Submitted to: Journal of Medical Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/18/2017
Publication Date: 10/17/2017
Citation: Muturi, E.J., Ramirez, J.L., Rooney, A.P., Kim, C. 2017. Comparative analysis of gut microbiota of Culex restuans (Diptera: Culicidae) females from different parents. Journal of Medical Entomology. 10:163-171. doi: 10.1093/jme/tjx199.
Interpretive Summary: Gut microbes serve important functions in mosquito biology and understanding the factors that influence their composition and structure can provide useful information on how they can be harnesses for prevention and management of mosquito-borne diseases. We conducted studies to test the hypothesis that the gut microbial communities of adult females from the same egg rafts (parents) are more identical compared to those of adult females from different egg rafts. We found limited support for this hypothesis suggesting that genetic relatedness may have limited influence on the composition and structure of gut microbiota in this mosquito species. However, additional studies focusing on a variety of mosquito species collected across large geographic distances and estimating the geographic distances between populations are needed to clarify the role of host genetics in shaping the pattern of mosquito gut microbial communities. These findings advance current knowledge on mosquito gut microbiota and provide the foundation for additional studies to determine which of the identified microbial communities can be harnessed for disease control.
Technical Abstract: The potential for gut microbiota to impede or enhance pathogen transmission is well-documented but the factors that shape this microbiota in mosquito vectors are poorly understood. We characterized and compared the gut microbiota of adult females of Culex restuans Theobald from different parents. Culex restuans larvae from nine field-collected egg rafts were reared on a common diet and gut microbiota of newly emerged adult females characterized by MiSeq sequencing of the V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene. Bacterial diversity and evenness in individuals from one egg raft were significantly lower compared to those of three of the other eight egg rafts. The gut microbiota of adult females reared from seven of the nine egg rafts clustered together suggesting that individuals from most egg rafts had similar profiles of gut microbiota. These findings suggest that the microbiota of adult females from the same parents do not differ appreciably from the microbiota of adult females from different parents. However, additional studies using mosquitoes separated by geographic distances greater than those studied here and estimating the genetic distances between populations from different egg rafts are needed to provide further insights into the influence of host genetics on gut microbiota. Also worthwhile are studies evaluating how individuals from different egg rafts and harboring different gut microbiota compare in relation to vector competence for different pathogens.