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 - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 Access content directly
Journal Articles Environmental Microbiology Year : 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

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.

Dates and versions

hal-02473986 , version 1 (11-02-2020)

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Guillaume Minard, Gleb Tikhonov, Otso Ovaskainen, Marjo Saastamoinen. 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, 2019, 21 (11), pp.4253-4269. ⟨10.1111/1462-2920.14786⟩. ⟨hal-02473986⟩
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