2012, Vol.7(10), p.e44685
The western corn rootworm (WCR) is one of the economically most important pests of maize. A better understanding of microbial communities associated with guts and eggs of the WCR is required in order to develop new pest control strategies, and to assess the potential role of the WCR in the dissemination of microorganisms, e.g., mycotoxin-producing fungi. ; Total community (TC) DNA was extracted from maize rhizosphere, WCR eggs, and guts of larvae feeding on maize roots grown in three different soil types. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and sequencing of 16S rRNA gene and ITS fragments, PCR-amplified from TC DNA, were used to investigate the fungal and bacterial communities, respectively. Microorganisms in the WCR gut were not influenced by the soil type. Dominant fungal populations in the gut were affiliated to spp., while was the most abundant bacterial genus. Identical ribosomal sequences from gut and egg samples confirmed a transovarial transmission of sp. Betaproteobacterial DGGE indicated a stable association of sp. with the WCR gut. Dominant egg-associated microorganisms were the bacterium sp. and the fungus ; The soil type-independent composition of the microbial communities in the WCR gut and the dominance of only a few microbial populations suggested either a highly selective environment in the gut lumen or a high abundance of intracellular microorganisms in the gut epithelium. The dominance of species in the guts indicated WCR larvae as vectors of mycotoxin-producing fungi. The stable association of sp. with WCR gut systems and the absence of corresponding sequences in WCR eggs suggested that this bacterium was postnatally acquired from the environment. The present study provided new insights into the microbial communities associated with larval guts and eggs of the WCR. However, their biological role remains to be explored.
Research Article ; Agriculture ; Biology ; Plant Biology ; Microbiology