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Functional consequences of the microbiome composition on the behavior of Blow Fly Hosts

Grant number: 23/11610-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2023
Effective date (End): December 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Acordo de Cooperação: NSF - Dimensions of Biodiversity and BIOTA
Principal Investigator:Patricia Jacqueline Thyssen
Grantee:Matheus Salustio Campista Petrucci
Host Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:20/05636-4 - Dimensions US-BIOTA-São Paulo: more to the blow fly than meets the eye: understanding evolutionary and genetic origins of diverse trophic specializations, AP.BTA.TEM


Calliphoridae (Insecta, Diptera, Oestroidea) is a family of flies with more than 1,500 species distributed worldwide and at least 70 with occurrence in neotropics. It has been intriguingly observed that closely related calliphorid species have very different feeding habits. The interest in studying the evolution of feeding habits in these Diptera, in particular, is due to the appearance of obligatory parasitism on at least three independent occasions. However, the evolutionary origins of parasitism, a behavior that can cause major problems for public and animal health and also massive economic losses, are still unknown. Studies with several insects species have successfully shown that an organism's microbiome can have a direct relationship with certain phenotypes, such as attractiveness to hosts/food sources and preference for a mating partner. The microbial diversity of calliphorids on a global scale is little known and there are no records that show a relationship between this diversity and any phenotype. The aim of this study is to characterize the microbial diversity of two blow flies species, as well as to look for any relationship between their respective eating habits and the microorganisms present in the digestive tract. Additionally, we intend to predict the function of the microbial community that will be characterized in order to understand how important this relationship is for such dipterans. To achieve these goals, massive parallel sequencing of two regions of the 16S rRNA from each sample will be used. The results generated here will contribute, under a new perspective, to improve the understanding about the biology and behavior of calliphorids. In addition, the possibility of using this information to clarify the phylogeny of Calliphoridae is not ruled out. (AU)

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