Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Beyond host regulation: changes in gut microbiome of permissive and non-permissive hosts following parasitization by the wasp Cotesia flavipes.

Abstract

Koinobiont parasitoids regulate the physiology of their hosts, possibly interfering with the host gut microbiota and ultimately impacting parasitoid development. We used the parasitoid Cotesia flavipes to investigate if the regulation of the host would also affect the host gut microbiota. We also wondered if the effects of parasitization on the gut microbiota would depend on the host-parasitoid association by testing the permissive Diatraea saccharalis and the non-permissive Spodoptera frugiperda hosts. We determined the structure and potential functional contribution of the gut microbiota of the fore-midgut and hindgut of the hosts at different stages of development of the immature parasitoid. The abundance and diversity of operational taxonomic units of the anteromedial (fore-midgut) gut and posterior (hindgut) region from larvae of the analyzed hosts were affected by parasitization. Changes in the gut microbiota induced by parasitization altered the potential functional contribution of the gut microbiota associated with both hosts. Our data also indicated that the mechanism by which C. flavipes interferes with the gut microbiota of the host does not require a host-parasitoid coevolutionary history. Changes observed in the potential contribution of the gut microbiota of parasitized hosts impact the host's nutritional quality, and could favor host exploitation by C. flavipes.