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1.  The gut microbiota of larvae of Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Oliver (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) 
BMC Microbiology  2014;14:136.
The red palm weevil (RPW) Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is one of the major pests of palms. The larvae bore into the palm trunk and feed on the palm tender tissues and sap, leading the host tree to death. The gut microbiota of insects plays a remarkable role in the host life and understanding the relationship dynamics between insects and their microbiota may improve the biological control of insect pests. The purpose of this study was to analyse the diversity of the gut microbiota of field-caught RPW larvae sampled in Sicily (Italy).
The 16S rRNA gene-based Temporal Thermal Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (TTGE) of the gut microbiota of RPW field-trapped larvae revealed low bacterial diversity and stability of the community over seasons and among pools of larvae from different host trees. Pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene V3 region confirmed low complexity and assigned 98% of the 75,564 reads to only three phyla: Proteobacteria (64.7%) Bacteroidetes (23.6%) and Firmicutes (9.6%) and three main families [Enterobacteriaceae (61.5%), Porphyromonadaceae (22.1%) and Streptococcaceae (8.9%)]. More than half of the reads could be classified at the genus level and eight bacterial genera were detected in the larval RPW gut at an abundance ≥1%: Dysgonomonas (21.8%), Lactococcus (8.9%), Salmonella (6.8%), Enterobacter (3.8%), Budvicia (2.8%), Entomoplasma (1.4%), Bacteroides (1.3%) and Comamonas (1%). High abundance of Enterobacteriaceae was also detected by culturing under aerobic conditions. Unexpectedly, acetic acid bacteria (AAB), that are known to establish symbiotic associations with insects relying on sugar-based diets, were not detected.
The RPW gut microbiota is composed mainly of facultative and obligate anaerobic bacteria with a fermentative metabolism. These bacteria are supposedly responsible for palm tissue fermentation in the tunnels where RPW larvae thrive and might have a key role in the insect nutrition, and other functions that need to be investigated.
PMCID: PMC4060583  PMID: 24884866
Enterobacteriaceae; Dysgonomonas; TTGE; Pyrosequencing
2.  Optimized RNA Extraction and Northern Hybridization in Streptomycetes 
Northern blot hybridization is a useful tool for analyzing transcript patterns. To get a picture of what really occurs in vivo, it is necessary to use a protocol allowing full protection of the RNA integrity and recovery and unbiased transfer of the entire transcripts population. Many protocols suffer from severe limitations including only partial protection of the RNA integrity and/or loss of small sized molecules. Moreover, some of them do not allow an efficient and even transfer in the entire sizes range. These difficulties become more prominent in streptomycetes, where an initial quick lysis step is difficult to obtain. We present here an optimized northern hybridization protocol to purify, fractionate, blot, and hybridize Streptomyces RNA. It is based on grinding by a high-performance laboratory ball mill, followed by prompt lysis with acid phenol-guanidinium, alkaline transfer, and hybridization to riboprobes. Use of this protocol resulted in sharp and intense hybridization signals relative to long mRNAs previously difficult to detect.
PMCID: PMC3055743  PMID: 21406069
streptomycetes; total RNA purification; RNA processing; RNA degradation; RNA glyoxylation; alkaline blotting; northern hybridization

Results 1-2 (2)