• Adult diet;
  • amino acid;
  • bacteria;
  • Pseudomonas putida;
  • Tephritidae


One possible control strategy against the olive fly, Bactrocera oleae, the most serious olive crop pest, is the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) application. However, a number of problems associated with this method remain that decrease the effectiveness of SIT, including the quality of reared insects. Taking the importance of the relationship between the olive fly and bacteria into consideration, the effects of probiotic diets enriched with Pseudomonas putida on B. oleae longevity and fecundity were evaluated. First, we found that the probiotic bacterium, P. putida, is conveyed from diets to the oesophageal bulb as well as to the fly midgut after feeding on the probiotic diet. Subsequently, B. oleae adults fed on either: (a) a standard full protein and sugar diet; (b) a sugar only diet; (c) a probiotic standard full protein and sugar diet; or (d) a probiotic sugar diet. Flies fed on probiotic diets were supplied with an inoculated gel containing P. putida; non-inoculated gel was provided to the flies fed on non-probiotic diets. B. oleae males and females that fed on sugar diets did not survive as long as those that fed on protein diets. A comparison of the longevity of adults fed on full diet and sugar with their respective probiotic diets revealed no significant difference. Males fed on the sugar only diet survived longer than males fed on probiotic sugar diet, and females fed on the full protein and sugar diet survived much longer than females fed on the full probiotic diet. As regarding fecundity, both full diets resulted in a higher number of eggs laid per female. Females fed on the probiotic sugar diet laid a higher number of eggs than females that fed on sugar only. The inoculated gel of the probiotic sugar diet contained a significantly higher quantity of leucine, isoleucine and proline than the non-inoculated gel of the sugar only diet. The possible role of dietary bacteria in relation to functional aspects of olive fly physiology is discussed.