Anoplophora glabripennis, the Asian longhorned beetle, is a wood-boring insect that can develop in a wide range of healthy deciduous hosts and requires gut microbes to aid in wood degradation and digestion. Here we show that larval A. glabripennis harbor a diverse gut bacterial community, and this community can be extremely variable when reared in different host trees. A. glabripennis reared in a preferred host (Acer saccharum) had the highest gut bacterial diversity compared with larvae reared either in a secondary host (Quercus palustris), a resistant host (Pyrus calleryana), or on artificial diet. The gut microbial community of larval A. glabripennis collected from field populations on Brooklyn, NY, showed the highest degree of complexity among all samples in this study. Overall, when larvae fed on a preferred host, they harbored a broad diversity of gut bacteria spanning the α-, β-, γ-Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Bacteroidetes. Cellulase activities (β-1,4-endoglucanase, β-1,4-exoglucanase, and β-1,4-glucosidase) in the guts of larvae fed in a preferred host (A. saccharum) or a secondary host (Q. palustris) were significantly higher than that of artificial diet fed larvae. Larvae that fed on wood from a resistant host (P. calleryana) showed suppressed total gut cellulase activity. Results show that the host tree can impact both gut microbial community complexity and cellulase activity in A. glabripennis.
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