Effect of nora virus infection on native gut bacterial communities of drosophila melanogaster

Makayla Schissel, Rebecca Best, Shelby Liesemeyer, Yuan De Tan, Darby J. Carlson, Julie J. Shaffer, Nagavardhini Avuthu, Chittibabu Guda, Kimberly A. Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Gastrointestinal microflora is a key component in the maintenance of health and longevity across many species. In humans and mice, nonpathogenic viruses present in the gastrointestinal tract enhance the effects of the native bacterial microbiota. However, it is unclear whether nonpathogenic gastrointestinal viruses, such as Nora virus that infects Drosophila melanogaster, lead to similar observations. Longevity analysis of Nora virus infected (NV+) and uninfected (NV − ) D. melanogaster in relationship to presence (B+) or absence (B-) of the native gut bacteria using four different treatment groups, NV+/B+, NV+/B−, NV−/B+, and NV−/B−, was conducted. Data from the longevity results were tested via Kaplan-Meier analysis and demonstrated that Nora virus can be detrimental to the longevity of the organism, whereas bacterial presence is beneficial. These data led to the hypothesis that gastrointestinal bacterial composition varies from NV+ to NV− flies. To test this, NV+ and NV− virgin female flies were collected and aged for 4 days. Surface sterilization followed by dissections of the fat body and the gastrointestinal tract, divided into crop (foregut), midgut, and hindgut, were performed. Ribosomal 16S DNA samples were sequenced to determine the bacterial communities that comprise the microflora in the gastrointestinal tract of NV+ and NV− D. melanogaster. When analyzing operational taxonomic units (OTUs), the data demonstrate that the NV+ samples consist of more OTUs than NV− samples. The NV+ samples were both more rich and diverse in OTUs compared to NV−. When comparing whole body samples to specific organs and organ sections, the whole fly was more diverse in OTUs, whereas the crop was the most rich. These novel data are pertinent in describing where Nora virus infection may be occurring within the gastrointestinal tract, as well as continuing discussion between the relationship of persistent viral and bacterial interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-237
Number of pages22
JournalAIMS Microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • Axenic
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Gut microbiota
  • Longevity
  • Nora virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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