Comparative Analysis of the Difference in the Midgut Microbiota between the Laboratory Reared and the Field-caught Populations of Spodoptera litura

  • Pandey, Neeti (Departmnet of Zoology, University of Delhi) ;
  • Rajagopal, Raman (Departmnet of Zoology, University of Delhi)
  • Received : 2018.12.25
  • Accepted : 2019.04.29
  • Published : 2019.09.28


Midgut microbiota is known to play a fundamental role in the biology and physiology of the agricultural pest, Spodoptera litura. This study reports the difference in the larval midgut microbiota of field-caught and laboratory-reared populations of S. litura by performing 16S rDNA amplicon pyrosequencing. Field populations for the study were collected from castor crops, whereas laboratory-reared larvae were fed on a regular chickpea based diet. In total, 23 bacterial phylotypes were observed from both laboratory-reared and field-caught caterpillars. Fisher's exact test with Storey's FDR multiple test correction demonstrated that bacterial genus, Clostridium was significantly abundant (p < 0.05) in field-caught larvae of S. litura as compared to that in the laboratory-reared larvae. Similarly, bacterial genera, such as Bradyrhizobium, Burkholderia, and Fibrisoma were identified (p < 0.05) predominantly in the laboratory-reared population. The Bray-Curtis dissimilarity matrix depicted a value of 0.986, which exhibited the maximum deviation between the midgut microbiota of the laboratory-reared and field-caught populations. No significant yeast diversity was seen in the laboratory-reared caterpillars. However, two yeast strains, namely Candida rugosa and Cyberlindnera fabianii were identified by PCR amplification and molecular cloning of the internal transcribed space region in the field-caught caterpillars. These results emphasize the differential colonization of gut residents based on environmental factors and diet.


Spodoptera litura;midgut microbiota;castor leaves;16S rDNA pyrosequencing;internal transcribed space


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