Interkingdom responses of flies to bacteria mediated by fly physiology and bacterial quorum sensing

Jeffery K. Tomberlin, Tawni L. Crippen, Aaron M. Tarone, Baneshwar Singh, Kelsey Adams, Yohannes H. Rezenom, M. Eric Benbow, Micah Flores, Michael Longnecker, Jennifer L. Pechal, David H. Russell, Ross C. Beier, Thomas Keith Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Insect location and utilization of a resource is influenced by a host of variables including nutrients acquired prior to encountering a stimulus and age of the individual. For the carrion system, we hypothesized that volatiles to which primary colonizers, such as blow flies, respond are the same signalling molecules produced and utilized for quorum sensing by bacteria found on the resource. We provided freshly emerged blow flies, Lucilia sericata, different diets (blood or powdered milk) and assessed their behaviour in a dual-choice assay based on sex and ovarian status of 7-day-old or 14-day-old adults. We determined their preference between wild-type Proteus mirabilis, which is able to swarm (a quorum-sensing response), or mutated (by transposon mutagenesis) P. mirabilis, which is unable to swarm. In most instances, an individual's sex did not significantly influence its response. Age and diet appeared to regulate fly motivation and preference. Seven-day-old flies had a significantly greater probability of responding to the wild type than to the mutant, regardless of diet, but the percentage of milk-fed flies that responded was significantly smaller (85% less) than the percentage of blood-fed flies that responded. Blood-fed flies oviposited, whereas milk-fed flies did not. Seven-day-old flies oviposited predominately on the wild type, whereas 14-day-old flies oviposited predominately on the mutant. Our results demonstrate that the mechanism used by L. sericata for detecting a resource can be associated with bacterial quorum sensing, and that the physiological state of the insect influences its response. We also identified several differences in volatile compounds produced by the bacteria that could explain blow fly response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1449-1456
Number of pages8
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Volume84
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

Fingerprint

quorum sensing
physiology
bacterium
bacteria
Calliphoridae
Lucilia sericata
Proteus mirabilis
swarms
milk
blood
diet
mutants
insects
dead animals
gender
resource
dried milk
insect
physiological state
mutagenesis

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Tomberlin, Jeffery K. ; Crippen, Tawni L. ; Tarone, Aaron M. ; Singh, Baneshwar ; Adams, Kelsey ; Rezenom, Yohannes H. ; Benbow, M. Eric ; Flores, Micah ; Longnecker, Michael ; Pechal, Jennifer L. ; Russell, David H. ; Beier, Ross C. ; Wood, Thomas Keith. / Interkingdom responses of flies to bacteria mediated by fly physiology and bacterial quorum sensing. In: Animal Behaviour. 2012 ; Vol. 84, No. 6. pp. 1449-1456.
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abstract = "Insect location and utilization of a resource is influenced by a host of variables including nutrients acquired prior to encountering a stimulus and age of the individual. For the carrion system, we hypothesized that volatiles to which primary colonizers, such as blow flies, respond are the same signalling molecules produced and utilized for quorum sensing by bacteria found on the resource. We provided freshly emerged blow flies, Lucilia sericata, different diets (blood or powdered milk) and assessed their behaviour in a dual-choice assay based on sex and ovarian status of 7-day-old or 14-day-old adults. We determined their preference between wild-type Proteus mirabilis, which is able to swarm (a quorum-sensing response), or mutated (by transposon mutagenesis) P. mirabilis, which is unable to swarm. In most instances, an individual's sex did not significantly influence its response. Age and diet appeared to regulate fly motivation and preference. Seven-day-old flies had a significantly greater probability of responding to the wild type than to the mutant, regardless of diet, but the percentage of milk-fed flies that responded was significantly smaller (85{\%} less) than the percentage of blood-fed flies that responded. Blood-fed flies oviposited, whereas milk-fed flies did not. Seven-day-old flies oviposited predominately on the wild type, whereas 14-day-old flies oviposited predominately on the mutant. Our results demonstrate that the mechanism used by L. sericata for detecting a resource can be associated with bacterial quorum sensing, and that the physiological state of the insect influences its response. We also identified several differences in volatile compounds produced by the bacteria that could explain blow fly response.",
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Tomberlin, JK, Crippen, TL, Tarone, AM, Singh, B, Adams, K, Rezenom, YH, Benbow, ME, Flores, M, Longnecker, M, Pechal, JL, Russell, DH, Beier, RC & Wood, TK 2012, 'Interkingdom responses of flies to bacteria mediated by fly physiology and bacterial quorum sensing', Animal Behaviour, vol. 84, no. 6, pp. 1449-1456. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2012.09.013

Interkingdom responses of flies to bacteria mediated by fly physiology and bacterial quorum sensing. / Tomberlin, Jeffery K.; Crippen, Tawni L.; Tarone, Aaron M.; Singh, Baneshwar; Adams, Kelsey; Rezenom, Yohannes H.; Benbow, M. Eric; Flores, Micah; Longnecker, Michael; Pechal, Jennifer L.; Russell, David H.; Beier, Ross C.; Wood, Thomas Keith.

In: Animal Behaviour, Vol. 84, No. 6, 01.12.2012, p. 1449-1456.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Interkingdom responses of flies to bacteria mediated by fly physiology and bacterial quorum sensing

AU - Tomberlin, Jeffery K.

AU - Crippen, Tawni L.

AU - Tarone, Aaron M.

AU - Singh, Baneshwar

AU - Adams, Kelsey

AU - Rezenom, Yohannes H.

AU - Benbow, M. Eric

AU - Flores, Micah

AU - Longnecker, Michael

AU - Pechal, Jennifer L.

AU - Russell, David H.

AU - Beier, Ross C.

AU - Wood, Thomas Keith

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N2 - Insect location and utilization of a resource is influenced by a host of variables including nutrients acquired prior to encountering a stimulus and age of the individual. For the carrion system, we hypothesized that volatiles to which primary colonizers, such as blow flies, respond are the same signalling molecules produced and utilized for quorum sensing by bacteria found on the resource. We provided freshly emerged blow flies, Lucilia sericata, different diets (blood or powdered milk) and assessed their behaviour in a dual-choice assay based on sex and ovarian status of 7-day-old or 14-day-old adults. We determined their preference between wild-type Proteus mirabilis, which is able to swarm (a quorum-sensing response), or mutated (by transposon mutagenesis) P. mirabilis, which is unable to swarm. In most instances, an individual's sex did not significantly influence its response. Age and diet appeared to regulate fly motivation and preference. Seven-day-old flies had a significantly greater probability of responding to the wild type than to the mutant, regardless of diet, but the percentage of milk-fed flies that responded was significantly smaller (85% less) than the percentage of blood-fed flies that responded. Blood-fed flies oviposited, whereas milk-fed flies did not. Seven-day-old flies oviposited predominately on the wild type, whereas 14-day-old flies oviposited predominately on the mutant. Our results demonstrate that the mechanism used by L. sericata for detecting a resource can be associated with bacterial quorum sensing, and that the physiological state of the insect influences its response. We also identified several differences in volatile compounds produced by the bacteria that could explain blow fly response.

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