The Drosophila melanogaster gut microbiota provisions thiamine to its host

Sannino, D. R., Dobson, A. J. , Edwards, K., Angert, E. R. and Buchon, N. (2018) The Drosophila melanogaster gut microbiota provisions thiamine to its host. mBio, 9(2), e00155-18. (doi: 10.1128/mBio.00155-18) (PMID:29511074) (PMCID:PMC5845000)

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The microbiota of Drosophila melanogaster has a substantial impact on host physiology and nutrition. Some effects may involve vitamin provisioning, but the relationships between microbe-derived vitamins, diet, and host health remain to be established systematically. We explored the contribution of microbiota in supplying sufficient dietary thiamine (vitamin B1) to support D. melanogaster at different stages of its life cycle. Using chemically defined diets with different levels of available thiamine, we found that the interaction of thiamine concentration and microbiota did not affect the longevity of adult D. melanogaster Likewise, this interplay did not have an impact on egg production. However, we determined that thiamine availability has a large impact on offspring development, as axenic offspring were unable to develop on a thiamine-free diet. Offspring survived on the diet only when the microbiota was present or added back, demonstrating that the microbiota was able to provide enough thiamine to support host development. Through gnotobiotic studies, we determined that Acetobacter pomorum, a common member of the microbiota, was able to rescue development of larvae raised on the no-thiamine diet. Further, it was the only microbiota member that produced measurable amounts of thiamine when grown on the thiamine-free fly medium. Its close relative Acetobacter pasteurianus also rescued larvae; however, a thiamine auxotrophic mutant strain was unable to support larval growth and development. The results demonstrate that the D. melanogaster microbiota functions to provision thiamine to its host in a low-thiamine environment. Importance: There has been a long-standing assumption that the microbiota of animals provides their hosts with essential B vitamins; however, there is not a wealth of empirical evidence supporting this idea, especially for vitamin B1 (thiamine). To determine whether this assumption is true, we used Drosophila melanogaster and chemically defined diets with different thiamine concentrations as a model. We found that the microbiota does provide thiamine to its host, enough to allow the development of flies on a thiamine-free diet. The power of the Drosophila-microbiota system allowed us to determine that one microbiota member in particular, Acetobacter pomorum, is responsible for the thiamine provisioning. Thereby, our study verifies this long-standing hypothesis. Finally, the methods used in this work are applicable for interrogating the underpinnings of other aspects of the tripartite interaction between diet, host, and microbiota.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was funded in part by the Empire State Stem Cell Fund through New York State Department of Health NYSTEM contract C029542 and by NSF 1354421 and NSF 1656118 grants to Nicolas Buchon and NSF 1244378 and NSF 1354911 grants to Esther Angert
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dobson, Dr Adam
Authors: Sannino, D. R., Dobson, A. J., Edwards, K., Angert, E. R., and Buchon, N.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Molecular Biosciences
Journal Name:mBio
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology
ISSN (Online):2150-7511
Published Online:06 March 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Sannino et al.
First Published:First published in mBio 9(2): e00155-18
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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