Microbial Ecology

, Volume 74, Issue 1, pp 207–216 | Cite as

Comparative Analysis of Drosophila melanogaster Gut Microbiota with Respect to Host Strain, Sex, and Age

  • Gangsik Han
  • Hyo Jung Lee
  • Sang Eun Jeong
  • Che Ok JeonEmail author
  • Seogang HyunEmail author
Host Microbe Interactions


Microbiota has a significant impact on the health of the host individual. The complexity of the interactions between mammalian hosts and their microbiota highlights the value of using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism, because of its relatively simple microbial community and ease of physiological and genetic manipulation. However, highly variable and sometimes inconsistent results regarding the microbiota of D. melanogaster have been reported for host samples collected from different geographical locations; discrepancies that may be because of the inherent physiological conditions of the D. melanogaster host. Here, we conducted a comparative analysis of the gut microbiota of two D. melanogaster laboratory strains, w 1118 and Canton S, with respect to the sex and age of the host, by pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. In addition to the widespread and abundant commensal bacterial genera Lactobacillus and Acetobacter, we identified Enterococcus and Leuconostoc as major host-strain-specific bacterial genera. The relative proportions of these bacterial genera, and those of the species within each, were found to differ markedly with respect to strain, sex, and age of the host, even though host individuals were reared under the same nutritional conditions. By using various bioinformatic tools, we uncovered several characteristic features of microbiota corresponding to specific categories of the flies: host-sex-bias association of specific bacteria, age-dependent alteration of microbiota across host species and sex, and uniqueness of the microbiota of female w 1118 flies. Our results, thus, help to further our understanding of host–microbe interactions in the D. melanogaster model.


Gut microbiota Drosophila melanogaster 16S rRNA Pyrosequencing Bray-Curtis dissimilarity Linear discriminant analysis coupled with effect size measurements Principal component analysis 



We thank the Bloomington Drosophila Stock Center for the fly stocks used in this study. This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (Grant number: 2014R1A2A1A11052915) and by a grant from the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (Grant Number: HI14C2380).

Accession Number

The sequence data of the 16S rRNA genes from this study are publicly available in the NCBI Short Read Archive under accession no. SRP072269 (NCBI BioProject PRJNA316061).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Life ScienceChung-Ang UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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