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Community analysis of gut microbiota in hornets, the largest eusocial wasps, Vespa mandarinia and V. simillima.


ABSTRACT: 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.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6614390 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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