Influence of Lab Adapted Natural Diet and Microbiota on Life History and Metabolic Phenotype of Drosophila melanogaster

Microorganisms. 2020 Dec 11;8(12):1972. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms8121972.


Symbiotic microbiota can help its host to overcome nutritional challenges, which is consistent with a holobiont theory of evolution. Our project investigated the effects produced by the microbiota community, acquired from the environment and horizontal transfer, on metabolic traits related to obesity. The study applied a novel approach of raising Drosophila melanogaster, from ten wild-derived genetic lines on naturally fermented peaches, preserving genuine microbial conditions. Larvae raised on the natural and standard lab diets were significantly different in every tested phenotype. Frozen peach food provided nutritional conditions similar to the natural ones and preserved key microbial taxa necessary for survival and development. On the peach diet, the presence of parental microbiota increased the weight and development rate. Larvae raised on each tested diet formed microbial communities distinct from each other. The effect that individual microbial taxa produced on the host varied significantly with changing environmental and genetic conditions, occasionally to the degree of opposite correlations.

Keywords: 16S; host microbiota interaction; metabolic phenotype; microbiota.