequent lowered risk of cholelithiasis. To this end, we studied the composition of bacterial communities of gut, bile, and gallstones from 29 gallstone patients as well as the gut of 38 normal individuals, examining and analyzing some 299, 217 bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences from 120 samples. RESULTS: First, as compared with normal individuals, in gallstone patients there were significant (P < 0.001) increases of gut bacterial phylum Proteobacteria and decreases of three gut bacterial genera, Faecalibacterium, Lachnospira, and Roseburia. Second, about 70% of gut bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from gallstone patients were detectable in the biliary tract and bacteria diversity of biliary tract was significantly (P < 0.001) higher than that of gut. Third, analysis of the biliary tract core microbiome (represented by 106 bacteria OTUs) among gallstone patients showed that 33.96% (36/106) of constituents can be matched to known bacterial species (15 of which have publicly available genomes). A genome-wide search of MDR, BSH, bG, and phL genes purpotedly associated with the formation of cholesterol gallstones showed that all 15 species with known genomes (e.g., Propionibacterium acnes, Bacteroides vulgates, and Pseudomonas putida) contained at least contained one of the four genes. This finding could potentially provide underlying information needed to explain the association between biliary tract microbiota and the formation of cholesterol gallstones. CONCLUSIONS: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to discover gut microbiota dysbiosis among gallstone patients, the presence of which may be a key contributor to the complex bacteria community assembly linked with the presence of cholesterol gallstones. Likewise, this study also provides the first large-scale glimpse of biliary tract microbiota potentially associated with cholesterol gallstones. Such a characterization of the biliary tract core microbiome has potentially important biological and medical implications regarding the role of bacteria in the formation cholesterol gallstones.
Project description:Microbial communities associated to insect species are involved in essential biological functions such as host nutrition, reproduction and survivability. Main factors have been described as modulators of gut bacterial community, such as diet, habit, developmental stage and taxonomy of the host. The present work focuses on the complex changes that gut microbial communities go through when wild insects are introduced to artificial rearing conditions. Specifically, we analyzed the effect of the laboratory colonization on the richness and diversity of the gut bacteriome hosted by the fruit fly pest Anastrepha fraterculus sp. 1. Bacterial profiles were studied by amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA V3-V4 hypervariable region in gut samples of males and females, in teneral (1-day-old, unfed) and post-teneral (15-day-old, fed) flies. A total of 3,147,665 sequence reads were obtained and 32 bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified. Proteobacteria was the most abundant phylum (93.3% of the total reads) and, Wolbachia and Enterobacter were the most represented taxa at the genus level (29.9% and 27.7%, respectively, of the total read counts). Wild and laboratory flies showed highly significant differences in the relative abundances of bacteria. The analysis of the core bacteriome showed the presence of five OTUs in all samples grouped by origin, while nine and five OTUs were exclusively detected in laboratory and wild flies, respectively. Irrespective of fly origin or sex, a dominant presence of Wolbachia was observed in teneral flies, whereas Enterobacter was highly abundant in post-teneral individuals. We evidenced significant differences in bacterial richness and diversity among generations under laboratory colonization (F0, F1, F3 and F6) and compared to laboratory and wild flies, displaying also differential patterns between teneral and post-teneral flies. Laboratory and wild A. fraterculus sp. 1 harbor different gut bacterial communities. Laboratory colonization has an important effect on the microbiota, most likely associated to the combined effects of insect physiology and environmental conditions (e.g., diet and colony management).
Project description:BACKGROUND: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. RESULTS: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. CONCLUSIONS: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.
