Interkingdom interactions shape the fungal microbiome of mosquitoes

Shivanand Hegde, Kamil Khanipov, Emily A. Hornett, Pornjarim Nilyanimit, Maria Pimenova, Miguel A. Saldaña, Charissa de Bekker, George Golovko, Grant Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The mosquito microbiome is an important modulator of vector competence and vectoral capacity. Unlike the extensively studied bacterial microbiome, fungal communities in the mosquito microbiome (the mycobiome) remain largely unexplored. To work towards getting an improved understanding of the fungi associated with mosquitoes, we sequenced the mycobiome of three field-collected and laboratory-reared mosquito species (Aedes albopictus, Aedes aegypti, and Culex quinquefasciatus). Results: Our analysis showed both environment and host species were contributing to the diversity of the fungal microbiome of mosquitoes. When comparing species, Ae. albopictus possessed a higher number of diverse fungal taxa than Cx. quinquefasciatus, while strikingly less than 1% of reads from Ae. aegypti samples were fungal. Fungal reads from Ae. aegypti were < 1% even after inhibiting host amplification using a PNA blocker, indicating that this species lacked a significant fungal microbiome that was amplified using this sequencing approach. Using a mono-association mosquito infection model, we confirmed that mosquito-derived fungal isolates colonize Aedes mosquitoes and support growth and development at comparable rates to their bacterial counterparts. Strikingly, native bacterial taxa isolated from mosquitoes impeded the colonization of symbiotic fungi in Ae. aegypti suggesting interkingdom interactions shape fungal microbiome communities. Conclusion: Collectively, this study adds to our understanding of the fungal microbiome of different mosquito species, that these fungal microbes support growth and development, and highlights that microbial interactions underpin fungal colonization of these medically relevent species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11
JournalAnimal Microbiome
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Axenic mosquitoes
  • Candida
  • Environmental factors
  • Fungi-bacteria interactions
  • Gut fungi
  • Inter-kingdom interactions
  • Microbiome manipulations
  • Mycobiome
  • Sachharomyces
  • Sterile rearing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary (miscalleneous)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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