Microbiota from Rhabditis regina may alter nematode entomopathogenicity


Here we report the presence of the entomopathogenic nematode Rhabditis (Rhabditoides) regina affecting white grubs (Phyllophaga sp. and Anomala sp.) in Mexico and R. regina-associated bacteria. Bioassays were performed to test the entomopathogenic capacity of dauer and L2 and L3 (combined) larval stages. Furthermore, we determined the diversity of bacteria from laboratory nematodes cultivated for 2 years (dauer and L2–L3 larvae) and from field nematodes (dauer and L2–L3 larvae) in addition to the virulence in Galleria mellonella larvae of some bacterial species from both laboratory and field nematodes. Dauer and non-dauer larvae of R. regina killed G. mellonella. Bacteria such as Serratia sp. (isolated from field nematodes) and Klebsiella sp. (isolated from larvae of laboratory and field nematodes) may explain R. regina entomopathogenic capabilities. Different bacteria were found in nematodes after subculturing in the laboratory suggesting that R. regina may acquire bacteria in different environments. However, there were some consistently found bacteria from laboratory and field nematodes such as Pseudochrobactrum sp., Comamonas sp., Alcaligenes sp., Klebsiella sp., Acinetobacter sp., and Leucobacter sp. that may constitute the nematode microbiome. Results showed that some bacteria contributing to entomopathogenicity may be lost in the laboratory representing a disadvantage when nematodes are cultivated to be used for biological control.

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One anonymous reviewer and Dr. Bill Chobotar provided substantial comments to improve the paper. We thank Jhony Navat Enriquez-Vara and Ángel García Rivera for helping to collect white grubs, Michael Dunn for reading the manuscript, and A. Vera-Ponce de León and V. Higareda-Alvear for technical advice. Juan Carlos Torrez-Guzmán kindly identified Serratia and Metarhizium. The project was financed by Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT, project 19660, LN-250996). A postdoctoral grant was provided by CONACyT to JGJC (Convocatory 290807; CVU 204973).

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Correspondence to Jesús Guillermo Jiménez-Cortés or Jorge Contreras-Garduño.

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Electronic supplementary material

R. regina inside a white grub´s leg which was collected from the field and maintained under sterile conditions. (MP4 65249 kb)

Supplementary video S1

R. regina inside a white grub´s leg which was collected from the field and maintained under sterile conditions. (MP4 65249 kb)

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Fig. S1

White grubs infected naturally by a) Serratia sp. and b) Metarhizium sp. (DOC 12275 kb)

Table S1

Bacteria found in R. regina and previously registered in different species of nematodes related to entomopathogens, parasites, and soil or plant root-feeders. 1 Kämpfer et al. 2006; 2 Jaffe et al. 2001; 3 Faulde et al. 2013; 4 Gottlieb et al. 2012; 5 Gupta et al. 2012; 6 Priya et al. 2012; 7 Jafra et al. 2006; 8 Park et al. 2011; 9 Quiroz-Castañeda et al. 2015; 10 Chansang et al. 2010; 11 Roriz et al. 2011; 12 Podgwaite et al. 2013; 13 Vicente et al. 2011; 14 Rae et al. 2008; 15 Torres-Barragan et al. 2011; 16 Tambong 2013; 17 Gouge and Snyder 2006; 18 Kuzina et al. 2001; 19 Vaz-Moreira et al. 2011; 20 Zhang et al. 2008; 21 Priya et al. 2012; 22 Paramasiva et al 2014; 23 Hodgkin and Partridge 2008; 24 Espelund and Klaveness 2014; 25 Muir and Tan 2007; 26 Tsukamura 1972. (DOC 676 kb)

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Jiménez-Cortés, J.G., Canales-Lazcano, J., Lara-Reyes, N. et al. Microbiota from Rhabditis regina may alter nematode entomopathogenicity. Parasitol Res 115, 4153–4165 (2016).

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  • Symbiotic bacteria
  • Virulence
  • Nematoda
  • Entomopathogens
  • Evolutionary parasitology
  • Rhabditidae
  • Rhabditoides