Biological adaptation and speciation processes are widely influenced by the existence of associations with microorganisms. In arthropods, studies of the associated microbiota have demonstrated the existence of specific association patterns of bacteria to different groups of insects, demonstrating the effects of phylogeny, food habit and host ecology on the microbiota community. In many cases, host - bacteria associations are responsible for insects adaptation to poor nutritional sources in essential nutrients or food sources that are difficult to digest, but these studies are RARE IN MITES. Some of the microorganisms associated with arthropods can interfere with the reproduction system and sex determination of their hosts, and may lead to reproductive isolation, population adaptation and species differentiation. Thus, the association with microorganisms gains practical relevance when the effects on host biotic potential are taken into account, especially in cases in which mite species associated with these bacteria are selected as applied biological control agents. The use of Mesostigmata predatory mites in Brazil has been increasing and its success depends essentially on reliable basic research, such as that aimed at determining the associated microbiota and the microbiota role in the biological fitness of predatory mites. Thus, this project is aimed at the providing information on the microbiota diversity of Mesostigmata mites from different biomes, as well as at the determination of the occurrence and frequency of mite associations with sex distorting bacteria, and the determination of their effect on the biological potential of selected predatory mite species as biological control agents. These studies will enable to advance in our knowledge on the biology of Mesostigmata predatory species, as well as support the development of new approaches to solve difficulties in the mass rearing process.
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