Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract Full Text

Identification and diversity analysis of bacteria in the venom glands of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, and two other ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

Abstract

Aim: The objective of this study is to assess the diversity of bacteria in the venom glands of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, and to compare the bacterial communities in the venom glands with those of other two stinging ants, Solenopsis geminata and Diacamma rugosum. Methods: 16S rRNA V3-V4 regions of bacterial community of venom glands in S. invicta workers, alates and queens, S. geminata workers and D. ugosum workers were sequenced by using the Illumine Hiseq 2500 platform. Then, bioinformatic analysis was performed based on sequencing data. Results: Proteobacteria were dominant in the venom glands of S. invicta workers, alates, and queens and S. geminata workers, while Firmicutes were abundant in the venom glands of D. rugosum workers. Tenericutes were more abundant in the venom glands of S. invicta queens than in the venom glands of workers and alates. The relative abundance of Pseudomonas in S. invicta queens was significantly higher than that in S. invicta alates and workers from Guangzhou. The relative abundance of Spiroplasma in the venom glands of S. geminata workers was significantly higher than that in D. rugosum workers. Microbial diversity analysis of venom glands of worker ants of Solenopsis species showed that the relative abundance of Bacillus and Lactococcus in S. invicta workers collected from Guangxi was significantly higher than that in S. invicta workers collected from Guangzhou. However, the relative abundance of Lactococcus in D. rugosum workers was significantly higher than that in workers of S. geminata from Guangxi. Conclusion: The bacterial composition and diversity are different among the workers of three ant species, and among the three castes in red imported fire ant.