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The species and abundance of gut bacteria both positively impact Phortica okadai behavior.

BACKGROUND: Gut bacteria, which serve as essential modulators, exert a significant impact on insect physiology and behavior and have substantial application potential in pest management. The dynamics of gut bacteria and their impact on Phortica okadai behavior remain unclear.

METHODS: In this study, the dynamics of gut bacteria at different developmental stages in P. okadai were analyzed using 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequencing, and the species and abundance of gut bacteria that affect host behavior were examined via behavioral experiments.

RESULTS: A total of 19 phyla, 29 classes, 74 orders, 101 species, and 169 genera were identified. The results of the behavioral experiments indicated that the species Lactiplantibacillus argentoratensis, Acetobacter tropicalis, Leuconostoc citreum, and Levilactobacillus brevis effectively influenced the feeding preference of P. okadai, and the single-bacterium-seeded P. okadai exhibited feeding preferences distinct from those of the germ-free (GF) and wild-type P. okadai.

CONCLUSIONS: The species and relative abundance of gut bacteria together positively impact P. okadai behavior. Lactiplantibacillus argentoratensis, as the most attractive bacteria to P. okadai, presents opportunities for novel pest control strategies targeting this vector and agricultural pest.

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