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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Crop Bioprotection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #373129

Research Project: New Microbial and Plant-Based Agents for Mosquito Control

Location: Crop Bioprotection Research

Title: Microbial communities of container aquatic habitats shift in response to Culex restuans larvae

item Muturi, Ephantus
item Dunlap, Christopher
item CACERES, CARLA - University Of Illinois

Submitted to: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/3/2020
Publication Date: 6/12/2020
Citation: Muturi, E.J., Dunlap, C.A., Caceres, C.E. 2020. Microbial communities of container aquatic habitats shift in response to Culex restuans larvae. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. 96(7). Article fiaa112.

Interpretive Summary: Bacterial communities that colonize the decaying organic matter in container aquatic habitats such as tree holes, stormwater catch basins and discarded automobile tires, serve as a critical food resource for mosquito larvae. However, little is known regarding how these bacterial communities respond to grazing pressure from mosquito larvae. This study examined how mosquito larvae influence the composition and diversity of bacterial communities in container aquatic habitats. Results show that grazing by mosquito larvae alters the composition and reduces the diversity of bacterial communities in container aquatic habitats. Shifts in bacterial communities in the presence of mosquito larvae may lower the nutritional quality of container aquatic habitats and disrupt the decomposition process. The bacterial taxa that decreased in response to the presence of mosquito larvae are likely those that are consumed by mosquito larvae and should be investigated further for potential application in mosquito control.

Technical Abstract: We examined how larvae of Culex restuans mosquito influences the bacterial abundance, composition, and diversity in simulated container aquatic habitats. The microbiota of Cx. restuans larvae were also characterized and compared to those of their larval habitats. The presence of Cx. restuans larvae altered the bacterial community composition and reduced the bacterial abundance, diversity and richness. Azohydromonas sp., Delftia sp., Pseudomonas sp., Zooglea sp., unclassified Enterobacteriaceae, and unclassified Bacteroidales were suppressed while Prosthecobacter sp., Hydrogenaphaga sp., Clostridium sp., unclassified Clostridiaceae, and Chryseobacterium sp. were enhanced in the presence of Cx. restuans larvae. Cx. restuans larvae harbored distinct and less diverse bacterial community compared to their larval habitats. These findings demonstrate that Cx. restuans larvae play a key role in structuring the microbial communities in container aquatic habitats and may lower the nutritional quality and alter the decomposition process and food web dynamics in these aquatic systems. The findings also demonstrate that mosquito larvae are highly selective of the bacterial taxa from the larval environment that colonize their bodies. These findings provide new opportunities for more focused studies to identify the specific bacterial taxa that serve as food for mosquito larvae and those that could be harnessed for disease control.