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Sample records for termite gut protists

  1. The candidate phylum 'Termite Group 1' of bacteria: phylogenetic diversity, distribution, and endosymbiont members of various gut flagellated protists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohkuma, Moriya; Sato, Tomoyuki; Noda, Satoko; Ui, Sadaharu; Kudo, Toshiaki; Hongoh, Yuichi

    2007-06-01

    The candidate phylum 'Termite Group 1' (TG1) of bacteria, which is abundant in termite guts but has no culturable representative, was investigated with respect to the in situ localization, distribution, and diversity. Based on the 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses and FISH in termite guts, a number of lineages of TG1 members were identified as endosymbionts of a variety of gut flagellated protists from the orders Trichonymphida, Cristamonadida, and Oxymonadida that are mostly unique to termites. However, the survey in various environments using specific PCR primers revealed that TG1 members were also present in termites, a cockroach, and the bovine rumen that typically lack these protist orders. Most of the TG1 members from gut flagellates, termites, cockroaches, and the rumen formed a monophyletic subcluster that showed a shallow branching pattern in the phylogenetic tree, suggesting their recent diversification. Although endosymbionts of the same protist genera tended to be closely related, the endosymbiont lineages were often independent of the higher level classifications of their host protist and were dispersed in the phylogenetic tree. It appears that their cospeciation is not the sole rule for the diversification of TG1 members of endosymbionts.

  2. Acetogenesis from H2 plus CO2 and nitrogen fixation by an endosymbiotic spirochete of a termite-gut cellulolytic protist.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohkuma, Moriya; Noda, Satoko; Hattori, Satoshi; Iida, Toshiya; Yuki, Masahiro; Starns, David; Inoue, Jun-ichi; Darby, Alistair C; Hongoh, Yuichi

    2015-08-18

    Symbiotic associations of cellulolytic eukaryotic protists and diverse bacteria are common in the gut microbial communities of termites. Besides cellulose degradation by the gut protists, reductive acetogenesis from H2 plus CO2 and nitrogen fixation by gut bacteria play crucial roles in the host termites' nutrition by contributing to the energy demand of termites and supplying nitrogen poor in their diet, respectively. Fractionation of these activities and the identification of key genes from the gut community of the wood-feeding termite Hodotermopsis sjoestedti revealed that substantial activities in the gut--nearly 60% of reductive acetogenesis and almost exclusively for nitrogen fixation--were uniquely attributed to the endosymbiotic bacteria of the cellulolytic protist in the genus Eucomonympha. The rod-shaped endosymbionts were surprisingly identified as a spirochete species in the genus Treponema, which usually exhibits a characteristic spiral morphology. The endosymbionts likely use H2 produced by the protist for these dual functions. Although H2 is known to inhibit nitrogen fixation in some bacteria, it seemed to rather stimulate this important mutualistic process. In addition, the single-cell genome analyses revealed the endosymbiont's potentials of the utilization of sugars for its energy requirement, and of the biosynthesis of valuable nutrients such as amino acids from the fixed nitrogen. These metabolic interactions are suitable for the dual functions of the endosymbiont and reconcile its substantial contributions in the gut.

  3. Cellulolytic activity of gut extract of subterranean termite ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Termites are well known for the ability to digest lignocelluloses, using it as a sole food source. To effectively digest ligonocellulose/wood, termites produce an array of enzymes along with the help of microbial and protist symbionts. Subterranean termite, like Odontotermes obesus, devoid of protist symbiont in their hind gut ...

  4. Differential Ecological Specificity of Protist and Bacterial Microbiomes across a Set of Termite Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lena Waidele

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The gut microbiome of lower termites comprises protists and bacteria that help these insects to digest cellulose and to thrive on wood. The composition of the termite gut microbiome correlates with phylogenetic distance of the animal host and host ecology (diet in termites collected from their natural environment. However, carryover of transient microbes from host collection sites are an experimental concern and might contribute to the ecological imprints on the termite gut microbiome. Here, we set out to test whether an ecological imprint on the termite gut microbiome remains, when focusing on the persistent microbiome. Therefore, we kept five termite species under strictly controlled dietary conditions and subsequently profiled their protist and bacterial gut microbial communities using 18S and 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. The species differed in their ecology; while three of the investigated species were wood-dwellers that feed on the piece of wood they live in and never leave except for the mating flight, the other two species were foragers that regularly leave their nests to forage for food. Despite these prominent ecological differences, protist microbiome structure aligned with phylogenetic relatedness of termite host species. Conversely, bacterial communities seemed more flexible, suggesting that microbiome structure aligned more strongly with the foraging and wood-dwelling ecologies. Interestingly, protist and bacterial community alpha-diversity correlated, suggesting either putative interactions between protists and bacteria, or that both types of microbes in the termite gut follow shared structuring principles. Taken together, our results add to the notion that bacterial communities are more variable over evolutionary time than protist communities and might react more flexibly to changes in host ecology.

  5. Differential Ecological Specificity of Protist and Bacterial Microbiomes across a Set of Termite Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waidele, Lena; Korb, Judith; Voolstra, Christian R; Künzel, Sven; Dedeine, Franck; Staubach, Fabian

    2017-01-01

    The gut microbiome of lower termites comprises protists and bacteria that help these insects to digest cellulose and to thrive on wood. The composition of the termite gut microbiome correlates with phylogenetic distance of the animal host and host ecology (diet) in termites collected from their natural environment. However, carryover of transient microbes from host collection sites are an experimental concern and might contribute to the ecological imprints on the termite gut microbiome. Here, we set out to test whether an ecological imprint on the termite gut microbiome remains, when focusing on the persistent microbiome. Therefore, we kept five termite species under strictly controlled dietary conditions and subsequently profiled their protist and bacterial gut microbial communities using 18S and 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. The species differed in their ecology; while three of the investigated species were wood-dwellers that feed on the piece of wood they live in and never leave except for the mating flight, the other two species were foragers that regularly leave their nests to forage for food. Despite these prominent ecological differences, protist microbiome structure aligned with phylogenetic relatedness of termite host species. Conversely, bacterial communities seemed more flexible, suggesting that microbiome structure aligned more strongly with the foraging and wood-dwelling ecologies. Interestingly, protist and bacterial community alpha-diversity correlated, suggesting either putative interactions between protists and bacteria, or that both types of microbes in the termite gut follow shared structuring principles. Taken together, our results add to the notion that bacterial communities are more variable over evolutionary time than protist communities and might react more flexibly to changes in host ecology.

  6. Differential Ecological Specificity of Protist and Bacterial Microbiomes across a Set of Termite Species

    KAUST Repository

    Waidele, Lena

    2017-12-19

    The gut microbiome of lower termites comprises protists and bacteria that help these insects to digest cellulose and to thrive on wood. The composition of the termite gut microbiome correlates with phylogenetic distance of the animal host and host ecology (diet) in termites collected from their natural environment. However, carryover of transient microbes from host collection sites are an experimental concern and might contribute to the ecological imprints on the termite gut microbiome. Here, we set out to test whether an ecological imprint on the termite gut microbiome remains, when focusing on the persistent microbiome. Therefore, we kept five termite species under strictly controlled dietary conditions and subsequently profiled their protist and bacterial gut microbial communities using 18S and 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. The species differed in their ecology; while three of the investigated species were wood-dwellers that feed on the piece of wood they live in and never leave except for the mating flight, the other two species were foragers that regularly leave their nests to forage for food. Despite these prominent ecological differences, protist microbiome structure aligned with phylogenetic relatedness of termite host species. Conversely, bacterial communities seemed more flexible, suggesting that microbiome structure aligned more strongly with the foraging and wood-dwelling ecologies. Interestingly, protist and bacterial community alpha-diversity correlated, suggesting either putative interactions between protists and bacteria, or that both types of microbes in the termite gut follow shared structuring principles. Taken together, our results add to the notion that bacterial communities are more variable over evolutionary time than protist communities and might react more flexibly to changes in host ecology.

  7. Identifying the core microbial community in the gut of fungus-growing termites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Otani, S.; Mikaelyan, A.; Nobre, T.; Hansen, L.H.; Kone, N.A.; Sorensen, S.J.; Aanen, D.K.; Boomsma, J.J.; Brune, A.; Poulsen, M.

    2014-01-01

    Gut microbes play a crucial role in decomposing lignocellulose to fuel termite societies, with protists in the lower termites and prokaryotes in the higher termites providing these services. However, a single basal subfamily of the higher termites, the Macrotermitinae, also domesticated a plant

  8. Molecular signatures of nicotinoid-pathogen synergy in the termite gut.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sen, Ruchira; Raychoudhury, Rhitoban; Cai, Yunpeng; Sun, Yijun; Lietze, Verena-Ulrike; Peterson, Brittany F; Scharf, Michael E; Boucias, Drion G

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies in lower termites revealed unexpected synergies between nicotinoid insecticides and fungal entomopathogens. The present study investigated molecular mechanisms of nicotinoid-pathogen synergy in the lower termite Reticulitermes flavipes, using the nicotinoid, imidacloprid, in combination with fungal and bacterial entomopathogens. Particular focus was placed on metatranscriptome composition and microbial dynamics in the symbiont-rich termite gut, which houses diverse mixes of protists and bacteria. cDNA microarrays containing a mix of host and protist symbiont oligonucleotides were used to simultaneously assess termite and protist gene expression. Five treatments were compared that included single challenges with sublethal doses of fungi (Metharizium anisopliae), bacteria (Serratia marcescens) or imidacloprid, and dual challenges with fungi + imidacloprid or bacteria + imidacloprid. Our findings point towards protist dysbiosis and compromised social behavior, rather than suppression of stereotypical immune defense mechanisms, as the dominant factors underlying nicotinoid-pathogen synergy in termites. Also, greater impacts observed for the fungal pathogen than for the bacterial pathogen suggest that the rich bacterial symbiont community in the R. flavipes gut (>5000 species-level phylotypes) exists in an ecological balance that effectively excludes exogenous bacterial pathogens. These findings significantly advance our understanding of antimicrobial defenses in this important eusocial insect group, as well as provide novel insights into how nicotinoids can exert deleterious effects on social insect colonies.

  9. Molecular signatures of nicotinoid-pathogen synergy in the termite gut.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruchira Sen

    Full Text Available Previous studies in lower termites revealed unexpected synergies between nicotinoid insecticides and fungal entomopathogens. The present study investigated molecular mechanisms of nicotinoid-pathogen synergy in the lower termite Reticulitermes flavipes, using the nicotinoid, imidacloprid, in combination with fungal and bacterial entomopathogens. Particular focus was placed on metatranscriptome composition and microbial dynamics in the symbiont-rich termite gut, which houses diverse mixes of protists and bacteria. cDNA microarrays containing a mix of host and protist symbiont oligonucleotides were used to simultaneously assess termite and protist gene expression. Five treatments were compared that included single challenges with sublethal doses of fungi (Metharizium anisopliae, bacteria (Serratia marcescens or imidacloprid, and dual challenges with fungi + imidacloprid or bacteria + imidacloprid. Our findings point towards protist dysbiosis and compromised social behavior, rather than suppression of stereotypical immune defense mechanisms, as the dominant factors underlying nicotinoid-pathogen synergy in termites. Also, greater impacts observed for the fungal pathogen than for the bacterial pathogen suggest that the rich bacterial symbiont community in the R. flavipes gut (>5000 species-level phylotypes exists in an ecological balance that effectively excludes exogenous bacterial pathogens. These findings significantly advance our understanding of antimicrobial defenses in this important eusocial insect group, as well as provide novel insights into how nicotinoids can exert deleterious effects on social insect colonies.

  10. Diversity and genomes of uncultured microbial symbionts in the termite gut.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hongoh, Yuichi

    2010-01-01

    Termites play a key role in the global carbon cycle as decomposers. Their ability to thrive solely on dead plant matter is chiefly attributable to the activities of gut microbes, which comprise protists, bacteria, and archaea. Although the majority of the gut microbes are as yet unculturable, molecular analyses have gradually been revealing their diversity and symbiotic mechanisms. Culture-independent studies indicate that a single termite species harbors several hundred species of gut microbes unique to termites, and that the microbiota is consistent within a host termite species. To elucidate the functions of these unculturable symbionts, environmental genomics has recently been applied. Particularly, single-species-targeting metagenomics has provided a breakthrough in the understanding of symbiotic roles, such as the nitrogen fixation, of uncultured, individual microbial species. A combination of single-species-targeting metagenomics, conventional metagenomics, and metatranscriptomics should be a powerful tool to dissect this complex, multi-layered symbiotic system.

  11. Phylogenetic diversity of termite gut spirochaetes.

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    Lilburn, T G; Schmidt, T M; Breznak, J A

    1999-08-01

    A molecular phylogenetic analysis was done of not-yet-cultured spirochaetes inhabiting the gut of the termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar). Ninety-eight clones of near-full-length spirochaetal 16S rDNA genes were classified by ARDRA pattern and by partial sequencing. All clones grouped within the genus Treponema, and at least 21 new species of Treponema were recognized within R. flavipes alone. Analysis of 190 additional clones from guts of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki and Zootermopsis angusticollis (Hagen), as well as published data on clones from Cryptotermes domesticus (Haviland), Mastotermes darwiniensis Froggatt, Nasutitermes lujae (Wasmann) and Reticulitermes speratus(Kolbe), revealed a similar level of novel treponemal phylogenetic diversity in these representatives of five of the seven termite families. None of the clones was closely related (i.e. all bore termite gut spirochaete clones; another containing the majority of termite spirochaete clones and two Spirochaeta (S. caldaria and S. stenostrepta), which, although free living, group within the genus Treponema on the basis of 16S rRNA sequence. Signature nucleotides that almost perfectly distinguished the latter group, herein referred to as the 'termite cluster', occurred at the following (E. coli numbering) positions: 289-G x C-311; A at 812; and an inserted nucleotide at 1273. The emerging picture is that the long-recognized and striking morphological diversity of termite gut spirochaetes is paralleled by their phylogenetic diversity and may reflect substantial physiological diversity as well.

  12. Comparative Analysis of Microbial Diversity in Termite Gut and Termite Nest Using Ion Sequencing.

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    Manjula, Arumugam; Pushpanathan, Muthuirulan; Sathyavathi, Sundararaju; Gunasekaran, Paramasamy; Rajendhran, Jeyaprakash

    2016-03-01

    Termite gut and termite nest possess complex microbial communities. However, only limited information is available on the comparative investigation of termite gut- and nest-associated microbial communities. In the present study, we examined and compared the bacterial diversity of termite gut and their respective nest by high-throughput sequencing of V3 hypervariable region of 16S rDNA. A total of 14 barcoded libraries were generated from seven termite gut samples and their respective nest samples, and sequenced using Ion Torrent platform. The sequences of each group were pooled, which yielded 170,644 and 132,000 reads from termite gut and termite nest samples, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis revealed significant differences in the bacterial diversity and community structure between termite gut and termite nest samples. Phyla Verrucomicrobia and Acidobacteria were observed only in termite gut, whereas Synergistetes and Chlorobi were observed only in termite nest samples. These variations in microbial structure and composition could be attributed with the differences in physiological conditions prevailing in the termite gut (anoxic and alkaline) and termite nest (oxic, slightly acidic and rich in organic matter) environment. Overall, this study unmasked the complexity of bacterial population in the respective niche. Interestingly, majority of the sequence reads could be classified only up to the domain level indicating the presence of a huge number of uncultivable or unidentified novel bacterial species in both termite gut and nest samples. Whole metagenome sequencing and assessing the metabolic potential of these samples will be useful for biotechnological applications.

  13. Correlation of cellulase gene expression and cellulolytic activity throughout the gut of the termite Reticulitermes flavipes.

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    Zhou, Xuguo; Smith, Joseph A; Oi, Faith M; Koehler, Philip G; Bennett, Gary W; Scharf, Michael E

    2007-06-15

    Termites have developed cellulose digestion capabilities that allow them to obtain energy and nutrition from nutritionally poor food sources, such as lignocellulosic plant material and residues derived from it (e.g., wood and humus). Lower termites, which are equipped with both endogenous (i.e., of termite origin) and symbiotic cellulases, feed primarily on wood and wood-related materials. This study investigated cellulase gene diversity, structure, and activity in the lower termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar). We initially used a metagenomics approach to identify four genes encoding one endogenous and three symbiotic cellulases, which we refer to as Cell-1, -2, -3 and -4. These four genes encode proteins that share significant sequence similarity with known endoglucanases, exoglucanases and xylanases. Phylogenetic analyses further supported these inferred relationships by showing that each of the four cellulase proteins clusters tightly with respective termite, protozoan or fungal cellulases. Gene structure studies revealed that Cell-1, -3 and -4 are intron-free, while Cell-2 contains the first intron sequence to be identified from a termite symbiont cellulase. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) revealed that the endogenous Cell-1 gene is expressed exclusively in the salivary gland/foregut, whereas symbiotic Cell-2, -3, and -4 are highly expressed in the hindgut (where cellulolytic protists are harbored). Cellulase activity assays mapped the distribution pattern of endoglucanase, exoglucanase and xylanase activity throughout the R. flavipes digestive tract. Cellulase gene expression correlated well with the specific types of cellulolytic activities observed in each gut region (foregut+salivary gland, midgut and hindgut). These results suggest the presence of a single unified cellulose digestion system, whereby endogenous and symbiotic cellulases work sequentially and collaboratively across the entire digestive tract of R. flavipes.

  14. Phenol-oxidizing laccases from the termite gut

    Science.gov (United States)

    cDNAs encoding two gut laccase isoforms (RfLacA and RfLacB) were sequenced from the termite Reticulitermes flavipes. Phylogenetic analyses comparing translated R. flavipes laccases to 67 others from prokaryotes and eukaryotes indicate that the R. flavipes laccases are evolutionarily unique. Alignmen...

  15. Formyltetrahydrofolate synthetase gene diversity in the guts of higher termites with different diets and lifestyles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ottesen, Elizabeth A; Leadbetter, Jared R

    2011-05-01

    In this study, we examine gene diversity for formyl-tetrahydrofolate synthetase (FTHFS), a key enzyme in homoacetogenesis, recovered from the gut microbiota of six species of higher termites. The "higher" termites (family Termitidae), which represent the majority of extant termite species and genera, engage in a broader diversity of feeding and nesting styles than the "lower" termites. Previous studies of termite gut homoacetogenesis have focused on wood-feeding lower termites, from which the preponderance of FTHFS sequences recovered were related to those from acetogenic treponemes. While sequences belonging to this group were present in the guts of all six higher termites examined, treponeme-like FTHFS sequences represented the majority of recovered sequences in only two species (a wood-feeding Nasutitermes sp. and a palm-feeding Microcerotermes sp.). The remaining four termite species analyzed (a Gnathamitermes sp. and two Amitermes spp. that were recovered from subterranean nests with indeterminate feeding strategies and a litter-feeding Rhynchotermes sp.) yielded novel FTHFS clades not observed in lower termites. These termites yielded two distinct clusters of probable purinolytic Firmicutes and a large group of potential homoacetogens related to sequences previously recovered from the guts of omnivorous cockroaches. These findings suggest that the gut environments of different higher termite species may select for different groups of homoacetogens, with some species hosting treponeme-dominated homoacetogen populations similar to those of wood-feeding, lower termites while others host Firmicutes-dominated communities more similar to those of omnivorous cockroaches.

  16. Comprehensive phylogenetic diversity of [FeFe]-hydrogenase genes in termite gut microbiota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Hao; Bodington, Dylan; Zhang, Chong; Miyanaga, Kazuhiko; Tanji, Yasunori; Hongoh, Yuichi; Xing, Xin-Hui

    2013-01-01

    Phylogenetic diversity of [FeFe]-hydrogenase (HydA) in termite guts was assessed by pyrosequencing PCR amplicons obtained using newly designed primers. Of 8,066 reads, 776 hydA phylotypes, defined with 97% nucleotide sequence identity, were recovered from the gut homogenates of three termite species, Hodotermopsis sjoestedti, Reticulitermes speratus, and Nasutitermes takasagoensis. The phylotype coverage was 92-98%, and the majority shared only low identity with database sequences. It was estimated that 194-745 hydA phylotypes existed in the gut of each termite species. Our results demonstrate that hydA gene diversity in the termite gut microbiota is much higher than previously estimated.

  17. Metavirome Sequencing of the Termite Gut Reveals the Presence of an Unexplored Bacteriophage Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tikhe, Chinmay V.; Husseneder, Claudia

    2018-01-01

    The Formosan subterranean termite; Coptotermes formosanus is nutritionally dependent on the complex and diverse community of bacteria and protozoa in their gut. Although, there have been many studies to decipher the taxonomic and functional diversity of bacterial communities in the guts of termites, their bacteriophages remain unstudied. We sequenced the metavirome of the guts of Formosan subterranean termite workers to study the diversity of bacteriophages and other associated viruses. Results showed that the termites harbor a virome in their gut comprised of varied and previously unknown bacteriophages. Between 87–90% of the predicted dsDNA virus genes by Metavir showed similarity to the tailed bacteriophages (Caudovirales). Many predicted genes from the virome matched to bacterial prophage regions. These data are suggestive of a virome dominated by temperate bacteriophages. We predicted the genomes of seven novel Caudovirales bacteriophages from the termite gut. Three of these predicted bacteriophage genomes were found in high proportions in all the three termite colonies tested. Two bacteriophages are predicted to infect endosymbiotic bacteria of the gut protozoa. The presence of these putative bacteriophages infecting endosymbionts of the gut protozoa, suggests a quadripartite relationship between the termites their symbiotic protozoa, endosymbiotic bacteria of the protozoa and their bacteriophages. Other than Caudovirales, ss-DNA virus related genes were also present in the termite gut. We predicted the genomes of 12 novel Microviridae phages from the termite gut and seven of those possibly represent a new proposed subfamily. Circovirus like genomes were also assembled from the termite gut at lower relative abundance. We predicted 10 novel circovirus genomes in this study. Whether these circoviruses infect the termites remains elusive at the moment. The functional and taxonomical annotations suggest that the termites may harbor a core virome comprised of

  18. Metavirome Sequencing of the Termite Gut Reveals the Presence of an Unexplored Bacteriophage Community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chinmay V. Tikhe

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The Formosan subterranean termite; Coptotermes formosanus is nutritionally dependent on the complex and diverse community of bacteria and protozoa in their gut. Although, there have been many studies to decipher the taxonomic and functional diversity of bacterial communities in the guts of termites, their bacteriophages remain unstudied. We sequenced the metavirome of the guts of Formosan subterranean termite workers to study the diversity of bacteriophages and other associated viruses. Results showed that the termites harbor a virome in their gut comprised of varied and previously unknown bacteriophages. Between 87–90% of the predicted dsDNA virus genes by Metavir showed similarity to the tailed bacteriophages (Caudovirales. Many predicted genes from the virome matched to bacterial prophage regions. These data are suggestive of a virome dominated by temperate bacteriophages. We predicted the genomes of seven novel Caudovirales bacteriophages from the termite gut. Three of these predicted bacteriophage genomes were found in high proportions in all the three termite colonies tested. Two bacteriophages are predicted to infect endosymbiotic bacteria of the gut protozoa. The presence of these putative bacteriophages infecting endosymbionts of the gut protozoa, suggests a quadripartite relationship between the termites their symbiotic protozoa, endosymbiotic bacteria of the protozoa and their bacteriophages. Other than Caudovirales, ss-DNA virus related genes were also present in the termite gut. We predicted the genomes of 12 novel Microviridae phages from the termite gut and seven of those possibly represent a new proposed subfamily. Circovirus like genomes were also assembled from the termite gut at lower relative abundance. We predicted 10 novel circovirus genomes in this study. Whether these circoviruses infect the termites remains elusive at the moment. The functional and taxonomical annotations suggest that the termites may harbor a core

  19. Metavirome Sequencing of the Termite Gut Reveals the Presence of an Unexplored Bacteriophage Community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tikhe, Chinmay V; Husseneder, Claudia

    2017-01-01

    The Formosan subterranean termite; Coptotermes formosanus is nutritionally dependent on the complex and diverse community of bacteria and protozoa in their gut. Although, there have been many studies to decipher the taxonomic and functional diversity of bacterial communities in the guts of termites, their bacteriophages remain unstudied. We sequenced the metavirome of the guts of Formosan subterranean termite workers to study the diversity of bacteriophages and other associated viruses. Results showed that the termites harbor a virome in their gut comprised of varied and previously unknown bacteriophages. Between 87-90% of the predicted dsDNA virus genes by Metavir showed similarity to the tailed bacteriophages (Caudovirales) . Many predicted genes from the virome matched to bacterial prophage regions. These data are suggestive of a virome dominated by temperate bacteriophages. We predicted the genomes of seven novel Caudovirales bacteriophages from the termite gut. Three of these predicted bacteriophage genomes were found in high proportions in all the three termite colonies tested. Two bacteriophages are predicted to infect endosymbiotic bacteria of the gut protozoa. The presence of these putative bacteriophages infecting endosymbionts of the gut protozoa, suggests a quadripartite relationship between the termites their symbiotic protozoa, endosymbiotic bacteria of the protozoa and their bacteriophages. Other than Caudovirales, ss-DNA virus related genes were also present in the termite gut. We predicted the genomes of 12 novel Microviridae phages from the termite gut and seven of those possibly represent a new proposed subfamily. Circovirus like genomes were also assembled from the termite gut at lower relative abundance. We predicted 10 novel circovirus genomes in this study. Whether these circoviruses infect the termites remains elusive at the moment. The functional and taxonomical annotations suggest that the termites may harbor a core virome comprised of the

  20. Identifying the core microbial community in the gut of fungus-growing termites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Otani, Saria; Mikaelyan, Aram; Nobre, Tânia

    2014-01-01

    with specific termite genus-level ecological niches. Finally, we show that gut communities of fungus-growing termites are similar to cockroaches, both at the bacterial phylum level and in a comparison of the core Macrotermitinae taxa abundances with representative cockroach, lower termite, and higher non...

  1. Comparative Gut Microbiomes of Four Species Representing the Higher and the Lower Termites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, LiJuan; Yang, LeLe; Huang, Shi; Su, XiaoQuan; Li, Yan; Wang, FengQin; Wang, EnTao; Kang, Ning; Xu, Jian; Song, AnDong

    2016-01-01

    Aiming at learning the association between the gut microbiota and termites with different diet habits and phylogenetic positions, the gut bacteria of three populations for each of the two higher termites (wood-feeding Mironasutitermes shangchengensis and fungus-feeding Odontotermes formosanus) and two wood-feeding lower termites (Tsaitermes ampliceps and Reticulitermes flaviceps) were analyzed by high-throughput 454 pyrosequencing of 16S V1-V3 amplicons. As results, 132 bacterial genera and some unidentified operational taxonomic units within 29 phyla in the gut bacteria were detected, with Spirochaetes (11-55%), Firmicutes (7-18%), Bacteroidetes (7-31%), and Proteobacteria (8-14%) as the main phyla, and Treponema, TG5, Dysgonomonas, Tannerella, za29, Lactococcus, Pseudomonas, and SJA-88 as the common genera in all the four termites. The diversity of gut bacterial communities in the higher termite guts was significantly greater than that in the lower termites; while the gut microbiota in M. shangchengensis (wood-feeding higher termite) was more similar to those of the wood-feeding lower termites rather than that of O. formosanus (fungus-feeding higher termite), and phylum Spirochaetes and nitrogen-fixing bacteria were super-dominant in the wood-feeding termites, despite of their phylogenetic relations. This study reported for the first time the gut bacterial communities for the termites of M. shangchengensis and T. ampliceps and the comparative analyses showed that the gut microbial communities varied according to the phylogeny and the diet habits of termites. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.

  2. Parallel metatranscriptome analyses of host and symbiont gene expression in the gut of the termite Reticulitermes flavipes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhou Xuguo

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Termite lignocellulose digestion is achieved through a collaboration of host plus prokaryotic and eukaryotic symbionts. In the present work, we took a combined host and symbiont metatranscriptomic approach for investigating the digestive contributions of host and symbiont in the lower termite Reticulitermes flavipes. Our approach consisted of parallel high-throughput sequencing from (i a host gut cDNA library and (ii a hindgut symbiont cDNA library. Subsequently, we undertook functional analyses of newly identified phenoloxidases with potential importance as pretreatment enzymes in industrial lignocellulose processing. Results Over 10,000 expressed sequence tags (ESTs were sequenced from the 2 libraries that aligned into 6,555 putative transcripts, including 171 putative lignocellulase genes. Sequence analyses provided insights in two areas. First, a non-overlapping complement of host and symbiont (prokaryotic plus protist glycohydrolase gene families known to participate in cellulose, hemicellulose, alpha carbohydrate, and chitin degradation were identified. Of these, cellulases are contributed by host plus symbiont genomes, whereas hemicellulases are contributed exclusively by symbiont genomes. Second, a diverse complement of previously unknown genes that encode proteins with homology to lignase, antioxidant, and detoxification enzymes were identified exclusively from the host library (laccase, catalase, peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, carboxylesterase, cytochrome P450. Subsequently, functional analyses of phenoloxidase activity provided results that were strongly consistent with patterns of laccase gene expression. In particular, phenoloxidase activity and laccase gene expression are mostly restricted to symbiont-free foregut plus salivary gland tissues, and phenoloxidase activity is inducible by lignin feeding. Conclusion To our knowledge, this is the first time that a dual host-symbiont transcriptome sequencing effort

  3. Diet is the primary determinant of bacterial community structure in the guts of higher termites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikaelyan, Aram; Dietrich, Carsten; Köhler, Tim; Poulsen, Michael; Sillam-Dussès, David; Brune, Andreas

    2015-10-01

    The gut microbiota of termites plays critical roles in the symbiotic digestion of lignocellulose. While phylogenetically 'lower termites' are characterized by a unique association with cellulolytic flagellates, higher termites (family Termitidae) harbour exclusively prokaryotic communities in their dilated hindguts. Unlike the more primitive termite families, which primarily feed on wood, they have adapted to a variety of lignocellulosic food sources in different stages of humification, ranging from sound wood to soil organic matter. In this study, we comparatively analysed representatives of different taxonomic lineages and feeding groups of higher termites to identify the major drivers of bacterial community structure in the termite gut, using amplicon libraries of 16S rRNA genes from 18 species of higher termites. In all analyses, the wood-feeding species were clearly separated from humus and soil feeders, irrespective of their taxonomic affiliation, offering compelling evidence that diet is the primary determinant of bacterial community structure. Within each diet group, however, gut communities of termites from the same subfamily were more similar than those of distantly related species. A highly resolved classification using a curated reference database revealed only few genus-level taxa whose distribution patterns indicated specificity for certain host lineages, limiting any possible cospeciation between the gut microbiota and host to short evolutionary timescales. Rather, the observed patterns in the host-specific distribution of the bacterial lineages in termite guts are best explained by diet-related differences in the availability of microhabitats and functional niches. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Phenol-oxidizing laccases from the termite gut.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coy, M R; Salem, T Z; Denton, J S; Kovaleva, E S; Liu, Z; Barber, D S; Campbell, J H; Davis, D C; Buchman, G W; Boucias, D G; Scharf, M E

    2010-10-01

    cDNAs encoding two gut laccase isoforms (RfLacA and RfLacB) were sequenced from the termite Reticulitermes flavipes. Phylogenetic analyses comparing translated R. flavipes laccases to 67 others from prokaryotes and eukaryotes indicate that the R. flavipes laccases are evolutionarily unique. Alignments with crystallography-verified laccases confirmed that peptide motifs involved in metal binding are 100% conserved in both isoforms. Laccase transcripts and phenoloxidase activity were most abundant in symbiont-free salivary gland and foregut tissue, verifying that the genes and activities are host-derived. Using a baculovirus-insect expression system, the two isoforms were functionally expressed with histidine tags and purified to near homogeneity. ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma - mass spectrometry) analysis of RfLacA identified bound metals consisting mainly of copper (∼4 copper molecules per laccase protein molecule and ∼3 per histidine tag) with lesser amounts of calcium, manganese and zinc. Both recombinant enzyme preparations showed strong activity towards the lignin monomer sinapinic acid and four other phenolic substrates. By contrast, both isoforms displayed much lower or no activity against four melanin precursors, suggesting that neither isoform is involved in integument formation. Modification of lignin alkali by the recombinant RfLacA preparation was also observed. These findings provide evidence that R. flavipes gut laccases are evolutionarily distinct, host-derived, produced in the salivary gland, secreted into the foregut, bind copper, and play a role in lignocellulose digestion. These findings contribute to a better understanding of termite digestion and gut physiology, and will assist future translational studies that examine the contributions of individual termite enzymes in lignocellulose digestion. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Evidence for cascades of perturbation and adaptation in the metabolic genes of higher termite gut symbionts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xinning; Leadbetter, Jared R

    2012-01-01

    Termites and their gut microbes engage in fascinating dietary mutualisms. Less is known about how these complex symbioses have evolved after first emerging in an insect ancestor over 120 million years ago. Here we examined a bacterial gene, formate dehydrogenase (fdhF), that is key to the mutualism in 8 species of "higher" termite (members of the Termitidae, the youngest and most biomass-abundant and species-rich termite family). Patterns of fdhF diversity in the gut communities of higher termites contrasted strongly with patterns in less-derived (more-primitive) insect relatives (wood-feeding "lower" termites and roaches). We observed phylogenetic evidence for (i) the sweeping loss of several clades of fdhF that may reflect extinctions of symbiotic protozoa and, importantly, bacteria dependent on them in the last common ancestor of all higher termites and (ii) a radiation of genes from the (possibly) single allele that survived. Sweeping gene loss also resulted in (iii) the elimination of an entire clade of genes encoding selenium (Se)-independent enzymes from higher termite gut communities, perhaps reflecting behavioral or morphological innovations in higher termites that relaxed preexisting environmental limitations of Se, a dietary trace element. Curiously, several higher termite gut communities may have subsequently reencountered Se limitation, reinventing genes for Se-independent proteins via convergent evolution. Lastly, the presence of a novel fdhF lineage within litter-feeding and subterranean higher (but not other) termites may indicate recent gene "invasion" events. These results imply that cascades of perturbation and adaptation by distinct evolutionary mechanisms have impacted the evolution of complex microbial communities in a highly successful lineage of insects. Since patterns of relatedness between termite hosts are broadly mirrored by the relatedness of their symbiotic gut microbiota, coevolution between hosts and gut symbionts is rightly

  6. Comprehensive Phylogenetic Diversity of [FeFe]-Hydrogenase Genes in Termite Gut Microbiota

    OpenAIRE

    Zheng, Hao; Bodington, Dylan; Zhang, Chong; Miyanaga, Kazuhiko; Tanji, Yasunori; Hongoh, Yuichi; Xing, Xin-Hui

    2013-01-01

    Phylogenetic diversity of [FeFe]-hydrogenase (HydA) in termite guts was assessed by pyrosequencing PCR amplicons obtained using newly designed primers. Of 8,066 reads, 776 hydA phylotypes, defined with 97% nucleotide sequence identity, were recovered from the gut homogenates of three termite species, Hodotermopsis sjoestedti, Reticulitermes speratus, and Nasutitermes takasagoensis. The phylotype coverage was 92–98%, and the majority shared only low identity with database sequences. It was est...

