The microbiome of the Melitaea cinxia butterfly shows marked variation but is only little explained by the traits of the butterfly or its host plant

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Minard , G , Tikhonov , G , Ovaskainen , O & Saastamoinen , M 2019 , ' The microbiome of the Melitaea cinxia butterfly shows marked variation but is only little explained by the traits of the butterfly or its host plant ' , Environmental Microbiology , vol. 21 , no. 11 , pp. 4253-4269 . https://doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.14786

Title: The microbiome of the Melitaea cinxia butterfly shows marked variation but is only little explained by the traits of the butterfly or its host plant
Author: Minard, Guillaume; Tikhonov, Gleb; Ovaskainen, Otso; Saastamoinen, Marjo
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Life-history Evolution Research Group
University of Helsinki, Research Centre for Ecological Change
University of Helsinki, Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme
University of Helsinki, Helsinki Institute of Life Science HiLIFE, Joint Activities
Date: 2019-11
Language: eng
Number of pages: 17
Belongs to series: Environmental Microbiology
ISSN: 1462-2912
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/310480
Abstract: Understanding of the ecological factors that shape intraspecific variation of insect microbiota in natural populations is relatively poor. In Lepidopteran caterpillars, microbiota is assumed to be mainly composed of transient bacterial symbionts acquired from the host plant. We sampled Glanville fritillary (Melitaea cinxia) caterpillars from natural populations to describe their gut microbiome and to identify potential ecological factors that determine its structure. Our results demonstrate high variability of microbiota composition even among caterpillars that shared the same host plant individual and most likely the same genetic background. We observed that the caterpillars harboured microbial classes that varied among individuals and alternated between two distinct communities (one composed of mainly Enterobacteriaceae and another with more variable microbiota community). Even though the general structure of the microbiota was not attributed to the measured ecological factors, we found that phylogenetically similar microbiota showed corresponding responses to the sex and the parasitoid infection of the caterpillar and to those of the host plant's microbial and chemical composition. Our results indicate high among-individual variability in the microbiota of the M. cinxia caterpillar and contradict previous findings that the host plant is the major driver of the microbiota communities of insect herbivores.
Subject: GUT MICROBIOTA
BACTERIAL ENDOSYMBIONTS
LARVAL MIDGUT
COMMUNITY
DIVERSITY
INSECT
METAPOPULATION
LEPIDOPTERA
METABOLISM
PHYSIOLOGY
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
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