Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, 97:69

Diversity of gut microbiota increases with aging and starvation in the desert locust

  • Rod J. Dillon
  • Gordon Webster
  • Andrew J. Weightman
  • A. Keith Charnley
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10482-009-9389-5

Cite this article as:
Dillon, R.J., Webster, G., Weightman, A.J. et al. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (2010) 97: 69. doi:10.1007/s10482-009-9389-5

Abstract

Here we report the effects of starvation and insect age on the diversity of gut microbiota of adult desert locusts, Schistocerca gregaria, using denaturing gradient gel electrophoretic (DGGE) analysis of bacterial 16S rRNA genes. Sequencing of excised DGGE bands revealed the presence of only one potentially novel uncultured member of the Gammaproteobacteria in the guts of fed, starved, young or old locusts. Most of the 16S rRNA gene sequences were closely related to known cultured bacterial species. DGGE profiles suggested that bacterial diversity increased with insect age and did not provide evidence for a characteristic locust gut bacterial community. Starved insects are often more prone to disease, probably because they compromise on immune defence. However, the increased diversity of Gammaproteobacteria in starved locusts shown here may improve defence against enteric threats because of the role of gut bacteria in colonization resistance.

Keywords

DGGE16S rRNA genesAcrididaeBacteriaGut

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rod J. Dillon
    • 1
  • Gordon Webster
    • 2
  • Andrew J. Weightman
    • 2
  • A. Keith Charnley
    • 3
  1. 1.Liverpool School of Tropical MedicineLiverpoolUK
  2. 2.Cardiff School of BiosciencesCardiff UniversityCardiff, WalesUK
  3. 3.Department of Biology and BiochemistryUniversity of BathBathUK