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Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 75–84 | Cite as

Aspen Defense Chemicals Influence Midgut Bacterial Community Composition of Gypsy Moth

  • Charles J. Mason
  • Kennedy F. Rubert-Nason
  • Richard L. Lindroth
  • Kenneth F. Raffa
Article

Abstract

Microbial symbionts are becoming increasingly recognized as mediators of many aspects of plant – herbivore interactions. However, the influence of plant chemical defenses on gut associates of insect herbivores is less well understood. We used gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar L.), and differing trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) genotypes that vary in chemical defenses, to assess the influence of foliar chemistry on bacterial communities of larval midguts. We evaluated the bacterial community composition of foliage, and of midguts of larvae feeding on those leaves, using next-generation high-throughput sequencing. Plant defense chemicals did not influence the composition of foliar communities. In contrast, both phenolic glycosides and condensed tannins affected the bacterial consortia of gypsy moth midguts. The two most abundant operational taxonomic units were classified as Ralstonia and Acinetobacter. The relative abundance of Ralstonia was higher in midguts than in foliage when phenolic glycoside concentrations were low, but lower in midguts when phenolic glycosides were high. In contrast, the relative abundance of Ralstonia was lower in midguts than in foliage when condensed tannin concentrations were low, but higher in midguts when condensed tannins were high. Acinetobacter showed a different relationship with host chemistry, being relatively more abundant in midguts than with foliage when condensed tannin concentrations were low, but lower in midguts when condensed tannins were high. Acinetobacter tended to have a greater relative abundance in midguts of insects feeding on genotypes with high phenolic glycoside concentrations. These results show that plant defense chemicals influence herbivore midgut communities, which may in turn influence host utilization.

Keywords

Bacteria Community Condensed tannins Midgut Phenolic glycosides Plant-insect interactions 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Andrew Helm for assistance with analyzing condensed tannins. Critical reviews by Dr. Claudio Gratton and two anonymous referees, and editorial comments, improved this manuscript. This work was supported by USDA Hatch WIS#01598 awarded to K. Raffa, NSF grant DEB 0841609 to R. Lindroth, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

Supplementary material

10886_2014_530_Fig6_ESM.jpg (447 kb)
Supplemental Fig. 1

Sample accumulation curves of each sequenced sample in this study. Samples were subsampled prior to analysis. Leveling of curves indicate adequate depth of sequence. (JPEG 447 kb)

10886_2014_530_MOESM1_ESM.eps (193 kb)
High Resolution Image (EPS 193 kb)
10886_2014_530_MOESM2_ESM.docx (25 kb)
Supplemental Table 1 (DOCX 25 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles J. Mason
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kennedy F. Rubert-Nason
    • 1
  • Richard L. Lindroth
    • 1
  • Kenneth F. Raffa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.345 Russell LaboratoriesUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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