Gut-Associated Bacteria Throughout the Life Cycle of the Bark Beetle Dendroctonus rhizophagus Thomas and Bright (Curculionidae: Scolytinae) and Their Cellulolytic Activities
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Dendroctonus rhizophagus Thomas and Bright (Curculionidae: Scolytinae) is an endemic economically important insect of the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico. This bark beetle has an atypical behavior within the genus because just one beetle couple colonizes and kills seedlings and young trees of 11 pine species. In this work, the bacteria associated with the Dendroctonus rhizophagus gut were analyzed by culture-dependent and culture-independent methods. Analysis of 16S rRNA sequences amplified directly from isolates of gut bacteria suggests that the bacterial community associated with Dendroctonus rhizophagus, like that of other Dendroctonus spp. and Ips pini, is limited in number. Nine bacterial genera of γ-Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria classes were detected in the gut of Dendroctonus rhizophagus. Stenotrophomonas and Rahnella genera were the most frequently found bacteria from Dendroctonus rhizophagus gut throughout their life cycle. Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Ponticoccus gilvus, and Kocuria marina showed cellulolytic activity in vitro. Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Rahnella aquatilis, Raoultella terrigena, Ponticoccus gilvus, and Kocuria marina associated with larvae or adults of Dendroctonus rhizophagus could be implicated in nitrogen fixation and cellulose breakdown, important roles associated to insect development and fitness, especially under the particularly difficult life conditions of this beetle.