Shedding light on bacteria associated with an agricultural pest, the tropical plant bug Monalonion velezangeli: a foundational descriptive study
Diversity of bacterial symbionts associated with the tropical plant bug Monalonion velezangeli (Hemiptera: Miridae) revealed by high-throughput 16S-rRNA sequencing
Recommendation: posted 02 January 2024, validated 04 January 2024
Volland, J. (2024) Shedding light on bacteria associated with an agricultural pest, the tropical plant bug Monalonion velezangeli: a foundational descriptive study. Peer Community in Microbiology, 100004. 10.24072/pci.microbiol.100004
The paper "Diversity of bacterial symbionts associated with the tropical plant bug Monalonion velezangeli (Hemiptera: Miridae) revealed by high-throughput 16S rRNA sequencing" by Navarro-Escalante et al. (2023) is a valuable contribution to entomological research, particularly in the context of pest management. This descriptive study, while not delving into the functional characterization of the associated bacterial strains, lays an essential groundwork for understanding the bacterial components of the microbiota of this agricultural pest. This study is interesting because it provides new information on insect microbiota, especially in a family for which the knowledge of the diversity of bacterial symbionts is very limited.
One of the study's core strengths lies in its exploration and definition of the core microbiota of M. velezangeli, which could serve as a foundation for future research aimed at pest control strategies. The use of 16S rRNA sequencing, despite its known limitations, has enabled the profiling of these bacterial communities. The paper highlights the absence of differences in the bacterial communities associated with the nymph and adult stages of the pest, indicating a stable association of these microbes throughout the insect's life cycle.
A standout point in the study is the overwhelming presence of the symbiont Wolbachia, accounting for approximately 92% of the bacterial composition. However, intriguingly, the authors also note the absence of Wolbachia in some individuals, suggesting a more complex dynamic that warrants further investigation. This finding is particularly noteworthy, as it opens up questions about the role of Wolbachia and its impact on the biology and ecology of M. velezangeli.
The researchers have carefully addressed all the reviewers’ comments and suggestions. They also addressed a potential bias in their study - the overwhelming presence of Wolbachia - by analyzing the bacterial community after the removal of Wolbachia sequences. This careful approach enriches the study's credibility and ensures a more accurate representation of the pest's microbiota.
The identification of potentially culturable strains within the core microbiome represents an interesting perspective of this research. This information could be used in future efforts to develop pest control strategies, particularly those employing paratransgenic approaches. The possibility of manipulating these culturable strains to combat M. velezangeli presents an exciting avenue for sustainable pest management.
While the study does not investigate the localization of these associated bacteria, whether in the gut or elsewhere, including potentially in dedicated symbiotic organs, it nevertheless offers a valuable descriptive account. This baseline knowledge will be useful for any subsequent functional or localization studies, which could further unravel the complex interactions between M. velezangeli and its microbial partners.
In conclusion, the work of Navarro-Escalante et al. is a notable effort to set the stage for future research into the biology of M. velezangeli and its associated microbiota. The findings from this study provide a good reference point for further investigations aimed at pest's biology and exploring innovative pest control strategies. It also represents a valuable contribution to understanding the basic biology of insect-bacteria interactions.
Navarro-Escalante L., Benavides P. and Acevedo, F.E. (2023) Diversity of bacterial symbionts associated with the tropical plant bug Monalonion velezangeli (Hemiptera: Miridae) revealed by high-throughput 16S-rRNA sequencing. Research Square, ver. 7 peer-reviewed and recommended by PCI Microbiology. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-2022560/v7
The recommender in charge of the evaluation of the article and the reviewers declared that they have no conflict of interest (as defined in the code of conduct of PCI) with the authors or with the content of the article. The authors declared that they comply with the PCI rule of having no financial conflicts of interest in relation to the content of the article.
This work was supported by the National Coffee Research Center [Funder ID100019597, project number ENT101006]; and Sistema General de Regalías del Departamento de Huila, Colombia [convenio 0244 del 2014]
Evaluation round #4
DOI or URL of the preprint: https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-2022560/v7
Version of the preprint: 7
Author's Reply, 29 Dec 2023
Decision by Jean-Marie Volland, posted 08 Dec 2023, validated 11 Dec 2023
thank you very much for providing the latest version of the manuscript with track changes. I am happy to recommend the paper but as pointed out by Cedric Hubas, I must mark it as "need a revision" for now to allow you to upload the final version (wihtout the track changes or highlighted changes) to the preprint sever.
As soon as you make it available I will post my recommendation which I am writing right now.
Thanks again for considering and adressing all suggested revisions.
Evaluation round #3
DOI or URL of the preprint: https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-2022560/v5
Version of the preprint: 5
Author's Reply, 09 Nov 2023
Decision by Jean-Marie Volland, posted 23 Sep 2023, validated 25 Sep 2023
thank you for addressing the reviewers' comments.
After reading one more time the final version of your manuscript I would like to suggest a few changes to improve clarity and readability. You will find my suggestions directly in the attached pdf.
Throughout the manuscript try to use clear and concise language, and avoid repetitions or technical terms that may be unfamiliar to the reader. Please, avoid inserting references in the middle of sentences and prefer to send them to the end.
I also suggest that you check for typographical errors, improve the synthax, and/or have the text proofread by a native English speaker.
Jean-MarieDownload recommender's annotations
Evaluation round #2
DOI or URL of the preprint: https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-2022560/v4
Version of the preprint: 3
Author's Reply, 05 Sep 2023
Decision by Jean-Marie Volland, posted 28 Aug 2023, validated 28 Aug 2023
Thank you for submitting a revised version of your manuscript.
As you can see, Reviewer 2 suggests adding some explanations and modifications to clarify a few things in the new analysis. It doesn't seem much but I believe this would be the final changes before I can write a recommendation for your manuscript.
Reviewed by anonymous reviewer 2, 17 Aug 2023
Reviewed by anonymous reviewer 1, 18 Aug 2023
Evaluation round #1
DOI or URL of the preprint: https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-2022560/v1
Version of the preprint: 1
Author's Reply, 14 Jul 2023
Decision by Jean-Marie Volland, posted 06 Feb 2023, validated 07 Feb 2023
thank you for submitting your manuscript entitled "Diversity of bacterial symbionts associated with the tropical plant bug Monalonion velezangeli (Hemiptera: Miridae) revealed by high-throughput 16S rRNA sequencing" to PCI Microbiolgy.
After carefully assessing your submission, two expert reviewers have suggested a number of modifications, including new experiments, that could improve the manuscript. Therefore, we invite you to revise the paper following their comments.
Regarding the request by one of the two reviewers to perform additional experiments, since, the identification of Wolbachia as the most prevalent bacteria in M. velezangeli symbionts is one of the key finding of the manuscript, I suggest that you address at least this specific request: "A full identification of the Wolbachia strain (or strains) identified in M. velezangeli should be performed, with the use of specific gene sequencing (wsp or ftsZ) followed by a phylogenetical analysis."
Please see the attached reviewer comments for further details about necessary revisions.
Your revised manuscript should be accompanied by point-by-point responses to the reviewers' comments.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions.