Comparative Analysis of the Bacterial and Fungal Communities in the Gut and the Crop of Aedes albopictus Mosquitoes: A Preliminary Study


The Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus is a major pathogen vector and one of the world’s most invasive species. In recent years, the study of mosquito-associated microbiota has received growing interest for reducing transmission of mosquito-borne pathogens. Most of studies on mosquito microbiota mainly focused on the gut bacteria. However, microorganisms can also colonize other organs and are not restricted to bacteria. In mosquitoes, the crop is the primary storage organ for sugars from the nectar feeding before it is transferred into the midgut for digestion. No study has yet investigated whether this organ can harbor microorganisms in Ae. albopictus. By using high-throughput sequencing, this study is the first to describe the microbiota including both bacteria and fungi in sugar-fed Ae. albopictus males and females. The results showed the presence of diverse and rich bacterial and fungal communities in the crop of both sexes that did not strongly differ from the community composition and structure found in the gut. Altogether, our results provide a thorough description of the crop-associated microbiota in Ae. albopictus which can open new avenues for further studies on trophic interactions between the mosquito and its microbiota.