  7. Formyltetrahydrofolate Synthetase Gene Diversity in the Guts of Higher Termites with Different Diets and Lifestyles ▿ †

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ottesen, Elizabeth A.; Leadbetter, Jared R.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we examine gene diversity for formyl-tetrahydrofolate synthetase (FTHFS), a key enzyme in homoacetogenesis, recovered from the gut microbiota of six species of higher termites. The “higher” termites (family Termitidae), which represent the majority of extant termite species and genera, engage in a broader diversity of feeding and nesting styles than the “lower” termites. Previous studies of termite gut homoacetogenesis have focused on wood-feeding lower termites, from which the preponderance of FTHFS sequences recovered were related to those from acetogenic treponemes. While sequences belonging to this group were present in the guts of all six higher termites examined, treponeme-like FTHFS sequences represented the majority of recovered sequences in only two species (a wood-feeding Nasutitermes sp. and a palm-feeding Microcerotermes sp.). The remaining four termite species analyzed (a Gnathamitermes sp. and two Amitermes spp. that were recovered from subterranean nests with indeterminate feeding strategies and a litter-feeding Rhynchotermes sp.) yielded novel FTHFS clades not observed in lower termites. These termites yielded two distinct clusters of probable purinolytic Firmicutes and a large group of potential homoacetogens related to sequences previously recovered from the guts of omnivorous cockroaches. These findings suggest that the gut environments of different higher termite species may select for different groups of homoacetogens, with some species hosting treponeme-dominated homoacetogen populations similar to those of wood-feeding, lower termites while others host Firmicutes-dominated communities more similar to those of omnivorous cockroaches. PMID:21441328

  8. Pycnoscelus surinamensis cockroach gut microbiota respond consistently to a fungal diet without mirroring those of fungus-farming termites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Callum; Otani, Saria; Mikaelyan, Aram; Poulsen, Michael

    2017-01-01

    The gut microbiotas of cockroaches and termites play important roles in the symbiotic digestion of dietary components, such as lignocellulose. Diet has been proposed as a primary determinant of community structure within the gut, acting as a selection force to shape the diversity observed within this "bioreactor", and as a key factor for the divergence of the termite gut microbiota from the omnivorous cockroach ancestor. The gut microbiota in most termites supports primarily the breakdown of lignocellulose, but the fungus-farming sub-family of higher termites has become similar in gut microbiota to the ancestral omnivorous cockroaches. To assess the importance of a fungus diet as a driver of community structure, we compare community compositions in the guts of experimentally manipulated Pycnoscelus surinamensis cockroaches fed on fungus cultivated by fungus-farming termites. MiSeq amplicon analysis of gut microbiotas from 49 gut samples showed a step-wise gradient pattern in community similarity that correlated with an increase in the proportion of fungal material provided to the cockroaches. Comparison of the taxonomic composition of manipulated communities to that of gut communities of a fungus-feeding termite species showed that although some bacteria OTUs shared by P. surinamensis and the farming termites increased in the guts of cockroaches on a fungal diet, cockroach communities remained distinct from those of termites. These results demonstrate that a fungal diet can play a role in structuring gut community composition, but at the same time exemplifies how original community compositions constrain the magnitude of such change.

  9. Pycnoscelus surinamensis cockroach gut microbiota respond consistently to a fungal diet without mirroring those of fungus-farming termites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Richards, Callum; Otani, Saria; Mikaelyan, Aram

    2017-01-01

    The gut microbiotas of cockroaches and termites play important roles in the symbiotic digestion of dietary components, such as lignocellulose. Diet has been proposed as a primary determinant of community structure within the gut, acting as a selection force to shape the diversity observed within...... this “bioreactor”, and as a key factor for the divergence of the termite gut microbiota from the omnivorous cockroach ancestor. The gut microbiota in most termites supports primarily the breakdown of lignocellulose, but the fungus-farming subfamily of higher termites has become similar in gut microbiota...... to the ancestral omnivorous cockroaches. To assess the importance of a fungus diet as a driver of community structure, we compare community compositions in the guts of experimentally manipulated Pycnoscelus surinamensis cockroaches fed on fungus cultivated by fungus-farming termites. MiSeq amplicon analysis of gut...

  10. Quantification of symbiotic contributions to lower termite lignocellulose digestion using antimicrobial treatments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Brittany F; Stewart, Hannah L; Scharf, Michael E

    2015-04-01

    Animal-microbe co-evolution and symbiosis are broadly distributed across the animal kingdom. Insects form a myriad of associations with microbes ranging from vectoring of pathogens to intracellular, mutualistic relationships. Lower termites are key models for insect-microbe symbiosis because of the diversity, complexity and functionality of their unique tripartite symbiosis. This collaboration allows termites to live on a diet of nitrogen-poor lignocellulose. Recent functional investigations of lignocellulose digestion in lower termites have primarily focused on the contributions of the eukaryotic members of the termite holobiont (termite and protist). Here, using multiple antimicrobial treatments, we induced differing degrees of dysbiosis in the termite gut, leading to variably altered symbiont abundance and diversity, and lignocellulolytic capacity. Although protists are clearly affected by antimicrobial treatments, our findings provide novel evidence that the removal of distinct groups of bacteria partially reduces, but does not abolish, the saccharolytic potential of the termite gut holobiont. This is specifically manifested by reductions of 23-47% and 30-52% in glucose and xylose yields respectively from complex lignocellulose. Thus, all members of the lower termite holobiont (termite, protist and prokaryotes) are involved in the process of efficient, sustained lignocellulase activity. This unprecedented quantification of the relative importance of prokaryotes in this system emphasizes the collaborative nature of the termite holobiont, and the relevance of lower termites as models for inter-domain symbioses. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Detection of mitochondrial COII DNA sequences in ant guts as a method for assessing termite predation by ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom M Fayle

    Full Text Available Termites and ants contribute more to animal biomass in tropical rain forests than any other single group and perform vital ecosystem functions. Although ants prey on termites, at the community level the linkage between these groups is poorly understood. Thus, assessing the distribution and specificity of ant termitophagy is of considerable interest. We describe an approach for quantifying ant-termite food webs by sequencing termite DNA (cytochrome c oxidase subunit II, COII from ant guts and apply this to a soil-dwelling ant community from tropical rain forest in Gabon. We extracted DNA from 215 ants from 15 species. Of these, 17.2 % of individuals had termite DNA in their guts, with BLAST analysis confirming the identity of 34.1 % of these termites to family level or better. Although ant species varied in detection of termite DNA, ranging from 63 % (5/7; Camponotus sp. 1 to 0 % (0/7; Ponera sp. 1, there was no evidence (with small sample sizes for heterogeneity in termite consumption across ant taxa, and no evidence for species-specific ant-termite predation. In all three ant species with identifiable termite DNA in multiple individuals, multiple termite species were represented. Furthermore, the two termite species that were detected on multiple occasions in ant guts were in both cases found in multiple ant species, suggesting that ant-termite food webs are not strongly compartmentalised. However, two ant species were found to consume only Anoplotermes-group termites, indicating possible predatory specialisation at a higher taxonomic level. Using a laboratory feeding test, we were able to detect termite COII sequences in ant guts up to 2 h after feeding, indicating that our method only detects recent feeding events. Our data provide tentative support for the hypothesis that unspecialised termite predation by ants is widespread and highlight the use of molecular approaches for future studies of ant-termite food webs.

  12. Detection of mitochondrial COII DNA sequences in ant guts as a method for assessing termite predation by ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fayle, Tom M; Scholtz, Olivia; Dumbrell, Alex J; Russell, Stephen; Segar, Simon T; Eggleton, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Termites and ants contribute more to animal biomass in tropical rain forests than any other single group and perform vital ecosystem functions. Although ants prey on termites, at the community level the linkage between these groups is poorly understood. Thus, assessing the distribution and specificity of ant termitophagy is of considerable interest. We describe an approach for quantifying ant-termite food webs by sequencing termite DNA (cytochrome c oxidase subunit II, COII) from ant guts and apply this to a soil-dwelling ant community from tropical rain forest in Gabon. We extracted DNA from 215 ants from 15 species. Of these, 17.2 % of individuals had termite DNA in their guts, with BLAST analysis confirming the identity of 34.1 % of these termites to family level or better. Although ant species varied in detection of termite DNA, ranging from 63 % (5/7; Camponotus sp. 1) to 0 % (0/7; Ponera sp. 1), there was no evidence (with small sample sizes) for heterogeneity in termite consumption across ant taxa, and no evidence for species-specific ant-termite predation. In all three ant species with identifiable termite DNA in multiple individuals, multiple termite species were represented. Furthermore, the two termite species that were detected on multiple occasions in ant guts were in both cases found in multiple ant species, suggesting that ant-termite food webs are not strongly compartmentalised. However, two ant species were found to consume only Anoplotermes-group termites, indicating possible predatory specialisation at a higher taxonomic level. Using a laboratory feeding test, we were able to detect termite COII sequences in ant guts up to 2 h after feeding, indicating that our method only detects recent feeding events. Our data provide tentative support for the hypothesis that unspecialised termite predation by ants is widespread and highlight the use of molecular approaches for future studies of ant-termite food webs.

  13. Patterns of [FeFe] hydrogenase diversity in the gut microbial communities of lignocellulose-feeding higher termites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballor, Nicholas R; Leadbetter, Jared R

    2012-08-01

    Hydrogen is the central free intermediate in the degradation of wood by termite gut microbes and can reach concentrations exceeding those measured for any other biological system. Degenerate primers targeting the largest family of [FeFe] hydrogenases observed in a termite gut metagenome have been used to explore the evolution and representation of these enzymes in termites. Sequences were cloned from the guts of the higher termites Amitermes sp. strain Cost010, Amitermes sp. strain JT2, Gnathamitermes sp. strain JT5, Microcerotermes sp. strain Cost008, Nasutitermes sp. strain Cost003, and Rhyncotermes sp. strain Cost004. Each gut sample harbored a more rich and evenly distributed population of hydrogenase sequences than observed previously in the guts of lower termites and Cryptocercus punctulatus. This accentuates the physiological importance of hydrogen for higher termite gut ecosystems and may reflect an increased metabolic burden, or metabolic opportunity, created by a lack of gut protozoa. The sequences were phylogenetically distinct from previously sequenced [FeFe] hydrogenases. Phylogenetic and UniFrac comparisons revealed congruence between host phylogeny and hydrogenase sequence library clustering patterns. This may reflect the combined influences of the stable intimate relationship of gut microbes with their host and environmental alterations in the gut that have occurred over the course of termite evolution. These results accentuate the physiological importance of hydrogen to termite gut ecosystems.

  14. Use of phage battery to investigate the actinofloral layers of termite gut microflora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurtböke, D I; French, J R J

    2007-09-01

    The termite gut microbiota can include a variety of micro-organisms from the three domains: Bacteria, Archaea and Eucarya. The bacterial groups from the gut systems are mainly affiliated to the proteobacteria, the Gram-positive groups Bacterioiodes/Flavobacterium branch and the spirochetes, Firmicutes and Actinobacteria. However, culture independent molecular studies have revealed that the majority of these microbial gut symbionts have not yet been cultured, including actinobacterial clusters associated with termite guts. Accordingly, the aim of this study was to selectively isolate the actinofloral layers of gut associated microflora of the Coptotermes lacteus (Froggatt) species located at the Sunshine Coast Region of Queensland, Australia to increase our knowledge on the diversity of actinobacterial taxa present in the termite guts. Actinofloral layers associated with the guts of the wood-eating subterranean termite C. lacteus were investigated by exploiting the phage susceptibility of different gut associated bacteria which impede the growth of actinomycetes on isolation plates. These unwanted microbial taxa were removed by exposing the gut contents to polyvalent bacteriophages specifically targeting different background bacterial taxa and after their removal from the isolation plates previously undetected and novel actinomycetes were successfully cultured from the gut samples. Use of bacteriophages as a means of selective pressure successfully revealed the presence of novel actinomycete species within the guts of C. lacteus. Molecular ecology has undoubtedly revealed the fascinating diversity of micro-organisms, which cannot be cultured. However, these advances in the field still have not provided the ability to detect and isolate micro-organisms effectively from their ecological niches. Accordingly, studies like the one described here have importance in increasing the chances of uncultured taxa to be isolated to complement molecular microbial ecological

  15. Disruption of the termite gut microbiota and its prolonged consequences for fitness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosengaus, Rebeca B; Zecher, Courtney N; Schultheis, Kelley F; Brucker, Robert M; Bordenstein, Seth R

    2011-07-01

    The disruption of host-symbiont interactions through the use of antibiotics can help elucidate microbial functions that go beyond short-term nutritional value. Termite gut symbionts have been studied extensively, but little is known about their impact on the termite's reproductive output. Here we describe the effect that the antibiotic rifampin has not only on the gut microbial diversity but also on the longevity, fecundity, and weight of two termite species, Zootermopsis angusticollis and Reticulitermes flavipes. We report three key findings: (i) the antibiotic rifampin, when fed to primary reproductives during the incipient stages of colony foundation, causes a permanent reduction in the diversity of gut bacteria and a transitory effect on the density of the protozoan community; (ii) rifampin treatment reduces oviposition rates of queens, translating into delayed colony growth and ultimately reduced colony fitness; and (iii) the initial dosages of rifampin had severe long-term fitness effects on Z. angusticollis. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that the antibiotic-induced perturbation of the microbial community is associated with prolonged reductions in longevity and fecundity. A causal relationship between these changes in the gut microbial population structures and fitness is suggested by the acquisition of opportunistic pathogens and incompetence of the termites to restore a pretreatment, native microbiota. Our results indicate that antibiotic treatment significantly alters the termite's microbiota, reproduction, colony establishment, and ultimately colony growth and development. We discuss the implications for antimicrobials as a new application to the control of termite pest species.

  16. Character of cellulase activity in the guts of flagellate-free termites with different feeding habits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhi-Qiang; Liu, Bing-Rong; Zeng, Wen-Hui; Xiao, Wei-Liang; Li, Qiu-Jian; Zhong, Jun-Hong

    2013-01-01

    Cellulose digestion in termites (Isoptera) is highly important for ecological reasons and applications in biofuel conversion. The speciose Termitidae family has lost flagellates in the hindgut and developed diverse feeding habits. To address the response of cellulase activity to the differentiation of feeding habits, a comparative study of the activity and distribution of composite cellulases, endo-β-1,4-glucanase, and β-glucosidase was performed in seven common flagellate-free termites with three feeding habits: the humus-feeding termites Sinocapritermes mushae (Oshima et Maki), Malaysiocapritermes zhangfengensis Zhu, Yang et Huang and Pericapritermes jiangtsekiangensis (Kemner); the fungus-growing termites Macrotermes barneyi Light and Odontotermes formosanus (Shiraki); and the wood-feeding termites Nasutitermes parvonasutus (Shiraki) and Havilanditermes orthonasus (Tsai et Chen). The results showed that in diverse feeding groups, the wood-feeding group had the highest total composite cellulase and endo-β-1,4-glucanase activities, while the fungus-growing group had the highest β-glucosidase activity. In terms of the distribution of cellulase activity in the alimentary canals, the cellulase activities in wood-feeding termites were concentrated in the midgut, but there was no significant difference between all gut segments in humus-feeding termites. As for the fungus-growing termites, the main site of composite cellulase activity was in the midgut. The endo-β-1,4-glucanase activity was restricted to the midgut, but the primary site of β-glucosidase activity was in the foregut and the midgut (Mac. barneyi). The functions of the gut segments apparently differentiated between feeding groups. The results suggest that the differentiation of feeding habits in flagellate-free termites was characterized by the distribution of cellulases in the gut rather than by variations in cellulase activity.

  17. Uncovering the Potential of Termite Gut Microbiome for Lignocellulose Bioconversion in Anaerobic Batch Bioreactors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucas Auer

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Termites are xylophages, being able to digest a wide variety of lignocellulosic biomass including wood with high lignin content. This ability to feed on recalcitrant plant material is the result of complex symbiotic relationships, which involve termite-specific gut microbiomes. Therefore, these represent a potential source of microorganisms for the bioconversion of lignocellulose in bioprocesses targeting the production of carboxylates. In this study, gut microbiomes of four termite species were studied for their capacity to degrade wheat straw and produce carboxylates in controlled bioreactors. All of the gut microbiomes successfully degraded lignocellulose and up to 45% w/w of wheat straw degradation was observed, with the Nasutitermes ephratae gut-microbiome displaying the highest levels of wheat straw degradation, carboxylate production and enzymatic activity. Comparing the 16S rRNA gene diversity of the initial gut inocula to the bacterial communities in lignocellulose degradation bioreactors revealed important changes in community diversity. In particular, taxa such as Spirochaetes and Fibrobacteres that were highly abundant in the initial gut inocula were replaced by Firmicutes and Proteobacteria at the end of incubation in wheat straw bioreactors. Overall, this study demonstrates that termite-gut microbiomes constitute a reservoir of lignocellulose-degrading bacteria that can be harnessed in artificial conditions for biomass conversion processes that lead to the production of useful molecules.

  18. Uncovering the Potential of Termite Gut Microbiome for Lignocellulose Bioconversion in Anaerobic Batch Bioreactors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auer, Lucas; Lazuka, Adèle; Sillam-Dussès, David; Miambi, Edouard; O'Donohue, Michael; Hernandez-Raquet, Guillermina

    2017-01-01

    Termites are xylophages, being able to digest a wide variety of lignocellulosic biomass including wood with high lignin content. This ability to feed on recalcitrant plant material is the result of complex symbiotic relationships, which involve termite-specific gut microbiomes. Therefore, these represent a potential source of microorganisms for the bioconversion of lignocellulose in bioprocesses targeting the production of carboxylates. In this study, gut microbiomes of four termite species were studied for their capacity to degrade wheat straw and produce carboxylates in controlled bioreactors. All of the gut microbiomes successfully degraded lignocellulose and up to 45% w/w of wheat straw degradation was observed, with the Nasutitermes ephratae gut-microbiome displaying the highest levels of wheat straw degradation, carboxylate production and enzymatic activity. Comparing the 16S rRNA gene diversity of the initial gut inocula to the bacterial communities in lignocellulose degradation bioreactors revealed important changes in community diversity. In particular, taxa such as Spirochaetes and Fibrobacteres that were highly abundant in the initial gut inocula were replaced by Firmicutes and Proteobacteria at the end of incubation in wheat straw bioreactors. Overall, this study demonstrates that termite-gut microbiomes constitute a reservoir of lignocellulose-degrading bacteria that can be harnessed in artificial conditions for biomass conversion processes that lead to the production of useful molecules.

  19. Testing protozoacidal activity of ligand-lytic peptides against termite gut protozoa in vitro (protozoa culture) and in vivo (microinjection into termite hindgut).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husseneder, Claudia; Sethi, Amit; Foil, Lane; Delatte, Jennifer

    2010-12-29

    We are developing a novel approach to subterranean termite control that would lead to reduced reliance on the use of chemical pesticides. Subterranean termites are dependent on protozoa in the hindguts of workers to efficiently digest wood. Lytic peptides have been shown to kill a variety of protozoan parasites (Mutwiri et al. 2000) and also protozoa in the gut of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus (Husseneder and Collier 2009). Lytic peptides are part of the nonspecific immune system of eukaryotes, and destroy the membranes of microorganisms (Leuschner and Hansel 2004). Most lytic peptides are not likely to harm higher eukaryotes, because they do not affect the electrically neutral cholesterol-containing cell membranes of higher eukaryotes (Javadpour et al. 1996). Lytic peptide action can be targeted to specific cell types by the addition of a ligand. For example, Hansel et al. (2007) reported that lytic peptides conjugated with cancer cell membrane receptor ligands could be used to destroy breast cancer cells, while lytic peptides alone or conjugated with non-specific peptides were not effective. Lytic peptides also have been conjugated to human hormones that bind to receptors on tumor cells for targeted destruction of prostate and testicular cancer cells (Leuschner and Hansel 2004). In this article we present techniques used to demonstrate the protozoacidal activity of a lytic peptide (Hecate) coupled to a heptapeptide ligand that binds to the surface membrane of protozoa from the gut of the Formosan subterranean termite. These techniques include extirpation of the gut from termite workers, anaerobic culture of gut protozoa (Pseudotrichonympha grassii, Holomastigotoides hartmanni,Spirotrichonympha leidyi), microscopic confirmation that the ligand marked with a fluorescent dye binds to the termite gut protozoa and other free-living protozoa but not to bacteria or gut tissue. We also demonstrate that the same ligand coupled to a lytic

  20. The Gut Microbiota of Termites: Digesting the Diversity in the Light of Ecology and Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brune, Andreas; Dietrich, Carsten

    2015-01-01

    Termite guts harbor a dense and diverse microbiota that is essential for symbiotic digestion. The major players in lower termites are unique lineages of cellulolytic flagellates, whereas higher termites harbor only bacteria and archaea. The functions of the mostly uncultivated lineages and their distribution in different diet groups are slowly emerging. Patterns in community structure match changes in the biology of different host groups and reflect the availability of microbial habitats provided by flagellates, wood fibers, and the increasing differentiation of the intestinal tract, which also creates new niches for microbial symbionts. Whereas the intestinal communities in the closely related cockroaches seem to be shaped primarily by the selective forces of microhabitat and functional niche, the social behavior of termites reduces the stochastic element of community assembly, which facilitates coevolution and may ultimately result in cospeciation.

  1. Intra- and interspecific comparisons of bacterial diversity and community structure support coevolution of gut microbiota and termite host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hongoh, Yuichi; Deevong, Pinsurang; Inoue, Tetsushi; Moriya, Shigeharu; Trakulnaleamsai, Savitr; Ohkuma, Moriya; Vongkaluang, Charunee; Noparatnaraporn, Napavarn; Kudo, Toshiaki

    2005-11-01

    We investigated the bacterial gut microbiota from 32 colonies of wood-feeding termites, comprising four Microcerotermes species (Termitidae) and four Reticulitermes species (Rhinotermitidae), using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and clonal analysis of 16S rRNA. The obtained molecular community profiles were compared statistically between individuals, colonies, locations, and species of termites. Both analyses revealed that the bacterial community structure was remarkably similar within each termite genus, with small but significant differences between sampling sites and/or termite species. In contrast, considerable differences were found between the two termite genera. Only one bacterial phylotype (defined with 97% sequence identity) was shared between the two termite genera, while 18% and 50% of the phylotypes were shared between two congeneric species in the genera Microcerotermes and Reticulitermes, respectively. Nevertheless, a phylogenetic analysis of 228 phylotypes from Microcerotermes spp. and 367 phylotypes from Reticulitermes spp. with other termite gut clones available in public databases demonstrated the monophyly of many phylotypes from distantly related termites. The monophyletic "termite clusters" comprised of phylotypes from more than one termite species were distributed among 15 bacterial phyla, including the novel candidate phyla TG2 and TG3. These termite clusters accounted for 95% of the 960 clones analyzed in this study. Moreover, the clusters in 12 phyla comprised phylotypes from more than one termite (sub)family, accounting for 75% of the analyzed clones. Our results suggest that the majority of gut bacteria are not allochthonous but are specific symbionts that have coevolved with termites and that their community structure is basically consistent within a genus of termites.

  2. Molecular phylogenetic diversity of the bacterial community in the gut of the termite Coptotermes formosanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinzato, Naoya; Muramatsu, Mizuho; Matsui, Toru; Watanabe, Yoshio

    2005-06-01

    The phylogenetic diversity of the bacterial community in the gut of the termite Coptotermes formosanus was investigated using a 16S rRNA gene clone library constructed by PCR. After screening by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis, 49 out of 261 clones with unique RFLP patterns were sequenced and phylogenetically analyzed. Many of the clones (94%) were derived from Bacteroidales, Spirochaetes, and low G + C content gram-positive bacteria consisting of Clostridiales, Mycoplasmatales, Bacillales, and Lactobacillales. In addition, a few clones derived from Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, Planctomycetes, Verrucomicrobia, and the candidate phylum "Synergistes" were also found. The most frequently identified RFLP type, BCf1-03, was assigned to the order Bacteroideales, and it constituted about 70% of the analyzed clones. The phylogenetic analysis revealed that the representative clones found in this study tended to form some clusters with the sequences cloned from the termite gut in several other studies, suggesting the existence of termite-specific bacterial lineages.

  3. Pycnoscelus surinamensis cockroach gut microbiota respond consistently to a fungal diet without mirroring those of fungus-farming termites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Callum Richards

    Full Text Available The gut microbiotas of cockroaches and termites play important roles in the symbiotic digestion of dietary components, such as lignocellulose. Diet has been proposed as a primary determinant of community structure within the gut, acting as a selection force to shape the diversity observed within this "bioreactor", and as a key factor for the divergence of the termite gut microbiota from the omnivorous cockroach ancestor. The gut microbiota in most termites supports primarily the breakdown of lignocellulose, but the fungus-farming sub-family of higher termites has become similar in gut microbiota to the ancestral omnivorous cockroaches. To assess the importance of a fungus diet as a driver of community structure, we compare community compositions in the guts of experimentally manipulated Pycnoscelus surinamensis cockroaches fed on fungus cultivated by fungus-farming termites. MiSeq amplicon analysis of gut microbiotas from 49 gut samples showed a step-wise gradient pattern in community similarity that correlated with an increase in the proportion of fungal material provided to the cockroaches. Comparison of the taxonomic composition of manipulated communities to that of gut communities of a fungus-feeding termite species showed that although some bacteria OTUs shared by P. surinamensis and the farming termites increased in the guts of cockroaches on a fungal diet, cockroach communities remained distinct from those of termites. These results demonstrate that a fungal diet can play a role in structuring gut community composition, but at the same time exemplifies how original community compositions constrain the magnitude of such change.

  4. Can 13C stable isotope analysis uncover essential amino acid provisioning by termite-associated gut microbes?

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    Paul A. Ayayee

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Gut-associated microbes of insects are postulated to provide a variety of nutritional functions including provisioning essential amino acids (EAAs. Demonstrations of EAA provisioning in insect-gut microbial systems, nonetheless, are scant. In this study, we investigated whether the eastern subterranean termite Reticulitermes flavipes sourced EAAs from its gut-associated microbiota. δ13CEAA data from termite carcass, termite gut filtrate and dietary (wood samples were determined following 13C stable isotope analysis. Termite carcass samples (−27.0 ± 0.4‰, mean ± s.e. were significantly different from termite gut filtrate samples (−27.53 ± 0.5‰, but not the wood diet (−26.0 ± 0.5‰ (F(2,64 = 6, P < 0.0052. δ13CEAA-offsets between termite samples and diet suggested possible non-dietary EAA input. Predictive modeling identified gut-associated bacteria and fungi, respectively as potential major and minor sources of EAAs in both termite carcass and gut filtrate samples, based on δ13CEAA data of four and three EAAs from representative bacteria, fungi and plant data. The wood diet, however, was classified as fungal rather than plant in origin by the model. This is attributed to fungal infestation of the wood diet in the termite colony. This lowers the confidence with which gut microbes (bacteria and fungi can be attributed with being the source of EAA input to the termite host. Despite this limitation, this study provides tentative data in support of hypothesized EAA provisioning by gut microbes, and also a baseline/framework upon which further work can be carried out to definitively verify this function.

  5. Intracolony variation of bacterial gut microbiota among castes and ages in the fungus-growing termite Macrotermes gilvus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hongoh, Y; Ekpornprasit, L; Inoue, T; Moriya, S; Trakulnaleamsai, S; Ohkuma, M; Noparatnaraporn, N; Kudo, T

    2006-02-01

    The fungus-growing termites Macrotermes cultivate the obligate ectosymbiontic fungi, Termitomyces. While their relationship has been extesively studied, little is known about the gut bacterial symbionts, which also presumably play a crucial role for the nutrition of the termite host. In this study, we investigated the bacterial gut microbiota in two colonies of Macrotermes gilvus, and compared the diversity and community structure of bacteria among nine termite morphotypes, differing in caste and/or age, using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and clonal analysis of 16S rRNA. The obtained molecular community profiles clustered by termite morphotype rather than by colony, and the clustering pattern was clearly more related to a difference in age than to caste. Thus, we suggest that the bacterial gut microbiota change in relation to the food of the termite, which comprises fallen leaves and the fungus nodules of Termitomyces in young workers, and leaves degraded by the fungi, in old workers. Despite these intracolony variations in bacterial gut microbiota, their T-RFLP profiles formed a distinct cluster against those of the fungus garden, adjacent soil and guts of sympatric wood-feeding termites, implying a consistency and uniqueness of gut microbiota in M. gilvus. Since many bacterial phylotypes from M. gilvus formed monophyletic clusters with those from distantly related termite species, we suggest that gut bacteria have co-evolved with the termite host and form a microbiota specific to a termite taxonomic and/or feeding group, and furthermore, to caste and age within a termite species.

