Life History Traits in Two Drosophila Species Differently Affected by Microbiota Diversity under Lead Exposure

Microbiota have a significant functional role in the life of the host, including immunity, lifespan and reproduction. Drosophila species are attractive model organisms for investigating microbiota diversity from different aspects due to their simple gut microbiota, short generation time and high fertility. Considering such an important role of the microbiota in the life of Drosophila, we investigated the extent to which lead (Pb), as one of the most abundant heavy metals in the environment, affects the microbiota and the fitness of this insect host. The results indicate that different factors, such as population origin and sex, may affect individual traits differently and this could be species-specific. In addition, there are members of microbiota that help the host to overcome environmental stress and they could play a key role in reducing the fitness cost in such situations. Studying the influence of microbiota on the adaptive response to heavy metals and the potential implications on overall host fitness is of great pertinence.