In a recent study, French, American and Swedish researchers experimentally demonstrated the role of microbiota in competition between two species of flies.
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Competition, like cooperation between species, is one of the great subjects of study in biology. Different species evolve in what we call ecological niches and there are interactions between members of the same species – we speak of interspecific interactions – and with members of other species – then we speak of interspecific interactions. Are. Much is known about these interactions. However, the study authors emphasize that the role of microbiota in these ecological interactions is still poorly studied. Plus, researchers point out that we’ve known this for a decade drosophila suzuki It has spread widely in Europe and America causing major losses in agricultural production of cherries, blueberries and blackberries in general. In the scientific literature, there is a lot of research to prevent this problem by controlling the spread of this species. The study conducted by this team of scientists demonstrates the interest in focusing on strategies based on microbiota.
Microbiota plays a role in competition between flies
In this study, investigators examined competition between two species of the genus Drosophila , D. Suzuki (Invasive species that lays eggs in fruits before they ripen and causes them to rot) and D. melanogaster (Common flies that sit on your feet all day in summer and lay eggs in already ripe fruits). he observed it D. Suzuki If the oviposition substrate (this is the act of depositing eggs in the most suitable environment to allow optimal hatching) has previously been used by individuals belonging to the species, unnecessary egg laying will not occur. D. melanogaster If their microbiota contains bacteria of the genus lactobacillus, In fact, it is this bacteria that appears to trigger dieting behavior. D. Suzuki, by transplanting the microbiota of D. melanogaster Is D. SuzukiThe researchers managed to curb this avoidance behavior, which clearly demonstrates the critical importance of microbiota in some competitive interactions between species.
In the article, the authors discuss the various strategies already in place to try to stop the spread D. Suzuki, in particular a repellent molecule that has given good results, which is produced by some fungi that compete with the larvae. Regarding strategies based on their study, they caution that we cannot simply pulverize the microbiota. D. melanogaster In the gardens, considering the risks D. Suzuki Obtaining the symbiotes that make up the latter.
According to him, a better solution would be to identify and utilize the molecular compounds secreted by the bacteria present in the microbiota. D. melanogaster, They recommend future teams of researchers who will look into this question and try to test whether D. Suzuki They may eventually become resistant to these molecules and seek appropriate strategies in response. They also point to the importance of characterizing chemosensory receptors and detection circuits involved in avoidance behavior. D. Suzuki To use this knowledge to create an ideal repellent. In conclusion, this study establishes that the microbiota is a mediator of interspecific competition and that it plays a central role in certain behaviors dependent on context and bacterial influence.
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