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International Journal of Microbiology
Volume 2017, Article ID 8526385, 6 pages
Research Article

Differential Microbial Diversity in Drosophila melanogaster: Are Fruit Flies Potential Vectors of Opportunistic Pathogens?

1Centro de Biodiversidad y Descubrimiento de Drogas, Instituto de Investigaciones Científicas y Servicios de Alta Tecnología (INDICASAT AIP), Edificio 219, Ciudad del Saber, Apartado 0843-01103, Ciudad de Panamá, Panama
2Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, PR, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Luis A. Ramírez-Camejo; moc.liamg@ojemaczerimar

Received 11 April 2017; Revised 30 July 2017; Accepted 24 September 2017; Published 6 November 2017

Academic Editor: Michael McClelland

Copyright © 2017 Luis A. Ramírez-Camejo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Drosophila melanogaster has become a model system to study interactions between innate immunity and microbial pathogens, yet many aspects regarding its microbial community and interactions with pathogens remain unclear. In this study wild D. melanogaster were collected from tropical fruits in Puerto Rico to test how the microbiota is distributed and to compare the culturable diversity of fungi and bacteria. Additionally, we investigated whether flies are potential vectors of human and plant pathogens. Eighteen species of fungi and twelve species of bacteria were isolated from wild flies. The most abundant microorganisms identified were the yeast Candida inconspicua and the bacterium Klebsiella sp. The yeast Issatchenkia hanoiensis was significantly more common internally than externally in flies. Species richness was higher in fungi than in bacteria, but diversity was lower in fungi than in bacteria. The microbial composition of flies was similar internally and externally. We identified a variety of opportunistic human and plant pathogens in flies such as Alcaligenes faecalis, Aspergillus flavus, A. fumigatus, A. niger, Fusarium equiseti/oxysporum, Geotrichum candidum, Klebsiella oxytoca, Microbacterium oxydans, and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. Despite its utility as a model system, D. melanogaster can be a vector of microorganisms that represent a potential risk to plant and public health.