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Mosquito-bacteria interactions during larval development trigger metabolic changes with carry-over effects on adult fitness

Citation

Lambrechts, Louis et al. (2021), Mosquito-bacteria interactions during larval development trigger metabolic changes with carry-over effects on adult fitness, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.15dv41nzs

Abstract

In animals with distinct life stages such as holometabolous insects, adult phenotypic variation is often shaped by the environment of immature stages, including their interactions with microbes colonizing larval habitats. Such carry-over effects were previously observed for several adult traits of the mosquito Aedes aegypti after larval exposure to different bacteria, but the mechanistic underpinnings are unknown. Here, we investigated the molecular changes triggered by gnotobiotic larval exposure to different bacteria in Ae. aegypti. We initially screened a panel of 16 bacterial isolates from natural mosquito breeding sites to determine their ability to influence adult life-history traits. We subsequently focused on four bacterial isolates (belonging to Flavobacterium, Lysobacter, Paenibacillus, and Enterobacteriaceae) with significant carry-over effects on adult survival and found that they were associated with distinct transcriptomic profiles throughout mosquito development. Moreover, we detected carry-over effects at the level of gene expression for the Flavobacterium and Paenibacillus isolates. The most prominent transcriptomic changes in gnotobiotic larvae reflected a profound remodeling of lipid metabolism, which translated into phenotypic differences in lipid storage and starvation resistance at the adult stage. Together, our findings indicate that larval exposure to environmental bacteria trigger substantial physiological changes that impact adult fitness, uncovering a possible mechanism underlying carry-over effects of mosquito-bacteria interactions during larval development.

Methods

This dataset contains all the raw data presented in the figures of the article.