Black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens L.) larvae are capable of valorizing waste by converting it into insect biomass that can be used as animal feed, leaving undigested residue that can be used as soil enrichment. Evidence is conflicting over whether larvae fed substrate containing pathogenic microbes emerge uncontaminated. Studies also differ on which clades comprise the species' gut microbiome, and on whether and how diet affects these microbes. Using culturing and metabarcoding, the bacterial microbiota of black soldier fly larvae reared on two different kinds of food waste (postproduction soy pulp and postconsumer cafeteria waste) were analyzed, along with the microbes of their substrates. Little to no overlap was found between the wastes, the larvae, and the residues, but the larvae fed different foods had a significant percentage of their microbes in common.The data, in line with other works on this species, suggest the larvae have a conserved microbiota whose components vary geographically.
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Vol. 49 • No. 2