Yeasts, often in hydrolyzed form, are key ingredients in the larval and adult diets of tephritid fruit fly colonies. However, very little is known about the presence or role of yeasts in the diets of tephritid fruit flies in nature. Previous studies have identified bacteria but not detected yeasts in the gut of Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt), one of Australia's most economically damaging insect pests of horticultural crops and of significant biosecurity concern domestically and internationally. Here we demonstrate that cultivable yeasts are commonly found in the gut of B. tryoni larvae from fruit hosts. Analysis of the ITS1, 5.8S rRNA gene, and ITS2 sequences of randomly selected isolates identified yeasts and yeast-like fungi of the genera Aureobasidium, Candida, Cryptococcus, Hanseniaspora, Pichia, and Starmerella. The prevalence of these yeasts in fruits suggests that larvae consume the yeasts as part of their diet. This work highlights that yeasts should be considered in future tephritid larval gut microbiota studies. Understanding tephritid-microbial symbiont interactions will lead to improvements in artificial diets and the quality of mass-reared tephritids for the sterile insect technique. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved.
Deutscher, A., Reynolds, O., & Chapman, T. A. (2017). Yeast: An Overlooked Component of Bactrocera tryoni (Diptera: Tephritidae) Larval Gut Microbiota. Journal of Economic Entomology, 110(1), 298-300. https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/tow262