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Aedes aegyptigut transcriptomes respond differently to microbiome transplants from field-caught or laboratory-reared mosquitoes

Hegde, Shivanand; Brettell, Laura E.; Quek, Shannon; Etebari, Kayvan; Saldaña, Miguel A.; Asgari, Sassan; Coon, Kerri L.; Heinz, Eva; Hughes, Grant L.


Laura E. Brettell

Shannon Quek

Kayvan Etebari

Miguel A. Saldaña

Sassan Asgari

Kerri L. Coon

Eva Heinz

Grant L. Hughes


The mosquito microbiome is critical for host development and plays a major role in many aspects of mosquito biology. While the microbiome is commonly dominated by a small number of genera, there is considerable variation in composition among mosquito species, life stages, and geography. How the host controls and is affected by this variation is unclear. Using microbiome transplant experiments, we asked whether there were differences in transcriptional responses when mosquitoes of different species were used as microbiome donors. We used microbiomes from four different donor species spanning the phylogenetic breadth of the Culicidae, collected either from the laboratory or field. We found that when recipients received a microbiome from a donor reared in the laboratory, the response was remarkably similar regardless of donor species. However, when the donor had been collected from the field, far more genes were differentially expressed. We also found that while the transplant procedure did have some effect on the host transcriptome, this is likely to have had a limited effect on mosquito fitness. Overall, our results highlight the possibility that variation in mosquito microbiome communities are associated with variability in host-microbiome interactions and further demonstrate the utility of the microbiome transplantation technique.

Journal Article Type Other
Deposit Date Feb 12, 2024
Print ISSN 2331-8422
Publisher Cornell University
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Publisher URL