Image_4_Similar Shift Patterns in Gut Bacterial and Fungal Communities Across the Life Stages of Bactrocera minax Larvae From Two Field Populations.JPEG

Bactrocera minax (Enderlein) (Diptera: Tephritidae) is an oligophagous insect pest that damages citrus fruit, especially in China. Due to larvae living within a highly septic environment, a wide variety of microorganisms exist in the larval gut of B. minax. However, a systematic study of the intestinal microbiota of this harmful insect pest is still lacking. Here, we comprehensively investigated the larval gut microbiota of B. minax in two field populations from Zigui (developed in orange) and Danjiangkou (developed in mandarin orange). We observed a dominance of Proteobacteria and Firmicutes in these bacterial communities, and Enterobacteriaceae was the predominant family throughout the larval stage. However, most of the identified fungal sequences were annotated as being from either Ascomycota or Basidiomycota phyla. Although there was a difference in the structure of the microbial communities between the two populations, the dynamic change patterns of most of the members of the microbiota were similar across the lifespan of larvae in both populations. The relative abundances of the Acetobacteraceae, Leuconostocaceae, and Lactobacillaceae gut bacteria as well as the Pichiaceae, Sebacinaceae, and Amanitaceae fungi increased throughout development, and these microorganisms stably resided in the larval gut. Furthermore, the dynamic changes of the functions of gut bacterial communities were inferred, and there was a significant increase in carbohydrate metabolism across the lifespan of larvae in both groups. Spearman correlation analysis showed that Acetobacteraceae, Lactobacillaceae, and Leuconostocaceae displayed a positive correlation with fructose and mannose metabolism, an important pathway of carbohydrate metabolism, highlighting the potential roles of these prevalent microbial communities in host biology.