Mosquito—microbe interactions tend to influence larval nutrition, immunity, and development, as well as fitness and vectorial capacity of adults. Understanding the role of different bacterial species not only improves our knowledge of the physiological and ecological consequences of these interactions, but also provides the basis for developing novel strategies for controlling mosquito-borne diseases. We used culture-dependent and culture-independent techniques to characterize the bacterial composition and abundance in water and midgut samples of larval and adult females of Aedes japonicus (Theobald), Aedes triseriatus (Say), and Culex restuans (Theobald) collected from waste tires at two wooded study sites in Urbana, IL. The phylum-specific real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay revealed a higher proportion of Actinobacteria and a lower proportion of gamma-Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes in water samples and larval midguts compared to adult female midguts. Only 15 of the 57 bacterial species isolated in this study occurred in both study sites. The number of bacterial species was highest in water samples (28 species from Trelease Woods; 25 species from South Farms), intermediate in larval midguts (13 species from Ae. japonicus; 12 species from Ae. triseriatus; 8 species from Cx. restuans), and lowest in adult female midguts (2 species from Ae. japonicus; 3 species from Ae. triseriatus). These findings suggest that the composition and richness of bacterial communities varies both between habitats and among mosquito species and that the reduction in bacteria diversity during metamorphosis is more evident among bacteria detected using the culture-dependent method.
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Vol. 52 • No. 1