Project description:We recently reported that transglutaminase (TG) suppresses immune deficiency pathway-controlled antimicrobial peptides (IMD-AMPs), thereby conferring immune tolerance to gut microbes, and that RNAi of the TG gene in flies decreases the lifespan compared with non-TG-RNAi flies. Here, analysis of the bacterial composition of the Drosophila gut by next-generation sequencing revealed that gut microbiota comprising one dominant genus of Acetobacter in non-TG-RNAi flies was shifted to that comprising two dominant genera of Acetobacter and Providencia in TG-RNAi flies. Four bacterial strains, including Acetobacter persici SK1 and Acetobacter indonesiensis SK2, Lactobacillus pentosus SK3, and Providencia rettgeri SK4, were isolated from the midgut of TG-RNAi flies. SK1 exhibited the highest resistance to the IMD-AMPs Cecropin A1 and Diptericin among the isolated bacteria. In contrast, SK4 exhibited considerably lower resistance against Cecropin A1, whereas SK4 exhibited high resistance to hypochlorous acid. The resistance of strains SK1-4 against IMD-AMPs in in vitro assays could not explain the shift of the microbiota in the gut of TG-RNAi flies. The lifespan was reduced in gnotobiotic flies that ingested both SK4 and SK1, concomitant with the production of reactive oxygen species and apoptosis in the midgut, whereas the survival rate was not altered in gnotobiotic flies that mono-ingested either SK4 or SK1. Interestingly, significant amounts of reactive oxygen species were detected in the midgut of gnotobiotic flies that ingested SK4 and SK2, concomitant with no significant apoptosis in the midgut. In gnotobiotic flies that co-ingested SK4 and SK1, an additional unknown factor(s) may be required to cause midgut apoptosis.
Project description:Gut microbiota are important for various aspects of host physiology, and its composition is generally influenced by both intrinsic and extrinsic contexts of the host. Social bee gut microbiota composition is simple and highly stable hypothesized to be due to their unique food habit and social interactions. Here, we focused on hornets, the largest of the eusocial wasps - Vespa mandarinia and V. simillima. Unlike the well-studied honey bees, adult hornets are generally herbivorous but also hunt insects for broods, a unique behavior which could influence their gut microbiota. Analysis of the gut microbiome using 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed that the two species have simple gut microbiota, composed of seven or eight consistently maintained 'core' operational taxonomic units (OTUs). While the two Vespa species shared some OTUs, the structures of their gut communities differed. Phylogenetic analysis indicated association of core OTUs with host diet. Intriguingly, prey honey bee gut microbes were detected in the V. simillima gut (and to a lesser extent in V. mandarinia), suggesting migration of microorganisms from the prey gut. This is the first report uncovering gut microbiome in hornets, giving additional insight into how food habit affects gut microbiota of social insects.
Project description:The composition of the intestinal microbiota of Drosophila has been studied in some detail in recent years. Environmental, developmental and host-specific genetic factors influence microbiome composition in the fly. Our previous work has indicated that intestinal bacterial load can be affected by chromatin-targeted regulatory mechanisms. Here we studied a potential role of the conserved chromatin assembly and remodeling factor CHD1 in the shaping of the gut microbiome in Drosophila melanogaster. Using high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons, we found that Chd1 deletion mutant flies exhibit significantly reduced microbial diversity compared to rescued control strains. Specifically, although Acetobacteraceae dominated the microbiota of both Chd1 wild-type and mutant guts, Chd1 mutants were virtually monoassociated with this bacterial family, whereas in control flies other bacterial taxa constituted ~20% of the microbiome. We further show age-linked differences in microbial load and microbiota composition between Chd1 mutant and control flies. Finally, diet supplementation experiments with Lactobacillus plantarum revealed that, in contrast to wild-type flies, Chd1 mutant flies were unable to maintain higher L. plantarum titres over time. Collectively, these data provide evidence that loss of the chromatin remodeler CHD1 has a major impact on the gut microbiome of Drosophila melanogaster.
Project description:Animal nutrition is profoundly influenced by the gut microbiota, but knowledge of the scope and core mechanisms of the underlying animal-microbiota interactions is fragmentary. To investigate the nutritional traits shaped by the gut microbiota of Drosophila, we determined the microbiota-dependent response of multiple metabolic and performance indices to systematically varied diet composition. Diet-dependent differences between Drosophila bearing its unmanipulated microbiota (conventional flies) and experimentally deprived of its microbiota (axenic flies) revealed evidence for: microbial sparing of dietary B vitamins, especially riboflavin, on low-yeast diets; microbial promotion of protein nutrition, particularly in females; and microbiota-mediated suppression of lipid/carbohydrate storage, especially on high sugar diets. The microbiota also sets the relationship between energy storage and body mass, indicative of microbial modulation of the host signaling networks that coordinate metabolism with body size. This analysis identifies the multiple impacts of the microbiota on the metabolism of Drosophila, and demonstrates that the significance of these different interactions varies with diet composition and host sex.