  6. Analysis of genes of tetrahydrofolate-dependent metabolism from cultivated spirochaetes and the gut community of the termite Zootermopsis angusticollis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salmassi, Tina M; Leadbetter, Jared R

    2003-09-01

    The hindguts of wood-feeding termites are the sites of intense, CO2-reductive acetogenesis. This activity profoundly influences host nutrition and methane emissions. Homoacetogens previously isolated from diverse termites comprised novel taxa belonging to two distinct bacterial phyla, Firmicutes and Spirochates. Little else is known about either the diversity or abundance of homoacetogenic species present in any given termite or the genetic details underlying CO2-reductive acetogenesis by Spirochaetes. A key enzyme of CO2-reductive acetogenesis is formyltetrahydrofolate synthetase (FTHFS). A previously designed primer set was used to amplify FTHFS genes from three isolated termite-gut spirochaetes. Sequencing DNA flanking the FTHFS gene of Treponema strain ZAS-2 revealed genes encoding two acetogenesis-related enzymes, methenyltetrahydrofolate cyclohydrolase and methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase. Although termite-gut spirochaetes are only distantly related to clostridia at the ribosomal level, their tetrahydrofolate-dependent enzymes appear to be closely related. In contrast, homologous proteins identified in the non-homoacetogenic oral spirochaete Treponema denticola were only distantly related to those from clostridia and the termite-gut treponemes. Having demonstrated their utility with spirochaete pure cultures, the FTHFS primers were used to construct a 91-clone library from the termite-gut community DNA. From this, 19 DNA and eight amino acid FTHFS types were identified. Over 75 % of the retrieved clones formed a novel, coherent cluster with the FTHFS homologues obtained from the termite-gut treponemes. Thus, FTHFS gene diversity in the gut of the termite Zootermopsis angusticollis appears to be dominated by spirochaetes. The homoacetogenic capacity of termite-gut spirochaetes may have been acquired via lateral gene transfer from clostridia.

  7. Protozoacidal Trojan-Horse: use of a ligand-lytic peptide for selective destruction of symbiotic protozoa within termite guts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sethi, Amit; Delatte, Jennifer; Foil, Lane; Husseneder, Claudia

    2014-01-01

    For novel biotechnology-based termite control, we developed a cellulose bait containing freeze-dried genetically engineered yeast which expresses a protozoacidal lytic peptide attached to a protozoa-recognizing ligand. The yeast acts as a 'Trojan-Horse' that kills the cellulose-digesting protozoa in the termite gut, which leads to the death of termites, presumably due to inefficient cellulose digestion. The ligand targets the lytic peptide specifically to protozoa, thereby increasing its protozoacidal efficiency while protecting non-target organisms. After ingestion of the bait, the yeast propagates in the termite's gut and is spread throughout the termite colony via social interactions. This novel paratransgenesis-based strategy could be a good supplement for current termite control using fortified biological control agents in addition to chemical insecticides. Moreover, this ligand-lytic peptide system could be used for drug development to selectively target disease-causing protozoa in humans or other vertebrates.

  8. Niche heterogeneity determines bacterial community structure in the termite gut (Reticulitermes santonensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hong; Schmitt-Wagner, Dirk; Stingl, Ulrich; Brune, Andreas

    2005-07-01

    Differences in microenvironment and interactions of microorganisms within and across habitat boundaries should influence structure and diversity of the microbial communities within an ecosystem. We tested this hypothesis using the well characterized gut tract of the European subterranean termite Reticulitermes santonensis as a model. By cloning and sequencing analysis and molecular fingerprinting (terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism), we characterized the bacterial microbiota in the major intestinal habitats - the midgut, the wall of the hindgut paunch, the hindgut fluid and the intestinal protozoa. The bacterial community was very diverse (> 200 ribotypes) and comprised representatives of several phyla, including Firmicutes (mainly clostridia, streptococci and Mycoplasmatales-related clones), Bacteroidetes, Spirochaetes and a number of Proteobacteria, all of which were unevenly distributed among the four habitats. The largest group of clones fell into the so-called Termite group 1 (TG-1) phylum, which has no cultivated representatives. The majority of the TG-1 clones were associated with the protozoa and formed two phylogenetically distinct clusters, which consisted exclusively of clones previously retrieved from the gut of this and other Reticulitermes species. Also the other clones represented lineages of microorganisms that were exclusively recovered from the intestinal tract of termites. The termite specificity of these lineages was underscored by the finding that the closest relatives of the bacterial clones obtained from R. santonensis were usually derived also from the most closely related termites. Overall, differences in diversity between the different gut habitats and the uneven distribution of individual phylotypes support conclusively that niche heterogeneity is a strong determinant of the structure and spatial organization of the microbial community in the termite gut.

  9. Antimicrobial Activity of Actinobacteria Isolated From the Guts of Subterranean Termites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arango, R A; Carlson, C M; Currie, C R; McDonald, B R; Book, A J; Green, F; Lebow, N K; Raffa, K F

    2016-12-01

    Subterranean termites need to minimize potentially pathogenic and competitive fungi in their environment in order to maintain colony health. We examined the ability of Actinobacteria isolated from termite guts in suppressing microorganisms commonly encountered in a subterranean environment. Guts from two subterranean termite species, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) and Reticulitermes tibialis Banks, were extracted and plated on selective chitin media. A total of 38 Actinobacteria isolates were selected for in vitro growth inhibition assays. Target microbes included three strains of Serratia marcescens Bizio, two mold fungi (Trichoderma sp. and Metarhizium sp.), a yeast fungus (Candida albicans (C.P. Robin) Berkhout), and four basidiomycete fungi (Gloeophyllum trabeum (Persoon) Murrill, Tyromyces palustris (Berkeley & M.A. Curtis) Murrill, Irpex lacteus (Fries) Fries, and Trametes versicolor (L.) Lloyd). Results showed both broad and narrow ranges of antimicrobial activity against the mold fungi, yeast fungus, and S. marcescens isolates by the Actinobacteria selected. This suggests that termite gut-associated Actinobacteria produce secondary antimicrobial compounds that may be important for pathogen inhibition in termites. Basidiomycete fungi were strongly inhibited by the selected Actinobacteria isolates, with G. trabeum and T. versicolor being most inhibited, followed by I. lacteus and T. palustris The degree of inhibition was correlated with shifts in pH caused by the Actinobacteria. Nearly all Actinobacteria isolates raised pH of the growth medium to basic levels (i.e. pH ∼8.0-9.5). We summarize antimicrobial activity of these termite gut-associated Actinobacteria and examine the implications of these pH shifts. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2016. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  10. Saccharification of Agricultural Lignocellulose Feedstocks and Protein-Level Responses by a Termite Gut-Microbe Bioreactor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rajarapu, Swapna Priya; Scharf, Michael E., E-mail: mscharf@purdue.edu [Department of Entomology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN (United States)

    2017-04-07

    This study investigated saccharification and protein-level responses to the candidate biofuel feedstocks corn stover (CS) and soybean residue (SR) by the gut of a lower termite. The focus termite was Reticulitermes flavipes, which is a highly efficient digester of wood lignocellulose that houses a mixture of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes in its gut. Our specific objectives were to (i) measure saccharification potential of the CS and SR feedstocks by termite gut protein extracts, (ii) identify specific proteins in the termite gut responding to feeding on CS and SR diets, and (iii) evaluate gut lignocellulase and accessory enzyme activity responses to CS and SR feeding. Cellulose paper was the control diet. Although CS was saccharified at higher levels, termite gut protein extracts saccharified both CS and SR irrespective of feedstock loading. Consumption of the CS and SR feedstocks by termites resulted in surprisingly few differences in gut protein profiles, with the main exception being elevated myosin abundance with SR feeding. Activity of potential lignocellulases and accessory enzymes was generally similar between CS and SR fed guts as well; however, cellobiohydrolase/exoglucanase activity was higher with CS feeding and glutathione peroxidase activity with SR feeding. These findings have significance from two perspectives. First, SR feeding/digestion appears to cause physiological stress in the termite gut that likely would extend to other types of microbial environments including those within industrial bioreactors. Second, because termites can survive on exclusive CS and SR diets and their guts exhibit clear CS and SR saccharification activity, this validates the R. flavipes system as a potential source for CS and SR degrading enzymes; in particular, cellobiohydrolases/exoglucanases and glutathione peroxidases from this system may play roles in CS and SR breakdown.

  11. DGGE detection and screening of lignocellulolytic bacteria from the termite gut of Coptotermes formosanus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathew, G.M.

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Aims: Termites thrive in terrestrial ecosystems and play an important role in the bio-recycling of lignocellulose. The objective of this study is to isolate and detect bacteria from the termite gut of Coptotermes formosanus and to screen their various enzyme activities by qualitative methods. In addition, this study was aimed to isolate lignin and furfural tolerant strains for various industrial bioprocesses.Methodology and Results: In this study, 50 worker termites of Coptotermes formosanus were collected from dead trees, from a forest in Taichung, Taiwan in June 2008 and the composition of the microbial flora from the termite guts was analyzed by DGGE analysis. The results proved that anaerobic and facultatively anaerobic bacteria consisting of Acinetobacter, Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, Escherichia coli, and Caulobacter readily existed in the guts of termites. Although the majority of these gut symbionts have not yet been cultivated or identified, some related bacteria were isolated. Two isolates 1-8 and 2-2 of Genus Bacillus, exhibited endocellulase, protease, lipase, amylase, peroxidase and lignin peroxidase activity. Under aerobic conditions, the growth density of isolate 1-8 cultured in 1000 ppm lignin containing MSM medium was two-folds higher than cultured in MSM medium without lignin. Furthermore, the isolate 1-8 was tolerant to 20 mM furfural supplemented in the MSM medium. HPLC analysis confirmed Bacillus isolate 1-8 could degrade up to 15 mM furfural.Conclusion, significance and impact of study: Hind gut bacteria from C. formosanus were detected by culture independent DGGE method. Also, Bacillus isolates 1-8 and 2-2 obtained by culture dependent methods could withstand higher concentration of furfural and as well as lignin. These isolates may be co-cultured with ethanologenic bacteria and be used as an industrial biocatalyst for biofuel production.

  12. Microbial community diversity in the gut of the South American termite Cornitermes cumulans (Isoptera: Termitidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grieco, Maria Angela B; Cavalcante, Janaina J V; Cardoso, Alexander M; Vieira, Ricardo P; Machado, Ednildo A; Clementino, Maysa M; Medeiros, Marcelo N; Albano, Rodolpho M; Garcia, Eloi S; de Souza, Wanderley; Constantino, Reginaldo; Martins, Orlando B

    2013-01-01

    Termites inhabit tropical and subtropical areas where they contribute to structure and composition of soils by efficiently degrading biomass with aid of resident gut microbiota. In this study, culture-independent molecular analysis was performed based on bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA clone libraries to describe the gut microbial communities within Cornitermes cumulans, a South American litter-feeding termite. Our data reveal extensive bacterial diversity, mainly composed of organisms from the phyla Spirochaetes, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Fibrobacteres. In contrast, a low diversity of archaeal 16S rRNA sequences was found, comprising mainly members of the Crenarchaeota phylum. The diversity of archaeal methanogens was further analyzed by sequencing clones from a library for the mcrA gene, which encodes the enzyme methyl coenzyme reductase, responsible for catalyzing the last step in methane production, methane being an important greenhouse gas. The mcrA sequences were diverse and divided phylogenetically into three clades related to uncultured environmental archaea and methanogens found in different termite species. C. cumulans is a litter-feeding, mound-building termite considered a keystone species in natural ecosystems and also a pest in agriculture. Here, we describe the archaeal and bacterial communities within this termite, revealing for the first time its intriguing microbiota.

  13. 454 Pyrosequencing-based assessment of bacterial diversity and community structure in termite guts, mounds and surrounding soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makonde, Huxley M; Mwirichia, Romano; Osiemo, Zipporah; Boga, Hamadi I; Klenk, Hans-Peter

    2015-01-01

    Termites constitute part of diverse and economically important termite fauna in Africa, but information on gut microbiota and their associated soil microbiome is still inadequate. In this study, we assessed and compared the bacterial diversity and community structure between termites' gut, their mounds and surrounding soil using the 454 pyrosequencing-based analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences. A wood-feeder termite (Microcerotermes sp.), three fungus-cultivating termites (Macrotermes michaelseni, Odontotermes sp. and Microtermes sp.), their associated mounds and corresponding savannah soil samples were analyzed. The pH of the gut homogenates and soil physico-chemical properties were determined. The results indicated significant difference in bacterial community composition and structure between the gut and corresponding soil samples. Soil samples (Chao1 index ranged from 1359 to 2619) had higher species richness than gut samples (Chao1 index ranged from 461 to 1527). The bacterial composition and community structure in the gut of Macrotermes michaelseni and Odontotermes sp. were almost identical but different from that of Microtermes and Microcerotermes species, which had unique community structures. The most predominant bacterial phyla in the gut were Bacteroidetes (40-58 %), Spirochaetes (10-70 %), Firmicutes (17-27 %) and Fibrobacteres (13 %) while in the soil samples were Acidobacteria (28-45 %), Actinobacteria (20-40 %) and Proteobacteria (18-24 %). Some termite gut-specific bacterial lineages belonging to the genera Dysgonomonas, Parabacteroides, Paludibacter, Tannerella, Alistipes, BCf9-17 termite group and Termite Treponema cluster were observed. The results not only demonstrated a high level of bacterial diversity in the gut and surrounding soil environments, but also presence of distinct bacterial communities that are yet to be cultivated. Therefore, combined efforts using both culture and culture-independent methods are suggested to

  14. Phylogenetic diversity of 'Endomicrobia' and their specific affiliation with termite gut flagellates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikeda-Ohtsubo, Wakako; Desai, Mahesh; Stingl, Ulrich; Brune, Andreas

    2007-10-01

    'Endomicrobia', a distinct and diverse group of uncultivated bacteria in the candidate phylum Termite Group I (TG-1), have been found exclusively in the gut of lower termites and wood-feeding cockroaches. In a previous study, we had demonstrated that the 'Endomicrobia' clones retrieved from Reticulitermes santonensis represent intracellular symbionts of the two major gut flagellates of this termite. Here, we document that 'Endomicrobia' are present also in many other gut flagellates of lower termites. Phylogeny and host specificity of 'Endomicrobia' were investigated by cloning and sequencing of the small subunit rRNA genes of the flagellate and the symbionts, which originated from suspensions of individual flagellates isolated by micropipette. Each flagellate harboured a distinct phylogenetic lineage of 'Endomicrobia'. The results of fluorescent in situ hybridization with 'Endomicrobia'-specific oligonucleotide probes corroborated that 'Endomicrobia' are intracellular symbionts specifically affiliated with their flagellate hosts. Interestingly, the 'Endomicrobia' sequences obtained from flagellates belonging to the genus Trichonympha formed a monophyletic group, suggesting co-speciation between symbiont and host.

  15. Optimization of a metatranscriptomic approach to study the lignocellulolytic potential of the higher termite gut microbiome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marynowska, Martyna; Goux, Xavier; Sillam-Dussès, David; Rouland-Lefèvre, Corinne; Roisin, Yves; Delfosse, Philippe; Calusinska, Magdalena

    2017-09-01

    Thanks to specific adaptations developed over millions of years, the efficiency of lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose decomposition of higher termite symbiotic system exceeds that of many other lignocellulose utilizing environments. Especially, the examination of its symbiotic microbes should reveal interesting carbohydrate-active enzymes, which are of primary interest for the industry. Previous metatranscriptomic reports (high-throughput mRNA sequencing) highlight the high representation and overexpression of cellulose and hemicelluloses degrading genes in the termite hindgut digestomes, indicating the potential of this technology in search for new enzymes. Nevertheless, several factors associated with the material sampling and library preparation steps make the metatranscriptomic studies of termite gut prokaryotic symbionts challenging. In this study, we first examined the influence of the sampling strategy, including the whole termite gut and luminal fluid, on the diversity and the metatranscriptomic profiles of the higher termite gut symbiotic bacteria. Secondly, we evaluated different commercially available kits combined in two library preparative pipelines for the best bacterial mRNA enrichment strategy. We showed that the sampling strategy did not significantly impact the generated results, both in terms of the representation of the microbes and their transcriptomic profiles. Nevertheless collecting luminal fluid reduces the co-amplification of unwanted RNA species of host origin. Furthermore, for the four studied higher termite species, the library preparative pipeline employing Ribo-Zero Gold rRNA Removal Kit "Epidemiology" in combination with Poly(A) Purist MAG kit resulted in a more efficient rRNA and poly-A-mRNAdepletion (up to 98.44% rRNA removed) than the pipeline utilizing MICROBExpress and MICROBEnrich kits. High correlation of both Ribo-Zero and MICROBExpresse depleted gene expression profiles with total non-depleted RNA-seq data has been shown

  16. Phylogenetic and functional analysis of gut microbiota of a fungus-growing higher termite: Bacteroidetes from higher termites are a rich source of β-glucosidase genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Meiling; Liu, Ning; Qian, Changli; Wang, Qianfu; Wang, Qian; Long, Yanhua; Huang, Yongping; Zhou, Zhihua; Yan, Xing

    2014-08-01

    Fungus-growing termites, their symbiotic fungi, and microbiota inhibiting their intestinal tract comprise a highly efficient cellulose-hydrolyzing system; however, little is known about the role of gut microbiota in this system. Twelve fosmid clones with β-glucosidase activity were previously obtained by functionally screening a metagenomic library of a fungus-growing termite, Macrotermes annandalei. Ten contigs containing putative β-glucosidase genes (bgl1-10) were assembled by sequencing data of these fosmid clones. All these contigs were binned to Bacteroidetes, and all these β-glucosidase genes were phylogenetically closed to those from Bacteroides or Dysgonomonas. Six out of 10 β-glucosidase genes had predicted signal peptides, indicating a transmembrane capability of these enzymes to mediate cellulose hydrolysis within the gut of the termites. To confirm the activities of these β-glucosidase genes, three genes (bgl5, bgl7, and bgl9) were successfully expressed and purified. The optimal temperature and pH of these enzymes largely resembled the environment of the host's gut. The gut microbiota composition of the fungus-growing termite was also determined by 454 pyrosequencing, showing that Bacteroidetes was the most dominant phylum. The diversity and the enzyme properties of β-glucosidases revealed in this study suggested that Bacteroidetes as the major member in fungus-growing termites contributed to cello-oligomer degradation in cellulose-hydrolyzing process and represented a rich source for β-glucosidase genes.

  17. Genetically Engineered Yeast Expressing a Lytic Peptide from Bee Venom (Melittin) Kills Symbiotic Protozoa in the Gut of Formosan Subterranean Termites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husseneder, Claudia; Donaldson, Jennifer R; Foil, Lane D

    2016-01-01

    The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, is a costly invasive urban pest in warm and humid regions around the world. Feeding workers of the Formosan subterranean termite genetically engineered yeast strains that express synthetic protozoacidal lytic peptides has been shown to kill the cellulose digesting termite gut protozoa, which results in death of the termite colony. In this study, we tested if Melittin, a natural lytic peptide from bee venom, could be delivered into the termite gut via genetically engineered yeast and if the expressed Melittin killed termites via lysis of symbiotic protozoa in the gut of termite workers and/or destruction of the gut tissue itself. Melittin expressing yeast did kill protozoa in the termite gut within 56 days of exposure. The expressed Melittin weakened the gut but did not add a synergistic effect to the protozoacidal action by gut necrosis. While Melittin could be applied for termite control via killing the cellulose-digesting protozoa in the termite gut, it is unlikely to be useful as a standalone product to control insects that do not rely on symbiotic protozoa for survival.

  18. Diversity and resilience of the wood?feeding higher termite Mironasutitermes shangchengensis gut microbiota in response to temporal and diet variations

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Ying; Su, Lijuan; Huang, Shi; Bo, Cunpei; Yang, Sen; Li, Yan; Wang, Fengqin; Xie, Hui; Xu, Jian; Song, Andong

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Termites are considered among the most efficient bioreactors, with high capacities for lignocellulose degradation and utilization. Recently, several studies have characterized the gut microbiota of diverse termites. However, the temporal dynamics of the gut microbiota within a given termite with dietary diversity are poorly understood. Here, we employed 16S rDNA barcoded pyrosequencing analysis to investigate temporal changes in bacterial diversity and richness of the gut microbiota ...

  19. The bacterial gut microbiota of wood- and humus-feeding termites: Diazotrophic populations and compartment-specific response of bacterial communities to environmental factors

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Wanyang; Brune, Andreas (Prof. Dr.)

    2018-01-01

    The subject of this thesis is the influence of the microenvironment on the symbiosis between higher termites and their intestinal bacteria. The gut environmental factors pH, hydrogen partial pressure, redox potential and nitrogen pool size were measured. Bacterial gut community structure from each highly compartmentalized gut section was investigated. Furthermore, one specific function, nitrogen fixation, was comparatively analyzed in lower termites, higher termites and cockroaches. Hydrogen...

  20. Differences between bacterial communities in the gut of a soil-feeding termite (Cubitermes niokoloensis) and its mounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fall, Saliou; Hamelin, Jérôme; Ndiaye, Farma; Assigbetse, Komi; Aragno, Michel; Chotte, Jean Luc; Brauman, Alain

    2007-08-01

    In tropical ecosystems, termite mound soils constitute an important soil compartment covering around 10% of African soils. Previous studies have shown (S. Fall, S. Nazaret, J. L. Chotte, and A. Brauman, Microb. Ecol. 28:191-199, 2004) that the bacterial genetic structure of the mounds of soil-feeding termites (Cubitermes niokoloensis) is different from that of their surrounding soil. The aim of this study was to characterize the specificity of bacterial communities within mounds with respect to the digestive and soil origins of the mound. We have compared the bacterial community structures of a termite mound, termite gut sections, and surrounding soil using PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis and cloning and sequencing of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene fragments. DGGE analysis revealed a drastic difference between the genetic structures of the bacterial communities of the termite gut and the mound. Analysis of 266 clones, including 54 from excised bands, revealed a high level of diversity in each biota investigated. The soil-feeding termite mound was dominated by the Actinobacteria phylum, whereas the Firmicutes and Proteobacteria phyla dominate the gut sections of termites and the surrounding soil, respectively. Phylogenetic analyses revealed a distinct clustering of Actinobacteria phylotypes between the mound and the surrounding soil. The Actinobacteria clones of the termite mound were diverse, distributed among 10 distinct families, and like those in the termite gut environment lightly dominated by the Nocardioidaceae family. Our findings confirmed that the soil-feeding termite mound (C. niokoloensis) represents a specific bacterial habitat in the tropics.

  1. Characterization of N2O emission and associated bacterial communities from the gut of wood-feeding termite Nasutitermes voeltzkowi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majeed, Muhammad Zeeshan; Miambi, Edouard; Riaz, Muhammad Asam; Brauman, Alain

    2015-09-01

    Xylophagous termites rely on nitrogen deficient foodstuff with a low C/N ratio. Most research work has focused on nitrogen fixation in termites highlighting important inflow and assimilation of atmospheric nitrogen into their bodies fundamentally geared up by their intestinal microbial symbionts. Most of termite body nitrogen is of atmospheric origin, and microbially aided nitrification is the principal source of this nitrogen acquisition, but contrarily, the information regarding potent denitrification process is very scarce and poorly known, although the termite gut is considered to carry all favorable criteria necessary for microbial denitrification. Therefore, in this study, it is hypothesized that whether nitrification and denitrification processes coexist in intestinal milieu of xylophagous termites or not, and if yes, then is there any link between the denitrification product, i.e., N2O and nitrogen content of the food substrate, and moreover where these bacterial communities are found along the length of termite gut. To answer these questions, we measured in vivo N2O emission by Nasutitermes voeltzkowi (Nasutitermitinae) maintained on different substrates with varying C/N ratio, and also, molecular techniques were applied to study the diversity (DGGE) and density (qPCR) of bacterial communities in anterior and posterior gut portions. Rersults revealed that xylophagous termites emit feeble amount of N2O and molecular studies confirmed this finding by illustrating the presence of an ample density of N2O-reductase (nosZ) gene in the intestinal tract of these termites. Furthermore, intestinal bacterial communities of these termites were found more dense and diverse in posterior than anterior portion of the gut.

  2. Bacterial communities in termite fungus combs are comprised of consistent gut deposits and contributions from the environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otani, Saria; Hansen, Lars H; Sørensen, Søren J; Poulsen, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Fungus-growing termites (subfamily Macrotermitinae) mix plant forage with asexual spores of their plant-degrading fungal symbiont Termitomyces in their guts and deposit this blend in fungus comb structures, within which the plant matter is degraded. As Termitomyces grows, it produces nodules with asexual spores, which the termites feed on. Since all comb material passes through termite guts, it is inevitable that gut bacteria are also deposited in the comb, but it has remained unknown which bacteria are deposited and whether distinct comb bacterial communities are sustained. Using high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we explored the bacterial community compositions of 33 fungus comb samples from four termite species (three genera) collected at four South African geographic locations in 2011 and 2013. We identified 33 bacterial phyla, with Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Candidate division TM7 jointly accounting for 92 % of the reads. Analyses of gut microbiotas from 25 of the 33 colonies showed that dominant fungus comb taxa originate from the termite gut. While gut communities were consistent between 2011 and 2013, comb community compositions shifted over time. These shifts did not appear to be due to changes in the taxa present, but rather due to differences in the relative abundances of primarily gut-derived bacteria within fungus combs. This indicates that fungus comb microbiotas are largely termite species-specific due to major contributions from gut deposits and also that environment affects which gut bacteria dominate comb communities at a given point in time.

  3. Bacterial communities in termite fungus combs are comprised of consistent gut deposits and contributions from the environment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Otani, Saria; Hansen, Lars H.; Sørensen, Søren Johannes

    2016-01-01

    -throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we explored the bacterial community compositions of 33 fungus comb samples from four termite species (three genera) collected at four South African geographic locations in 2011 and 2013. We identified 33 bacterial phyla, with Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria......, Actinobacteria, and Candidate division TM7 jointly accounting for 92 % of the reads. Analyses of gut microbiotas from 25 of the 33 colonies showed that dominant fungus comb taxa originate from the termite gut. While gut communities were consistent between 2011 and 2013, comb community compositions shifted over...

  4. Intra- and Interspecific Comparisons of Bacterial Diversity and Community Structure Support Coevolution of Gut Microbiota and Termite Host†

    OpenAIRE

    Hongoh, Yuichi; Deevong, Pinsurang; Inoue, Tetsushi; Moriya, Shigeharu; Trakulnaleamsai, Savitr; Ohkuma, Moriya; Vongkaluang, Charunee; Noparatnaraporn, Napavarn; Kudo, Toshiaki

    2005-01-01

    We investigated the bacterial gut microbiota from 32 colonies of wood-feeding termites, comprising four Microcerotermes species (Termitidae) and four Reticulitermes species (Rhinotermitidae), using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and clonal analysis of 16S rRNA. The obtained molecular community profiles were compared statistically between individuals, colonies, locations, and species of termites. Both analyses revealed that the bacterial community structure was rema...

  5. Variations in diversity and richness of gut bacterial communities of termites (Reticulitermes flavipes) fed with grassy and woody plant substrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Xing-Feng; Bakker, Matthew G; Judd, Timothy M; Reardon, Kenneth F; Vivanco, Jorge M

    2013-04-01

    Diets shape the animal gut microbiota, although the relationships between diets and the structure of the gut microbial community are not yet well understood. The gut bacterial communities of Reticulitermes flavipes termites fed on four individual plant biomasses with different degrees of recalcitrance to biodegradation were investigated by 16S rRNA pyrosequencing analysis. The termite gut bacterial communities could be differentiated between grassy and woody diets, and among grassy diets (corn stover vs. sorghum). The majority of bacterial taxa were shared across all diets, but each diet significantly enriched some taxa. Interestingly, the diet of corn stover reduced gut bacterial richness and diversity compared to other diets, and this may be related to the lower recalcitrance of this biomass to degradation.

  6. Nitrogen-fixing Enterobacter agglomerans isolated from guts of wood-eating termites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potrikus, C J; Breznak, J A

    1977-02-01

    Two strains of facultatively anaerobic, N2-fixing bacteria were isolated from guts of Coptotermes formosanus and identified as Enterobacter agglomerans. The deoxyribonucleic acid base composition of isolates was 52.6 and 53.1 mol% guanine plus cytosine. Both isolates and a known strain of E. agglomerans carried out a mixed acid type of glucose fermentation. N2 fixation by E. agglomerans was inhibited by O2; consequently, N2 served as an N source only for cells growing anaerobically in media lacking a major source of combined N. However, peptone, NH4Cl, or KNO3 served as an N source under either aerobic or anaerobic conditions. It was estimated that 2 x 10(2) cells of E. agglomerans were present per termite gut. This value was 100-fold lower than expected, based on N2 fixation, low recoveries of E. agglomerans may be related to the marked decrease in N2 fixation rates observed when intact termites or their extracted guts were manipulated for the isolation of bacteria. It was concluded that the N2-fixing activity of E. agglomerans may be important to the N economy of C. formosanus.

  7. Selenium controls transcription of paralogous formate dehydrogenase genes in the termite gut acetogen, Treponema primitia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matson, Eric G; Zhang, Xinning; Leadbetter, Jared R

    2010-08-01

    The termite gut spirochete, Treponema primitia, is a CO(2)-reductive acetogen that is phylogenetically distinct from other distantly related and more extensively studied acetogens such as Moorella thermoacetica. Research on T. primitia has revealed details about the role of spirochetes in CO(2)-reductive acetogenesis, a process important to the mutualism occurring between termites and their gut microbial communities. Here, a locus of the T. primitia genome containing Wood-Ljungdahl pathway genes for CO(2)-reductive acetogenesis was sequenced. This locus contained methyl-branch genes of the pathway (i.e. for the reduction of CO(2) to the level of methyl-tetrahydrofolate) including paralogous genes for cysteine and selenocysteine (Sec) variants of formate dehydrogenase (FDH) and genes for Sec incorporation. The FDH variants affiliated phylogenetically with hydrogenase-linked FDH enzymes, suggesting that T. primitia FDH enzymes utilize electrons derived directly from molecular H(2). Sub-nanomolar concentrations of selenium decreased transcript levels of the cysteine variant FDH gene. Selenium concentration did not markedly influence the level of mRNA upstream of the Sec-codon in the Sec variant FDH; however, the level of transcript extending downstream of the Sec-codon increased incrementally with increasing selenium concentrations. The features and regulation of these FDH genes are an indication that T. primitia may experience dynamic selenium availability in its H(2)-rich gut environment. © 2010 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  8. Phylogenetic Diversity and Single-Cell Genome Analysis of "Melainabacteria", a Non-Photosynthetic Cyanobacterial Group, in the Termite Gut.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utami, Yuniar Devi; Kuwahara, Hirokazu; Murakami, Takumi; Morikawa, Takahiro; Sugaya, Kaito; Kihara, Kumiko; Yuki, Masahiro; Lo, Nathan; Deevong, Pinsurang; Hasin, Sasitorn; Boonriam, Warin; Inoue, Tetsushi; Yamada, Akinori; Ohkuma, Moriya; Hongoh, Yuichi

    2018-03-29

    Termite guts harbor diverse yet-uncultured bacteria, including a non-photosynthetic cyanobacterial group, the class "Melainabacteria". We herein reported the phylogenetic diversity of "Melainabacteria" in the guts of diverse termites and conducted a single-cell genome analysis of a melainabacterium obtained from the gut of the termite Termes propinquus. We performed amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA genes from the guts of 60 termite and eight cockroach species, and detected melainabacterial sequences in 48 out of the 68 insect species, albeit with low abundances (0.02-1.90%). Most of the melainabacterial sequences obtained were assigned to the order "Gastranaerophilales" and appeared to form clusters unique to termites and cockroaches. A single-cell genome of a melainabacterium, designated phylotype Tpq-Mel-01, was obtained using a fluorescence-activated cell sorter and whole genome amplification. The genome shared basic features with other melainabacterial genomes previously reconstructed from the metagenomes of human and koala feces. The bacterium had a small genome (~1.6 Mb) and possessed fermentative pathways possibly using sugars and chitobiose as carbon and energy sources, while the pathways for photosynthesis and carbon fixation were not found. The genome contained genes for flagellar components and chemotaxis; therefore, the bacterium is likely motile. A fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis showed that the cells of Tpq-Mel-01 and/or its close relatives are short rods with the dimensions of 1.1±0.2 μm by 0.5±0.1 μm; for these bacteria, we propose the novel species, "Candidatus Gastranaerophilus termiticola". Our results provide fundamental information on "Melainabacteria" in the termite gut and expand our knowledge on this underrepresented, non-photosynthetic cyanobacterial group.

