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Aedes albopictus, Asian tiger mosquitoes, are vectors of a wide number of human viral diseases including, West Nile virus, Dengue virus, Chikungunya virus and (recently) Zika virus. A large body of evidence has suggested that microbiomes of mosquito midguts are closely associated with specific mosquito life processes such as nutrition, reproduction, aggregation and defense against toxins. In this study we characterize the bacterial flora of the midguts of adult female Ae. albopictus collected from woodlots and residential areas in Champaign and Coles Counties of Central Illinois (40 samples in each category). After extraction of DNA from dissected midguts, we used next generation sequencing (Mi Seq V3) to obtain sequences spanning the V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene. The bacterial sequences were analyzed with QIIME. After quality filtering and rarefying, we identified 551 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from 114 samples. Of the top 30 most abundant OTUs, 31 genera were discovered in 22 families. According to an indicator species analysis, in Champaign County Pseudomonas (50%) and Sediminibacterium (63.5%) characterized the midguts of Ae. albopictus collected from residential areas and woodlots, respectively. For Coles County, the midguts of Ae. albopictus from residential area were well characterized by the OTU for Bradyrhizobiaceae (49.3%), and by Janthinobacterium (51.2%) for woodlots. In general, the composition of bacterial communities differed between both trapping locations and land use types, with some overlap occurring in the residential sectors. In contrast, alpha-diversity measures were largely similar across locality, but differed between land use types, with greater species richness (Chao1), heterogeneity (Shannon Index) and equitability in the midguts of mosquitoes collected from wooded areas. In conclusion, the midgut bacterial community composition and diversity of Ae. albopictus varies by land use and location. Further studies on whether and how such differences in midgut biota influence variation in vectorial capacity traits are warranted.
Cooper, Megan E., "Analysis of Gut Microbiota from Aedes albopictus Mosquitoes Collected in Central Illinois" (2018). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 113.