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Article

Black Soldier Fly Larvae Adapt to Different Food Substrates through Morphological and Functional Responses of the Midgut

1
Department of Biosciences, University of Milano, 20133 Milano, Italy
2
Department of Biotechnology and Life Sciences, University of Insubria, 21100 Varese, Italy
3
Pediatric Clinical Research Center “Romeo ed Enrica Invernizzi”, University of Milano, 20133 Milano, Italy
4
Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Agro-animal Genomics and Molecular Breeding/Guangdong Provincial Sericulture and Mulberry Engineering Research Center, College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China
5
BAT Center—Interuniversity Center for Studies on Bioinspired Agro-Environmental Technology, University of Napoli Federico II, 80138 Napoli, Italy
6
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Napoli Federico II, 80055 Portici (NA), Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(14), 4955; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21144955
Received: 21 June 2020 / Revised: 8 July 2020 / Accepted: 9 July 2020 / Published: 13 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Ecology, Physiology and Biochemistry of Insects 2.0)
Modulation of nutrient digestion and absorption is one of the post-ingestion mechanisms that guarantees the best exploitation of food resources, even when they are nutritionally poor or unbalanced, and plays a pivotal role in generalist feeders, which experience an extreme variability in diet composition. Among insects, the larvae of black soldier fly (BSF), Hermetia illucens, can grow on a wide range of feeding substrates with different nutrient content, suggesting that they can set in motion post-ingestion processes to match their nutritional requirements. In the present study we address this issue by investigating how the BSF larval midgut adapts to diets with different nutrient content. Two rearing substrates were compared: a nutritionally balanced diet for dipteran larvae and a nutritionally poor diet that mimics fruit and vegetable waste. Our data show that larval growth performance is only moderately affected by the nutritionally poor diet, while differences in the activity of digestive enzymes, midgut cell morphology, and accumulation of long-term storage molecules can be observed, indicating that diet-dependent adaptation processes in the midgut ensure the exploitation of poor substrates. Midgut transcriptome analysis of larvae reared on the two substrates showed that genes with important functions in digestion and absorption are differentially expressed, confirming the adaptability of this organ. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hermetia illucens; insect midgut; post-ingestion regulation; diet composition; midgut transcriptome; waste management Hermetia illucens; insect midgut; post-ingestion regulation; diet composition; midgut transcriptome; waste management
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bonelli, M.; Bruno, D.; Brilli, M.; Gianfranceschi, N.; Tian, L.; Tettamanti, G.; Caccia, S.; Casartelli, M. Black Soldier Fly Larvae Adapt to Different Food Substrates through Morphological and Functional Responses of the Midgut. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 4955. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21144955

AMA Style

Bonelli M, Bruno D, Brilli M, Gianfranceschi N, Tian L, Tettamanti G, Caccia S, Casartelli M. Black Soldier Fly Larvae Adapt to Different Food Substrates through Morphological and Functional Responses of the Midgut. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020; 21(14):4955. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21144955

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bonelli, Marco, Daniele Bruno, Matteo Brilli, Novella Gianfranceschi, Ling Tian, Gianluca Tettamanti, Silvia Caccia, and Morena Casartelli. 2020. "Black Soldier Fly Larvae Adapt to Different Food Substrates through Morphological and Functional Responses of the Midgut" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 21, no. 14: 4955. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21144955

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