  9. Comparison of Euryarchaea strains in the guts and food-soil of the soil-feeding termite Cubitermes fungifaber across different soil types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donovan, S E; Purdy, K J; Kane, M D; Eggleton, P

    2004-07-01

    Termites are an important component of tropical soil communities and have a significant effect on the structure and nutrient content of soil. Digestion in termites is related to gut structure, gut physicochemical conditions, and gut symbiotic microbiota. Here we describe the use of 16S rRNA gene sequencing and terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis to examine methanogenic archaea (MA) in the guts and food-soil of the soil-feeder Cubitermes fungifaber Sjostedt across a range of soil types. If these MA are strictly vertically inherited, then the MA in guts should be the same in all individuals even if the soils differ across sites. In contrast, gut MA should reflect what is present in soil if populations are merely a reflection of what is ingested as the insects forage. We show clear differences between the euryarchaeal communities in termite guts and in food-soils from five different sites. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene clones indicated little overlap between the gut and soil communities. Gut clones were related to a termite-derived Methanomicrobiales cluster, to Methanobrevibacter and, surprisingly, to the haloalkaliphile Natronococcus. Soil clones clustered with Methanosarcina, Methanomicrococcus, or rice cluster I. T-RFLP analysis indicated that the archaeal communities in the soil samples differed from site to site, whereas those in termite guts were similar between sites. There was some overlap between the gut and soil communities, but these may represent transient populations in either guts or soil. Our data do not support the hypothesis that termite gut MA are derived from their food-soil but also do not support a purely vertical transmission of gut microflora.

  10. Characterization of a new β-glucosidase/β-xylosidase from the gut microbiota of the termite (Reticulitermes santonensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattéotti, Christel; Haubruge, Eric; Thonart, Philippe; Francis, Frédéric; De Pauw, Edwin; Portetelle, Daniel; Vandenbol, Micheline

    2011-01-01

    The gut of the termite Reticulitermes santonensis contains an interesting diversity of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms not found elsewhere. These microorganisms produce many enzyme-digesting lignocellulosic compounds, probably in cooperation with endogenous enzymes. Regarding cellulose and hemicellulose digestion in the termite gut, much remains to be learned about the relative contributions of termite enzymes and enzymes produced by different microorganisms. Here we grew bacterial colonies from termite gut suspensions, identifying 11 of them after PCR amplification of their 16S rRNA genes. After constructing in Escherichia coli a genomic DNA library corresponding to all of the colonies obtained, we performed functional screening for α-amylase, xylanase, β-glucosidase, and endoglucanase activities. This screen revealed a clone producing β-glucosidase activity. Sequence analysis showed that the cloned genomic DNA fragment contained three complete ORFs (bglG, bglF, and bglB) organized in a putative bgl operon. The new β-glucosidase (BglB), identified with its regulators BglG and BglF, belongs to glycoside hydrolase family 1. The new β-glucosidase was expressed in E. coli and purified by affinity chromatography. The purified enzyme shows maximal activity at pH 6.0 and 40 °C. It also displays β-xylosidase activity. FEMS Microbiology Letters © 2010 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. No claim to original Belgian government works.

  11. Towards an integrated understanding of the consequences of fungus domestication on the fungus-growing termite gut microbiota

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomas-Poulsen, Michael

    2015-01-01

    will be powerful, particularly if executed in comparative analyses across the well-established congruent termite-fungus phylogenies. This will allow for testing if gut communities have evolved in parallel with their hosts, with implications for our general understanding of the evolution of gut symbiont communities...... need to explore the capacities of all members of the symbiotic communities, including better solidifying Termitomyces role(s) in order to understand putative complementary gut bacterial contributions. Approaches that integrate natural history and sequencing data to elucidate symbiont functions...

  12. Metagenomic analysis of novel lignocellulose-degrading enzymes from higher termite guts inhabiting microbes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimchua, Thidarat; Thongaram, Taksawan; Uengwetwanit, Tanaporn; Pongpattanakitshote, Somchai; Eurwilaichitr, Lily

    2012-04-01

    A metagenomic fosmid library was constructed from genomic DNA isolated from the microbial community residing in hindguts of a wood-feeding higher termite (Microcerotermes sp.) collected in Thailand. The library was screened for clones expressing lignocellulolytic activities. Fourteen independent active clones (2 cellulases and 12 xylanases) were obtained by functional screening at pH 10.0. Analysis of shotgun-cloning and pyrosequencing data revealed six ORFs, which shared less than 59% identity and 73% similarity of their amino acid sequences with known cellulases and xylanases. Conserved domain analysis of these ORFs revealed a cellulase belonging to the glycoside hydrolase family 5, whereas the other five xylanases showed significant identity to diverse families including families 8, 10, and 11. Interestingly, one fosmid clone was isolated carrying three contiguous xylanase genes that may comprise a xylanosome operon. The enzymes with the highest activities at alkaline pH from the initial activity screening were characterized biochemically. These enzymes showed a broad range of enzyme activities from pH 5.0 to 10.0, with pH optimal of 8.0 retaining more than 70% of their respective activities at pH 9.0. The optimal temperatures of these enzymes ranged from 50 degrees C to 55 degrees C. This study provides evidence for the diversity and function of lignocellulose-degrading enzymes in the termite gut microbial community, which could be of potential use for industrial processes such as pulp biobleaching and denim biostoning.

  13. Metagenomic insights into metabolic capacities of the gut microbiota in a fungus-cultivating termite (Odontotermes yunnanensis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ning Liu

    Full Text Available Macrotermitinae (fungus-cultivating termites are major decomposers in tropical and subtropical areas of Asia and Africa. They have specifically evolved mutualistic associations with both a Termitomyces fungi on the nest and a gut microbiota, providing a model system for probing host-microbe interactions. Yet the symbiotic roles of gut microbes residing in its major feeding caste remain largely undefined. Here, by pyrosequencing the whole gut metagenome of adult workers of a fungus-cultivating termite (Odontotermes yunnanensis, we showed that it did harbor a broad set of genes or gene modules encoding carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes relevant to plant fiber degradation, particularly debranching enzymes and oligosaccharide-processing enzymes. Besides, it also contained a considerable number of genes encoding chitinases and glycoprotein oligosaccharide-processing enzymes for fungal cell wall degradation. To investigate the metabolic divergence of higher termites of different feeding guilds, a SEED subsystem-based gene-centric comparative analysis of the data with that of a previously sequenced wood-feeding Nasutitermes hindgut microbiome was also attempted, revealing that SEED classifications of nitrogen metabolism, and motility and chemotaxis were significantly overrepresented in the wood-feeder hindgut metagenome, while Bacteroidales conjugative transposons and subsystems related to central aromatic compounds metabolism were apparently overrepresented here. This work fills up our gaps in understanding the functional capacities of fungus-cultivating termite gut microbiota, especially their roles in the symbiotic digestion of lignocelluloses and utilization of fungal biomass, both of which greatly add to existing understandings of this peculiar symbiosis.

  14. Localizing transcripts to single cells suggests an important role of uncultured deltaproteobacteria in the termite gut hydrogen economy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenthal, Adam Z; Zhang, Xinning; Lucey, Kaitlyn S; Ottesen, Elizabeth A; Trivedi, Vikas; Choi, Harry M T; Pierce, Niles A; Leadbetter, Jared R

    2013-10-01

    Identifying microbes responsible for particular environmental functions is challenging, given that most environments contain an uncultivated microbial diversity. Here we combined approaches to identify bacteria expressing genes relevant to catabolite flow and to locate these genes within their environment, in this case the gut of a "lower," wood-feeding termite. First, environmental transcriptomics revealed that 2 of the 23 formate dehydrogenase (FDH) genes known in the system accounted for slightly more than one-half of environmental transcripts. FDH is an essential enzyme of H2 metabolism that is ultimately important for the assimilation of lignocellulose-derived energy by the insect. Second, single-cell PCR analysis revealed that two different bacterial types expressed these two transcripts. The most commonly transcribed FDH in situ is encoded by a previously unappreciated deltaproteobacterium, whereas the other FDH is spirochetal. Third, PCR analysis of fractionated gut contents demonstrated that these bacteria reside in different spatial niches; the spirochete is free-swimming, whereas the deltaproteobacterium associates with particulates. Fourth, the deltaproteobacteria expressing FDH were localized to protozoa via hybridization chain reaction-FISH, an approach for multiplexed, spatial mapping of mRNA and rRNA targets. These results underscore the importance of making direct vs. inference-based gene-species associations, and have implications in higher termites, the most successful termite lineage, in which protozoa have been lost from the gut community. Contrary to expectations, in higher termites, FDH genes related to those from the protozoan symbiont dominate, whereas most others were absent, suggesting that a successful gene variant can persist and flourish after a gut perturbation alters a major environmental niche.

  15. White-gutted soldiers: simplification of the digestive tube for a non-particulate diet in higher Old World termites (Isoptera: Termitidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheffrahn, R H; Bourguignon, T; Bordereau, C; Hernandez-Aguilar, R A; Oelze, V M; Dieguez, P; Šobotnik, J; Pascual-Garrido, A

    2017-01-01

    Previous observations have noted that in some species of higher termites the soldier caste lacks pigmented particles in its gut and, instead, is fed worker saliva that imparts a whitish coloration to the abdomen. In order to investigate the occurrence of this trait more thoroughly, we surveyed a broad diversity of termite specimens and taxonomic descriptions from the Old World subfamilies Apicotermitinae, Cubitermitinae, Foraminitermitinae, Macrotermitinae, and Termitinae. We identified 38 genera that have this "white-gutted" soldier (WGS) trait. No termite soldiers from the New World were found to possess a WGS caste. Externally, the WGS is characterized by a uniformly pale abdomen, hyaline gut, and proportionally smaller body-to-head volume ratio compared with their "dark-gutted" soldier (DGS) counterparts found in most termitid genera. The WGS is a fully formed soldier that, unlike soldiers in other higher termite taxa, has a small, narrow, and decompartmentalized digestive tube that lacks particulate food contents. The presumed saliva-nourished WGS have various forms of simplified gut morphologies that have evolved at least six times within the higher termites.

  16. Genes for selenium dependent and independent formate dehydrogenase in the gut microbial communities of three lower, wood-feeding termites and a wood-feeding roach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xinning; Matson, Eric G; Leadbetter, Jared R

    2011-02-01

    The bacterial Wood-Ljungdahl pathway for CO(2)-reductive acetogenesis is important for the nutritional mutualism occurring between wood-feeding insects and their hindgut microbiota. A key step in this pathway is the reduction of CO(2) to formate, catalysed by the enzyme formate dehydrogenase (FDH). Putative selenocysteine- (Sec) and cysteine- (Cys) containing paralogues of hydrogenase-linked FDH (FDH(H)) have been identified in the termite gut acetogenic spirochete, Treponema primitia, but knowledge of their relevance in the termite gut environment remains limited. In this study, we designed degenerate PCR primers for FDH(H) genes (fdhF) and assessed fdhF diversity in insect gut bacterial isolates and the gut microbial communities of termites and cockroaches. The insects examined herein represent three wood-feeding termite families, Termopsidae, Kalotermitidae and Rhinotermitidae (phylogenetically 'lower' termite taxa); the wood-feeding roach family Cryptocercidae (the sister taxon to termites); and the omnivorous roach family Blattidae. Sec and Cys FDH(H) variants were identified in every wood-feeding insect but not the omnivorous roach. Of 68 novel alleles obtained from inventories, 66 affiliated phylogenetically with enzymes from T. primitia. These formed two subclades (37 and 29 phylotypes) almost completely comprised of Sec-containing and Cys-containing enzymes respectively. A gut cDNA inventory showed transcription of both variants in the termite Zootermopsis nevadensis (family Termopsidae). The gene patterns suggest that FDH(H) enzymes are important for the CO(2)-reductive metabolism of uncultured acetogenic treponemes and imply that the availability of selenium, a trace element, shaped microbial gene content in the last common ancestor of dictyopteran, wood-feeding insects, and continues to shape it to this day.

  17. What's inside a Termite's Gut?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales, Asia Liza; Rowton, Edgar; Anderson, Margery; Yourick, Debra

    2017-01-01

    During the Jurassic period (201 million to 145 million years ago), termites up to 15 mm long consumed and recycled vegetation and feces. Since then, termites have evolved into some 3,000 identified species, have colonized every continent except Antarctica, and are major contributors to nutrient cycling and vertebrate food webs (Shaw 2014).…

  18. 16S-rRNA-based analysis of bacterial diversity in the gut of fungus-cultivating termites (Microtermes and Odontotermes species).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makonde, Huxley M; Boga, Hamadi I; Osiemo, Zipporah; Mwirichia, Romano; Mackenzie, Lucy M; Göker, Markus; Klenk, Hans-Peter

    2013-11-01

    The interaction between termites and their gut symbionts has continued to attract the curiosity of researchers over time. The aim of this study was to characterize and compare the bacterial diversity and community structure in the guts of three termites (Odontotermes somaliensis, Odontotermes sp. and Microtermes sp.) using 16S rRNA gene sequencing of clone libraries. Clone libraries were screened by restriction fragment length polymorphism and representative clones from O. somaliensis (100 out of 330 clones), Odontotermes sp. (100 out of 359 clones) and Microtermes sp. (96 out 336 clones) were sequenced. Phylogenetic analysis indicated seven bacterial phyla were represented: Bacteroidetes, Spirochaetes, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Synergistetes, Planctomycetes and Actinobacteria. Sequences representing the phylum Bacteroidetes (>60 %) were the most abundant group in Odontotermes while those of Spirochaetes (29 %) and Firmicutes (23 %) were the abundant groups in Microtermes. The gut bacterial community structure within the two Odontotermes species investigated here was almost identical at the phylum level, but the Microtermes sp. had a unique bacterial community structure. Bacterial diversity was higher in Odontotermes than in Microtermes. The affiliation and clustering of the sequences, often with those from other termites' guts, indicate a majority of the gut bacteria are autochthonous having mutualistic relationships with their hosts. The findings underscore the presence of termite-specific bacterial lineages, the majority of which are still uncultured.

  19. Nitrate reduction, nitrous oxide formation, and anaerobic ammonia oxidation to nitrite in the gut of soil-feeding termites (Cubitermes and Ophiotermes spp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngugi, David Kamanda; Brune, Andreas

    2012-04-01

    Soil-feeding termites play important roles in the dynamics of carbon and nitrogen in tropical soils. Through the mineralization of nitrogenous humus components, their intestinal tracts accumulate enormous amounts of ammonia, and nitrate and nitrite concentrations are several orders of magnitude above those in the ingested soil. Here, we studied the metabolism of nitrate in the different gut compartments of two Cubitermes and one Ophiotermes species using (15)N isotope tracer analysis. Living termites emitted N(2) at rates ranging from 3.8 to 6.8 nmol h(-1) (g fresh wt.)(-1). However, in homogenates of individual gut sections, denitrification was restricted to the posterior hindgut, whereas nitrate ammonification occurred in all gut compartments and was the prevailing process in the anterior gut. Potential rates of nitrate ammonification for the entire intestinal tract were tenfold higher than those of denitrification, implying that ammonification is the major sink for ingested nitrate in the intestinal tract of soil-feeding termites. Because nitrate is efficiently reduced already in the anterior gut, reductive processes in the posterior gut compartments must be fuelled by an endogenous source of oxidized nitrogen species. Quite unexpectedly, we observed an anaerobic oxidation of (15)N-labelled ammonia to nitrite, especially in the P4 section, which is presumably driven by ferric iron; nitrification and anammox activities were not detected. Two of the termite species also emitted substantial amounts of N(2) O, ranging from 0.4 to 3.9 nmol h(-1) (g fresh wt.)(-1), providing direct evidence that soil-feeding termites are a hitherto unrecognized source of this greenhouse gas in tropical soils. © 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. Nitrate reduction, nitrous oxide formation, and anaerobic ammonia oxidation to nitrite in the gut of soil-feeding termites (Cubitermes and Ophiotermes spp.)

    KAUST Repository

    Ngugi, David

    2011-11-28

    Soil-feeding termites play important roles in the dynamics of carbon and nitrogen in tropical soils. Through the mineralization of nitrogenous humus components, their intestinal tracts accumulate enormous amounts of ammonia, and nitrate and nitrite concentrations are several orders of magnitude above those in the ingested soil. Here, we studied the metabolism of nitrate in the different gut compartments of two Cubitermes and one Ophiotermes species using 15N isotope tracer analysis. Living termites emitted N 2 at rates ranging from 3.8 to 6.8nmolh -1 (g fresh wt.) -1. However, in homogenates of individual gut sections, denitrification was restricted to the posterior hindgut, whereas nitrate ammonification occurred in all gut compartments and was the prevailing process in the anterior gut. Potential rates of nitrate ammonification for the entire intestinal tract were tenfold higher than those of denitrification, implying that ammonification is the major sink for ingested nitrate in the intestinal tract of soil-feeding termites. Because nitrate is efficiently reduced already in the anterior gut, reductive processes in the posterior gut compartments must be fuelled by an endogenous source of oxidized nitrogen species. Quite unexpectedly, we observed an anaerobic oxidation of 15N-labelled ammonia to nitrite, especially in the P4 section, which is presumably driven by ferric iron; nitrification and anammox activities were not detected. Two of the termite species also emitted substantial amounts of N 2O, ranging from 0.4 to 3.9nmolh -1 (g fresh wt.) -1, providing direct evidence that soil-feeding termites are a hitherto unrecognized source of this greenhouse gas in tropical soils. © 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  1. Genes for selenium dependent and independent formate dehydrogenase in the gut microbial communities of three lower, wood-feeding termites and a wood-feeding roach

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Xinning; Matson, Eric G.; Leadbetter, Jared R.

    2011-01-01

    The bacterial Wood-Ljungdahl pathway for CO_2-reductive acetogenesis is important for the nutritional mutualism occurring between wood-feeding insects and their hindgut microbiota. A key step in this pathway is the reduction of CO_2 to formate, catalysed by the enzyme formate dehydrogenase (FDH). Putative selenocysteine- (Sec) and cysteine- (Cys) containing paralogues of hydrogenase-linked FDH (FDH_H) have been identified in the termite gut acetogenic spirochet...

  2. Analysis of genes of tetrahydrofolate-dependent metabolism from cultivated spirochaetes and the gut community of the termite Zootermopsis angusticollis

    OpenAIRE

    Salmassi, Tina M.; Leadbetter, Jared R.

    2003-01-01

    The hindguts of wood-feeding termites are the sites of intense, CO_2-reductive acetogenesis. This activity profoundly influences host nutrition and methane emissions. Homoacetogens previously isolated from diverse termites comprised novel taxa belonging to two distinct bacterial phyla, Firmicutes and Spirochaetes. Little else is known about either the diversity or abundance of homoacetogenic species present in any given termite or the genetic details underlying CO_2-reductive acetogenesis by ...

  3. Phylogenetic diversity, localization, and cell morphologies of members of the candidate phylum TG3 and a subphylum in the phylum Fibrobacteres, recently discovered bacterial groups dominant in termite guts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hongoh, Yuichi; Deevong, Pinsurang; Hattori, Satoshi; Inoue, Tetsushi; Noda, Satoko; Noparatnaraporn, Napavarn; Kudo, Toshiaki; Ohkuma, Moriya

    2006-10-01

    Recently we discovered two novel, deeply branching lineages in the domain Bacteria from termite guts by PCR-based analyses of 16S rRNA (Y. Hongoh, P. Deevong, T. Inoue, S. Moriya, S. Trakulnaleamsai, M. Ohkuma, C. Vongkaluang, N. Noparatnaraporn, and T. Kudo, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 71:6590-6599, 2005). Here, we report on the specific detection of these bacteria, the candidate phylum TG3 (Termite Group 3) and a subphylum in the phylum Fibrobacteres, by fluorescence in situ hybridization in the guts of the wood-feeding termites Microcerotermes sp. and Nasutitermes takasagoensis. Both bacterial groups were detected almost exclusively from the luminal fluid of the dilated portion in the hindgut. Each accounted for approximately 10% of the total prokaryotic cells, constituting the second-most dominant groups in the whole-gut microbiota. The detected cells of both groups were in undulate or vibroid forms and apparently resembled small spirochetes. The cell sizes were 0.2 to 0.4 by 1.3 to 6.0 microm and 0.2 to 0.3 by 1.3 to 4.9 microm in the TG3 and Fibrobacteres, respectively. Using PCR screenings with specific primers, we found that both groups are distributed among various termites. The obtained clones formed monophyletic clusters that were delineated by the host genus rather than by the geographic distance, implying a robust association between these bacteria and host termites. TG3 clones were also obtained from a cockroach gut, lake sediment, rice paddy soil, and deep-sea sediments. Our results suggest that the TG3 and Fibrobacteres bacteria are autochthonous gut symbionts of various termites and that the TG3 members are also widely distributed among various other environments.

  4. Catechol 2,3-dioxygenase and other meta-cleavage catabolic pathway genes in the 'anaerobic' termite gut spirochete Treponema primitia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucey, Kaitlyn S; Leadbetter, Jared R

    2014-03-01

    Microorganisms have evolved a spectacular diversity of metabolisms, some of which allow them to overcome environmental constraints, utilize abundant but inaccessible resources and drive nutrient cycling in various ecosystems. The termite hindgut microbial community is optimized to metabolize wood, and in recent years, the in situ physiological and ecological functions of community members have been researched. Spirochetes are abundant in the termite gut, and herein, putative aromatic meta-cleavage pathway genes typical of aerobic pseudomonads were located in genomes of homoacetogenic termite hindgut 'anaerobes', Treponema primitia str. ZAS-1 and ZAS-2. Phylogenetic analyses suggest the T. primitia catechol 2,3-dioxygenase and several other essential meta-pathway genes were acquired from an α-proteobacterium in the distant past to augment several genes T. primitia acquired from anaerobic firmicutes that do not directly catabolize aromatics but can contribute to the final pathway steps. Further, transcripts for each meta-pathway gene were expressed in strictly anaerobic cultures of T. primitia str. ZAS-2 indicative of constitutive pathway expression. Also, the addition of catechol + O(2) to T. primitia liquid cultures resulted in the transient accumulation of trace amounts of the yellow ring cleavage product, hydroxymuconic semialdehyde. This is the first evidence of aromatic ring cleavage in the phylum (division) Spirochetes. Results also support a possible role for T. primitia in termite hindgut O(2) /lignin aromatic monomer metabolism. Potential O(2) -dependent yet nonrespiratory microbial metabolisms have heretofore been overlooked and warrant further investigation. These metabolisms could describe the degradation of plant-derived and other aromatics in microoxic environments and contribute significantly to carbon turnover. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Genome-wide effects of selenium and translational uncoupling on transcription in the termite gut symbiont Treponema primitia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matson, Eric G; Rosenthal, Adam Z; Zhang, Xinning; Leadbetter, Jared R

    2013-11-12

    When prokaryotic cells acquire mutations, encounter translation-inhibiting substances, or experience adverse environmental conditions that limit their ability to synthesize proteins, transcription can become uncoupled from translation. Such uncoupling is known to suppress transcription of protein-encoding genes in bacteria. Here we show that the trace element selenium controls transcription of the gene for the selenocysteine-utilizing enzyme formate dehydrogenase (fdhFSec) through a translation-coupled mechanism in the termite gut symbiont Treponema primitia, a member of the bacterial phylum Spirochaetes. We also evaluated changes in genome-wide transcriptional patterns caused by selenium limitation and by generally uncoupling translation from transcription via antibiotic-mediated inhibition of protein synthesis. We observed that inhibiting protein synthesis in T. primitia influences transcriptional patterns in unexpected ways. In addition to suppressing transcription of certain genes, the expected consequence of inhibiting protein synthesis, we found numerous examples in which transcription of genes and operons is truncated far downstream from putative promoters, is unchanged, or is even stimulated overall. These results indicate that gene regulation in bacteria allows for specific post-initiation transcriptional responses during periods of limited protein synthesis, which may depend both on translational coupling and on unclassified intrinsic elements of protein-encoding genes. A large body of literature demonstrates that the coupling of transcription and translation is a general and essential method by which bacteria regulate gene expression levels. However, the potential role of noncanonical amino acids in regulating transcriptional output via translational control remains, for the most part, undefined. Furthermore, the genome-wide transcriptional state in response to translational decoupling is not well quantified. The results presented here suggest that the

  6. Lower Termite Associations with Microbes: Synergy, Protection, and Interplay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brittany Faye Peterson

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Lower-termites are one of the best studied symbiotic systems in insects. Their ability to feed on a nitrogen-poor, wood-based diet with help from symbiotic microbes has been under investigation for almost a century. A unique microbial consortium living in the guts of lower termites is essential for wood-feeding, host and symbiont cellulolytic enzymes synergize each other in the termite gut to increase digestive efficiency. Because of their critical role in digestion, gut microbiota are driving forces in all aspects termite biology. Social living also comes with risks for termites. The combination of group living and a microbe-rich habitat makes termites potentially vulnerable to pathogenic infections; however, the use of entomopathogens for termite control has been largely unsuccessful. One mechanism for this failure may be symbiotic collaboration; i.e., one of the very reasons termites have thrived in the first place. Symbiont contributions are thought to neutralize fungal spores as they pass through the termite gut. Also, when the symbiont community is disrupted pathogen susceptibility increases. These recent discoveries have shed light on novel interactions for symbiotic microbes both within the termite host and with pathogenic invaders. Lower-termite biology is therefore tightly linked to symbiotic associations and their resulting physiological collaborations.

  7. Metabolomic profiling of 13C-labelled cellulose digestion in a lower termite: insights into gut symbiont function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokuda, Gaku; Tsuboi, Yuuri; Kihara, Kumiko; Saitou, Seikou; Moriya, Sigeharu; Lo, Nathan; Kikuchi, Jun

    2014-01-01

    Termites consume an estimated 3–7 billion tonnes of lignocellulose annually, a role in nature which is unique for a single order of invertebrates. Their food is digested with the help of microbial symbionts, a relationship that has been recognized for 200 years and actively researched for at least a century. Although DNA- and RNA-based approaches have greatly refined the details of the process and the identities of the participants, the allocation of roles in space and time remains unclear. To resolve this issue, a pioneer study is reported using metabolomics to chart the in situ catabolism of 13C-cellulose fed to the dampwood species Hodotermopsis sjostedti. The results confirm that the secretion of endogenous cellulases by the host may be significant to the digestive process and indicate that a major contribution by hindgut bacteria is phosphorolysis of cellodextrins or cellobiose. This study provides evidence that essential amino acid acquisition by termites occurs following the lysis of microbial tissue obtained via proctodaeal trophallaxis. PMID:25009054

  8. Mining biomass-degrading genes through Illumina-based de novo sequencing and metagenomic analysis of free-living bacteria in the gut of the lower termite Coptotermes gestroi harvested in Vietnam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Do, Thi Huyen; Nguyen, Thi Thao; Nguyen, Thanh Ngoc; Le, Quynh Giang; Nguyen, Cuong; Kimura, Keitarou; Truong, Nam Hai

    2014-12-01

    The 5.6 Gb metagenome of free-living microbial flora in the gut of the lower termite Coptotermes gestroi, harvested in Vietnam, was sequenced using Illumina technology. Genes related to biomass degradation were mined for a better understanding of biomass digestion in the termite gut and to identify lignocellulolytic enzymes applicable to biofuel production. The sequencing generated 5.4 Gb of useful reads, containing 125,431 ORFs spanning 78,271,365 bp, 80% of which was derived from bacteria. The 12 most abundant bacterial orders were Spirochaetales, Lactobacillales, Bacteroidales, Clostridiales, Enterobacteriales, Pseudomonades, Synergistales, Desulfovibrionales, Xanthomonadales, Burkholderiales, Bacillales, and Actinomycetales, and 1460 species were estimated. Of more than 12,000 ORFs with predicted functions related to carbohydrate metabolism, 587 encoding hydrolytic enzymes for cellulose, hemicellulose, and pectin were identified. Among them, 316 ORFs were related to cellulose degradation, and included β-glucosidases, 6-phospho-β-glucosidases, licheninases, glucan endo-1,3-β-D-glucosidases, endoglucanases, cellulose 1,4-β-cellobiosidases, glucan 1,3-β-glucosidases, and cellobiose phosphorylases. In addition, 259 ORFs were related to hemicellulose degradation, encoding endo-1,4-β-xylanases, α-galactosidases, α-N-arabinofuranosidases, xylan 1,4-β-xylosidases, arabinan endo-1,5-α-L-arabinosidases, endo-1,4-β-mannanases, and α-glucuronidases. Twelve ORFs encoding pectinesterases and pectate lyases were also obtained. To our knowledge, this is the first successful application of Illumina-based de novo sequencing for the analysis of a free-living bacterial community in the gut of a lower termite C. gestroi and for mining genes related to lignocellulose degradation from the gut bacteria. Copyright © 2014 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Transcriptome analysis of the digestive system of a wood-feeding termite (Coptotermes formosanus) revealed a unique mechanism for effective biomass degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geng, Alei; Cheng, Yanbing; Wang, Yongli; Zhu, Daochen; Le, Yilin; Wu, Jian; Xie, Rongrong; Yuan, Joshua S; Sun, Jianzhong

    2018-01-01

    Wood-feeding termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, represents a highly efficient system for biomass deconstruction and utilization. However, the detailed mechanisms of lignin modification and carbohydrate degradation in this system are still largely elusive. In order to reveal the inherent mechanisms for efficient biomass degradation, four different organs (salivary glands, foregut, midgut, and hindgut) within a complete digestive system of a lower termite, C. formosanus , were dissected and collected. Comparative transcriptomics was carried out to analyze these organs using high-throughput RNA sequencing. A total of 71,117 unigenes were successfully assembled, and the comparative transcriptome analyses revealed significant differential distributions of GH (glycosyl hydrolase) genes and auxiliary redox enzyme genes in different digestive organs. Among the GH genes in the salivary glands, the most abundant were GH9, GH22, and GH1 genes. The corresponding enzymes may have secreted into the foregut and midgut to initiate the hydrolysis of biomass and to achieve a lignin-carbohydrate co-deconstruction system. As the most diverse GH families, GH7 and GH5 were primarily identified from the symbiotic protists in the hindgut. These enzymes could play a synergistic role with the endogenous enzymes from the host termite for biomass degradation. Moreover, twelve out of fourteen genes coding auxiliary redox enzymes from the host termite origin were induced by the feeding of lignin-rich diets. This indicated that these genes may be involved in lignin component deconstruction with its redox network during biomass pretreatment. These findings demonstrate that the termite digestive system synergized the hydrolysis and redox reactions in a programmatic process, through different parts of its gut system, to achieve a maximized utilization of carbohydrates. The detailed unique mechanisms identified from the termite digestive system may provide new insights for advanced design of

  10. Trace elements in termites by PIXE analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoshimura, T. E-mail: tsuyoshi@termite.kuwri.kyoto-u.ac.jp; Kagemori, N.; Kawai, S.; Sera, K.; Futatsugawa, S

    2002-04-01

    Trace elements in a Japanese subterranean xylophagous termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, were analyzed by the PIXE method. The total amount of the 14 predominant elements out of 27 detected in an intact termite was higher in a soldier termite (23 000 {mu}g/g) than in a worker termite (10 000 {mu}g/g). A block of wood (Pinus densiflora Sieb. et Zucc.) for termite feed had a much lower concentration (3600 {mu}g/g) compared with that in an intact termite. This probably relates the functional bio-condensation and/or bio-recycling of trace elements in C. formosanus. When a termite was separated into three anatomical parts, head, degutted body and gut, the worker gut contained the highest total amount of the 14 predominant measured elements (31 000 {mu}g/g). This might be correlated with the higher activity of food digestion and energy production in the worker gut. Moreover, the mandible of the soldier head, with an exoskeleton that is intensely hardened, showed a preferential distribution of Mn and Fe. These results suggest that the characteristic localization of elements will be closely related to the functional role of the individual anatomical part of C. formosanus.

  11. Thraustochytrid protists degrade hydrocarbons

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raikar, M.T.; Raghukumar, S.; Vani, V.; David, J.J.; Chandramohan, D.

    Although thraustochytrid protists are known to be of widespread occurrence in the sea, their hydrocarbon-degrading abilities have never been investigated. We isolated thraustochytrids from coastal waters and sediments of Goa coast by enriching MPN...

