Low‐diversity bacterial community in the gut of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster

Department of Entomology, Comstock Hall Department of Computer Science, Upson Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.
Environmental Microbiology (Impact Factor: 6.2). 06/2011; 13(7):1889-900. DOI: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2011.02511.x
Source: PubMed


The bacteria in the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster of different life stages was quantified by 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons. The sequence reads were dominated by 5 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) at ≤ 97% sequence identity that could be assigned to Acetobacter pomorum, A. tropicalis, Lactobacillus brevis, L. fructivorans and L. plantarum. The saturated rarefaction curves and species richness indices indicated that the sampling (85,000-159,000 reads per sample) was comprehensive. Parallel diagnostic PCR assays revealed only minor variation in the complement of the five bacterial species across individual insects and three D. melanogaster strains. Other gut-associated bacteria included 6 OTUs with low %ID to previously reported sequences, raising the possibility that they represent novel taxa within the genera Acetobacter and Lactobacillus. A developmental change in the most abundant species, from L. fructivorans in young adults to A. pomorum in aged adults was identified; changes in gut oxygen tension or immune system function might account for this effect. Host immune responses and disturbance may also contribute to the low bacterial diversity in the Drosophila gut habitat.

Download full-text


Available from: Adam CN Wong
  • Source
    • "The microbiota of laboratory Drosophila has been well characterized (reviewed in Broderick and Lemaitre, 2012 and Erkosar et al., 2013), and temporal fluctuations in this population occur through the life stages (Wong et al., 2011) and with changes in immune function (Ryu et al., 2008). In order to assess whether changes in microbial composition, in addition to changes in bacterial load, were associated with age-onset barrier dysfunction, we took a metagenomics approach. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Alterations in the composition of the intestinal microbiota have been correlated with aging and measures of frailty in the elderly. However, the relationships between microbial dynamics, age-related changes in intestinal physiology, and organismal health remain poorly understood. Here, we show that dysbiosis of the intestinal microbiota, characterized by an expansion of the Gammaproteobacteria, is tightly linked to age-onset intestinal barrier dysfunction in Drosophila. Indeed, alterations in the microbiota precede and predict the onset of intestinal barrier dysfunction in aged flies. Changes in microbial composition occurring prior to intestinal barrier dysfunction contribute to changes in excretory function and immune gene activation in the aging intestine. In addition, we show that a distinct shift in microbiota composition follows intestinal barrier dysfunction, leading to systemic immune activation and organismal death. Our results indicate that alterations in microbiota dynamics could contribute to and also predict varying rates of health decline during aging in mammals. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Cell Reports
  • Source
    • "The Drosophila system offers a simplified model for defining the mechanisms underlying symbiotic host-microbe interactions (Bakula, 1969; Broderick and Lemaitre, 2012; Brummel et al., 2004; Chandler et al., 2011; Douglas, 2011; Erkosar et al., 2013). In both humans and flies, bacterial communities shift with changes in host nutrition (Chandler et al., 2011; David et al., 2014) and age (Claesson et al., 2011; Wong et al., 2011). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Microbes play an important role in the pathogenesis of nutritional disorders such as protein-specific malnutrition. However, the precise contribution of microbes to host energy balance during undernutrition is unclear. Here, we show that Issatchenkia orientalis, a fungal microbe isolated from field-caught Drosophila melanogaster, promotes amino acid harvest to rescue the lifespan of undernourished flies. Using radioisotope-labeled dietary components (amino acids, nucleotides, and sucrose) to quantify nutrient transfer from food to microbe to fly, we demonstrate that I. orientalis extracts amino acids directly from nutrient-poor diets and increases protein flux to the fly. This microbial association restores body mass, protein, glycerol, and ATP levels and phenocopies the metabolic profile of adequately fed flies. Our study uncovers amino acid harvest as a fundamental mechanism linking microbial and host metabolism, and highlights Drosophila as a platform for quantitative studies of host-microbe relationships.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Cell Reports
  • Source
    • "When that is so, core microbiota can be considered as a host species-, genus-or family-specific trait that may play key roles in determining host fitness and evolutionary potential (Hongoh et al. 2005; Andert et al. 2010; Hongoh 2010; Brucker & Bordenstein 2012). However , relative to vertebrates, explicit studies of core communities associated with insects are still few, but include the common bed bug Cimex lactularius (Meriweather et al. 2013), the honeybee Apis mellifera (Sabree et al. 2012), Drosophila melanogaster (Wong et al. 2011) and Cephalotes varians (Hu et al. 2014). As terrestrial eusocial invertebrates, the termites (Insecta , Isoptera) occupy most available habitats in (sub) tropical regions (Donovan et al. 2001). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Gut microbes play a crucial role in decomposing lignocellulose to fuel termite societies, with protists in the lower termites and prokaryotes in the higher termites providing these services. However, a single basal subfamily of the higher termites, the Macrotermitinae, also domesticated a plant biomass-degrading fungus (Termitomyces), and how this symbiont acquisition has affected the fungus-growing termite gut microbiota has remained unclear. The objective of our study was to compare the intestinal bacterial communities of five genera (nine species) of fungus-growing termites to establish whether or not an ancestral core microbiota has been maintained and characterizes extant lineages. Using 454-pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we show that gut communities have representatives of 26 bacterial phyla and are dominated by Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Spirochaetes, Proteobacteria, and Synergistetes. A set of 42 genus-level taxa was present in all termite species and accounted for 56–68% of the species-specific reads. Gut communities of termites from the same genus were more similar than distantly related species, suggesting that phylogenetic ancestry matters, possibly in connection with specific termite genus-level ecological niches. Finally, we show that gut communities of fungus-growing termites are similar to cockroaches, both at the bacterial phylum level and in a comparison of the core Macrotermitinae taxa abundances with representative cockroach, lower termite, and higher non-fungus-growing termites. These results suggest that the obligate association with Termitomyces has forced the bacterial gut communities of the fungus-growing termites towards a relatively uniform composition with higher similarity to their omnivorous relatives than to more closely related termites.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Molecular Ecology
Show more