Skip to main content


Insects are the most abundant and diverse organisms on planet Earth, relying on the diverse microbiome within their body to be so (Yun et al., 2014). The microbiome within the gastrointestinal tract of insects, gained by diet, is vital in the growth and development of many insect species. It is crucial for insects to maintain a healthy and diverse microbiome as it is associated with immunity and dietary absorption (Yun et al., 2014). Previous research studying the microbiome of Trichoplusia ni, the cabbage looper caterpillar,has shown a low to no diversity (Shannon et al., 2001). In this study, a metagenomic analysis of the DNA extractions from samples collected from a previous study will be used to determine the effect of diet on the microbiome of Trichoplusia ni. In the previous study, three groups of Trichoplusia ni were fed either artificial diets, fed natural plants or were part of the control group. Using tabular analysis, we will measure the differences in biodiversity in the gastrointestinal tract of Trichoplusia ni in the three research groups. We hypothesize that Trichoplusia ni reared on plants will have a greater microbiome diversity than those reared on artificial plant diets because of the diversity which the plant phyllosphere introduces. Preliminary examination demonstrates a significant difference in microbial diversity among the DNA samples obtained from the Trichoplusia ni group reared on natural, plant based diet.These studies could provide information on the microbiome of insects and the implications of diet and activities that can affect it.


This is a metadata-only record.



  • Subject
    • Biology

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event location
    • Floor

  • Event date
    • 22 March 2019

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Evan Lampert, Swapna Bhat