  12. Characterization and Identification of Cellulolytic Bacteria from gut of Worker Macrotermes gilvus

    OpenAIRE

    Andri Ferbiyanto; Iman Rusmana; Rika Raffiudin

    2015-01-01

    As a social insect, termite colony consists of three castes, i.e. reproductive, soldier, and worker castes. In their role of cellulose digestion, the worker termites use two sources of cellulolytic enzyme that include cellulases produced by the termite and the gut symbions. Macrotermes gilvus classified in mound builder termite, mostly depend on cellulolytic bacteria for cellulose digestion. This study aims to characterize cellulolytic bacteria of termite gut symbionts of worker M. gilvus and...

  13. Layers of Symbiosis - Visualizing the Termite Hindgut Microbial Community

    OpenAIRE

    Leadbetter, Jared

    2007-01-01

    Jared Leadbetter takes us for a nature walk through the diversity of life resident in the termite hindgut - a microenvironment containing 250 different species found nowhere else on Earth. Jared reveals that the symbiosis exhibited by this system is multi-layered and involves not only a relationship between the termite and its gut inhabitants, but also involves a complex web of symbiosis among the gut microbes themselves.

  14. Layers of symbiosis--visualizing the termite hindgut microbial community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leadbetter, Jared

    2007-01-01

    Jared Leadbetter takes us for a nature walk through the diversity of life resident in the termite hindgut--a microenvironment containing 250 different species found nowhere else on Earth. Jared reveals that the symbiosis exhibited by this system is multi-layered and involves not only a relationship between the termite and its gut inhabitants, but also involves a complex web of symbiosis among the gut microbes themselves.

  15. Wood degradation in the digestive tract of the Formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Most wood decomposition in the digestive tract of subterranean termite workers occurs in food vacuoles of flagellate protozoan symbionts in the hindgut. This study uses scanning electron microscopy to analyze the degree of degradation of wood particles in different regions of the termite gut. Gut co...

  16. Potential for nitrogen fixation in fungus-growing termite symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sapountzis, Panagiotis; de Verges, Jane; Rousk, Kathrin

    2016-01-01

    Termites host a gut microbiota of diverse and essential symbionts that enable specialization on dead plant material; an abundant, but nutritionally imbalanced food source. To supplement the severe shortage of dietary nitrogen (N), some termite species make use of diazotrophic bacteria to fix...... atmospheric nitrogen (N2). Fungus-growing termites (subfamily Macrotermitinae) host a fungal exosymbiont (genus Termitomyces) that provides digestive services and the main food source for the termites. This has been thought to obviate the need for N2-fixation by bacterial symbionts. Here, we challenge...... this notion by performing acetylene reduction assays of live colony material to show that N2 fixation is present in two major genera (Macrotermes and Odontotermes) of fungus-growing termites. We compare and discuss fixation rates in relation to those obtained from other termites, and suggest avenues...

  17. Characterization of the core and caste-specific microbiota in the termite, Reticulitermes flavipes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacquelynn eBenjamino

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The hindgut of the termite Reticulitermes flavipes harbors a complex symbiotic community consisting of protists, bacteria, and archaea. These symbionts aid in the digestion of lignocellulose from the termite’s wood meal. Termite hindguts were sampled and the V4 hyper-variable region of the 16S rRNA gene was sequenced and analyzed from individual termites. The core microbiota of worker termites consisted of 69 OTUs at the 97% identity level, grouped into 16 taxa, and together accounted for 67.05% of the sequences from the bacterial community. The core was dominated by Treponema, which contained 36 different OTUs and accounted for ~32% of the sequences, which suggests Treponema spp have an important impact on the overall physiology in the hindgut. Bray-Curtis beta diversity metrics showed that hindgut samples from termites of the same colony were more similar to each other than to samples from other colonies despite possessing a core that accounted for the majority of the sequences. The specific tasks and dietary differences of the termite castes could have an effect on the composition of the microbial community. The hindgut microbiota of termites from the alate castes differed from the worker caste with significantly lower abundances of Treponema and Endomicrobia, which dominated the hindgut microbiota in workers and soldiers. Protist abundances were also quantified in the same samples using qPCR of the 18S rRNA gene. Parabasalia abundances dropped significantly in the winged alates and the Oxymonadida abundances dropped in both alate castes. These data suggest that the changes in diet or overall host physiology affected the protist and bacterial populations in the hindgut. The in-depth bacterial characterization and protist quantification in this study sheds light on the potential community dynamics within the R. flavipes hindgut and identified a large and complex core microbiota in termites obtained from multiple colonies and castes.

  18. Watching termites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carrard, G.

    1983-01-01

    Radioactive tracking techniques are being used to aid the investigation and control of termites. Studies include work related to the restoration of historic buildings when the damage inflicted on the timbers needs to be determined with minimum disturbance to the building. Another investigation has been the radioactive monitoring of pest-control techniques. Scandium-46, lanthanum-140 and gold-198 have been used in different investigations

  19. Multiple levels of synergistic collaboration in termite lignocellulose digestion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael E Scharf

    Full Text Available In addition to evolving eusocial lifestyles, two equally fascinating aspects of termite biology are their mutualistic relationships with gut symbionts and their use of lignocellulose as a primary nutrition source. Termites are also considered excellent model systems for studying the production of bioethanol and renewable bioenergy from 2nd generation (non-food feedstocks. While the idea that gut symbionts are the sole contributors to termite lignocellulose digestion has remained popular and compelling, in recent years host contributions to the digestion process have become increasingly apparent. However, the degree to which host and symbiont, and host enzymes, collaborate in lignocellulose digestion remain poorly understood. Also, how digestive enzymes specifically collaborate (i.e., in additive or synergistic ways is largely unknown. In the present study we undertook translational-genomic studies to gain unprecedented insights into digestion by the lower termite Reticulitermes flavipes and its symbiotic gut flora. We used a combination of native gut tissue preparations and recombinant enzymes derived from the host gut transcriptome to identify synergistic collaborations between host and symbiont, and also among enzymes produced exclusively by the host termite. Our findings provide important new evidence of synergistic collaboration among enzymes in the release of fermentable monosaccharides from wood lignocellulose. These monosaccharides (glucose and pentoses are highly relevant to 2(nd-generation bioethanol production. We also show that, although significant digestion capabilities occur in host termite tissues, catalytic tradeoffs exist that apparently favor mutualism with symbiotic lignocellulose-digesting microbes. These findings contribute important new insights towards the development of termite-derived biofuel processing biotechnologies and shed new light on selective forces that likely favored symbiosis and, subsequently, group living in

  20. Phylogenetic diversity and whole-cell hybridization of oxymonad flagellates from the hindgut of the wood-feeding lower termite Reticulitermes flavipes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stingl, Ulrich; Brune, Andreas

    2003-04-01

    SSU rRNA genes of oxymonad protists from the hindgut of the wood-feeding termite Reticulitermes flavipes were PCR-amplified using a newly designed oxymonad-specific forward primer and a newly designed reverse primer specific for termite gut flagellates. After cloning, the clone library was sorted into four groups by RFLP analysis and nearly full-length SSU rRNA gene sequences were obtained for representative clones from each group. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that sequences of all four groups formed a monophyletic cluster with the only other existing SSU rRNA gene sequence of oxymonads. Using whole-cell hybridization with clone-specific fluorescently labeled probes, each of the four clone groups could be assigned to a specific morphotype, which were identified as Dinenympha gracilis, Dinenympha fimbriata, and so-far undescribed species of Pyrsonympha and Dinenympha. Our results demonstrate that the morphological variety of oxymonads is not caused by the presence of different developmental stages of the same organism, but that the various morphotypes represent different species.

  1. Biosensors for termite control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farkhanda, M.

    2013-12-01

    Termites are major urban pests in Pakistan and cause damage to wooden structures and buildings. Termite management has two parts: prevention and control. The most difficult part of termite control is termite detection as most of them are subterranean in Pakistan and have tunneling habit.Throughout the world, chemical termiticides are going to be replaced by baits, microwave and sensor technology. Termite species are distinct biologically and have specific foraging behaviors. Termite Detection Radar, Moisture meter and Remote Thermal Sensor with Laser are available throughout the world. These can detect termites underground and use fewer chemicals than traditional methods. For wooden buildings, a termite sensor and an intrusion detection system for detecting termites are designed. A pair of electrodes is disposed inside the container. A pair of terminals is connected to these electrodes, these extend outside the container. Termites are detected by a change of conductivity between the electrodes, when termites are detected a warning device generates a warning signal. In Pakistan, there is dire need to develop such biosensoring devices locally, then apply control methods that would save money and protect the environment.

  2. Adaptations in bacterial and fungal communities to termite fungiculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Otani, Saria

    Nearly 30 MYA, a subfamily of termites, Macrotermitinae, started an obligate mutualistic relationship with the basidiomycete fungus Termitomyces. Fungus-growing termites maintain the ectosymbiont in optimal growth conditions and Termitomyces provides the food source and an external plant decompos......Nearly 30 MYA, a subfamily of termites, Macrotermitinae, started an obligate mutualistic relationship with the basidiomycete fungus Termitomyces. Fungus-growing termites maintain the ectosymbiont in optimal growth conditions and Termitomyces provides the food source and an external plant...... in the bacterial and fungal communities. To do this, we used pyrosequencing, fluorescent in situ hybridisation, light and confocal microscopy, enzymatic assays, chemical extractions, in vitro assays, and feeding experiments in this thesis work to elucidate these predicted changes in fungus-growing termite...... in the proportion of fungal material provided to the cockroaches. However, gut microbiotas remained distinct from those of termites after Termitomyces-feeding, indicating that a fungal diet can play a role in structuring gut community composition, but at the same time exemplifies how original community compositions...

  3. Stenoxybacter acetivorans gen. nov., sp. nov., an acetate-oxidizing obligate microaerophile among diverse O2-consuming bacteria from termite guts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wertz, John T; Breznak, John A

    2007-11-01

    In termite hindguts, fermentative production of acetate--a major carbon and energy source for the insect--depends on efficient removal of inwardly diffusing oxygen by microbes residing on and near the hindgut wall. However, little is known about the identity of these organisms or about the substrate(s) used to support their respiratory activity. A cultivation-based approach was used to isolate O(2)-consuming organisms from hindguts of Reticulitermes flavipes. A consistently greater (albeit not statistically significant) number of colonies developed under hypoxia (2% [vol/vol] O(2)) than under air, and the increase coincided with the appearance of morphologically distinct colonies of a novel, rod-shaped, obligately microaerophilic beta-proteobacterium that was <95% similar (based on the 16S rRNA gene sequence) to its closest known relative (Eikenella corrodens). Nearly identical organisms (and/or their 16S rRNA genes) were obtained from geographically separated and genetically distinct populations of Reticulitermes. PCR-based procedures implied that the novel isolates were autochthonous to the hindgut of R. flavipes and comprised ca. 2 to 7% of the hindgut prokaryote community. Representative strain TAM-DN1 utilized acetate and a limited range of other organic and amino acids as energy sources and possessed catalase and superoxide dismutase. On solid medium, the optimal O(2) concentration for growth was about 2%, and no growth occurred with O(2) concentrations above 4% or under anoxia. However, cells in liquid medium could grow with higher O(2) concentrations (up to 16%), but only after proportionately extended lag phases. The genetic and physiological distinctiveness of TAM-DN1 and related strains supports their recognition as a new genus and species, for which the name Stenoxybacter acetivorans gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed.

  4. The complexities of hydrolytic enzymes from the termite digestive system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saadeddin, Anas

    2014-06-01

    The main challenge in second generation bioethanol production is the efficient breakdown of cellulose to sugar monomers (hydrolysis). Due to the recalcitrant character of cellulose, feedstock pretreatment and adapted hydrolysis steps are needed to obtain fermentable sugar monomers. The conventional industrial production process of second-generation bioethanol from biomass comprises several steps: thermochemical pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis and sugar fermentation. This process is undergoing continuous optimization in order to increase the bioethanol yield and reduce the economic cost. Therefore, the discovery of new enzymes with high lignocellulytic activity or new strategies is extremely important. In nature, wood-feeding termites have developed a sophisticated and efficient cellulose degrading system in terms of the rate and extent of cellulose hydrolysis and exploitation. This system, which represents a model for digestive symbiosis has attracted the attention of biofuel researchers. This review describes the termite digestive system, gut symbionts, termite enzyme resources, in vitro studies of isolated enzymes and lignin degradation in termites.

  5. Soil Protists Diversity, Distribution and Ecological Functioning

    OpenAIRE

    Geisen, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    Soil protists occupy key nodes in soil food webs due to their high abundance, fast turnover and functional importance as bacterial grazers. However, methodological drawbacks obscure the knowledge of soil protists, so that many taxa remain unknown. The structure of natural protist communities and taxa-specific ecological functions are also largely unknown. This thesis aims to increase the knowledge on soil protists using a variety of approaches. In the first part, naked amoebae being pres...

  6. Complementary symbiont contributions to plant decomposition in a fungus-farming termite

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poulsen, Michael; Hu, Haofu; Li, Cai; Chen, Zhensheng; Xu, Luohao; Otani, Saria; Nygaard, Sanne; Nobre, Tania; Klaubauf, S.; Schindler, Philipp M; Hauser, Frank; Pan, Hailin; Yang, Zhikai; Sonnenberg, Anton S M; de Beer, Z Wilhelm; Zhang, Yong; Wingfield, Michael J; Grimmelikhuijzen, Cornelis J P; de Vries, Ronald P; Korb, Judith; Aanen, Duur K; Wang, Jun; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Zhang, Guojie; van den Brink, J.

    2014-01-01

    Termites normally rely on gut symbionts to decompose organic matter but the Macrotermitinae domesticated Termitomyces fungi to produce their own food. This transition was accompanied by a shift in the composition of the gut microbiota, but the complementary roles of these bacteria in the symbiosis

  7. Complementary symbiont contributions to plant decomposition in a fungus-farming termite

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomas-Poulsen, Michael; Hu, Haofu; Li, Cai

    2014-01-01

    Termites normally rely on gut symbionts to decompose organic matter but the Macrotermitinae domesticated Termitomyces fungi to produce their own food. This transition was accompanied by a shift in the composition of the gut microbiota, but the complementary roles of these bacteria in the symbiosi...

  8. Single-Cell DNA barcoding using sequences from the small subunit rRNA and internal transcribed spacer region identifies new species of Trichonympha and Trichomitopsis from the hindgut of the termite Zootermopsis angusticollis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera Tai

    Full Text Available To aid in their digestion of wood, lower termites are known to harbour a diverse community of prokaryotes as well as parabasalid and oxymonad protist symbionts. One of the best-studied lower termite gut communities is that of Zootermopsis angusticollis which has been known for almost 100 years to possess 3 species of Trichonympha (T. campanula, T. collaris, and T. sphaerica, 1 species of Trichomitopsis (T. termopsidis, as well as smaller flagellates. We have re-assessed this community by sequencing the small subunit (SSU rRNA gene and the internal transcribed spacer (ITS region from a large number of single Trichonympha and Trichomitopsis cells for which morphology was also documented. Based on phylogenetic clustering and sequence divergence, we identify 3 new species: Trichonympha postcylindrica, Trichomitopsis minor, and Trichomitopsis parvus spp. nov. Once identified by sequencing, the morphology of the isolated cells for all 3 new species was re-examined and found to be distinct from the previously described species: Trichonympha postcylindrica can be morphologically distinguished from the other Trichonympha species by an extension on its posterior end, whereas Trichomitopsis minor and T. parvus are smaller than T. termopsidis but similar in size to each other and cannot be distinguished based on morphology using light microscopy. Given that Z. angusticollis has one of the best characterized hindgut communities, the near doubling of the number of the largest and most easily identifiable symbiont species suggests that the diversity of hindgut symbionts is substantially underestimated in other termites as well. Accurate descriptions of the diversity of these microbial communities are essential for understanding hindgut ecology and disentangling the interactions among the symbionts, and molecular barcoding should be a priority for these systems.

  9. Single-Cell DNA barcoding using sequences from the small subunit rRNA and internal transcribed spacer region identifies new species of Trichonympha and Trichomitopsis from the hindgut of the termite Zootermopsis angusticollis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tai, Vera; James, Erick R; Perlman, Steve J; Keeling, Patrick J

    2013-01-01

    To aid in their digestion of wood, lower termites are known to harbour a diverse community of prokaryotes as well as parabasalid and oxymonad protist symbionts. One of the best-studied lower termite gut communities is that of Zootermopsis angusticollis which has been known for almost 100 years to possess 3 species of Trichonympha (T. campanula, T. collaris, and T. sphaerica), 1 species of Trichomitopsis (T. termopsidis), as well as smaller flagellates. We have re-assessed this community by sequencing the small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene and the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region from a large number of single Trichonympha and Trichomitopsis cells for which morphology was also documented. Based on phylogenetic clustering and sequence divergence, we identify 3 new species: Trichonympha postcylindrica, Trichomitopsis minor, and Trichomitopsis parvus spp. nov. Once identified by sequencing, the morphology of the isolated cells for all 3 new species was re-examined and found to be distinct from the previously described species: Trichonympha postcylindrica can be morphologically distinguished from the other Trichonympha species by an extension on its posterior end, whereas Trichomitopsis minor and T. parvus are smaller than T. termopsidis but similar in size to each other and cannot be distinguished based on morphology using light microscopy. Given that Z. angusticollis has one of the best characterized hindgut communities, the near doubling of the number of the largest and most easily identifiable symbiont species suggests that the diversity of hindgut symbionts is substantially underestimated in other termites as well. Accurate descriptions of the diversity of these microbial communities are essential for understanding hindgut ecology and disentangling the interactions among the symbionts, and molecular barcoding should be a priority for these systems.

  10. Diversity of Nitrogen Fixation Genes in the Symbiotic Intestinal Microflora of the Termite Reticulitermes speratus

    OpenAIRE

    Ohkuma, M.; Noda, S.; Usami, R.; Horikoshi, K.; Kudo, T.

    1996-01-01

    The diversity of nitrogen-fixing organisms in the symbiotic intestinal microflora of a lower termite, Reticulitermes speratus, was investigated without culturing the resident microorganisms. Fragments of the nifH gene, which encodes the dinitrogenase reductase, were directly amplified from the DNA of the mixed microbial population in the termite gut and were clonally isolated. The phylogenetic analysis of the nifH product amino acid sequences showed that there was a remarkable diversity of ni...

  11. IDENTIFICATION, PRODUCTION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF NOVEL LIGNASE PROTEINS FROM TERMITES FOR DEPOLYMERIZATION OF LIGNOCELLULOSE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    SLACK, JEFFREY, M.

    2012-12-06

    Wood is a potential source for biofuels such as ethanol if it can be digested into sugars and fermented by yeast. Biomass derived from wood is a challenging substrate for ethanol production since it is made of lignin and cellulose which cannot be broken down easily into fermentable sugars. Some insects, and termites in particular, are specialized at using enzymes in their guts to digest wood into sugars. If termite gut enzymes could be made abundantly by a recombinant protein expression vector system, they could be applied to an industrial process to make biofuels from wood. In this study, a large cDNA library of relevant termite genes was made using termites fed a normal diet, or a diet with added lignin. A subtracted library yielded genes that were overexpressed in the presence of lignin. Termite gut enzyme genes were identified and cloned into recombinant insect viruses called baculoviruses. Using our PERLXpress system for protein expression, these termite gene recombinant baculoviruses were prepared and used to infect insect larvae, which then expressed abundant recombinant termite enzymes. Many of these expressed enzymes were prepared to very high purity, and the activities were studied in conjunction with collaborators at Purdue University. Recombinant termite enzymes expressed in caterpillars were shown to be able to release sugars from wood. Mixing different combinations of these enzymes increased the amount of sugars released from a model woody biomass substrate. The most economical, fastest and energy conserving way to prepare termite enzymes expressed by recombinant baculoviruses in caterpillars was by making crude liquid homogenates. Making enzymes stable in homogenates therefore was a priority. During the course of these studies, improvements were made to the recombinant baculovirus expression platform so that caterpillar-derived homogenates containing expressed termite enzymes would be more stable. These improvements in the baculoviruses included

  12. Diversity and resilience of the wood-feeding higher termiteMironasutitermes shangchengensisgut microbiota in response to temporal and diet variations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ying; Su, Lijuan; Huang, Shi; Bo, Cunpei; Yang, Sen; Li, Yan; Wang, Fengqin; Xie, Hui; Xu, Jian; Song, Andong

    2016-11-01

    Termites are considered among the most efficient bioreactors, with high capacities for lignocellulose degradation and utilization. Recently, several studies have characterized the gut microbiota of diverse termites. However, the temporal dynamics of the gut microbiota within a given termite with dietary diversity are poorly understood. Here, we employed 16S rDNA barcoded pyrosequencing analysis to investigate temporal changes in bacterial diversity and richness of the gut microbiota of wood-feeding higher termite Mironasutitermes shangchengensis under three lignocellulose content-based diets that feature wood, corn stalks, and filter paper. Compositions of the predominant termite gut residents were largely constant among the gut microbiomes under different diets, but each diet caused specific changes in the bacterial composition over time. Notably, microbial communities exhibited an unexpectedly strong resilience during continuous feeding on both corn stalks and filter paper. Members of five bacterial phyla, that is, Spirochaetes, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Tenericutes, and Acidobacteria, were strongly associated with the resilience. These findings provide insights into the stability of the gut microbiota in higher termites and have important implications for the future design of robust bioreactors for lignocellulose degradation and utilization.

  13. Phylogenetic diversity of Archaea in the intestinal tract of termites from different lineages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Yu; Huang, Zhou; Han, Shuai; Fan, Shuo; Yang, Hong

    2015-08-01

    Termites are among the few arthropods that emit methane to the atmosphere, which is a significant source of global greenhouse gas due to their huge biomass on earth. In this study, phylogenetic diversity of Archaea of five termite species from different lineages were analyzed based on 16S rRNA genes. Archaea associated with wood-feeding lower termite, R. chinensis were exclusively Methanobrevibacter in the order Methanobacteriales. This type of methanogens was also found in Nasutitermes sp. and Microcerotermes sp. but not in the fungus-cultivating termites, Odontotermes formosanus and Macrotermes barneyi, which harbor Archaea of the order Methanoplasmatales and Methanosarcinales in their guts. Archaeal diversity of wood-feeding higher termites was higher than wood-feeding lower termites. The highest archaeal diversity was found in Nasutitermes sp. In addition to methanogens affiliated with the orders Methanobacteriales, Methanomicrobiales, and Methanoplasmatales, 37% of archaeal clones were affiliated with non-methanogenic Thaumarchaeota. The results of this study will be significant for further understanding of symbiotic relationship between intestinal microbiota and termites. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  14. Enzyme activities at different stages of plant biomass decomposition in three species of fungus-growing termites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    da Costa, Rafael R.; Hu, Haofu; Pilgaard, Bo

    2018-01-01

    contributing to the success of the termites as the main plant decomposers in the Old World. Here we evaluate which plant polymers are decomposed and which enzymes are active during the decomposition process in two major genera of fungus-growing termites. We find a diversity of active enzymes at different......Fungus-growing termites rely on the mutualistic fungus Termitomyces and gut microbes for plant biomass degradation. Due to a certain degree of symbiont complementarity, this tripartite symbiosis has evolved as a complex bioreactor, enabling decomposition of nearly any plant polymer, likely...... stages of decomposition and a consistent decrease in plant components during the decomposition process. Furthermore, our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that termites transport enzymes from the older mature parts of the fungus comb through young worker guts to freshly inoculated plant...

  15. Protist classification and the kingdoms of organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whittaker, R H; Margulis, L

    1978-04-01

    Traditional classification imposed a division into plant-like and animal-like forms on the unicellular eukaryotes, or protists; in a current view the protists are a diverse assemblage of plant-, animal- and fungus-like groups. Classification of these into phyla is difficult because of their relatively simple structure and limited geological record, but study of ultrastructure and other characteristics is providing new insight on protist classification. Possible classifications are discussed, and a summary classification of the living world into kingdoms (Monera, Protista, Fungi, Animalia, Plantae) and phyla is suggested. This classification also suggests groupings of phyla into superphyla and form-superphyla, and a broadened kingdom Protista (including green algae, oomycotes and slime molds but excluding red and brown algae). The classification thus seeks to offer a compromise between the protist and protoctist kingdoms of Whittaker and Margulis and to combine a full listing of phyla with grouping of these for synoptic treatment.

  16. Extracellular polysaccharide production by Thraustochytrid protists

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Jain, R.; Raghukumar, S.; Tharanathan, R.; Bhosle, N.B.

    Four strains of marine stramenopilan protists, the thraustochytrids, were studied for their ability to produce extracellular polysaccharides (EPSs). Observations by light and scanning electron microscopy revealed the production of a matrix of EPS...

  17. Green house gas emissions from termite ecosystem

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    USER

    of termites (flagellate protozoa in lower termites and bacteria in higher termites) produce methane (CH4). Methane has been considered to be an important greenhouse gas (GHG) contributing significantly to global warming (Thakur et al., 2003). Termites may emit large quantities of methane, carbon dioxide and molecular.

  18. Aerobic and facultative anaerobic bacteria from gut of red palm weevil

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    STORAGESEVER

    2008-05-16

    May 16, 2008 ... in the intestinal termite gut play key physiological functions. These functions are: cellulose and ... facultative anaerobic bacteria isolated from termite's intestine including Burkholderia sp. and Citrobacter sp. .... The diversity of intestinal microbiota signifies the need for special requirements for cultivation.

  19. Determination of the major compounds in the extract of the subterranean termite Macrotermes gilvus Hagen digestive tract by GC-MS method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Subekti

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Degradation of woody components by termites is associated with symbionts inside their digestive tract. In this study, the major compounds were determined in the extract of the termite guts by GC-MS method. Macrotermes gilvus Hagen (worker caste termites were collected and their dissected guts underwent methanol extraction. It was found that the gut of the termites has an alkaline environment (pH 8.83 ± 0.31 that supports the digestion of lignocellulose biomass and also helps to solubilize phenolic and recalcitrant compounds resul­ting from the depolymerization of woody components. The GC-MS analysis showed that termite guts contained hydrophobic organosilicon components including dodecamethylcyclohexasiloxane, tetradecamethylcyclohexa­siloxane, hexadecamethylcyclooctasiloxane, and octasiloxane, 1,1,3,3,5,5,7,7,9,9,11,11,13,13,15,15-hexa­decamethyl. The guts also contained a phytosterol, which was identified as β-sitosterol. Further analysis of these water-insoluble compounds is needed to reveal their importance in termite digestion.

  20. TERMITES ENDANGERED TRADITIONAL MEDICAL PLANTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Syaukani Syaukani

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Surveys on traditional medical plants affected by termites have been conducted since June to August 2010 at Ketambe, northern Aceh. Traditional medical plants and their natural habitats were obtained through interviewing local people. Termites were collected by adopted a Standardized Sampling Protocol and final. taxonomic confirmation was done with the help of Termite Research Group (the Natural History Museum, London. About 20 species of medical plants were attacked by termites with various levels. Nine genera and 20 species were collected from various habitats throughout Ketambe, Simpur as well as Gunung Setan villages. Coffe (Coffea arabica, hazelnut (Aleurites moluccana , and areca (Area catechu were among the worse of traditional medical  plant that had been attached by the termites.

  1. Comparison of the Bacterial Symbiont Composition of the Formosan Subterranean Termite from its Native and Introduced Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husseneder, Claudia; Ho, Huei-Yang; Blackwell, Meredith

    2010-01-01

    We investigated the bacterial composition in the gut of Formosan subterranean termites (FST), Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, collected from southern China (native range) vs. Louisiana, U. S. (introduced range) using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Overall, we identified 213 bacteria ribotypes from thirteen phyla. The enemy release hypothesis could not be invoked to explain invasion success of FST since no pathogens were found among the bacterial gut community regardless of geographic origin. Invasion of new habitats did not significantly change the bacteria composition. Apparently, the tight co-evolutionary link between termites and their gut flora maintains a certain association of species and functional groups. Ribotype richness, bacteria diversity, and proportions of detected phyla were not influenced by geographic origin of FST samples; however, these parameters were affected by storage of the samples. Ethanol storage of termite samples (5 yrs) increased the relative proportions of gram-positive bacteria versus gram-negative bacteria. PMID:21347207

  2. Characterization and Identification of Cellulolytic Bacteria from gut of Worker Macrotermes gilvus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andri Ferbiyanto

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available As a social insect, termite colony consists of three castes, i.e. reproductive, soldier, and worker castes. In their role of cellulose digestion, the worker termites use two sources of cellulolytic enzyme that include cellulases produced by the termite and the gut symbions. Macrotermes gilvus classified in mound builder termite, mostly depend on cellulolytic bacteria for cellulose digestion. This study aims to characterize cellulolytic bacteria of termite gut symbionts of worker M. gilvus and to identify the cellulolytic bacteria based on sequences of 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA gene. Cellulolytic bacteria of termite gut were isolated and cultured in CMC (Carboxymethyl cellulose media. The biochemical characters of bacterial isolates were assayed using Microbact 12A and 12B. Cellulolytic activity was determined based on formation of clear zone and cellulolytic index on CMC plate media. The bacterial isolate that has the highest cellulolytic index was analyzed for its 16S rRNA gene sequences. Four isolates of cellulolytic bacteria were successfully isolated from gut of M. gilvus with aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The highest formation of cellulolytic index (2.5 was revealed by RA2. BLAST-N (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool for Nucleotides result of 16S rRNA gene sequences of RU4 and RA2 isolates showed that the isolate has similarity with Bacillus megaterium and Paracoccus yeei, respectively. This result indicated that RA2 isolate was P. yeei, a cellulolytic bacterium of a termite gut of M. gilvus.

  3. Analysis of extensive [FeFe] hydrogenase gene diversity within the gut microbiota of insects representing five families of Dictyoptera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballor, Nicholas R; Leadbetter, Jared R

    2012-04-01

    We have designed and utilized degenerate primers in the phylogenetic analysis of [FeFe] hydrogenase gene diversity in the gut ecosystems of roaches and lower termites. H(2) is an important free intermediate in the breakdown of wood by termite gut microbial communities, reaching concentrations in some species exceeding those measured for any other biological system. The primers designed target with specificity the largest group of enzymatic H domain proteins previously identified in a termite gut metagenome. "Family 3" hydrogenase sequences were amplified from the guts of lower termites, Incisitermes minor, Zootermopsis nevadensis, and Reticulitermes hesperus, and two roaches, Cryptocercus punctulatus and Periplaneta americana. Subsequent analyses revealed that all termite and Cryptocercus sequences were phylogenetically distinct from non-termite-associated hydrogenases available from public databases. The abundance of unique sequence operational taxonomic units (as many as 21 from each species) underscores the previously demonstrated physiological importance of H(2) to the gut ecosystems of these wood-feeding insects. The diversity of sequences observed might be reflective of multiple niches that the enzymes have been evolved to accommodate. Sequences cloned from Cryptocercus and the lower termite samples, all of which are wood feeding insects, clustered closely with one another in phylogenetic analyses to the exclusion of alleles from P. americana, an omnivorous cockroach, also cloned during this study. We present primers targeting a family of termite gut [FeFe] hydrogenases and provide results that are consistent with a pivotal role for hydrogen in the termite gut ecosystem and point toward unique evolutionary adaptations to the gut ecosystem.

  4. Expanding the knowledge on lignocellulolytic and redox enzymes of worker and soldier castes from the lower termite Coptotermes gestroi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Paulo Lourenço Franco Cairo

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Termites are considered one of the most efficient decomposers of lignocelluloses on Earth due to their ability to produce, along with its microbial symbionts, a repertoire of carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes. Recently, a set of Pro-oxidant, Antioxidant, and Detoxification enzymes (PAD were also correlated with the metabolism of carbohydrates and lignin in termites. The lower termite Coptotermes gestroi is considered the main urban pest in Brazil, causing damage to wood constructions. Recently, analysis of the enzymatic repertoire of C. gestroi unveiled the presence of different CAZymes. Because the gene profile of CAZy/PAD enzymes endogenously synthesized by C. gestroi and also by their symbiotic protists remains unclear, the aim of this study was to explore the eukaryotic repertoire of these enzymes in worker and soldier castes of C. gestroi. Our findings showed that worker and soldier castes present similar repertoires of CAZy/PAD enzymes, and also confirmed that endo-glucanases (GH9 and beta-glucosidases (GH1 were the most important glycoside hydrolase families related to lignocellulose degradation in both castes. Classical cellulases such as exo-glucanases (GH7 and endo-glucanases (GH5 and GH45, as well as classical xylanases (GH10 and GH11, were found in both castes only taxonomically related to protists, highlighting the importance of symbiosis in C. gestroi. Moreover, our analysis revealed the presence of Auxiliary Activity enzyme families (AAs, which could be related to lignin modifications in termite digestomes. In conclusion, this report expanded the knowledge on genes and proteins related to CAZy/PAD enzymes from worker and soldier castes of lower termites, revealing new potential enzyme candidates for second-generation biofuel processes.

