Lien vers Pubmed [PMID] – 24339348
Insect Sci. 2015 Apr;22(2):178-90
Unlike other dung beetles, the Iberian geotrupid, Thorectes lusitanicus, exhibits polyphagous behavior; for example, it is able to eat acorns, fungi, fruits, and carrion in addition to the dung of different mammals. This adaptation to digest a wider diet has physiological and developmental advantages and requires key changes in the composition and diversity of the beetle’s gut microbiota. In this study, we isolated aerobic, facultative anaerobic, and aerotolerant microbiota amenable to grow in culture from the gut contents of T. lusitanicus and resolved isolate identity to the species level by sequencing 16S rRNA gene fragments. Using BLAST similarity searches and maximum likelihood phylogenetic analyses, we were able to reveal that the analyzed fraction (culturable, aerobic, facultative anaerobic, and aerotolerant) of beetle gut microbiota is dominated by the phyla Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Actinobacteria. Among Proteobacteria, members of the order Enterobacteriales (Gammaproteobacteria) were the most abundant. The main functions associated with the bacteria found in the gut of T. lusitanicus would likely include nitrogen fixation, denitrification, detoxification, and diverse defensive roles against pathogens.