Microbial communities in the larval midgut of laboratory and field populations of cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera)

Hui Xiang, Gui Fang Wei, Shihai Jia, Jianhua Huang, Xue Xia Miao, Zhihua Zhou, Li Ping Zhao, Yong Ping Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


We compared the bacterial communities in the larval midgut of field and laboratory populations of a polyphagous pest, the cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera), using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of amplified 16S rDNA sequences and 16S library sequence analysis. DGGE profiles and 16S rDNA library sequence analysis indicated similar patterns of midgut microbial community structure and diversity: specific bacterial types existed in both populations, and a more diverse microbial community was observed in caterpillars obtained from the field. The laboratory population harbored a rather simple gut microflora consisting mostly of phylotypes belonging to Enterococcus (84%). For the field population, phylotypes belonging to Enterococcus (28%) and Lactococcus (11%), as well as Flavobacterium (10%), Acinetobacter (19%), and Stenotrophomonas (10%) were dominant members. These results provided the first comprehensive description of the microbial diversity of the midgut of the important pest cotton bollworm and suggested that the environment and food supply might influence the diversity of the gut bacterial community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1085-1092
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Microbiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


  • 16S rDNA
  • Cotton bollworm
  • Microbial communities
  • Midgut


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