  5. Termites as targets and models for biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharf, Michael E

    2015-01-07

    Termites have many unique evolutionary adaptations associated with their eusocial lifestyles. Recent omics research has created a wealth of new information in numerous areas of termite biology (e.g., caste polyphenism, lignocellulose digestion, and microbial symbiosis) with wide-ranging applications in diverse biotechnological niches. Termite biotechnology falls into two categories: (a) termite-targeted biotechnology for pest management purposes, and (b) termite-modeled biotechnology for use in various industrial applications. The first category includes several candidate termiticidal modes of action such as RNA interference, digestive inhibition, pathogen enhancement, antimicrobials, endocrine disruption, and primer pheromone mimicry. In the second category, termite digestomes are deep resources for host and symbiont lignocellulases and other enzymes with applications in a variety of biomass, industrial, and processing applications. Moving forward, one of the most important approaches for accelerating advances in both termite-targeted and termite-modeled biotechnology will be to consider host and symbiont together as a single functional unit.

  6. Profiling the Succession of Bacterial Communities throughout the Life Stages of a Higher Termite Nasutitermes arborum (Termitidae, Nasutitermitinae) Using 16S rRNA Gene Pyrosequencing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diouf, Michel; Roy, Virginie; Mora, Philippe; Frechault, Sophie; Lefebvre, Thomas; Hervé, Vincent; Rouland-Lefèvre, Corinne; Miambi, Edouard

    2015-01-01

    Previous surveys of the gut microbiota of termites have been limited to the worker caste. Termite gut microbiota has been well documented over the last decades and consists mainly of lineages specific to the gut microbiome which are maintained across generations. Despite this intimate relationship, little is known of how symbionts are transmitted to each generation of the host, especially in higher termites where proctodeal feeding has never been reported. The bacterial succession across life stages of the wood-feeding higher termite Nasutitermes arborum was characterized by 16S rRNA gene deep sequencing. The microbial community in the eggs, mainly affiliated to Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria, was markedly different from the communities in the following developmental stages. In the first instar and last instar larvae and worker caste termites, Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria were less abundant than Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Spirochaetes, Fibrobacteres and the candidate phylum TG3 from the last instar larvae. Most of the representatives of these phyla (except Firmicutes) were identified as termite-gut specific lineages, although their relative abundances differed. The most salient difference between last instar larvae and worker caste termites was the very high proportion of Spirochaetes, most of which were affiliated to the Treponema Ic, Ia and If subclusters, in workers. The results suggest that termite symbionts are not transmitted from mother to offspring but become established by a gradual process allowing the offspring to have access to the bulk of the microbiota prior to the emergence of workers, and, therefore, presumably through social exchanges with nursing workers. PMID:26444989

  7. Trichonympha burlesquei n. sp. from Reticulitermes virginicus and evidence against a cosmopolitan distribution of Trichonympha agilis in many termite hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, Erick R; Tai, Vera; Scheffrahn, Rudolf H; Keeling, Patrick J

    2013-10-01

    Historically, symbiotic protists in termite hindguts have been considered to be the same species if they are morphologically similar, even if they are found in different host species. For example, the first-described hindgut and hypermastigote parabasalian, Trichonympha agilis (Leidy, 1877) has since been documented in six species of Reticulitermes, in addition to the original discovery in Reticulitermes flavipes. Here we revisit one of these, Reticulitermes virginicus, using molecular phylogenetic analysis from single-cell isolates and show that the Trichonympha in R. virginicus is distinct from isolates in the type host and describe this novel species as Trichonympha burlesquei n. sp. We also show the molecular diversity of Trichonympha from the type host R. flavipes is greater than supposed, itself probably representing more than one species. All of this is consistent with recent data suggesting a major underestimate of termite symbiont diversity.

  8. EFFECTS OF FIVE DIVERSE LIGNOCELLULOSIC DIETS ON DIGESTIVE ENZYME BIOCHEMISTRY IN THE TERMITE Reticulitermes flavipes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karl, Zachary J; Scharf, Michael E

    2015-10-01

    Termites have recently drawn much attention as models for biomass processing, mainly due to their lignocellulose digestion capabilities and mutualisms with cellulolytic gut symbionts. This research used the lower termite Reticulitermes flavipes to investigate gut enzyme activity changes in response to feeding on five diverse lignocellulosic diets (cellulose filter paper [FP], pine wood [PW], beech wood xylan [X], corn stover [CS], and soybean residue [SB]). Our objectives were to compare whole-gut digestive enzyme activity and host versus symbiont contributions to enzyme activity after feeding on these diets. Our hypothesis was that enzyme activities would vary among diets as an adaptive mechanism enabling termites and symbiota to optimally utilize variable resources. Results support our "diet-adaptation" hypothesis and further indicate that, in most cases, host contributions are greater than those of symbionts with respect to the enzymes and activities studied. The results obtained thus provide indications as to which types of transcriptomic resources, termite or symbiont, are most relevant for developing recombinant enzyme cocktails tailored to specific feedstocks. With regard to the agricultural feedstocks tested (CS and SB), our results suggest endoglucanase and exoglucanase (cellobiohydrolase) activities are most relevant for CS breakdown; whereas endoglucanase and xylosidase activities are relevant for SB breakdown. However, other unexplored activities than those tested may also be important for breakdown of these two feedstocks. These findings provide new protein-level insights into diet adaptation by termites, and also complement host-symbiont metatranscriptomic studies that have been completed for R. flavipes after FP, PW, CS, and SB feeding. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Nitrous Oxide (N2O Emissions by Termites: Does the Feeding Guild Matter?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain Brauman

    Full Text Available In the tropics, termites are major players in the mineralization of organic matter leading to the production of greenhouse gases including nitrous oxide (N2O. Termites have a wide trophic diversity and their N-metabolism depends on the feeding guild. This study assessed the extent to which N2O emission levels were determined by termite feeding guild and tested the hypothesis that termite species feeding on a diet rich in N emit higher levels of N2O than those feeding on a diet low in N. An in-vitro incubation approach was used to determine the levels of N2O production in 14 termite species belonging to different feeding guilds, collected from a wide range of biomes. Fungus-growing and soil-feeding termites emit N2O. The N2O production levels varied considerably, ranging from 13.14 to 117.62 ng N2O-N d(-1 (g dry wt.(-1 for soil-feeding species, with Cubitermes spp. having the highest production levels, and from 39.61 to 65.61 ng N2O-N d(-1 (g dry wt.(-1 for fungus-growing species. Wood-feeding termites were net N2O consumers rather than N2O producers with a consumption ranging from 16.09 to 45.22 ng N2O-N d(-1 (g dry wt.(-1. Incubating live termites together with their mound increased the levels of N2O production by between 6 and 13 fold for soil-feeders, with the highest increase in Capritermes capricornis, and between 14 and 34 fold for fungus-growers, with the highest increase in Macrotermes muelleri. Ammonia-oxidizing (amoA-AOB and amoA-AOA and denitrifying (nirK, nirS, nosZ gene markers were detected in the guts of all termite species studied. No correlation was found between the abundance of these marker genes and the levels of N2O production from different feeding guilds. Overall, these results support the hypothesis that N2O production rates were higher in termites feeding on substrates with higher N content, such as soil and fungi, compared to those feeding on N-poor wood.

  10. Nitrous Oxide (N2O) Emissions by Termites: Does the Feeding Guild Matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brauman, Alain; Majeed, Muhammad Zeeshan; Buatois, Bruno; Robert, Alain; Pablo, Anne-Laure; Miambi, Edouard

    2015-01-01

    In the tropics, termites are major players in the mineralization of organic matter leading to the production of greenhouse gases including nitrous oxide (N2O). Termites have a wide trophic diversity and their N-metabolism depends on the feeding guild. This study assessed the extent to which N2O emission levels were determined by termite feeding guild and tested the hypothesis that termite species feeding on a diet rich in N emit higher levels of N2O than those feeding on a diet low in N. An in-vitro incubation approach was used to determine the levels of N2O production in 14 termite species belonging to different feeding guilds, collected from a wide range of biomes. Fungus-growing and soil-feeding termites emit N2O. The N2O production levels varied considerably, ranging from 13.14 to 117.62 ng N2O-N d(-1) (g dry wt.)(-1) for soil-feeding species, with Cubitermes spp. having the highest production levels, and from 39.61 to 65.61 ng N2O-N d(-1) (g dry wt.)(-1) for fungus-growing species. Wood-feeding termites were net N2O consumers rather than N2O producers with a consumption ranging from 16.09 to 45.22 ng N2O-N d(-1) (g dry wt.)(-1). Incubating live termites together with their mound increased the levels of N2O production by between 6 and 13 fold for soil-feeders, with the highest increase in Capritermes capricornis, and between 14 and 34 fold for fungus-growers, with the highest increase in Macrotermes muelleri. Ammonia-oxidizing (amoA-AOB and amoA-AOA) and denitrifying (nirK, nirS, nosZ) gene markers were detected in the guts of all termite species studied. No correlation was found between the abundance of these marker genes and the levels of N2O production from different feeding guilds. Overall, these results support the hypothesis that N2O production rates were higher in termites feeding on substrates with higher N content, such as soil and fungi, compared to those feeding on N-poor wood.

  11. Protist Collections: Essential for Future Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    d'Avila-Levy, Claudia M; Yurchenko, Vyacheslav; Votýpka, Jan; Grellier, Philippe

    2016-11-01

    The vouchered deposit of protist type specimens in institution-maintained collections is a prerequisite for species description, and greatly enhances the chances of sample availability and preservation for future generations. However, specimens are currently most often deposited in personal collections maintained by the individual effort of researchers. We discuss the disadvantages of such a scenario and propose a change to this arrangement. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Review of termite forest ecology and opportunities to investigate the relationship of termites to fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher Peterson

    2010-01-01

    In forests, termites serve as “soil engineers,” translocating mineral soil to the surface, constructing macropores to improve water infiltration, increase soil minerals and organic carbon, facilitate the growth of microbes and affect the growth of vegetation. The future productivity of a forest site therefore depends to some degree on termite activity. Termites could...

  13. Chpater 11: Research Methods for Entomopathogenic Microsporidia and Other Protists

    Science.gov (United States)

    The focus in this chapter is on those groups of protists that are pathogenic to their insect hosts, although some basic data necessary for the identification of non-pathogenic taxa are provided. Protist-insect symbiotic relationships reflect the full range of possible interactions, from commensalis...

  14. Egg care by termite soldiers

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hanus, Robert; Šobotník, Jan; Čížek, Lukáš

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 52, - (2005), 357-359 ISSN 0020-1812 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA203/05/2146 Grant - others:NSF(US) DEB-97-07928; NSF(US) DEB-02-11591 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : termite soldier * egg transport Subject RIV: CB - Analytical Chemistry, Separation Impact factor: 1.618, year: 2005

  15. Identification of Termite Species by the Hydrocarbons in their Feces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael I. Haverty; R. Joseph Woodrow; Lori J. Nelson; J. Kenneth Grace

    2005-01-01

    Blends of abundant cuticular hydrocarbons are species-specific for termites (Isoptera) and can be used to identify a given taxon without the diagnostic castes, soldiers or adults. We demonstrate that hydrocarbon extracts of termite fecal pellets from damaged wood can also be characterized and used to identify termites responsible for damage, even though termites are no...

  16. Functional symbiosis and communication in microbial ecosystems. The case of wood-eating termites and cockroaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berlanga, Mercedes

    2015-09-01

    Animal hosts typically have strong specificity for microbial symbionts and their functions. The symbiotic relationships have enhanced the limited metabolic networks of most eukaryotes by contributing several prokaryotic metabolic capabilities, such as methanogenesis, chemolithoautotrophy, nitrogen assimilation, etc. This review will examine the characteristics that determine bacterial "fidelity" to certain groups of animals (e.g., xylophagous insects, such as termites and cockroaches) over generations and throughout evolution. The hindgut bacteria of wood-feeding termites and cockroaches belong to several phyla, including Proteobacteria, especially Deltaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Actinomycetes, Spirochetes, Verrucomicrobia, and Actinobacteria, as detected by 16S rRNA. Termites effectively feed on many types of lignocelluloses assisted by their gut microbial symbionts. Although the community structures differ between the hosts (termites and cockroaches), with changes in the relative abundances of particular bacterial taxa, the composition of the bacterial community could reflect at least in part the host evolution in that the microbiota may derive from the microbiota of a common ancestor. Therefore, factors other than host phylogeny, such as diet could have had strong influence in shaping the bacterial community structure. Copyright© by the Spanish Society for Microbiology and Institute for Catalan Studies.

  17. Lignin-associated metagene expression in a lignocellulose-digesting termite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sethi, Amit; Slack, Jeffrey M; Kovaleva, Elena S; Buchman, George W; Scharf, Michael E

    2013-01-01

    Lignin is a component of plant biomass that presents a significant obstacle to biofuel production. It is composed of a highly stable phenylpropanoid matrix that upon degradation, releases toxic metabolites. Termites have specialized digestive systems that overcome the lignin barrier in wood lignocellulose to efficiently release fermentable simple sugars; however, how termites specifically degrade lignin and tolerate its toxic byproducts remains unknown. Here, using the termite Reticulitermes flavipes and its symbiotic (protozoan) gut fauna as a model system, we used high throughput Roche 454-titanium pyrosequencing and proteomics approaches to (i) experimentally compare the effects of diets containing varying degrees of lignin complexity on host-symbiont digestome composition, (ii) deeply sample host and symbiont lignocellulase diversity, and (iii) identify promising lignocellulase candidates for functional characterization. In addition to revealing over 9500 differentially expressed transcripts related to a wide range of physiological processes, our findings reveal two detoxification enzyme families not generally considered in connection with lignocellulose digestion: aldo-keto reductases and catalases. Recombinant versions of two host enzymes from these enzyme families, which apparently play no roles in cellulose or hemicellulose digestion, significantly enhance lignocellulose saccharification by cocktails of host and symbiont cellulases. These hypothesis-driven results provide important new insights into (i) dietary lignin as a xenobiotic challenge, (ii) the complex mechanisms used by termites to cope with their lignin-rich diets, and (iii) novel lignin-targeted enzymatic approaches to enhance biofuel and biomaterial production. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Chromosomes of Protists: The crucible of evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soyer-Gobillard, Marie-Odile; Dolan, Michael F

    2015-12-01

    As early as 1925, the great protozoologist Edouard Chatton classified microorganisms into two categories, the prokaryotic and the eukaryotic microbes, based on light microscopical observation of their nuclear organization. Now, by means of transmission electron microscopy, we know that prokaryotic microbes are characterized by the absence of nuclear envelope surrounding the bacterial chromosome, which is more or less condensed and whose chromatin is deprived of histone proteins but presents specific basic proteins. Eukaryotic microbes, the protists, have nuclei surrounded by a nuclear envelope and have chromosomes more or less condensed, with chromatin-containing histone proteins organized into nucleosomes. The extraordinary diversity of mitotic systems presented by the 36 phyla of protists (according to Margulis et al., Handbook of Protoctista, 1990) is in contrast to the relative homogeneity of their chromosome structure and chromatin components. Dinoflagellates are the exception to this pattern. The phylum is composed of around 2000 species, and characterized by unique features including their nucleus (dinokaryon), dinomitosis, chromosome organization and chromatin composition. Although their DNA synthesis is typically eukaryotic, dinoflagellates are the only eukaryotes in which the chromatin, organized into quasi-permanently condensed chromosomes, is in some species devoid of histones and nucleosomes. In these cases, their chromatin contains specific DNA-binding basic proteins. The permanent compaction of their chromosomes throughout the cell cycle raises the question of the modalities of their division and their transcription. Successful in vitro reconstitution of nucleosomes using dinoflagellate DNA and heterologous corn histones raises questions about dinoflagellate evolution and phylogeny. [Int Microbiol 18(4):209-216 (2015)]. Copyright© by the Spanish Society for Microbiology and Institute for Catalan Studies.

  19. Termite-egg mimicry by a sclerotium-forming fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuura, Kenji

    2006-05-22

    Mimicry has evolved in a wide range of organisms and encompasses diverse tactics for defence, foraging, pollination and social parasitism. Here, I report an extraordinary case of egg mimicry by a fungus, whereby the fungus gains competitor-free habitat in termite nests. Brown fungal balls, called 'termite balls', are frequently found in egg piles of Reticulitermes termites. Phylogenetic analysis illustrated that termite-ball fungi isolated from different hosts (Reticulitermes speratus, Reticulitermes flavipes and Reticulitermes virginicus) were all very similar, with no significant molecular differences among host species or geographical locations. I found no significant effect of termite balls on egg survivorship. The termite-ball fungus rarely kills termite eggs in natural colonies. Even a termite species (Reticulitermes okinawanus) with no natural association with the fungus tended termite balls along with its eggs when it was experimentally provided with termite balls. Dummy-egg bioassays using glass beads showed that both morphological and chemical camouflage were necessary to induce tending by termites. Termites almost exclusively tended termite balls with diameters that exactly matched their egg size. Moreover, scanning electron microscopic observations revealed sophisticated mimicry of the smooth surface texture of eggs. These results provide clear evidence that this interaction is beneficial only for the fungus, i.e. termite balls parasitically mimic termite eggs.

  20. Development of an ecophysiological model for Diplosphaera colotermitum TAV2, a termite hindgut Verrucomicrobium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isanapong, Jantiya; Sealy Hambright, W; Willis, Austin G; Boonmee, Atcha; Callister, Stephen J; Burnum, Kristin E; Paša-Tolić, Ljiljana; Nicora, Carrie D; Wertz, John T; Schmidt, Thomas M; Rodrigues, Jorge Lm

    2013-09-01

    Termite hindguts are populated by a dense and diverse community of microbial symbionts working in concert to transform lignocellulosic plant material and derived residues into acetate, to recycle and fix nitrogen, and to remove oxygen. Although much has been learned about the breadth of microbial diversity in the hindgut, the ecophysiological roles of its members is less understood. In this study, we present new information about the ecophysiology of microorganism Diplosphaera colotermitum strain TAV2, an autochthonous member of the Reticulitermes flavipes gut community. An integrated high-throughput approach was used to determine the transcriptomic and proteomic profiles of cells grown under hypoxia (2% O2) or atmospheric (20% O2) concentrations of oxygen. Our results revealed that genes and proteins associated with energy production and utilization, carbohydrate transport and metabolism, nitrogen fixation, and replication and recombination were upregulated under 2% O2. The metabolic map developed for TAV2 indicates that this microorganism may be involved in biological nitrogen fixation, amino-acid production, hemicellulose degradation and consumption of O2 in the termite hindgut. Variation of O2 concentration explained 55.9% of the variance in proteomic profiles, suggesting an adaptive evolution of TAV2 to the hypoxic periphery of the hindgut. Our findings advance the current understanding of microaerophilic microorganisms in the termite gut and expand our understanding of the ecological roles for members of the phylum Verrucomicrobia.

  1. Development of an ecophysiological model for Diplosphaera colotermitum TAV2, a termite hindgut Verrucomicrobium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Isanapong, Jantiya; Hambright, Sealy; Willis, Austin G.; Boonmee, Atcha; Callister, Stephen J.; Burnum-Johnson, Kristin E.; Pasa-Tolic, Ljiljana; Nicora, Carrie D.; Wertz, John T.; Schmidt, Thomas; Rodrigues, Jorge L.

    2013-09-01

    Termite hindguts are populated by a dense and diverse community of microbial symbionts working in concert to transform lignocellulosic plant material and derived residues into acetate, to recycle and fix nitrogen, and to remove oxygen. Although much has been learned about the breadth of microbial diversity in the hindgut, the ecophysiological roles of its members is less understood. In this study, we present new information about the ecophysiology of microorganism Diplosphaera colotermitum strain TAV2, an autochthonous member of the Reticulitermes flavipes gut community. An integrated high-throughput approach was used to determine the transcriptomic and proteomic profiles of cells grown under hypoxia (2% O2) or atmospheric (20% O2) concentrations of oxygen. Our results revealed that genes and proteins associated with energy production and utilization, carbohydrate transport and metabolism, nitrogen fixation, and replication and recombination were upregulated under 2% O2. The metabolic map developed for TAV2 indicates that this microorganism may be involved in biological nitrogen fixation, amino-acid production, hemicellulose degradation and consumption of O2 in the termite hindgut. Variation of O2 concentration explained 55.9% of the variance in proteomic profiles, suggesting an adaptive evolution of TAV2 to the hypoxic periphery of the hindgut. Our findings advance the current understanding of microaerophilic microorganisms in the termite gut and expand our understanding of the ecological roles for members of the phylum Verrucomicrobia.

  2. Prospection and Evaluation of (Hemi) Cellulolytic Enzymes Using Untreated and Pretreated Biomasses in Two Argentinean Native Termites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Guerrero, Emiliano; Arneodo, Joel; Bombarda Campanha, Raquel; Abrão de Oliveira, Patrícia; Veneziano Labate, Mônica T; Regiani Cataldi, Thaís; Campos, Eleonora; Cataldi, Angel; Labate, Carlos A; Martins Rodrigues, Clenilson; Talia, Paola

    2015-01-01

    Saccharum officinarum bagasse (common name: sugarcane bagasse) and Pennisetum purpureum (also known as Napier grass) are among the most promising feedstocks for bioethanol production in Argentina and Brazil. In this study, both biomasses were assessed before and after acid pretreatment and following hydrolysis with Nasutitermes aquilinus and Cortaritermes fulviceps termite gut digestome. The chemical composition analysis of the biomasses after diluted acid pretreatment showed that the hemicellulose fraction was partially removed. The (hemi) cellulolytic activities were evaluated in bacterial culture supernatants of termite gut homogenates grown in treated and untreated biomasses. In all cases, we detected significantly higher endoglucanase and xylanase activities using pretreated biomasses compared to untreated biomasses, carboxymethylcellulose and xylan. Several protein bands with (hemi) cellulolytic activity were detected in zymograms and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Some proteins of these bands or spots were identified as xylanolytic peptides by mass spectrometry. Finally, the diversity of cultured cellulolytic bacterial endosymbionts associated to both Argentinean native termite species was analyzed. This study describes, for the first time, bacterial endosymbionts and endogenous (hemi) cellulases of two Argentinean native termites as well as their potential application in degradation of lignocellulosic biomass for bioethanol production.

  3. Prospection and Evaluation of (Hemi Cellulolytic Enzymes Using Untreated and Pretreated Biomasses in Two Argentinean Native Termites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emiliano Ben Guerrero

    Full Text Available Saccharum officinarum bagasse (common name: sugarcane bagasse and Pennisetum purpureum (also known as Napier grass are among the most promising feedstocks for bioethanol production in Argentina and Brazil. In this study, both biomasses were assessed before and after acid pretreatment and following hydrolysis with Nasutitermes aquilinus and Cortaritermes fulviceps termite gut digestome. The chemical composition analysis of the biomasses after diluted acid pretreatment showed that the hemicellulose fraction was partially removed. The (hemi cellulolytic activities were evaluated in bacterial culture supernatants of termite gut homogenates grown in treated and untreated biomasses. In all cases, we detected significantly higher endoglucanase and xylanase activities using pretreated biomasses compared to untreated biomasses, carboxymethylcellulose and xylan. Several protein bands with (hemi cellulolytic activity were detected in zymograms and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Some proteins of these bands or spots were identified as xylanolytic peptides by mass spectrometry. Finally, the diversity of cultured cellulolytic bacterial endosymbionts associated to both Argentinean native termite species was analyzed. This study describes, for the first time, bacterial endosymbionts and endogenous (hemi cellulases of two Argentinean native termites as well as their potential application in degradation of lignocellulosic biomass for bioethanol production.

  4. Sexual reproduction and genetic exchange in parasitic protists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weedall, Gareth D; Hall, Neil

    2015-02-01

    A key part of the life cycle of an organism is reproduction. For a number of important protist parasites that cause human and animal disease, their sexuality has been a topic of debate for many years. Traditionally, protists were considered to be primitive relatives of the 'higher' eukaryotes, which may have diverged prior to the evolution of sex and to reproduce by binary fission. More recent views of eukaryotic evolution suggest that sex, and meiosis, evolved early, possibly in the common ancestor of all eukaryotes. However, detecting sex in these parasites is not straightforward. Recent advances, particularly in genome sequencing technology, have allowed new insights into parasite reproduction. Here, we review the evidence on reproduction in parasitic protists. We discuss protist reproduction in the light of parasitic life cycles and routes of transmission among hosts.

  5. Integrating Ethno-Ecological and Scientific Knowledge of Termites for Sustainable Termite Management and Human Welfare in Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gudeta W. Sileshi

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Despite their well-known role as pests, termites also provide essential ecosystem services. In this paper, we undertook a comprehensive review of studies on human-termite interactions and farmers' indigenous knowledge across Sub-Saharan Africa in an effort to build coherent principles for termite management. The review revealed that local communities have comprehensive indigenous knowledge of termite ecology and taxonomy, and apply various indigenous control practices. Many communities also have elaborate knowledge of the nutritional and medicinal value of termites and mushrooms associated with termite nests. Children and women also widely consume termite mound soil for nutritional or other benefits encouraged by indigenous belief systems. In addition, subsistence farmers use termites as indicators of soil fertility, and use termite mound soil in low-risk farming strategies for crop production. In the past, chemical control of termites has been initiated without empirical data on the termite species, their damage threshold, and the social, ecological, or economic risks and trade-offs of the control. This review has provided new insights into the intimate nature of human-termite interactions in Africa and the risks of chemical control of termites to human welfare and the environment. We recommend that management of termites in future should be built on farmers' indigenous knowledge and adequate understanding of the ecology of the local termite species.

  6. Termite hindguts and the ecology of microbial communities in the sequencing age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tai, Vera; Keeling, Patrick J

    2013-01-01

    Advances in high-throughput nucleic acid sequencing have improved our understanding of microbial communities in a number of ways. Deeper sequence coverage provides the means to assess diversity at the resolution necessary to recover ecological and biogeographic patterns, and at the same time single-cell genomics provides detailed information about the interactions between members of a microbial community. Given the vastness and complexity of microbial ecosystems, such analyses remain challenging for most environments, so greater insight can also be drawn from analysing less dynamic ecosystems. Here, we outline the advantages of one such environment, the wood-digesting hindgut communities of termites and cockroaches, and how it is a model to examine and compare both protist and bacterial communities. Beyond the analysis of diversity, our understanding of protist community ecology will depend on using statistically sound sampling regimes at biologically relevant scales, transitioning from discovery-based to experimental ecology, incorporating single-cell microbiology and other data sources, and continued development of analytical tools. © 2013 The Author(s) Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology © 2013 International Society of Protistologists.

  7. Sexual reproduction and genetic exchange in parasitic protists

    OpenAIRE

    WEEDALL, GARETH D.; HALL, NEIL

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY A key part of the life cycle of an organism is reproduction. For a number of important protist parasites that cause human and animal disease, their sexuality has been a topic of debate for many years. Traditionally, protists were considered to be primitive relatives of the ?higher? eukaryotes, which may have diverged prior to the evolution of sex and to reproduce by binary fission. More recent views of eukaryotic evolution suggest that sex, and meiosis, evolved early, possibly in the ...

  8. Bacterial resistance to arsenic protects against protist killing

    OpenAIRE

    Hao, Xiuli; Li, Xuanji; Pal, Chandan; Hobman, Jon L.; Larsson, D.G. Joakim; Saquib, Quaiser; Alwathnani, Hend A.; Rosen, Barry P.; Zhu, Yong-Guan; Rensing, Christopher

    2017-01-01

    Protists kill their bacterial prey using toxic metals such as copper. Here we hypothesize that the metalloid arsenic has a similar role. To test this hypothesis, we examined intracellular survival of Escherichia coli (E. coli) in the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum (D. discoideum). Deletion of the E. coli ars operon led to significantly lower intracellular survival compared to wild type E. coli. This suggests that protists use arsenic to poison bacterial cells in the phagosome, similar to the...

  9. Anaerobic carbon monoxide dehydrogenase diversity in the homoacetogenic hindgut microbial communities of lower termites and the wood roach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric G Matson

    Full Text Available Anaerobic carbon monoxide dehydrogenase (CODH is a key enzyme in the Wood-Ljungdahl (acetyl-CoA pathway for acetogenesis performed by homoacetogenic bacteria. Acetate generated by gut bacteria via the acetyl-CoA pathway provides considerable nutrition to wood-feeding dictyopteran insects making CODH important to the obligate mutualism occurring between termites and their hindgut microbiota. To investigate CODH diversity in insect gut communities, we developed the first degenerate primers designed to amplify cooS genes, which encode the catalytic (β subunit of anaerobic CODH enzyme complexes. These primers target over 68 million combinations of potential forward and reverse cooS primer-binding sequences. We used the primers to identify cooS genes in bacterial isolates from the hindgut of a phylogenetically lower termite and to sample cooS diversity present in a variety of insect hindgut microbial communities including those of three phylogenetically-lower termites, Zootermopsis nevadensis, Reticulitermes hesperus, and Incisitermes minor, a wood-feeding cockroach, Cryptocercus punctulatus, and an omnivorous cockroach, Periplaneta americana. In total, we sequenced and analyzed 151 different cooS genes. These genes encode proteins that group within one of three highly divergent CODH phylogenetic clades. Each insect gut community contained CODH variants from all three of these clades. The patterns of CODH diversity in these communities likely reflect differences in enzyme or physiological function, and suggest that a diversity of microbial species participate in homoacetogenesis in these communities.

  10. Phylogeny of not-yet-cultured spirochetes from termite guts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paster, B.J.; Dewhirst, F.E.; Cooke, S.M.

    1996-01-01

    products were cloned into Escherichia coli, Clones were screened with a spirochete-specific DNA probe, Analysis of 1,410 base positions of the 16S rDNA insert from one spirochete clone, designated NL1, supported its assignment to the genus Treponema, with average interspecies similarities of ca. 85...... of 16S rRNA sequence comparisons and individual base signatures, clones NL1 and MDS1 clearly represent two novel species of Treponema, although specific epithets have not yet been proposed. The gross morphology of NL1 was determined from in situ hybridization experiments with an NL1-specific...

