Project description:The gut microbial community structure of adult Thrips tabaci collected from 10 different agro-climatically diverse locations of India was characterized by using the Illumina MiSeq platform to amplify the V3 region of the 16S rRNA gene of bacteria present in the sampled insects. Analyses were performed to study the bacterial communities associated with Thrips tabaci in India. The complete bacterial metagenome of T. tabaci was comprised of 1662 OTUs of which 62.25% belong to known and 37.7% of unidentified/unknown bacteria. These OTUs constituted 21 bacterial phyla of 276 identified genera. Phylum Proteobacteria was predominant, followed by Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes and Cyanobacteria. Additionally, the occurrence of the reproductive endosymbiont, Wolbachia was detected at two locations (0.56%) of the total known OTUs. There is high variation in diversity and species richness among the different locations. Alpha-diversity metrics indicated the higher gut bacterial diversity at Bangalore and lowest at Rahuri whereas higher bacterial species richness at T. tabaci samples from Imphal and lowest at Jhalawar. Beta diversity analyses comparing bacterial communities between the samples showed distinct differences in bacterial community composition of T. tabaci samples from different locations. This paper also constitutes the first record of detailed bacterial communities associated with T. tabaci. The location-wise variation in microbial metagenome profile of T. tabaci suggests that bacterial diversity might be governed by its population genetic structure, environment and habitat.
Project description:Thrips tabaci is a major pest of high-value vegetable crops and understanding its population genetics will advance our knowledge about its ecology and management. Mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene sequence was used as a molecular marker to analyze T. tabaci populations from onion and cabbage fields in New York. Eight COI haplotypes were identified in 565 T. tabaci individuals collected from these fields. All T. tabaci were thelytokous and genetically similar to those originating from hosts representing seven plant families spanning five continents. The most dominant haplotype was NY-HT1, accounting for 92 and 88% of the total individuals collected from onion fields in mid-summer in 2005 and 2007, respectively, and 100 and 96% of the total in early fall in 2005 and 2007, respectively. In contrast, T. tabaci collected from cabbage fields showed a dynamic change in population structure from mid-summer to early fall. In mid-summer, haplotype NY-HT2 was highly abundant, accounting for 58 and 52% of the total in 2005 and 2007, respectively, but in early fall it decreased drastically to 15 and 7% of the total in 2005 and 2007, respectively. Haplotype NY-HT1 accounted for 12 and 46% of the total in cabbage fields in mid-summer of 2005 and 2007, respectively, but became the dominant haplotype in early fall accounting for 81 and 66% of the total in 2005 and 2007, respectively. Despite the relative proximity of onion and cabbage fields in the western New York landscape, T. tabaci populations differed seasonally within each cropping system. Differences may have been attributed to better establishment of certain genotypes on specific hosts or differing colonization patterns within these cropping systems. Future studies investigating temporal changes in T. tabaci populations on their major hosts in these ecosystems are needed to better understand host-plant utilization and implications for population management.
Project description:It has been shown that many insects have Enterobacteriaceae bacteria in their gut system. The western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis Pergande [Thysanoptera: Thripidae], has a symbiotic relation with Erwinia species gut bacteria. To determine if other Thripidae species have similar bacterial symbionts, the onion thrips, Thrips tabaci, was studied because, like F. occidentalis, it is phytophagous. Contrary to F. occidentalis, T. tabaci is endemic in Europe and biotypes have been described. Bacteria were isolated from the majority of populations and biotypes of T. tabaci examined. Bacteria were present in high numbers in most individuals of the populations studied. Like F. occidentalis, T. tabaci contained one type of bacterium that clearly outnumbered all other types present in the gut. This bacterium was identified as an Erwinia species, as was also the case for F. occidentalis. However, its biochemical characteristics and 16S rDNA sequence differed from the bacteria present in F. occidentalis.
Project description:Knowledge of the relative influence of population- versus species-level genetic variation is important to understand patterns of phenotypic variation and ecological relationships that exist among and within morphologically indistinguishable cryptic species and subspecies. In the case of cryptic species groups that are pests, such knowledge is also essential for devising effective population management strategies. The globally important crop pest Thrips tabaci is a taxonomically difficult group of putatively cryptic species. This study examines population genetic structure of T. tabaci and reproductive isolation among lineages of this species complex using microsatellite markers and mitochondrial COI sequences. Overall, genetic structure supports T. tabaci as a cryptic species complex, although limited interbreeding occurs between different clonal groups from the same lineage as well as between individuals from different lineages. These results also provide evidence that thelytoky and arrhenotoky are not fixed phenotypes among members of different T. tabaci lineages that have been generally associated with either reproductive mode. Possible biological and ecological factors contributing to these observations are discussed.
Project description:Endophytic fungi, which live within host plant tissues without causing any visible symptom of infection, are important mutualists that mediate plant-herbivore interactions. Thrips tabaci (Lindeman) is one of the key pests of onion, Allium cepa L., an economically important agricultural crop cultivated worldwide. However, information on endophyte colonization of onions, and their impacts on the biology of thrips feeding on them, is lacking. We tested the colonization of onion plants by selected fungal endophyte isolates using two inoculation methods. The effects of inoculated endophytes on T. tabaci infesting onion were also examined. Seven fungal endophytes used in our study were able to colonize onion plants either by the seed or seedling inoculation methods. Seed inoculation resulted in 1.47 times higher mean percentage post-inoculation recovery of all the endophytes tested as compared to seedling inoculation. Fewer thrips were observed on plants inoculated with Clonostachys rosea ICIPE 707, Trichoderma asperellum M2RT4, Trichoderma atroviride ICIPE 710, Trichoderma harzianum 709, Hypocrea lixii F3ST1 and Fusarium sp. ICIPE 712 isolates as compared to those inoculated with Fusarium sp. ICIPE 717 and the control treatments. Onion plants colonized by C. rosea ICIPE 707, T. asperellum M2RT4, T. atroviride ICIPE 710 and H. lixii F3ST1 had significantly lower feeding punctures as compared to the other treatments. Among the isolates tested, the lowest numbers of eggs were laid by T. tabaci on H. lixii F3ST1 and C. rosea ICIPE 707 inoculated plants. These results extend the knowledge on colonization of onions by fungal endophytes and their effects on Thrips tabaci.
Project description:Iris yellow spot virus (IYSV) from the genus Tospovirus, family Peribunyaviridae, reduces yield in several crops, especially Allium spp. IYSV is primarily transmitted by onion thrips (Thrips tabaci), but little is known about how IYSV impacts the biology of its principal vector. In a controlled experiment, the effect of IYSV on the lifespan and fecundity of onion thrips was examined. Larvae were reared on IYSV-infected onions until pupation. Individual pupae were confined until adults eclosed, and the lifespan and total progeny produced per adult were monitored daily. Thrips were tested for the virus in reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction using specific primers to confirm the presence of IYSV. Results indicated that 114 and 35 out of 149 eclosing adults tested positive (viruliferous) and negative (nonviruliferous) for IYSV, respectively. The viruliferous adults lived 1.1-6.1 d longer (average of 3.6 d) than nonviruliferous adults. Fecundity of viruliferous and nonviruliferous onion thrips was similar with 2.0 ± 0.1 and 2.3 ± 0.3 offspring produced per female per day, respectively. Fecundity for both viruliferous and nonviruliferous thrips also was significantly positively correlated with lifespan. These findings suggest that the longer lifespan of viruliferous onion thrips adults may allow this primary vector of IYSV to infect more plants, thereby exacerbating IYSV epidemics.