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Transmission modes of a pesticide-degrading symbiont of the oriental fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel)

  • Applied microbial and cell physiology
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Symbionts are associated with many insects and play several multifunctional roles in insect-microorganism mutualistic relationships. The trichlorphon-degrading symbiont Citrobacter freundii (CF-BD) of the oriental fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis was recently discovered; however, its intraspecies transmission pathway among flies remains unknown. Here, we use fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), PCR detection, and a series of ingenious experiments to reveal that CF-BD was aggregated in rectal pads associated with the female ovipositor, and the CF-BD symbiont was vertically transmitted via egg surface contamination. Although CF-BD was not detected in ovaries, it was found in deposited eggs. In addition, CF-BD was readily acquired horizontally between larvae or adults via oral uptake, although it was not transferred via mating behavior. Surface sterilization of eggs had a negative effect on the insects, which exhibited a lower body weight and a sharp decrease in fecundity, suggesting important biological roles of CF-BD in the fitness of the host insects. Our findings may also help to explain the high pesticide resistance levels of B. dorsalis. Furthermore, identifying a clear transmission pathway of this organophosphorus-degrading symbiont will be useful for pesticide resistance management and future pest control technologies.

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This study was supported by the National Key Research and Development Project (2016YC1201200). The funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Guangwen Liang or Yijuan Xu.

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This article does not involve any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

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Guo, Z., Lu, Y., Yang, F. et al. Transmission modes of a pesticide-degrading symbiont of the oriental fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel). Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 101, 8543–8556 (2017).

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