The microbiota of vertebrates has a profound impact on host physiology. This project aims to extend this understanding of the role of the microbiota to arthropods, and in particular to insects that act as vectors for infectious pathogens. Insects are a critical component of our environment, playing an untold number of roles in every ecosystem on the planet. The microbiota of insects is likely to play a critical role in numerous aspects of insect physiology. Understanding how changes in the microbiota may influence insect viability, fecundity, metabolism, and susceptibility to infections is critical to anticipating how potential alterations in the microbial communities of our changing climate may impact insect populations. We are specifically interested in the role of the microbiota of insects that transmit pathogens that impact human, veterinary and wildlife health. In some cases, these infections have significant downstream impacts on the environment and represent a significant conservation issue. This project will result in a better understanding of the role of the microbiome in insect physiology and ecology and the impact of the microbiome on the ability of insect vectors to maintain the life cycle of vector transmitted pathogens. Ultimately, we wish to understand the broader ecological and environmental consequences of the insect microbiome and determine if manipulation of the insect microbiome can be employed as a vector- transmitted pathogen control methodology.