  11. The inadequacy of morphology for species and genus delineation in microbial eukaryotes: an example from the parabasalian termite symbiont coronympha.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, James T; Gile, Gillian H; James, Erick R; Carpenter, Kevin J; Keeling, Patrick J

    2009-08-11

    For the majority of microbial eukaryotes (protists, algae), there is no clearly superior species concept that is consistently applied. In the absence of a practical biological species concept, most species and genus level delineations have historically been based on morphology, which may lead to an underestimate of the diversity of microbial eukaryotes. Indeed, a growing body of molecular evidence, such as barcoding surveys, is beginning to support the conclusion that significant cryptic species diversity exists. This underestimate of diversity appears to be due to a combination of using morphology as the sole basis for assessing diversity and our inability to culture the vast majority of microbial life. Here we have used molecular markers to assess the species delineations in two related but morphologically distinct genera of uncultivated symbionts found in the hindgut of termites. Using single-cell isolation and environmental PCR, we have used a barcoding approach to characterize the diversity of Coronympha and Metacoronympha symbionts in four species of Incisitermes termites, which were also examined using scanning electron microscopy and light microcopy. Despite the fact that these genera are significantly different in morphological complexity and structural organisation, we find they are two life history stages of the same species. At the same time, we show that the symbionts from different termite hosts show an equal or greater level of sequence diversity than do the hosts, despite the fact that the symbionts are all classified as one species. The morphological information used to describe the diversity of these microbial symbionts is misleading at both the genus and species levels, and led to an underestimate of species level diversity as well as an overestimate of genus level diversity. The genus 'Metacoronympha' is invalid and appears to be a life history stage of Coronympha, while the single recognized species of Coronympha octonaria inhabiting these four

  12. The inadequacy of morphology for species and genus delineation in microbial eukaryotes: an example from the parabasalian termite symbiont coronympha.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James T Harper

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: For the majority of microbial eukaryotes (protists, algae, there is no clearly superior species concept that is consistently applied. In the absence of a practical biological species concept, most species and genus level delineations have historically been based on morphology, which may lead to an underestimate of the diversity of microbial eukaryotes. Indeed, a growing body of molecular evidence, such as barcoding surveys, is beginning to support the conclusion that significant cryptic species diversity exists. This underestimate of diversity appears to be due to a combination of using morphology as the sole basis for assessing diversity and our inability to culture the vast majority of microbial life. Here we have used molecular markers to assess the species delineations in two related but morphologically distinct genera of uncultivated symbionts found in the hindgut of termites. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using single-cell isolation and environmental PCR, we have used a barcoding approach to characterize the diversity of Coronympha and Metacoronympha symbionts in four species of Incisitermes termites, which were also examined using scanning electron microscopy and light microcopy. Despite the fact that these genera are significantly different in morphological complexity and structural organisation, we find they are two life history stages of the same species. At the same time, we show that the symbionts from different termite hosts show an equal or greater level of sequence diversity than do the hosts, despite the fact that the symbionts are all classified as one species. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The morphological information used to describe the diversity of these microbial symbionts is misleading at both the genus and species levels, and led to an underestimate of species level diversity as well as an overestimate of genus level diversity. The genus 'Metacoronympha' is invalid and appears to be a life history stage of

  13. Predation by Megaponera foetens (Fabr.) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on termites in the Nigerian southern Guinea Savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longhurst, C; Johnson, R A; Wood, T G

    1978-01-01

    At Mokwa, in the Nigerian southern Guinea Savanna, Macrotermitinae are the only recorded prey of the obligate termite predator, Megaponera foetens. The main prey species is Macrotermes bellicosus (141 termites m -2 a -1 ) followed by Odontotermes spp. (42 termites m -2 a -1 ). Predation on other species, Ancistrotermes cavithorax, Macrotermes subhyalinus and Microtermes spp., amounts to only 10 termites m -2 a -1 . Macrotermes bellicosus is not the most abundant termite in the primary savanna. It is concluded that factors including termite abundance, termite foraging regimes and seasonality, termite biomass and the reactions of the ants to the termites and their products are involved in successful predation of termites by Megaponera.

  14. GUTs without guts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gato-Rivera, B. [NIKHEF Theory Group, Science Park 105, 1098 XG Amsterdam (Netherlands); Instituto de Física Fundamental, IFF-CSIC, Serrano 123, Madrid 28006 (Spain); Schellekens, A.N., E-mail: t58@nikhef.nl [NIKHEF Theory Group, Science Park 105, 1098 XG Amsterdam (Netherlands); Instituto de Física Fundamental, IFF-CSIC, Serrano 123, Madrid 28006 (Spain); IMAPP, Radboud Universiteit, Nijmegen (Netherlands)

    2014-06-15

    The structure of a Standard Model family is derived in a class of brane models with a U(M)×U(N) factor, from two mildly anthropic requirements: a massless photon and a universe that does not turn into a plasma of massless charged particles. If we choose M=3 and N=2, the only option is shown to be the Standard Model with an undetermined number of families. We do not assume the U(1) embedding, charge quantization, family repetition, nor the fermion representations; all of these features are derived, assuming a doublet Higgs. With a slightly stronger assumption even the Higgs representation is determined. We also consider a more general class, requiring an asymptotically free strong SU(M) (with M⩾3) interaction from the first factor and an electromagnetic U(1) embedded in both factors. We allow Higgs symmetry breaking of the U(N)×U(1) flavor group by at most one Higgs boson in any representation, combined with any allowed chiral symmetry breaking by SU(M). For M=3 there is a large number of solutions with an unbroken U(1). In all of these, “quarks” have third-integral charges and color singlets have integer charges in comparison to leptons. Hence Standard Model charge quantization holds for any N. Only for N=2 these models allow an SU(5) GUT extension, but this extension offers no advantages whatsoever for understanding the Standard Model; it only causes complications, such as the doublet–triplet splitting problem. Although all these models have a massless photon, all except the Standard Model are ruled out by the second anthropic requirement. In this class of brane models the Standard Model is realized as a GUT with its intestines removed, to keep only the good parts: a GUT without guts.

  15. Cultural significance of termites in sub-Saharan Africa

    OpenAIRE

    van Huis, Arnold

    2017-01-01

    Background: The number of termite species in the world is more than 2500, and Africa with more than 1000 species has the richest intercontinental diversity. The family Termitidae contains builders of great mounds up to 5 m high. Colonies are composed of casts: a queen, a king, soldiers and workers. Some species of termite cultivate specialised fungi to digest cellulose. Termites constitute 10% of all animal biomass in the tropics. The purpose of the study was to make an overview of how termit...

  16. Termite species richness, composition and diversity on five farms in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A survey was conducted on five farms in former Damaraland, a communal farming area in arid northwestern Namibia. The aims of the survey were to establish termite inventories for each site and to investigate whether termite diversity is determined by land-use history and land-use intensity. Overall, termite diversity in ...

  17. Les attaques des Termites (Isoptera) dans les parcelles de ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The species like (such as) Psammotermes, Microcerotermes and Odontotermes attack most on ligneous. Conclusion and Application of results: The study to know the advantage of diversity of termites and plant species in reforestation plots but also the interactions between termites is the plant species. Keywords: termites ...

  18. Termite activity in relation to natural grassland soil attributes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kaschuk, G.; Pires Santos, J.C.; Almeida, J.A.; Sinhorati, D.S.; Berton-Junior, J.F.

    2006-01-01

    Soil-feeding termites transport soil for mound building, and this process can affect soil characteristics. To verify the influence of soil termite activity on soil characteristics, samples were collected from top, bottom and center of termite mounds, and of the adjacent area, to assess chemical and

  19. Diversity of Termitomyces associated with fungus-farming termites assessed by cultural and culture-independent methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makonde, Huxley M; Boga, Hamadi I; Osiemo, Zipporah; Mwirichia, Romano; Stielow, J Benjamin; Göker, Markus; Klenk, Hans-Peter

    2013-01-01

    Fungus-cultivating termites make use of an obligate mutualism with fungi from the genus Termitomyces, which are acquired through either vertical transmission via reproductive alates or horizontally transmitted during the formation of new mounds. Termitomyces taxonomy, and thus estimating diversity and host specificity of these fungi, is challenging because fruiting bodies are rarely found. Molecular techniques can be applied but need not necessarily yield the same outcome than morphological identification. Culture-dependent and culture-independent methods were used to comprehensively assess host specificity and gut fungal diversity. Termites were identified using mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase II (COII) genes. Twenty-three Termitomyces cultures were isolated from fungal combs. Internal transcribed spacer (ITS) clone libraries were constructed from termite guts. Presence of Termitomyces was confirmed using specific and universal primers. Termitomyces species boundaries were estimated by cross-comparison of macromorphological and sequence features, and ITS clustering parameters accordingly optimized. The overall trends in coverage of Termitomyces diversity and host associations were estimated using Genbank data. Results indicate a monoculture of Termitomyces in the guts as well as the isolation sources (fungal combs). However, cases of more than one Termitomyces strains per mound were observed since mounds can contain different termite colonies. The newly found cultures, as well as the clustering analysis of GenBank data indicate that there are on average between one and two host genera per Termitomyces species. Saturation does not appear to have been reached, neither for the total number of known Termitomyces species nor for the number of Termitomyces species per host taxon, nor for the number of known hosts per Termitomyces species. Considering the rarity of Termitomyces fruiting bodies, it is suggested to base the future taxonomy of the group mainly on well

  20. Diversity of Termitomyces associated with fungus-farming termites assessed by cultural and culture-independent methods.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huxley M Makonde

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Fungus-cultivating termites make use of an obligate mutualism with fungi from the genus Termitomyces, which are acquired through either vertical transmission via reproductive alates or horizontally transmitted during the formation of new mounds. Termitomyces taxonomy, and thus estimating diversity and host specificity of these fungi, is challenging because fruiting bodies are rarely found. Molecular techniques can be applied but need not necessarily yield the same outcome than morphological identification. METHODOLOGY: Culture-dependent and culture-independent methods were used to comprehensively assess host specificity and gut fungal diversity. Termites were identified using mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase II (COII genes. Twenty-three Termitomyces cultures were isolated from fungal combs. Internal transcribed spacer (ITS clone libraries were constructed from termite guts. Presence of Termitomyces was confirmed using specific and universal primers. Termitomyces species boundaries were estimated by cross-comparison of macromorphological and sequence features, and ITS clustering parameters accordingly optimized. The overall trends in coverage of Termitomyces diversity and host associations were estimated using Genbank data. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Results indicate a monoculture of Termitomyces in the guts as well as the isolation sources (fungal combs. However, cases of more than one Termitomyces strains per mound were observed since mounds can contain different termite colonies. The newly found cultures, as well as the clustering analysis of GenBank data indicate that there are on average between one and two host genera per Termitomyces species. Saturation does not appear to have been reached, neither for the total number of known Termitomyces species nor for the number of Termitomyces species per host taxon, nor for the number of known hosts per Termitomyces species. Considering the rarity of Termitomyces fruiting bodies, it is

  1. The bacterial-fungal energy channel concept challenged by enormous functional versatility of soil protists

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geisen, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Protists (=protozoa) are commonly treated as bacterivores that control the bacterial energy channel in soil food webs. This ecologist’s perspective is, however, challenged by taxonomic studies showing that a range of protists feed on fungi, other protists and even nematodes. Recently, it was

  2. The bacterial-fungal energy channel concept challenged by enormous functional versatility of soil protists

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geisen, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Protists (=protozoa) are commonly treated as bacterivores that control the bacterial energy channel in soil food webs. This ecologist’s perspective is, however, challenged by taxonomic studies showing that a range of protists feed on fungi, other protists and even nematodes. Recently, it

  3. Deterministic Assembly of Complex Bacterial Communities in Guts of Germ-Free Cockroaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikaelyan, Aram; Thompson, Claire L; Hofer, Markus J; Brune, Andreas

    2016-02-15

    The gut microbiota of termites plays important roles in the symbiotic digestion of lignocellulose. However, the factors shaping the microbial community structure remain poorly understood. Because termites cannot be raised under axenic conditions, we established the closely related cockroach Shelfordella lateralis as a germ-free model to study microbial community assembly and host-microbe interactions. In this study, we determined the composition of the bacterial assemblages in cockroaches inoculated with the gut microbiota of termites and mice using pyrosequencing analysis of their 16S rRNA genes. Although the composition of the xenobiotic communities was influenced by the lineages present in the foreign inocula, their structure resembled that of conventional cockroaches. Bacterial taxa abundant in conventional cockroaches but rare in the foreign inocula, such as Dysgonomonas and Parabacteroides spp., were selectively enriched in the xenobiotic communities. Donor-specific taxa, such as endomicrobia or spirochete lineages restricted to the gut microbiota of termites, however, either were unable to colonize germ-free cockroaches or formed only small populations. The exposure of xenobiotic cockroaches to conventional adults restored their normal microbiota, which indicated that autochthonous lineages outcompete foreign ones. Our results provide experimental proof that the assembly of a complex gut microbiota in insects is deterministic. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  4. Telonemia, a new protist phylum with affinity to chromist lineages

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shalchian-Tabrizi, K.; Eikrem, W.; Klaveness, D.

    2006-01-01

    , such as the alveolates and heterokonts. Using the same approach on coastal samples, we have identified a novel group of protist small subunit (SSU) rDNA sequences that do not correspond to any phylogenetic group previously identified. Comparison with other sequences obtained from cultures of heterotrophic protists...... showed that the environmental sequences grouped together with Telonema, a genus known since 1913 but of uncertain taxonomic affinity. Phylogenetic analyses using four genes (SSU, Hsp90, alpha-tubulin and beta-tubulin), and accounting for gamma- and covarion-distributed substitution rates, revealed...

  5. Transcriptome response to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration in the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenjing Wu

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Background Carbon dioxide (CO2 is a pervasive chemical stimulus that plays a critical role in insect life, eliciting behavioral and physiological responses across different species. High CO2 concentration is a major feature of termite nests, which may be used as a cue for locating their nests. Termites also survive under an elevated CO2 concentration. However, the mechanism by which elevated CO2 concentration influences gene expression in termites is poorly understood. Methods To gain a better understanding of the molecular basis involved in the adaptation to CO2 concentration, a transcriptome of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki was constructed to assemble the reference genes, followed by comparative transcriptomic analyses across different CO2 concentration (0.04%, 0.4%, 4% and 40% treatments. Results (1 Based on a high throughput sequencing platform, we obtained approximately 20 GB of clean data and revealed 189,421 unigenes, with a mean length and an N50 length of 629 bp and 974 bp, respectively. (2 The transcriptomic response of C. formosanus to elevated CO2 levels presented discontinuous changes. Comparative analysis of the transcriptomes revealed 2,936 genes regulated among 0.04%, 0.4%, 4% and 40% CO2 concentration treatments, 909 genes derived from termites and 2,027 from gut symbionts. Genes derived from termites appears selectively activated under 4% CO2 level. In 40% CO2 level, most of the down-regulated genes were derived from symbionts. (3 Through similarity searches to data from other species, a number of protein sequences putatively involved in chemosensory reception were identified and characterized in C. formosanus, including odorant receptors, gustatory receptors, ionotropic receptors, odorant binding proteins, and chemosensory proteins. Discussion We found that most genes associated with carbohydrate metabolism, energy metabolism, and genetic information processing were regulated under different CO2 concentrations. Results

  6. Accessing carboxylesterase diversity from termite hindgut symbionts through metagenomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rashamuse, Konanani; Mabizela-Mokoena, Nobalanda; Sanyika, Tendai Walter; Mabvakure, Batsirai; Brady, Dean

    2012-01-01

    A shotgun metagenomic library was constructed from termite hindgut symbionts and subsequently screened for esterase activities. A total of 68 recombinant clones conferring esterolytic phenotypes were identified, of which the 14 most active were subcloned and sequenced. The nucleotide lengths of the esterase-encoding open reading frames (ORFs) ranged from 783 to 2,592 bp and encoded proteins with predicted molecular masses of between 28.8 and 97.5 kDa. The highest identity scores in the GenBank database, from a global amino acid alignment ranged from 39 to 83%. The identified ORFs revealed the presence of the G-X-S-X-D, G-D-S-X, and S-X-X-K sequence motifs that have been reported to harbour a catalytic serine residue in other previously reported esterase primary structures. Five of the ORFs (EstT5, EstT7, EstT9, EstT10, and EstT12) could not be classified into any of the original eight esterase families. One of the ORFs (EstT9) showed a unique primary structure consisting of an amidohydrolase-esterase fusion. Six of the 14 esterase-encoding genes were recombinantly expressed in Escherichia coli and the purified enzymes exhibited temperature optima of between 40-50°C. Substrate-profiling studies revealed that the characterised enzymes were 'true' carboxylesterases based on their preferences for short to medium chain length p-nitrophenyl ester substrates. This study has demonstrated a successful application of a metagenomic approach in accessing novel esterase-encoding genes from the gut of termites that could otherwise have been missed by classical culture enrichment approaches. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  7. The gut microbiota of insects - diversity in structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Philipp; Moran, Nancy A

    2013-09-01

    Insect guts present distinctive environments for microbial colonization, and bacteria in the gut potentially provide many beneficial services to their hosts. Insects display a wide range in degree of dependence on gut bacteria for basic functions. Most insect guts contain relatively few microbial species as compared to mammalian guts, but some insects harbor large gut communities of specialized bacteria. Others are colonized only opportunistically and sparsely by bacteria common in other environments. Insect digestive tracts vary extensively in morphology and physicochemical properties, factors that greatly influence microbial community structure. One obstacle to the evolution of intimate associations with gut microorganisms is the lack of dependable transmission routes between host individuals. Here, social insects, such as termites, ants, and bees, are exceptions: social interactions provide opportunities for transfer of gut bacteria, and some of the most distinctive and consistent gut communities, with specialized beneficial functions in nutrition and protection, have been found in social insect species. Still, gut bacteria of other insects have also been shown to contribute to nutrition, protection from parasites and pathogens, modulation of immune responses, and communication. The extent of these roles is still unclear and awaits further studies. © 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Bacterial resistance to arsenic protects against protist killing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao, Xiuli; Li, Xuanji; Pal, Chandan; Hobman, Jon; Larsson, D G Joakim; Saquib, Quaiser; Alwathnani, Hend A; Rosen, Barry P; Zhu, Yong-Guan; Rensing, Christopher

    2017-04-01

    Protists kill their bacterial prey using toxic metals such as copper. Here we hypothesize that the metalloid arsenic has a similar role. To test this hypothesis, we examined intracellular survival of Escherichia coli (E. coli) in the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum (D. discoideum). Deletion of the E. coli ars operon led to significantly lower intracellular survival compared to wild type E. coli. This suggests that protists use arsenic to poison bacterial cells in the phagosome, similar to their use of copper. In response to copper and arsenic poisoning by protists, there is selection for acquisition of arsenic and copper resistance genes in the bacterial prey to avoid killing. In agreement with this hypothesis, both copper and arsenic resistance determinants are widespread in many bacterial taxa and environments, and they are often found together on plasmids. A role for heavy metals and arsenic in the ancient predator-prey relationship between protists and bacteria could explain the widespread presence of metal resistance determinants in pristine environments.

  9. A Narnavirus in the Trypanosomatid Protist Plant Pathogen Phytomonas serpens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akopyants, Natalia S; Lye, Lon-Fye; Dobson, Deborah E; Lukeš, Julius; Beverley, Stephen M

    2016-07-28

    We describe here a new RNA virus (PserNV1) from the plant protist parasite Phytomonas serpens (family Trypanosomatidae, Kinetoplastida, supergroup Excavata). The properties of PserNV1 permit assignment to the genus Narnavirus (Narnaviridae), the first reported from a host other than fungi or oomycetes. Copyright © 2016 Akopyants et al.

  10. EFFECTS OF HABITAT CHARACTERIZATION ON THE ABUNDANCE AND ACTIVITY OF SUBTERRANEAN TERMITES IN ARID SOUTHEASTERN NEW MEXICO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amitermes wheeleri was the most abundant termite species in most of the habitats. Gnathamitermes tubiformans was the most abundant subterranean termite species in habitats dominated by creosotebush, Larrea tridentata. Subterranean termite abundance measured by numbers of termit...

  11. Termite enzymes and uses thereof for in vitro conversion of lignin-containing materials to fermentable products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharf, Michael E; Boucias, Drion G; Tartar, Aurelien; Coy, Monique R; Zhou, Xuguo; Salem, Tamer Ibrahim Zaki; Jadhao, Sanjay B; Wheeler, Marsha M

    2013-05-21

    The disclosure provides isolated nucleic acid molecules derived from the gut of the termite R flavipes, recombinant nucleic acid molecules comprising a vector and an isolated heterologous nucleic acid molecule operably inserted therein, whereby, when transformed into an appropriate host cell system, the heterologous nucleic acid sequence is expressed as a polypeptide having an activity similar to that when expressed in the gut of the termite R. flavipes. The recombinant nucleic acid molecules can comprise more than one heterologous nucleic acid molecule such that more than one polypeptide may be expressed by the host system. The expressed polypeptides may be substantially purified, or used in a substantially unpurified form, to be admixed with a lignocellulose source to be converted to a fermentable product such as a sugar or a mixture of sugars. One aspect of the present disclosure, therefore, encompasses methods of converting a lignified plant material to a fermentable product, the method comprising obtaining a series of isolated polypeptides of a termite, wherein the series of polypeptides cooperate to convert a plant lignocellulose to a fermentable product; and incubating the series of polypeptides with a source of lignified plant material, under conditions allowing the polypeptides to cooperatively produce a fermentable product from the lignified plant material.

  12. The true diversity of devescovinid flagellates in the termite Incisitermes marginipennis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strassert, Jürgen F H; Desai, Mahesh S; Brune, Andreas; Radek, Renate

    2009-11-01

    More than 40 years ago, ten species of devescovinid flagellates were described to occur in the gut content of the termite Incisitermes marginipennis. Based on light microscopic examinations, the flagellates were then classified into the two genera Devescovina and Metadevescovina. Here, we combined molecular phylogenetic analysis of the small subunit rRNA genes of the gut flagellates with the first ultrastructural investigation of the genus Metadevescovina. Our results suggest that I. marginipennis contains only one species of devescovinid flagellates, Metadevescovina modica, which comprises three variants of the same phylotype (> or =99.5% sequence similarity). Monophyly of all Metadevescovina sequences obtained from Pterotermes and Incisitermes species in this and previous studies and the absence of filamentous bacterial epibionts typical of Devescovina species (M. modica is densely colonized with spirochetes) corroborate the validity of the genus Metadevescovina and allow its differentiation from other genera of devescovinid flagellates.

  13. Communities of microbial eukaryotes in the mammalian gut within the context of environmental eukaryotic diversity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parfrey, Laura Wegener; Walters, William A.; Lauber, Christian L.; Clemente, Jose C.; Berg-Lyons, Donna; Teiling, Clotilde; Kodira, Chinnappa; Mohiuddin, Mohammed; Brunelle, Julie; Driscoll, Mark; Fierer, Noah; Gilbert, Jack A.; Knight, Rob

    2014-06-19

    Eukaryotic microbes (protists) residing in the vertebrate gut influence host health and disease, but their diversity and distribution in healthy hosts is poorly understood. Protists found in the gut are typically considered parasites, but many are commensal and some are beneficial. Further, the hygiene hypothesis predicts that association with our co-evolved microbial symbionts may be important to overall health. It is therefore imperative that we understand the normal diversity of our eukaryotic gut microbiota to test for such effects and avoid eliminating commensal organisms. We assembled a dataset of healthy individuals from two populations, one with traditional, agrarian lifestyles and a second with modern, westernized lifestyles, and characterized the human eukaryotic microbiota via high-throughput sequencing. To place the human gut microbiota within a broader context our dataset also includes gut samples from diverse mammals and samples from other aquatic and terrestrial environments. We curated the SILVA ribosomal database to reflect current knowledge of eukaryotic taxonomy and employ it as a phylogenetic framework to compare eukaryotic diversity across environment. We show that adults from the non-western population harbor a diverse community of protists, and diversity in the human gut is comparable to that in other mammals. However, the eukaryotic microbiota of the western population appears depauperate. The distribution of symbionts found in mammals reflects both host phylogeny and diet. Eukaryotic microbiota in the gut are less diverse and more patchily distributed than bacteria. More broadly, we show that eukaryotic communities in the gut are less diverse than in aquatic and terrestrial habitats, and few taxa are shared across habitat types, and diversity patterns of eukaryotes are correlated with those observed for bacteria. These results outline the distribution and diversity of microbial eukaryotic communities in the mammalian gut and across

  14. Metagenomic and functional analysis of hindgut microbiota of a wood-feeding higher termite

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Warnecke, Falk; Warnecke, Falk; Luginbuhl, Peter; Ivanova, Natalia; Ghassemian, Majid; Richardson, Toby H.; Stege, Justin T.; Cayouette, Michelle; McHardy, Alice C.; Djordjevic, Gordana; Aboushadi, Nahla; Sorek, Rotem; Tringe, Susannah G.; Podar, Mircea; Martin, Hector Garcia; Kunin, Victor; Dalevi, Daniel; Madejska, Julita; Kirton, Edward; Platt, Darren; Szeto, Ernest; Salamov, Asaf; Barry, Kerrie; Mikhailova, Natalia; Kyrpides, Nikos C.; Matson, Eric G.; Ottesen, Elizabeth A.; Zhang, Xinning; Hernandez, Myriam; Murillo, Catalina; Acosta, Luis G.; Rigoutsos, Isidore; Tamayo, Giselle; Green, Brian D.; Chang, Cathy; Rubin, Edward M.; Mathur, Eric J.; Robertson, Dan E.; Hugenholtz, Philip; Leadbetter, Jared R.

    2007-10-01

    From the standpoints of both basic research and biotechnology, there is considerable interest in reaching a clearer understanding of the diversity of biological mechanisms employed during lignocellulose degradation. Globally, termites are an extremely successful group of wood-degrading organisms and are therefore important both for their roles in carbon turnover in the environment and as potential sources of biochemical catalysts for efforts aimed at converting wood into biofuels. Only recently have data supported any direct role for the symbiotic bacteria in the gut of the termite in cellulose and xylan hydrolysis. Here we use a metagenomic analysis of the bacterial community resident in the hindgut paunch of a wood-feeding Nasutitermes species to show the presence of a large, diverse set of bacterial genes for cellulose and xylan hydrolysis. Many of these genes were expressed in vivo or had cellulase activity in vitro, and further analyses implicate spirochete and fibrobacter species in gut lignocellulose degradation. New insights into other important symbiotic functions including H{sub 2} metabolism, CO{sub 2}-reductive acetogenesis and N{sub 2} fixation are also provided by this first system-wide gene analysis of a microbial community specialized towards plant lignocellulose degradation. Our results underscore how complex even a 1-{micro}l environment can be.

  15. Exploring the Potential for Actinobacteria as Defensive Symbionts in Fungus-Growing Termites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, A.A.; Mesquita Nobre, T.; Currie, C.R.; Aanen, D.K.; Poulsen, M.

    2012-01-01

    In fungus-growing termites, fungi of the subgenus Pseudoxylaria threaten colony health through substrate competition with the termite fungus (Termitomyces). The potential mechanisms with which termites suppress Pseudoxylaria have remained unknown. Here we explore if Actinobacteria potentially play a

  16. No evidence for an elephant-termite feedback loop in Sand Forest, South Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lagendijk, D. D G; Davies, A. B.; Eggleton, P.; Slotow, R.

    2016-01-01

    Termites and mammalian herbivores might derive mutual benefit from each other through positive feedback loops, but empirical evidence is lacking. One suggested positive feedback loop is between termites and elephant, both ecosystem engineers. Termites, as decomposer organisms, contribute to nutrient

  17. Acromyrmex Leaf-Cutting Ants Have Simple Gut Microbiota with Nitrogen-Fixing Potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sapountzis, Panagiotis; Zhukova, Mariya; Hansen, Lars H; Sørensen, Søren J; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2015-08-15

    Ants and termites have independently evolved obligate fungus-farming mutualisms, but their gardening procedures are fundamentally different, as the termites predigest their plant substrate whereas the ants deposit it directly on the fungus garden. Fungus-growing termites retained diverse gut microbiota, but bacterial gut communities in fungus-growing leaf-cutting ants have not been investigated, so it is unknown whether and how they are specialized on an exclusively fungal diet. Here we characterized the gut bacterial community of Panamanian Acromyrmex species, which are dominated by only four bacterial taxa: Wolbachia, Rhizobiales, and two Entomoplasmatales taxa. We show that the Entomoplasmatales can be both intracellular and extracellular across different gut tissues, Wolbachia is mainly but not exclusively intracellular, and the Rhizobiales species is strictly extracellular and confined to the gut lumen, where it forms biofilms along the hindgut cuticle supported by an adhesive matrix of polysaccharides. Tetracycline diets eliminated the Entomoplasmatales symbionts but hardly affected Wolbachia and only moderately reduced the Rhizobiales, suggesting that the latter are protected by the biofilm matrix. We show that the Rhizobiales symbiont produces bacterial NifH proteins that have been associated with the fixation of nitrogen, suggesting that these compartmentalized hindgut symbionts alleviate nutritional constraints emanating from an exclusive fungus garden diet reared on a substrate of leaves. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  18. Genetic Analysis of Termite Colonies in Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    R.A. Arango; D.A. Marschalek; F. Green III; K.F. Raffa; M.E. Berres

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to document current areas of subterranean termite activity in Wisconsin and to evaluate genetic characteristics of these northern, peripheral colonies. Here, amplified fragment-length polymorphism was used to characterize levels of inbreeding, expected heterozygosity, and percent polymorphism within colonies as well as genetic structure...

  19. The role of mixotrophic protists in the biological carbon pump

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mitra, Aditee; Flynn, K.J.; Burkholder, J.M.

    2014-01-01

    The traditional view of the planktonic food web describes consumption of inorganic nutrients by photoautotrophic phytoplankton, which in turn supports zooplankton and ultimately higher trophic levels. Pathways centred on bacteria provide mechanisms for nutrient recycling. This structure lies...... at the foundation of most models used to explore biogeochemical cycling, functioning of the biological pump, and the impact of climate change on these processes. We suggest an alternative new paradigm, which sees the bulk of the base of this food web supported by protist plankton communities that are mixotrophic...... – combining phototrophy and phagotrophy within a single cell. The photoautotrophic eukaryotic plankton and their heterotrophic microzooplankton grazers dominate only during the developmental phases of ecosystems (e.g. spring bloom in temperate systems). With their flexible nutrition, mixotrophic protists...

  20. A genomic comparison of two termites with different social complexity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korb, Judith; Thomas-Poulsen, Michael; Hu, Haofu

    2015-01-01

    The termites evolved eusociality and complex societies before the ants, but have been studied much less. The recent publication of the first two termite genomes provides a unique comparative opportunity, particularly because the sequenced termites represent opposite ends of the social complexity...... spectrum. Zootermopsis nevadensis has simple colonies with totipotent workers that can develop into all castes (dispersing reproductives, nest-inheriting replacement reproductives, and soldiers). In contrast, the fungus-growing termite Macrotermes natalensis belongs to the higher termites and has very...... large and complex societies with morphologically distinct castes that are life-time sterile. Here we compare key characteristics of genomic architecture, focusing on genes involved in communication, immune defenses, mating biology and symbiosis that were likely important in termite social evolution. We...

  1. A genomic comparison of two termites with different social complexity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith eKorb

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The termites evolved eusociality and complex societies before the ants, but have been studied much less. The recent publication of the first two termite genomes provides a unique comparative opportunity, particularly because the sequenced termites represent opposite ends of the social complexity spectrum. Zootermopsis nevadensis has simple colonies with totipotent workers that can develop into all castes (dispersing reproductives, nest-inheriting replacement reproductives, and soldiers. In contrast, the fungus-growing termite Macrotermes natalensis belongs to the higher termites and has very large and complex societies with morphologically distinct castes that are life-time sterile. Here we compare key characteristics of genomic architecture, focusing on genes involved in communication, immune defenses, mating biology and symbiosis that were likely important in termite social evolution. We discuss these in relation to what is known about these genes in the ants and outline hypotheses for further testing.

  2. Aerobic mitochondria of parasitic protists: diverse genomes and complex functions

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Zíková, Alena; Hampl, V.; Paris, Zdeněk; Týč, Jiří; Lukeš, Julius

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 209, 1-2 (2016), s. 46-57 ISSN 0166-6851 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA15-21974S; GA MŠk LL1205 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : protists * mitochondrion * genomes * repliation * RNA editing * ribosomes * electron transport chain * iron-sulfur cluster * heme Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.536, year: 2016

  3. Termite Diversity in Urban Landscape, South Jakarta, Indonesia

    OpenAIRE

    Arinana Arinana; Rifat Aldina; Dodi Nandika; Aunu Rauf; Idham S. Harahap; I Made Sumertajaya; Effendi Tri Bahtiar

    2016-01-01

    The population of South Jakarta, a city within the Province of Jakarta Capital Region, is increasing annually, and the development of land into building causes termite diversity loss. The aim of this research was to determine the diversity of subterranean termite species and their distribution in South Jakarta and to evaluate the soil profile termite habitat. This study was conducted in South Jakarta and was carried out at four residential areas representing four randomly selected sub-distric...

  4. Mildew fungi found in termites (Reticulitermes lucifugus and their nests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Wójcik

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the results of observation of mould growth in laboratory colonies of termites. It also attempts to determine the species of mould fungi present in the research laboratory and the main colonies and their entomopathogenic for the termites. The following four species were found in test termite colonies: Trichoderme viride, Mucor himeralis, Rhizopus nigricans, Aspergillus sp., Aspergillus flavus, Alternaria sp., Penicylium verucosum and Fusarium sp. were recognisable in test colonies with domestic and exotic wood. Morphological observations of the fungi were carried out using a microscope with a 40x magnification. The growth of mould fungi in test containers caused death of whole termite colonies.

