Nav: Home

Gut bacteria make key amino acids dispensable, expanding food options for invasive flies

January 16, 2019

Fruit flies fed antibiotics to supress their gut microbiome are forced to avoid the best food patches if they lack vital amino acids, according to a study by Boaz Yuval from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel and Chang-Ying Nui from Huazhong Agricultural University in China, publishing January 16, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.

Symbiotic gut bacteria have been found to influence insect metabolism, immunity and reproduction, but the mechanisms underpinning these connections are poorly understood. The researchers observed the response of oriental fruit flies (Bactrocera dorsalis) to a laboratory foraging arena. Half of the 60 flies were first fed antibiotic-laced sugar to eliminate their resident gut microbes - which are able to produce nitrogen from non-essential amino acids. The team then starved the flies of protein for 24 hours and then offered them a selection of food droplets of different sizes consisting of sugar, minerals, and either a full complement of 18 amino acids, or just 8 non-essential amino acids, which are a poor source of nitrogen.

They found that flies lacking gut bacteria landed and started feeding faster, spent longer feeding, and consumed more droplets of food than flies that still possessed a normal gut microbiome. Flies with a functioning microbiome chose to feed on larger droplets, regardless of their nutritional composition, whereas flies that had been fed antibiotics were constrained to feeding on droplets containing essential amino acids like arginine and leucine. Oriental fruit flies are highly invasive pests of crops across Asia, capable of attacking over 350 plant species. Understanding how gut bacteria influence the insects' feeding behaviour could help scientists develop improved strategies to control or eradicate them.

The authors add: "Foraging for food is a costly and potentially dangerous activity. Oriental fruit flies that lack nutritionally important bacteria are compelled to invest more time foraging for essential nutrients."
-end-
In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available article in PLOS ONE:http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0210109

Citation: Akami M, Andongma AA, Zhengzhong C, Nan J, Khaeso K, Jurkevitch E, et al. (2019) Intestinal bacteria modulate the foraging behavior of the oriental fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae). PLoS ONE 14(1): e0210109. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0210109

Funding: This study was funded by the Joint programme of the Israel Science Foundation and the Science Foundation of China (2482/16), National Natural Science Foundation of China (31661143045), International Atomic Energy Agency (CRP No. 17153 and No. 18269), Agricultural public welfare industry research supported by Ministry of Agriculture of People's Republic of China (201503137) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2662015PY148).

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

PLOS

Related Amino Acids Articles:

Alzheimer's: Can an amino acid help to restore memories?
Scientists at the Laboratoire des Maladies Neurodégénératives (CNRS/CEA/Université Paris-Saclay) and the Neurocentre Magendie (INSERM/Université de Bordeaux) have just shown that a metabolic pathway plays a determining role in Alzheimer's disease's memory problems.
New study indicates amino acid may be useful in treating ALS
A naturally occurring amino acid is gaining attention as a possible treatment for ALS following a new study published in the Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology.
Breaking up amino acids with radiation
A new experimental and theoretical study published in EPJ D has shown how the ions formed when electrons collide with one amino acid, glutamine, differ according to the energy of the colliding electrons.
To make amino acids, just add electricity
By finding the right combination of abundantly available starting materials and catalyst, Kyushu University researchers were able to synthesize amino acids with high efficiency through a reaction driven by electricity.
Nanopores can identify the amino acids in proteins, the first step to sequencing
While DNA sequencing is a useful tool for determining what's going on in a cell or a person's body, it only tells part of the story.
Differentiating amino acids
Researchers develop the foundation for direct sequencing of individual proteins.
Simulating amino acid starvation may improve dengue vaccines
In a new paper in Science Signaling, researchers at the University of Hyderabad in India and the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine show that a plant-based compound called halofuginone improves the immune response to a potential vaccine against dengue virus.
CoP-electrocatalytic reduction of nitroarenes: a controllable way to azoxy-, azo- and amino-aromatic
The development of a green, efficient and highly controllable manner to azoxy-, azo- and amino-aromatics from nitro-reduction is extremely desirable both from academic and industrial points of view.
Origin of life insight: peptides can form without amino acids
Peptides, one of the fundamental building blocks of life, can be formed from the primitive precursors of amino acids under conditions similar to those expected on the primordial Earth, finds a new UCL study published in Nature.
Researchers develop fast, efficient way to build amino acid chains
Researchers report that they have developed a faster, easier and cheaper method for making new amino acid chains -- the polypeptide building blocks that are used in drug development and industry -- than was previously available.
More Amino Acids News and Amino Acids Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.