AbstractBackground: Insect midgut microbiota is important in host nutrition, development and immune response. Recent studiesindicate possible links between insect gut microbiota and resistance to biological and chemical toxins. Studies of thisphenomenon and symbionts in general have been hampered by difficulties in culture-based approach. In the present study, DNA sequencing was used to examine the midgut microbiota of diamondback moth (DBM), Plutella xylostella (L.), a destructive pest that attacks cruciferous crops worldwide. Its ability to develop resistance to many types of synthetic insecticide and even Bacillus thuringiensis toxins makes it an important species to study.Methodology/Principal Findings: Bacteria of the DBM larval midgut in a susceptible and two insecticide (chlorpyrifos and fipronil) resistant lines were examined by Illumina sequencing sampled from an insect generation that was not exposed to insecticide. This revealed that more than 97% of the bacteria were from three orders: Enterobacteriales, Vibrionales and Lactobacillales. Both insecticide-resistant lines had more Lactobacillales and the much scarcer taxa Pseudomonadales and Xanthomonadales with fewer Enterobacteriales compared with the susceptible strain.Consistent with this, a second study observed an increase in the proportion of Lactobacillales in the midgut of DBM individuals from a generation treated withinsecticides.Conclusions/Significance: This is the first report of high-throughput DNA sequencing of the entire microbiota of DBM. It reveals differences related to inter- and intra-generational exposure to insecticides. Differences in the midgut microbiota among susceptible and insecticide-resistant lines are independent of insecticide exposure in the sampled generations. While this is consistent with the hypothesis that Lactobacillales or other scarcer taxa play a role in conferring DBM insecticide resistance, further studies are necessary to rule out other possibilities. Findings constitute the basis for future molecular work on the functions of insect midgut microbiota taxa and their possible role in conferring host resistance to toxins.
Xia, X., Zheng, D., Zhong, H., Qin, B., Gurr, G., Vasseur, L., Lin, H., Bai, J., He, W., & You, M. (2013). DNA sequencing reveals the midgut microbiota of Diamondback moth, Plutella zylostella (L.) and a possible relationship with insecticide resistance. PLoS One, 8(7), 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0068852