Composition of the bacterial community in the gut of the pine engraver, Ips pini (Say) (Coleoptera) colonizing red pine

Italo Delalibera, Archana Vasanthakumar, Benjamin J. Burwitz, Patrick D. Schloss, Kier D. Klepzig, Jo Handelsman, Kenneth F. Raffa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The gut bacterial community of a bark beetle, the pine engraver Ips pini (Say), was characterized using culture-dependent and culture-independent methods. Bacteria from individual guts of larvae, pupae and adults were cultured and DNA was extracted from samples of pooled larval guts. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences amplified directly from the gut community suggests that the gut bacterial communities associated with I. pini are relatively simple, compared to many other systems. Six bacterial genera from four classes were detected by culturing gut bacteria from larvae, pupae and adults. Two genera, Pantoea and Stenotrophomonas (γ-Proteobacteria) were found in all life stages of I. pini, consistently in larvae and adults, and less commonly in pupae. Sequences that affiliate with the Enterobactereaceae of the γ-Proteobacteria were found in 95% of the clones sampled. The Enterobactereaceae genera, Pantoea and Erwinia, accounted for 88% of all clone sequences. These results are consistent with previous work indicating that another bark beetle, the southern pine beetle, Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmerman, also has a relatively simple gut flora, compared with wood colonizing insects such as wood borers and termites. The composition and abundance of bacteria associated with different life stages of I. pini are possibly associated with specific functions of the gut bacterial communities of larvae, pupae, and adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-104
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • 16S ribosomal RNA
  • Bark beetle
  • Gut microbiota
  • Rarefaction analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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