Skip to main content


Identifying Microorganisms Associated with Brood X Cicadas

Cielo Acosta, Katherine Earl, Jessica Carruth, Madison Bunch, Paul Johnson, Dobrusia Bialonska, Evan Lampert

Department of Biology, University of North Georgia 82 College Circle, Dahlonega, GA 30597

Brood X cicadas are a rare group of insects that emerge from underground every 17 years to reproduce. Due to the scarcity of these cicadas above ground, this emergence has presented a unique opportunity to study these extraordinary insects. The aim of this project is to investigate the microbiome of Brood X cicadas collected in Summer 2021. The microbiome is a collection of all microbes associated with an organism. While previous studies of other annual Cicadas have shown that their microbiome plays a crucial role in supplementing their low nutrient diet, as well as their extended survival underground, the current understanding is limited about the composition, and function, of Brood X cicada microbiome.

In this study, we isolated 16 bacterial colonies from 8 individual Cicadas. We used the BIOLOG system to identify two of the colonies as Pseudomonas syringae and Pantoea dispersa. These results are consistent with several of the dominant genera reported to inhabit herbivorous insects. As we continue the identification of other colonies, we also plan to evaluate if the isolated bacteria can inhibit the growth and communication of pathogenic microorganisms.

Keywords: microbiome, bacteria, cicadas, identify


This is a metadata-only record.



  • Subject
    • Biology

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event location
    • Nesbitt 3110

  • Event date
    • 25 March 2022

  • Date submitted

    20 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Dobrusia Bialonska