Chironomids (Diptera; Chironomidae) are aquatic insects that are abundant in freshwater. We aimed to study the endogenous microbiota composition of Chironomus ramosus larvae that were sampled from the Mutha River and a laboratory culture in India. Furthermore, we performed a metagenomic analysis of the larval microbiome, sampled from the Mutha River. Significant differences were found between the bacterial community composition of C. ramosus larvae that were sampled from the Mutha River and the laboratory culture. A total of 54.7% of the amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) that were identified in the larvae from the Mutha River were unique, compared to only 12.9% of unique ASVs that were identified from the laboratory-reared larvae. The four most abundant phyla across all samples were: Proteobacteria, Fusobacteria, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes, while the nine most abundant genera were: Aeromonas, Alkanindiges, Breznakia, Cetobacterium, Chryseobacterium, Desulfovibrio, Dysgonomonas, Thiothrix, and Vibrio. Moreover, in the metagenomic analysis, we detected bacterial genes and bacterial pathways that demonstrated the ability to degrade different toxic compounds, detoxify metal, and confer resistance to antibiotics and UV radiation, amongst other functions. The results illuminate the fact that there are detoxifying enzymes in the C. ramosus larval microbiome that possibly play a role in protecting the insect in polluted environments.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This research was supported by the ISF within the ISF-UGC joint research program framework (grant No. 2728/17).
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Degradation resistance
- Host–bacteria interaction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)