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Data from: Mosquitoes rely on their gut microbiota for development


Coon, Kerri L.; Vogel, Kevin J.; Brown, Mark R.; Strand, Michael R. (2014), Data from: Mosquitoes rely on their gut microbiota for development, Dryad, Dataset,


Field studies indicate adult mosquitoes (Culicidae) host low diversity communities of bacteria that vary greatly among individuals and species. In contrast, it remains unclear how adult mosquitoes acquire their microbiome, what influences community structure, and whether the microbiome is important for survival. Here we used pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA to characterize the bacterial communities of three mosquito species reared under identical conditions. Two of these species, Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae, are anautogenous and must blood feed to produce eggs, while one, Georgecraigius atropalpus, is autogenous and produces eggs without blood feeding. Our results indicated each hosts a low diversity community comprised primarily of aerobic bacteria. However, the communities in Ae. aegypti and An. gambiae larvae were much more similar to one another than to Ge. atropalpus. Studies with Ae. aegypti indicated adults transstadially acquire many members of the larval bacterial community, whereas only four genera of bacteria in blood fed females were detected on eggs. Functional assays showed that axenic larvae of each species failed to develop beyond the first instar. Experiments with Ae. aegypti indicated several members of the microbial community and Escherichia coli successfully colonized axenic larvae and rescued development. Overall, our results provide new insights about the acquisition and structure of bacterial communities in mosquitoes. They also indicate three mosquito species spanning the breadth of the Culicidae depend on their gut microbiome for development, while suggesting the possibility the gut microbiome is an important factor in autogeny.

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