Consumption of dietary sugar by gut bacteria determines Drosophila lipid content.
ABSTRACT: Gut microorganisms are essential for the nutritional health of many animals, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. This study investigated how lipid accumulation by adult Drosophila melanogaster is reduced in flies associated with the bacterium Acetobacter tropicalis which displays oral-faecal cycling between the gut and food. We demonstrate that the lower lipid content of A. tropicalis-colonized flies relative to bacteria-free flies is linked with a parallel bacterial-mediated reduction in food glucose content; and can be accounted for quantitatively by the amount of glucose acquired by the flies, as determined from the feeding rate and assimilation efficiency of bacteria-free and A. tropicalis-colonized flies. We recommend that nutritional studies on Drosophila include empirical quantification of food nutrient content, to account for likely microbial-mediated effects on diet composition. More broadly, this study demonstrates that selective consumption of dietary constituents by microorganisms can alter the nutritional balance of food and, thereby, influence the nutritional status of the animal host.
Project description:A wealth of studies has demonstrated that resident microorganisms (microbiota) influence the pattern of nutrient allocation to animal protein and energy stores, but it is unclear how the effects of the microbiota interact with other determinants of animal nutrition, including animal genetic factors and diet. Here, we demonstrate that members of the gut microbiota in Drosophila melanogaster mediate the effect of certain animal genetic determinants on an important nutritional trait, triglyceride (lipid) content. Parallel analysis of the taxonomic composition of the associated bacterial community and host nutritional indices (glucose, glycogen, triglyceride, and protein contents) in multiple Drosophila genotypes revealed significant associations between the abundance of certain microbial taxa, especially Acetobacteraceae and Xanthamonadaceae, and host nutritional phenotype. By a genome-wide association study of Drosophila lines colonized with a defined microbiota, multiple host genes were statistically associated with the abundance of one bacterium, Acetobacter tropicalis. Experiments using mutant Drosophila validated the genetic association evidence and reveal that host genetic control of microbiota abundance affects the nutritional status of the flies. These data indicate that the abundance of the resident microbiota is influenced by host genotype, with consequent effects on nutrient allocation patterns, demonstrating that host genetic control of the microbiome contributes to the genotype-phenotype relationship of the animal host.
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: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:Acetic acid is a fermentation product of many microorganisms, including some that inhabit the food and guts of Drosophila. Here, we investigated the effect of dietary acetic acid on oviposition and larval performance of Drosophila. At all concentrations tested (0.34-3.4%), acetic acid promoted egg deposition by mated females in no-choice assays; and females preferred to oviposit on diet with acetic acid relative to acetic acid-free diet. However, acetic acid depressed larval performance, particularly extending the development time of both larvae colonized with the bacterium Acetobacter pomorum and axenic (microbe-free) larvae. The larvae may incur an energetic cost associated with dissipating the high acid load on acetic acid-supplemented diets. This effect was compounded by suppressed population growth of A. pomorum on the 3.4% acetic acid diet, such that the gnotobiotic Drosophila on this diet displayed traits characteristic of axenic Drosophila, specifically reduced developmental rate and elevated lipid content. It is concluded that acetic acid is deleterious to larval Drosophila, and hypothesized that acetic acid may function as a reliable cue for females to oviposit in substrates bearing microbial communities that promote larval nutrition.
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:All metazoans are colonized by a complex and diverse set of microorganisms. The microbes colonize all parts of the body and are especially abundant in the gastrointestinal tract, where they constitute the gut microbiome. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster turned out to be an exquisite model organism to functionally test the importance of an intact gut microbiome. Still, however, fundamental questions remain unanswered. For example, it is unknown whether a fine-tuned regionalization of the gut microbiome exists and how such a spatial organization could be established. In order to pave the way for answering this question, we generated an optimized and adapted fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) protocol. We focused on the detection of the two major Drosophila gut microbiome constituting bacteria genera: Acetobacter and Lactobacillus. FISH allows to detect the bacteria in situ and thus to investigate their spatial localization in respect to the host as well as to other microbiome members. We demonstrate the applicability of the protocol using a diverse set of sample types.
Project description:Unlike vertically transmitted endosymbionts, which have broad effects on their host's germ line, the extracellular gut microbiota is transmitted horizontally and is not known to influence the germ line. Here we provide evidence supporting the influence of these gut bacteria on the germ line of Drosophila melanogaster. Removal of the gut bacteria represses oogenesis, expedites maternal-to-zygotic-transition in the offspring and unmasks hidden phenotypic variation in mutants. We further show that the main impact on oogenesis is linked to the lack of gut Acetobacter species, and we identify the Drosophila Aldehyde dehydrogenase (Aldh) gene as an apparent mediator of repressed oogenesis in Acetobacter-depleted flies. The finding of interactions between the gut microbiota and the germ line has implications for reproduction, developmental robustness and adaptation.
Project description:Acetobacter tropicalis Oregon-R-modENCODE strain BDGP1 was isolated from Drosophila melanogaster for functional host-microbe interaction studies. The complete genome comprises a single chromosomal circle of 3,988,649 bp with a G+C content of 56% and a conjugative plasmid of 151,013 bp.
Project description:Symbiosis is often characterized by co-evolutionary changes in the genomes of the partners involved. An understanding of these changes can provide insight into the nature of the relationship, including the mechanisms that initiate and maintain an association between organisms. In this study we examined the genome sequences of bacteria isolated from the Drosophila melanogaster gut with the objective of identifying genes that are important for function in the host. We compared microbiota isolates with con-specific or closely related bacterial species isolated from non-fly environments. First the phenotype of germ-free Drosophila (axenic flies) was compared to that of flies colonized with specific bacteria (gnotobiotic flies) as a measure of symbiotic function. Non-fly isolates were functionally distinct from bacteria isolated from flies, conferring slower development and an altered nutrient profile in the host, traits known to be microbiota-dependent. Comparative genomic methods were next employed to identify putative symbiosis factors: genes found in bacteria that restore microbiota-dependent traits to gnotobiotic flies, but absent from those that do not. Factors identified include riboflavin synthesis and stress resistance. We also used a phylogenomic approach to identify protein coding genes for which fly-isolate sequences were more similar to each other than to other sequences, reasoning that these genes may have a shared function unique to the fly environment. This method identified genes in Acetobacter species that cluster in two distinct genomic loci: one predicted to be involved in oxidative stress detoxification and another encoding an efflux pump. In summary, we leveraged genomic and in vivo functional comparisons to identify candidate traits that distinguish symbiotic bacteria. These candidates can serve as the basis for further work investigating the genetic requirements of bacteria for function and persistence in the Drosophila gut.
Project description:The bacteria in the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster of different life stages was quantified by 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons. The sequence reads were dominated by 5 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) at ? 97% sequence identity that could be assigned to Acetobacter pomorum, A. tropicalis, Lactobacillus brevis, L. fructivorans and L. plantarum. The saturated rarefaction curves and species richness indices indicated that the sampling (85,000-159,000 reads per sample) was comprehensive. Parallel diagnostic PCR assays revealed only minor variation in the complement of the five bacterial species across individual insects and three D. melanogaster strains. Other gut-associated bacteria included 6 OTUs with low %ID to previously reported sequences, raising the possibility that they represent novel taxa within the genera Acetobacter and Lactobacillus. A developmental change in the most abundant species, from L. fructivorans in young adults to A. pomorum in aged adults was identified; changes in gut oxygen tension or immune system function might account for this effect. Host immune responses and disturbance may also contribute to the low bacterial diversity in the Drosophila gut habitat.