Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Insects. 2019 Mar 28;10(4). pii: E89. doi: 10.3390/insects10040089.

Aseptic Rearing and Infection with Gut Bacteria Improve the Fitness of Transgenic Diamondback Moth, Plutella xylostella.

Author information

1
Centre for Ecology and Conservation, Penryn campus, College of Life and Environmental Science, University of Exeter, TR10 9FE, UK. jasmine.somerville@talktalk.net.
2
Centre for Ecology and Conservation, Penryn campus, College of Life and Environmental Science, University of Exeter, TR10 9FE, UK. zhou.liqin@oamiccn.com.
3
Centre for Ecology and Conservation, Penryn campus, College of Life and Environmental Science, University of Exeter, TR10 9FE, UK. b.raymond@exeter.ac.uk.

Abstract

Mass insect rearing can have a range of applications, for example in biological control of pests. The competitive fitness of released insects is extremely important in a number of applications. Here, we investigated how to improve the fitness of a transgenic diamondback moth, which has shown variation in mating ability when reared in different insectaries. Specifically we tested whether infection with a gut bacteria, Enterobacter cloacae, and aseptic rearing of larvae could improve insect growth and male performance. All larvae were readily infected with E. cloacae. Under aseptic rearing, pupal weights were reduced and there was a marginal reduction in larval survival. However, aseptic rearing substantially improved the fitness of transgenic males. In addition, under aseptic rearing, inoculation with E. cloacae increased pupal weights and male fitness, increasing the proportion of transgenic progeny from 20% to 30% relative to uninfected insects. Aseptic conditions may improve the fitness of transgenic males by excluding microbial contaminants, while symbiont inoculation could further improve fitness by providing additional protection against infection, or by normalizing insect physiology. The simple innovation of incorporating antibiotic into diet, and inoculating insects with symbiotic bacteria that are resistant to that antibiotic, could provide a readily transferable tool for other insect rearing systems.

KEYWORDS:

genetically modified insects; insect rearing; microbiome; mutualism; self-limiting; symbiosis; transgenic

PMID:
30925791
DOI:
10.3390/insects10040089
Free full text

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest. The funders had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, or in the decision to publish the results.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Loading ...
Support Center