Publication Date: 2013.
Insects are constantly adapting to human-driven landscape changes; however, the roles of their gut microbiota in these processes remain largely unknown. The western corn rootworm (WCR, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) is amajor corn pest that has been controlled via annual rotation between corn (Zea mays) and nonhost soybean (Glycine max) in the United States. This practice selected for a ?rotation-resistant? variant (RR-WCR) with reduced ovipositional fidelity to cornfields.When in soybean fields, RRWCRs also exhibit an elevated tolerance of antiherbivory defenses (i.e., cysteine protease inhibitors) expressed in soybean foliage. Here we show that gut bacterial microbiota is an important factor facilitating this corn specialist?s (WCR?s) physiological adaptation to brief soybean herbivory. Comparisons of gut microbiota between RR- and wild-type WCR (WT-WCR) revealed concomitant shifts in bacterial community structure with host adaptation to soybean diets. Antibiotic suppression of gut bacteria significantly reduced RR-WCR tolerance of soybean herbivory to the level of WT-WCR, whereas WTWCR were unaffected. Our findings demonstrate that gut bacteria help to facilitate rapid adaptation of insects inmanaged ecosystems.
Author affiliation: Chu, C. C.. University Of Illinois; Estados Unidos de América;
Author affiliation: Spencer, J.. University Of Illinois; Estados Unidos de América;
Author affiliation: Curzi, M.. University Of Illinois; Estados Unidos de América;
Author affiliation: Zavala, Jorge Alberto. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Agronomia;
Author affiliation: Seufferheld, Manfredo Jose. University Of Illinois; Estados Unidos de América;
Repository: CONICET Digital (CONICET). Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas