Salivary glands harbor more diverse microbial communities than gut in Anopheles culicifacies

Parasit Vectors. 2014 May 20;7:235. doi: 10.1186/1756-3305-7-235.


Background: In recent years, it has been well documented that gut flora not only influence mosquito physiology, but also significantly alter vector competency. Although, salivary gland and gut constitute key partners of the digestive system, it is still believed that salivary glands may harbor less flora than gut (Parasit Vectors 6: 146, 2013).

Methods: Using a metagenomic approach, we have identified for the first time the diverse microbial community associated with these two physiologically different tissues of the digestive system in the mosquito Anopheles culicifacies.

Results: A total of 17 different phyla could be assigned to the whole metagenomic dataset, predominated by the phylum Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Bacteriodetes, Tenericutes and Actinomycetes. Common bacteria included the members of Enhydrobacter, Agromonas, Serratia, Ralsonia, Lactobacillus, Pseudomonas, Streptococcus, Rubrobacter, Anaerococcus, Methylobacterium, Turicibacter, Elizabethkingia etc. in both the tissues representing 'core microbiota' of the mosquito digestive system. Salivary associated unique bacterial community included the members of Chloriflexi, Chlorobi, Cyanobacteria, Nitrospira, TM7, Armatimonadetes, Planctomycetes, Fibrobacteres etc.

Conclusion: We find that the salivary gland microbial community structure is more diverse than gut of the mosquito, probably due to differential feeding associated engagements such as food acquisition, ingestion and digestion processes.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anopheles / classification*
  • Anopheles / microbiology*
  • Bacteria / classification*
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • DNA, Bacterial / isolation & purification
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • RNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Salivary Glands / microbiology*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S