Differences in microbiota between two multilocus lineages of the sugarcane aphid (Melanaphis sacchari) in the continental United States

Jocelyn R. Holt, Alex Styer, Jennifer A. White, J. Scott Armstrong, Samuel Nibouche, Laurent Costet, Antonino Malacrinò, Josephine B. Antwi, Jason Wulff, Gary Peterson, Neal McLaren, Raul F. Medina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The sugarcane aphid (SCA), Melanaphis Sacchari (Zehntner) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), has been considered an invasive pest of sugarcane in the continental United States since 1977. Then, in 2013, SCA abruptly became a serious pest of U.S. sorghum and is now a sorghum pest in 22 states across the continental United States. Changes in insect-associated microbial community composition are known to influence host-plant range in aphids. In this study, we assessed whether changes in microbiota composition may explain the SCA outbreak in U.S. sorghum. We characterized the SCA bacterial microbiota on sugarcane and grain sorghum in four U.S. states, using a metabarcoding approach. In addition, we used taxon-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers to screen for bacteria commonly reported in aphid species. As anticipated, all SCA harbored the primary aphid endosymbiont Buchnera aphidicola, an obligate mutualistic bacterial symbiont. Interestingly, none of the secondary symbionts, facultative bacteria typically associated with aphids (e.g., Arsenophonus, Hamiltonella, Regiella) were present in either the metabarcoding data or PCR screens (with the exception of Rickettsiella and Serratia, which were detected by metabarcoding at low abundances <1%). However, our metabarcoding detected bacteria not previously identified in aphids (Arcobacter, Bifidobacterium, Citrobacter). Lastly, we found microbial host-associated differentiation in aphids that seems to correspond to genetically distinct aphid lineages that prefer to feed on grain sorghum (MLL-F) versus sugarcane (MLL-D).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-265
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of the Entomological Society of America
Volume113
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 20 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture Hatch Program (TEX09185 to R. F. M. and 0224651 to J. A. W.) and by a grant from the Texas Grain Sorghum Board (to R. F. M.). We thank the Texas A&M Office of Graduate and Professional Studies (OGAPS) for funding JRH through the Diversity Excellence Fellowship and the Texas A&M College of Agriculture for the Lechner Excellence Fellowship. Thank you to the Genetic Science Learning Center for use of the microbial diversity image (https://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/microbiome/ intro/). Thank you to our collaborators M. Brewer, R. Chappa, C. Crumley, M. Donahoe, T. Felderhoff, Flanders, W. Golden, K. Gravois, D. Kerns, D. Sekula, M. Spearman, R. Villanueva, M. Warren, S. Williams, B. White, M. O. Way, and S. Youngblood for contributing samples and to KerryOliver for providing positive controls for the PCR work.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture Hatch Program (TEX09185 to R. F. M. and 0224651 to J. A. W.) and by a grant from the Texas Grain Sorghum Board (to R. F. M.). We thank the Texas A&M Office of Graduate and Professional Studies (OGAPS) for funding JRH through the Diversity Excellence Fellowship and the Texas A&M College of Agriculture for the Lechner Excellence Fellowship. Thank you to the Genetic Science Learning Center for use of the microbial diversity image (https://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/microbiome/intro/). Thank you to our collaborators M. Brewer, R. Chappa, C. Crumley, M. Donahoe, T. Felderhoff, Flanders, W. Golden, K. Gravois, D. Kerns, D. Sekula, M. Spearman, R. Villanueva, M. Warren, S. Williams, B. White, M. O. Way, and S. Youngblood for contributing samples and to KerryOliver for providing positive controls for the PCR work.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science

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