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Open Access Research

Bacterial community composition shifts in the gut of Periplaneta americana fed on different lignocellulosic materials

Danielle Bertino-Grimaldi1, Marcelo N Medeiros2, Ricardo P Vieira3, Alexander M Cardoso2, Aline S Turque3, Cynthia B Silveira3, Rodolpho M Albano4, Suzete Bressan-Nascimento1, Elói S Garcia2, Wanderley de Souza25, Orlando B Martins23 and Ednildo A Machado12*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratório de Entomologia Médica, Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

2 Diretoria de Metrologia Aplicada às Ciencias da Vida, Instituto Nacional de Metrologia Qualidade e Tecnologia, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

3 Instituto de Bioquímica Médica, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

4 Departamento de Bioquímica, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

5 Laboratório de Ultraestrutura Celular Hertha Meyer, Programa de Parasitologia e Biologia Celular, Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

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SpringerPlus 2013, 2:609  doi:10.1186/2193-1801-2-609

Published: 15 November 2013

Abstract

Background

Cockroaches are omnivorous animals that can incorporate in their diets food of different composition, including lignocellulosic materials. Digestion of these compounds is achieved by the insect’s own enzymes and also by enzymes produced by gut symbiont. However, the influence of diet with different fiber contents on gut bacterial communities and how this affects the digestion of cockroaches is still unclear. The presence of some bacterial phyla on gut tract suggests that cockroaches could be an interesting model to study the organization of gut bacterial communities during digestion of different lignocellulosic diets. Knowledge about the changes in diversity of gut associated bacterial communities of insects exposed to such diets could give interesting insights on how to improve hemicellulose and cellulose breakdown systems.

Methodology/principal findings

We compared the phylogenetic diversity and composition of gut associated bacteria in the cockroach P. americana caught on the wild or kept on two different diets: sugarcane bagasse and crystalline cellulose. For this purpose we constructed bacterial 16S rRNA gene libraries which showed that a diet rich in cellulose and sugarcane bagasse favors the predominance of some bacterial phyla, more remarkably Firmicutes, when compared to wild cockroaches. Rarefaction analysis, LIBSHUFF and UniFrac PCA comparisons showed that gene libraries of wild insects were the most diverse, followed by sugarcane bagasse fed and then cellulose fed animals. It is also noteworthy that cellulose and sugarcane bagasse gene libraries resemble each other.

Conclusion/significance

Our data show a high bacterial diversity in P. americana gut, with communities composed mostly by the phyla Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Synergistetes. The composition and diversity of gut bacterial communities could be modulated by font of diet composition. The increased presence of Firmicutes in sugarcane bagasse and crystalline cellulose-fed animals suggests that these bacteria are strongly involved in lignocellulose digestion in cockroach guts.

Cockroaches are insects that can accommodate diets of different composition, including lignocellulosic materials. Digestion of these compounds is achieved by the insect’s own enzymes and also by enzymes produced by gut symbionts. The presence of different and modular bacterial phyla on the cockroach gut tract suggests that this insect could be an interesting model to study the organization of gut bacterial communities associated with the digestion of different lignocellulosic diets. Thus, changes in the diversity of gut associated bacterial communities of insects exposed to such diets could give useful insights on how to improve hemicellulose and cellulose breakdown systems. In this work, through sequence analysis of 16S rRNA clone libraries, we compared the phylogenetic diversity and composition of gut associated bacteria in the cockroach Periplaneta americana collected in the wild-types or kept on two different diets: sugarcane bagasse and crystalline cellulose. These high fiber diets favor the predominance of some bacterial phyla, such as Firmicutes, when compared to wild-types cockroaches. Our data show a high bacterial diversity in P. americana gut, with communities composed mostly by the phyla Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Synergistetes. Our data show that the composition and diversity of gut bacterial communities could be modulated by diet composition. The increased presence of Firmicutes in sugarcane bagasse and crystalline cellulose-fed animals suggests that these bacteria are strongly involved in lignocellulose digestion in cockroach guts.

Keywords:
Sugarcane; Bagasse; Microbiota; 16S; Periplaneta