Transcriptomic responses of the olive fruit fly Bactrocera oleae and its symbiont Candidatus Erwinia dacicola to olive feeding

Nena Pavlidi, Anastasia Gioti, Nicky Wybouw, Wannes Dermauw, Michael Ben-Yosef, Boaz Yuval, Edouard Jurkevich, Anastasia Kampouraki, Thomas Van Leeuwen, John Vontas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae, is the most destructive pest of olive orchards worldwide. The monophagous larva has the unique capability of feeding on olive mesocarp, coping with high levels of phenolic compounds and utilizing non-hydrolyzed proteins present, particularly in the unripe, green olives. On the molecular level, the interaction between B. oleae and olives has not been investigated as yet. Nevertheless, it has been associated with the gut obligate symbiotic bacterium Candidatus Erwinia dacicola. Here, we used a B.oleae microarray to analyze the gene expression of larvae during their development in artificial diet, unripe (green) and ripe (black) olives. The expression profiles of Ca. E. dacicola were analyzed in parallel, using the Illumina platform. Several genes were found overexpressed in the olive fly larvae when feeding in green olives. Among these, a number of genes encoding detoxification and digestive enzymes, indicating a potential association with the ability of B. oleae to cope with green olives. In addition, a number of biological processes seem to be activated in Ca. E. dacicola during the development of larvae in olives, with the most notable being the activation of amino-acid metabolism.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number42633
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 22 Feb 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
NP was supported by the European Commission (EC contract 618105) via FACCE ERA-NET Plus and FACCE-JP (Genomite, project ID 137). NW was supported by a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) Individual fellowship (658795-DOGMITE) of Horizon 2020. WD is a postdoctoral fellow of the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (FWO). This project was supported by the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (FWO) (grant G053815N to TVL and WD). AG, NP and JV were supported by the project "Genomic approaches for understanding xenobiotic detoxification of the olive fruit fly and its adaptation to olives, and biological genetic sexing for improving SIT" and code number 4937, implemented under the "ARISTEIA" Action of the "OPERATIONAL PROGRAMME EDUCATION AND LIFELONG LEARNING" and co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and National Resources.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Author(s).


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