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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2015 Apr;91(4). pii: fiv022. doi: 10.1093/femsec/fiv022. Epub 2015 Feb 26.

Diet shapes the gut microbiota of the omnivorous cockroach Blattella germanica.

Author information

1
Instituto Cavanilles de Biodiversidad y Biología Evolutiva, Universidad de Valencia, 46071 Valencia, Spain Fundación para el Fomento de la Investigación Sanitaria y Biomédica de la Comunitat Valenciana (FISABIO), 46020 Valencia, Spain CIBER en Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBEResp), 28029 Madrid, Spain.
2
Instituto Cavanilles de Biodiversidad y Biología Evolutiva, Universidad de Valencia, 46071 Valencia, Spain.
3
Instituto Cavanilles de Biodiversidad y Biología Evolutiva, Universidad de Valencia, 46071 Valencia, Spain Fundación para el Fomento de la Investigación Sanitaria y Biomédica de la Comunitat Valenciana (FISABIO), 46020 Valencia, Spain CIBER en Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBEResp), 28029 Madrid, Spain amparo.latorre@uv.es.

Abstract

The gut microbiota of insects contributes positively to the physiology of its host mainly by participating in food digestion, protecting against pathogens, or provisioning vitamins or amino acids, but the dynamics of this complex ecosystem is not well understood so far. In this study, we have characterized the gut microbiota of the omnivorous cockroach Blattella germanica by pyrosequencing the hypervariable regions V1-V3 of the 16S rRNA gene of the whole bacterial community. Three diets differing in the protein content (0, 24 and 50%) were tested at two time points in lab-reared individuals. In addition, the gut microbiota of wild adult cockroaches was also analyzed. In contrast to the high microbial richness described on the studied samples, only few species are shared by wild and lab-reared cockroaches, constituting the bacterial core in the gut of B. germanica. Overall, we found that the gut microbiota of B. germanica is highly dynamic as the bacterial composition was reassembled in a diet-specific manner over a short time span, with no-protein diet promoting high diversity, although the highest diversity was found in the wild cockroaches analyzed. We discuss how the flexibility of the gut microbiota is probably due to its omnivorous life style and varied diets.

KEYWORDS:

insects; intestinal microbiota; lab-reared versus wild cockroaches; omnivorism; synthetic diets

PMID:
25764470
DOI:
10.1093/femsec/fiv022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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