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Influence of Diet, Sex, and Viral Infections on the Gut Microbiota Composition of Spodoptera exigua Caterpillars

AuthorsMartínez Solís, María; Collado, María Carmen ; Herrero, Salvador
Spodoptera exigua
16S rRNA
Viral infection
Issue Date6-May-2020
PublisherFrontiers Media
CitationFrontiers in Microbiology 11: 753 (2020)
AbstractThe gut microbiota plays essential roles in processes related with metabolism, physiology, and immunity in all organisms, including insects. In the present work, we performed a broad analysis of the Spodoptera exigua gut microbiota, a major agricultural pest. We analyzed the influence of multiple parameters such as diet, geographic location, sex, or viral infections on S. exigua caterpillar gut microbiota composition. Our study revealed a high variability in bacterial composition among individuals, and a major influence of environmental bacteria (including those acquired through diet) on the gut microbiota composition, supporting previous studies that claim resident microbiota are lacking in caterpillars. Previous studies with laboratory-reared insects showed that changes in caterpillar gut bacterial composition affect the insecticidal properties of entomopathogenic viruses and bacteria. Our study revealed different microbiota composition in field insects carrying a natural viral infection with Spodoptera exigua nucleopolyhedrovirus (SeMNPV) and/or Spodoptera exigua iflavirus 1 (SeIV1). Few taxa can be specifically associated with the infection, suggesting microbiota influence the infective process of these natural pathogens, and providing new strategies for insect pest management.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2020.00753
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