Wild bacterial probiotics fed to larvae of mass-reared Queensland fruit fly [Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt)] do not impact long-term survival, mate selection, or locomotor activity

Lucas A. Shuttleworth, Mohammed Abul Monjur Khan, Damian Collins, Terry Osborne, Olivia L. Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Queensland fruit fly [Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt), Diptera, Tephritidae] is the most devastating insect pest impacting Australian horticulture. The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is an important component of tephritid pest management programs. However, mass-rearing and irradiation (to render insects sterile) may reduce the fitness and performance of the insect, including the ability of sterile males to successfully compete for wild females. Manipulation of the gut microbiome, including the supplementation with bacterial probiotics shows promise for enhancing the quality of mass-reared sterile flies, however there are fewer published studies targeting the larval stage. In this study, we supplemented the larval stage of mass-reared B. tryoni with bacterial probiotics. We tested several individual bacteria that had been previously isolated and characterized from the gut of wild B. tryoni larvae including Asaia sp., Enterobacter sp., Lactobacillus sp., Leuconostoc sp. We also tested a consortium of all four of these bacterial isolates. The fitness parameters tested included adult survival in field cages, laboratory mate selection of bacteria supplemented males by bacteria nonsupplemented females, and laboratory locomotor activity of adult flies. None of the bacterial probiotic treatments in the current study was significantly different to the control for field survival, mate selection or locomotor activity of adult B. tryoni, which agree with some of the other studies regarding bacterial probiotics fed to the larval stage of tephritids. Future work is needed to determine if feeding the same, and/or other probiotics to adults, as opposed to larvae can positively impact survival, mating performance, mating competitiveness and locomotor activity of B. tryoni. The bacterial group(s) and function of bacterial species that increase fitness and competitiveness is also of interest to tephritid mass-rearing programs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-755
Number of pages11
JournalInsect Science
Volume27
Issue number4
Early online date08 Mar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

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