  5. Identification of termite species by the hydrocarbons in their feces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haverty, Michael I; Woodrow, R Joseph; Nelson, Lori J; Grace, J Kenneth

    2005-09-01

    Blends of abundant cuticular hydrocarbons are species-specific for termites (Isoptera) and can be used to identify a given taxon without the diagnostic castes, soldiers or adults. We demonstrate that hydrocarbon extracts of termite fecal pellets from damaged wood can also be characterized and used to identify termites responsible for damage, even though termites are no longer present or easily recovered. In structures infested by drywood termites, it is common to find fecal pellets, but difficult to extract termites from the finished wood in service. Nine species belonging to two families (Kalotermitidae and Termopsidae) were examined to compare the hydrocarbon composition of termites and their fecal pellets. Diversity was extensive: at least one half of the amount of the hydrocarbons from Neotermes connexus, Incisitermes immigrans, Cryptotermes brevis, Cryptotermes cynocephalus, Procryptotermes corniceps, and Zootermopsis nevadensis nuttingi was olefins. Incisitermes minor and Pterotermes occidentis incorporated only small amounts of olefins in cuticular hydrocarbons; Marginitermes hubbardi had no detectable olefins. Hydrocarbons extracted from fecal pellets were qualitatively and quantitatively similar to cuticular extracts and can be used to determine the termite species responsible without the termites present.

  6. Grumbling Guts?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... the brain and the gut communicate. Dr. Emeran Mayer at the University of California, Los Angeles, is ... triggering symptom flares in irritable bowel syndrome,” says Mayer. Many patients first notice symptoms after a stressful ...

  7. Explosive Backpacks in Old Termite Workers

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šobotník, Jan; Bourguignon, T.; Hanus, Robert; Demianova, Zuzana; Pytelková, Jana; Mareš, Michael; Foltynová, P.; Preisler, J.; Cvačka, Josef; Krasulová, Jana; Roisin, Y.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 337, č. 6093 (2012), s. 436-436 ISSN 0036-8075 R&D Projects: GA ČR GP525/09/P600 Grant - others:CEITEC(CZ) CZ.1.05/1.1.00/02.0068; GA ČR(CZ) GAP206/12/0538 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : Neocapritermes taracua * chemical defense * termites * worker defense * suicidal defense Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 31.027, year: 2012

  8. Aerodynamics of Ventilation in Termite Mounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailoor, Shantanu; Yaghoobian, Neda; Turner, Scott; Mittal, Rajat

    2017-11-01

    Fungus-cultivating termites collectively build massive, complex mounds which are much larger than the size of an individual termite and effectively use natural wind and solar energy, as well as the energy generated by the colony's own metabolic activity to maintain the necessary environmental condition for the colony's survival. We seek to understand the aerodynamics of ventilation and thermoregulation of termite mounds through computational modeling. A simplified model accounting for key mound features, such as soil porosity and internal conduit network, is subjected to external draft conditions. The role of surface flow conditions in the generation of internal flow patterns and the ability of the mound to transport gases and heat from the nursery are examined. The understanding gained from our study could be used to guide sustainable bio-inspired passive HVAC system design, which could help optimize energy utilization in commercial and residential buildings. This research is supported by a seed Grant from the Environment, Energy Sustainability and Health Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.

  9. Morphophysiological study of digestive system litter-feeding termite Cornitermes cumulans (Kollar, 1832).

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Sousa, Géssica; Dos Santos, Vânia Cristina; de Figueiredo Gontijo, Nelder; Constantino, Reginaldo; de Oliveira Paiva E Silva, Gabriela; Bahia, Ana Cristina; Gomes, Fabio Mendonça; de Alcantara Machado, Ednildo

    2017-06-01

    Termites are the major decomposers of lignocellulosic biomass on Earth and are commonly considered as biological reactor models for lignocellulose degradation. Despite their biotechnological potential, few studies have focused on the morphophysiological aspects of the termite digestive system. We therefore analyze the morphology, ultrastructure and gut luminal pH of the digestive system in workers of the litter-feeding termite Cornitermes cumulans (Blattodea: Termitidae). Their digestive system is composed of salivary glands and an alimentary canal with a pH ranging from neutral to alkaline. The salivary glands have an acinar structure and present cells with secretory characteristics. The alimentary canal is differentiated into the foregut, midgut, mixed segment and hindgut, which comprises the ileum (p1), enteric valve (p2), paunch (p3), colon (p4) and rectum (p5) segments. The foregut has a well-developed chewing system. The midgut possesses a tubular peritrophic membrane and two cell types: digestive cells with secretory and absorptive features and several regenerative cells in mitosis, both cell types being organized into regenerative crypts. The mixed segment exhibits cells rich in glycogen granules. Hindgut p1, p4 and p5 segments have flattened cells with a few apical invaginations related to mitochondria and a thick cuticular lining. Conversely, the hindgut p3 segment contains large cuboid cells with extensive apical invaginations associated with numerous mitochondria. These new insights into the morphophysiology of the digestive system of C. cumulans reveal that it mobilizes lignocellulose components as a nutritional source by means of a highly compartmentalized organization with specialized segments and complex microenvironments.

  10. Termites (Isoptera) in Kibale Forest National Park, Western Uganda ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A survey in medium altitude primary forest yielded eleven species of termites in three families. At least three species are mainly West African. Low levels of termite consumption were observed in woody litter on the forest floor, but relatively high levels of attack on standing wood in the canopy were inferred. The chimpanzees ...

  11. Attraction of subterranean termites (Isoptera) to carbon dioxide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernklau, Elisa Jo; Fromm, Erich A; Judd, Timothy M; Bjostad, Louis B

    2005-04-01

    Subterranean termites, Reticulitermes spp., were attracted to carbon dioxide (CO2) in laboratory and field tests. In behavioral bioassays, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar), Reticulitermes tibialis Banks, and Reticulitermes virginicus Banks were attracted to CO2 concentrations between 5 and 50 mmol/mol. In further bioassays, R. tibialis and R. virginicus were attracted to the headspace from polyisocyanurate construction foam that contained 10-12 mmol/mol CO2. In soil bioassays in the laboratory, more termites foraged in chambers containing CO2-generating formulations than in unbaited control chambers. In field tests, stations containing CO2-generating baits attracted R. tibialis away from wooden fence posts at rangeland sites in Colorado. For all of the CO2 formulations tested, termites foraged in significantly more bait stations at treatment fenceposts than in bait stations at the control fenceposts. By the end of the 8-wk study, the number of bait stations located by termites at treatment fenceposts ranged from 40 to 90%. At control fenceposts, termites foraged in only a single station and the one positive station was not located by termites until week 5 of the study. At treatment fenceposts, termites foraged equally in active stations (containing a CO2-generating bait) and passive stations (with no CO2-generating bait), indicating that bait stations may benefit passively from a proximal CO2 source in the soil. CO2 used as an attractant in current baiting systems could improve their effectiveness by allowing earlier exposure of termites to an insecticide.

  12. The draft genome of a termite illuminates alternative social organization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Termites have substantial economic and ecological impact worldwide. They are also the oldest organisms living in complex societies, having evolved a caste system independent of that of eusocial Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps). Here we provide the first genome sequence for a termite, Zootermopsis ...

  13. Assessment of Termite Re-worked Lateritic Soil as Highway ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The geotechnical properties of termite reworked lateritic soils and their suitability for road construction have been evaluated for selected sites in south western Nigeria. The evaluation reveals that termite reworked soils have higher plastic limits, specific gravities, Maximum Dry Densities (MDD) and California Bearing Ratios ...

  14. Influence of Soil Properties on Soldierless Termite Distribution

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bourguignon, T.; Drouet, T.; Šobotník, J.; Hanus, Robert; Roisin, Y.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 10, č. 8 (2015), e0135341/1-e0135341/11 E-ISSN 1932-6203 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : tropical termites * soil-feeding termites * soil properties * soil preference Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.057, year: 2015 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0135341

  15. Control and prevention of biodeteriation caused by termites (Isoptera)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The paper reviewed the control measures against damage caused by termites. The objective was achieved using baseline published literature and data. This is particularly important because of the ever present destructive effect and presence of termites in every area of life worldwide. Multiple effective measures, ranging ...

  16. Indigenous methods of controlling termites in agroforestry systems in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mo

    water run off into ant hills. Key words: Agroforestry, Indigenous Knowledge, and termites. ... Citrus lemon. 0.9. Sesbania sesban. 0.9. Maesopsis eminii. 2.6. Pinus patula. 1.9. Table 1: Agroforestry tree species found planted by respondents in selected districts of Uganda. Table 2 . Agroforestry tree species prone to termite ...

  17. Resistance of treated rubber wood ( Hevea brasiliensis ) to termite ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... 24 and 36 weeks respectively). The better performance of CCA over CNSL, with respect to resistance to termite degrade, follows the same trend as preservative absorption in the test samples. Keywords: Rubberwood, Copper Chromium Arsenate, Cashew Nut Shell Liquid, Termites Bowen Journal of Agriculture Vol.

  18. Termite Resistance of MDF Panels Treated with Various Boron Compounds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sedat Ondaral

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available In this study, the effects of various boron compounds on the termite resistance of MDF panels were evaluated. Either borax (BX, boric acid (BA, zinc borate (ZB, or sodium perborate tetrahydrate (SPT were added to urea-formaldehyde (UF resin at target contents of 1%, 1.5%, 2% and 2.5% based on dry fiber weight. The panels were then manufactured using 12% urea-formaldehyde resin and 1% NH4Cl. MDF samples from the panels were tested against the subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki. Laboratory termite resistance tests showed that all samples containing boron compounds had greater resistance against termite attack compared to untreated MDF samples. At the second and third weeks of exposure, nearly 100% termite mortalities were recorded in all boron compound treated samples. The highest termite mortalities were determined in the samples with either BA or BX. Also, it was found that SPT showed notable performance on the termite mortality. As chemical loadings increased, termite mortalities increased, and at the same time the weight losses of the samples decreased.

  19. Infections associated with edible termites and their public health ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The species of bacteria isolated from termite's intestine included Escherichia coli (37.7%), Staphylococcus aureus (15.09%), Klebsiella spp (24.53%) and Streptococcus faecalis (22.64%). Over 50% of inhabitants-cum-consumers were unaware of possible acquisition and transmission of infections by termites. The medical ...

  20. Termite Population Dynamics in Arenic Kandiudults as Influenced by ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Termites have been identified as one of the major pests of cassava in Nigeria especially on infested soils. Termite Population Dynamics in Arenic Kandiudults as Influenced by Tillage and Organic Manure Sources in a Cassava Farm in Owerri, Southeastern Nigeria, was investigated in this study. Three years of field trials ...

  1. Termite Species Distribution and Flight Periods on Oahu, Hawaii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Reina L; Grace, J Kenneth; Mason, Makena; Krushelnycky, Paul D; Spafford, Helen; Aihara-Sasaki, Maria

    2017-06-05

    Termites are economically-important structural pests, costing residents of Hawaii over $100 million annually. On Oahu, the last published termite swarming survey occurred from 1969 to 1971, and the last termite hand-collection survey occurred from 1998 to 2000. To contribute data on termite occurrences on Oahu, a light-trap survey took place from February 2011 to September 2012, and a hand-collection survey occurred from September to November 2012. Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, swarming was compared over the duration of the study, finding peak swarming in May 2011. C. formosanus alate activity density was regressed with environmental factors, finding a negative correlation with average wind speed and a positive correlation with average rainfall. Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) alates were observed in April, June, and July 2011 and in June 2012. Four species of termites were found in the hand-collection survey of 44 sites: Incisitermes immigrans (Snyder) ( n = 8/44), C. formosanus ( n = 2/44), Cryptotermes cynocephalus Light ( n = 1/44), and Neotermes sp. ( n = 1/44). This study contributes to distribution data for termite species on Oahu and records alate activity for two important termite pests.

  2. Diversity of Hindgut Bacterial Population in Subterranean Termite, Reticulitermes flavipes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olanrewaju Raji; Dragica Jeremic-Nikolic; Juliet D. Tang

    2017-01-01

    The termite hindgut contains a bacterial community that symbiotically aids in digestion of cellulosic materials. For this paper, a species survey of bacterial hindgut symbionts in termites collected from Saucier, Mississippi was examined. Two methods were tested for optimal genetic material isolation. Genomic DNA was isolated from the hindgut luminal contents of five...

  3. Influence of insecticide treatments on damaging termite population ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Influence of insecticide treatments on damaging termite population of rice and maize crops in Savanna (Lamto and Booro-Borotou, Cote d'lvoire) : Influence des traitements insecticides sur les populations de termites nuisibles aux cultures de riz et de mais en milieu de savane (Lamto et Booro-Borotou,Cote d'Lvoire).

  4. Stability of termite mound populations in a variable environment ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Of all the climatic variables in the environment of termites in southern Kenya, only rainfall shows marked seasonality and unpredictability. But despite the great variability in rainfall patterns, the populations of termite mounds of various species in three well-separated study areas remained remarkably constant over a period ...

  5. Proteolytic enzymes in seawater: contribution of prokaryotes and protists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obayashi, Y.; Suzuki, S.

    2016-02-01

    Proteolytic enzyme is one of the major catalysts of microbial processing of organic matter in biogeochemical cycle. Here we summarize some of our studies about proteases in seawater, including 1) distribution of protease activities in coastal and oceanic seawater, 2) responses of microbial community and protease activities in seawater to organic matter amending, and 3) possible contribution of heterotrophic protists besides prokaryotes to proteases in seawater, to clarify cleared facts and remaining questions. Activities of aminopeptidases, trypsin-type and chymotrypsin-type proteases were detected from both coastal and oceanic seawater by using MCA-substrate assay. Significant activities were detected from not only particulate (cell-associated) fraction but also dissolved fraction of seawater, especially for trypsin-type and chymotrypsin-type proteases. Hydrolytic enzymes in seawater have been commonly thought to be mainly derived from heterotrophic prokaryotes; however, it was difficult to determine actual source organisms of dissolved enzymes in natural seawater. Our experiment with addition of dissolved protein to subtropical oligotrophic Pacific water showed drastically enhancement of the protease activities especially aminopeptidases in seawater, and the prokaryotic community structure simultaneously changed to be dominant of Bacteroidetes, indicating that heterotrophic bacteria were actually one of the sources of proteases in seawater. Another microcosm experiment with free-living marine heterotrophic ciliate Paranophrys marina together with an associated bacterium showed that extracellular trypsin-type activity was mainly attributed to the ciliate. The protist seemed to work in organic matter digestion in addition to be a grazer. From the results, we propose a system of organic matter digestion by prokaryotes and protists in aquatic environments, although their actual contribution in natural environments should be estimated in future studies.

  6. Cultural significance of termites in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Huis, Arnold

    2017-01-26

    The number of termite species in the world is more than 2500, and Africa with more than 1000 species has the richest intercontinental diversity. The family Termitidae contains builders of great mounds up to 5 m high. Colonies are composed of casts: a queen, a king, soldiers and workers. Some species of termite cultivate specialised fungi to digest cellulose. Termites constitute 10% of all animal biomass in the tropics. The purpose of the study was to make an overview of how termites are utilized, perceived and experienced in daily life across sub-Saharan Africa. Ethno-entomological information on termites (Isoptera) in sub-Saharan Africa was collected by: (1) interviews with more than 300 people from about 120 ethnic groups from 27 countries in the region; (2) library studies in Africa, London, Paris and Leiden. Vernacular names relate to mounds, insects as food, the swarming, and the behaviour of termites. Swarming reproductive, soldiers and queens are collected as food. There are many different ways to harvest them. Termites can also be used as feed for poultry or as bait to catch birds and fish. The mushrooms that grow each year from the fungus gardens on the termite mounds are eaten. The soldiers, the fungus gardens and the soil of termite mounds are used for multiple medicinal purposes. Mounds and soil of termites have numerous functions: for geochemical prospecting, making bricks, plastering houses, making pots, and for storage. Termite soil is often used as fertilizer. The act of eating soil (geophagy) among women, especially those that are pregnant, is practised all over Africa. The mounds can serve as burying places and are often associated with the spiritual world, especially containing the spirits of ancestors. Termites also play a role as oracle, in superstitious beliefs, in art and literature. The following characteristics make termites so appealing: the dominance in the landscape, the social organization, the destructive power, and the provision of

  7. Molecular diversity and host specificity of termite-associated Xylaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guedegbe, Herbert J; Miambi, Edouard; Pando, Anne; Houngnandan, Pascal; Rouland-Lefevre, Corinne

    2009-01-01

    Studies have revealed that some Xylaria species were closely associated with fungus-growing termite nests. However this relationship rarely had been investigated and the host specificity of termite-associated Xylaria was not yet clearly established. Eighteen Xylaria rDNA-ITS sequences were obtained from fungus combs belonging to 11 Macrotermitinae species from eight regions. Low diversity was found between isolates, and nine sequences were retrieved. Termite-associated Xylaria were shown to be monophyletic, with three main clades, all including strains from various termite hosts and geographical localities. This new molecular study shows no species specificity with respect to fungus-growing termites, which suggests that there might be substrate specialization.

  8. Soil protist communities form a dynamic hub in the soil microbiome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Xiong, Wu; Jousset, Alexandre; Guo, Sai; Karlsson, Ida; Zhao, Qingyun; Wu, Huasong; Kowalchuk, George A.; Shen, Qirong; Li, Rong; Geisen, Stefan

    2018-01-01

    Soil microbes are essential for soil fertility. However, most studies focus on bacterial and/or fungal communities, while the top-down drivers of this microbiome composition, protists, remain poorly understood. Here, we investigated how soil amendments affect protist communities and inferred

  9. Fate of pathogenic Bacillus cereus spores after ingestion by protist grazers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne; Santos, Susana; Hendriksen, Niels Bohse

    was initially investigated in microcosms inoculated with pure cultures of the protists Acanthamoeba castellanii, Tetrahymena pyriformis and Cercomonas sp. as grazers. Individual protist cultures were fed with fluorescently labelled (CellTracker™RedCMTPX) B. cereus spores or vegetative cells as the only food...

  10. Escape response of planktonic protists to fluid mechanical signals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jakobsen, Hans Henrik

    2001-01-01

    The escape response to fluid mechanical signals was examined in 6 protists, 4 ciliates and 2 dinoflagellates. When exposed to a siphon flow. 3 species of ciliates, Balanion comatum, Strobilidium sp., and Mesodinium pulex, responded with escape jumps. The threshold deformation rates required...... to elicit an escape ranged between 1.8 and 3 s(-1). Escape speeds varied between 100 to 150 body length s(-1). Jump directions were non- random in all jumping species and had a negative geotactic component. In a grazing experiment with copepods, the predation mortality of a jumping ciliate was about 15...

  11. Activity of medicinal plants from Ghana against the parasitic gut protist Blastocystis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bremer Christensen, Charlotte; Soelberg, Jens; Stensvold, Christen R

    2015-01-01

    ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: The plants tested in this study were examples of plants historically used to treat or alleviate several types of stomach disorders manifested by e.g. stomachache, diarrhoea or dysentery. These plants have been consumed typically as a decoction, sometimes mixed...... activity as the reference anti-protozoal drug MTZ. Historically, the active plants found in this study have been used against dysentery, diarrhoea or other stomach disorders. Nowadays they are not used specifically for dysentery, but they are being used as medicinal plants against various stomach disorders....

  12. Bacteria from diverse habitats colonize and compete in the mouse gut.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seedorf, Henning; Griffin, Nicholas W; Ridaura, Vanessa K; Reyes, Alejandro; Cheng, Jiye; Rey, Federico E; Smith, Michelle I; Simon, Gabriel M; Scheffrahn, Rudolf H; Woebken, Dagmar; Spormann, Alfred M; Van Treuren, William; Ursell, Luke K; Pirrung, Megan; Robbins-Pianka, Adam; Cantarel, Brandi L; Lombard, Vincent; Henrissat, Bernard; Knight, Rob; Gordon, Jeffrey I

    2014-10-09

    To study how microbes establish themselves in a mammalian gut environment, we colonized germ-free mice with microbial communities from human, zebrafish, and termite guts, human skin and tongue, soil, and estuarine microbial mats. Bacteria from these foreign environments colonized and persisted in the mouse gut; their capacity to metabolize dietary and host carbohydrates and bile acids correlated with colonization success. Cohousing mice harboring these xenomicrobiota or a mouse cecal microbiota, along with germ-free "bystanders," revealed the success of particular bacterial taxa in invading guts with established communities and empty gut habitats. Unanticipated patterns of ecological succession were observed; for example, a soil-derived bacterium dominated even in the presence of bacteria from other gut communities (zebrafish and termite), and human-derived bacteria colonized germ-free bystander mice before mouse-derived organisms. This approach can be generalized to address a variety of mechanistic questions about succession, including succession in the context of microbiota-directed therapeutics. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Evidence for an active rare biosphere within freshwater protists community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debroas, Didier; Hugoni, Mylène; Domaizon, Isabelle

    2015-03-01

    Studies on the active rare biosphere at the RNA level are mainly focused on Bacteria and Archaea and fail to include the protists, which are involved in the main biogeochemical cycles of the earth. In this study, the richness, composition and activity of the rare protistan biosphere were determined from a temporal survey of two lakes by pyrosequencing. In these ecosystems, the always rare OTUs represented 77.2% of the total OTUs and 76.6% of the phylogenetic diversity. From the various phylogenetic indices computed, the phylogenetic units (PUs) constituted exclusively by always rare OTUs were discriminated from the other PUs. Therefore, the rare biosphere included mainly taxa that are distant from the reference databases compared to the dominant ones. In addition, the rarest OTUs represented 59.8% of the active biosphere depicted by rRNA and the activity (rRNA:rDNA ratio) increased with the rarity. The high rRNA:rDNA ratio determined in the rare fraction highlights that some protists were active at low abundances and contribute to ecosystem functioning. Interestingly, the always rare and active OTUs were characterized by seasonal changes in relation with the main environmental parameters measured. In conclusion, the rare eukaryotes represent an active, dynamic and overlooked fraction in the lacustrine ecosystems. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Giant deep-sea protist produces bilaterian-like traces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matz, Mikhail V; Frank, Tamara M; Marshall, N Justin; Widder, Edith A; Johnsen, Sönke

    2008-12-09

    One of the strongest paleontological arguments in favor of the origin of bilaterally symmetrical animals (Bilateria) prior to their obvious and explosive appearance in the fossil record in the early Cambrian, 542 million years ago, is the occurrence of trace fossils shaped like elongated sinuous grooves or furrows in the Precambrian. Being restricted to the seafloor surface, these traces are relatively rare and of limited diversity, and they do not show any evidence of the use of hard appendages. They are commonly attributed to the activity of the early nonskeletonized bilaterians or, alternatively, large cnidarians such as sea anemones or sea pens. Here we describe macroscopic groove-like traces produced by a living giant protist and show that these traces bear a remarkable resemblance to the Precambrian trace fossils, including those as old as 1.8 billion years. This is the first evidence that organisms other than multicellular animals can produce such traces, and it prompts re-evaluation of the significance of Precambrian trace fossils as evidence of the early diversification of Bilateria. Our observations also render indirect support to the highly controversial interpretation of the enigmatic Ediacaran biota of the late Precambrian as giant protists.

  15. The hindgut lumen prokaryotic microbiota of the termite Reticulitermes flavipes and its responses to dietary lignocellulose composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boucias, Drion G; Cai, Yunpeng; Sun, Yijun; Lietze, Verena-Ulrike; Sen, Ruchira; Raychoudhury, Rhitoban; Scharf, Michael E

    2013-04-01

    Reticulitermes flavipes (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) is a highly eusocial insect that thrives on recalcitrant lignocellulosic diets through nutritional symbioses with gut-dwelling prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In the R. flavipes hindgut, there are up to 12 eukaryotic protozoan symbionts; the number of prokaryotic symbionts has been estimated in the hundreds. Despite its biological relevance, this diverse community, to date, has been investigated only by culture- and cloning-dependent methods. Moreover, it is unclear how termite gut microbiomes respond to diet changes and what roles they play in lignocellulose digestion. This study utilized high-throughput 454 pyrosequencing of 16S V5-V6 amplicons to sample the hindgut lumen prokaryotic microbiota of R. flavipes and to examine compositional changes in response to lignin-rich and lignin-poor cellulose diets after a 7-day feeding period. Of the ~475,000 high-quality reads that were obtained, 99.9% were annotated as bacteria and 0.11% as archaea. Major bacterial phyla included Spirochaetes (24.9%), Elusimicrobia (19.8%), Firmicutes (17.8%), Bacteroidetes (14.1%), Proteobacteria (11.4%), Fibrobacteres (5.8%), Verrucomicrobia (2.0%), Actinobacteria (1.4%) and Tenericutes (1.3%). The R. flavipes hindgut lumen prokaryotic microbiota was found to contain over 4761 species-level phylotypes. However, diet-dependent shifts were not statistically significant or uniform across colonies, suggesting significant environmental and/or host genetic impacts on colony-level microbiome composition. These results provide insights into termite gut microbiome diversity and suggest that (i) the prokaryotic gut microbiota is much more complex than previously estimated, and (ii) environment, founding reproductive pair effects and/or host genetics influence microbiome composition. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  16. Pyrotag sequencing of the gut microbiota of the cockroach Shelfordella lateralis reveals a highly dynamic core but only limited effects of diet on community structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Schauer

    Full Text Available Although blattid cockroaches and termites share a common ancestor, their diets are distinctly different. While termites consume a highly specialized diet of lignocellulose, cockroaches are omnivorous and opportunistic feeders. The role of the termite gut microbiota has been studied intensively, but little is known about the cockroach gut microbiota and its function in digestion and nutrition, particularly the adaptation to different diets. Our analyses of the bacterial gut microbiota of the blattid cockroach Shelfordella lateralis combining terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism of their 16S rRNA genes with physiological parameters (microbial metabolites, hydrogen and methane emission indicated substantial variation between individuals but failed to identify any diet-related response. Subsequent deep-sequencing of the 16S rRNA genes of the colonic gut microbiota of S. lateralis fed either a high- or a low-fiber diet confirmed the absence of bacterial taxa that responded to diet. Instead, we found a small number of abundant phylotypes that were consistently present in all samples and made up half of the community in both diet groups. They varied strongly in abundance between individual samples at the genus but not at the family level. The remaining phylotypes were inconsistently present among replicate batches. Our findings suggest that S. lateralis harbors a highly dynamic core gut microbiota that is maintained even after fundamental dietary shifts, and that any dietary effects on the gut community are likely to be masked by strong individual variations.

  17. Behaviour and Ecological Impacts of Termites: Fecundity Investigations in Mounds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wako Sutuma Edessa

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available A radical study was conducted on the behaviour and ecological impacts of termites in Haru District of Western Oromia, Ethiopia. It was aimed at investigating the natural behaviour, fecundity in mounds, ecological impacts and recommending possible solutions to termite problems. Four mounds in different sites were vertically dug down to display the profile of the queen, soldiers, workers, number of laid eggs, nymphs and colonies of termites. On an average, termite queens of the study site may lay about 25 eggs per minute, 36, 000 eggs per day and 13, 140, 000 eggs annually. The fourth queen was unearthed to study the structure, size, number of ovaries and fecundity. It was examined that the death of a queen does not affect the colony, because four small queens are formed and one of them becomes the queen of queens and replaced the dead queen promptly. Accordingly, termites are found to be one of the most destructive agents of our ecosystems and their management requests careful and biological control methods. As a result, the negative effect of termites outweighs the positive effect of termites so that minimising the population size is important for human beings.

  18. Physicochemical conditions, metabolites and community structure of the bacterial microbiota in the gut of wood-feeding cockroaches (Blaberidae: Panesthiinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Eugen; Lampert, Niclas; Mikaelyan, Aram; Köhler, Tim; Maekawa, Kiyoto; Brune, Andreas

    2015-02-01

    While the gut microbiota of termites and its role in symbiotic digestion have been studied for decades, little is known about the bacteria colonizing the intestinal tract of the distantly related wood-feeding cockroaches (Blaberidae: Panesthiinae). Here, we show that physicochemical gut conditions and microbial fermentation products in the gut of Panesthia angustipennis resemble that of other cockroaches. Microsensor measurements confirmed that all gut compartments were anoxic at the center and had a slightly acidic to neutral pH and a negative redox potential. While acetate dominated in all compartments, lactate and hydrogen accumulated only in the crop. The high, hydrogen-limited rates of methane emission from living cockroaches were in agreement with the restriction of F420-fluorescent methanogens to the hindgut. The gut microbiota of both P. angustipennis and Salganea esakii differed strongly between compartments, with the highest density and diversity in the hindgut, but similarities between homologous compartments of both cockroaches indicated a specificity of the microbiota for their respective habitats. While some lineages were most closely related to the gut microbiota of omnivorous cockroaches and wood- or litter-feeding termites, others have been encountered also in vertebrates, reinforcing the hypothesis that strong environmental selection drives community structure in the cockroach gut. © FEMS 2014. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Fungus-Growing Termites Originated in African Rain Forest

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aanen, Duur Kornelis; Eggleton, Paul

    2005-01-01

    of habitat switching [ 4 ] repeated over all phylogenetic trees sampled in a Bayesian analysis of molecular data [ 5 ]. Our reconstructions provide strong evidence that termite agriculture originated in African rain forest and that the main radiation leading to the extant genera occurred there. Because...... are consumed (cf. [ [1] and [2] ]). Fungus-growing termites are found throughout the Old World tropics, in rain forests and savannas, but are ecologically dominant in savannas [ 3 ]. Here, we reconstruct the ancestral habitat and geographical origin of fungus-growing termites. We used a statistical model...

  20. The Gut

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holst, Jens Juul; Pedersen, Jens; Wewer Albrechtsen, Nicolai Jacob

    2017-01-01

    are inappropriately increased and importantly contribute to both fasting and postprandial hyperglycemia. This may involve stimulation by GIP, but evidence also points to a role of circulating amino acids, which are elevated due to steatosis-induced impaired glucagon-mediated hepatic clearance, in line with recent...... work suggesting that the alpha cells and the liver are linked in a close, amino acid-mediated feedback circuit. Thus, the gut plays an important role in the development of T2DM spurred by overeating and defective beta cells.......In this communication we discuss the role of the gut for the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Gastric emptying rates importantly determine postprandial glucose excursions and regulate postprandial secretion of the incretin hormones, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP...

  1. Population Suppression of Subterranean Termites by Slow-Acting Toxicants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nan-Yao Su; Rudolf H. Scheffrahn

    1991-01-01

    Historic background and the concept of slow-acting toxicants for population suppression of subterranean termites are reviewed. Information needed for development of bait-toxicants and studies needed to generate such information are summarized.

  2. Nootkatone is a repellent for Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, B C; Henderson, G; Chen, F; Maistrello, L; Laine, R A

    2001-03-01

    We examined the behavior of Formosan subterranean termites toward one of the components of vetiver grass oil, the roots of which manufacture insect repellents. We found nootkatone, a sesquiterpene ketone, isolated from vetiver oil is a strong repellent and toxicant to Formosan subterranean termites. The lowest effective concentration tested was 10 micrograms/g substrate. This is the first report of nootkatone being a repellent to insects.

  3. Defining planktonic protist functional groups on mechanisms for energy and nutrient acquisition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mitra, Aditee; Flynn, Kevin J.; Tillmann, Urban

    2016-01-01

    Arranging organisms into functional groups aids ecological research by grouping organisms (irrespective of phylogenetic origin) that interact with environmental factors in similar ways. Planktonic protists traditionally have been split between photoautotrophic “phytoplankton” and phagotrophic...

  4. Protist community in soil: Effects of different land-use types

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Santos, Susana; Schöler, Anne; Winding, Anne

    microorganisms exhibit high levels of molecular and functional diversity in soils. However, studies questioning the protist diversity in soil and their variability across different soil land-use types, have received far less attention. The purpose of our study was to obtain relative abundances of flagellate...... types and land-use. These samples allowed us to explore the diversity of protiest organisms geographically and study the hypothesis that different land-usage promotes different soil protist colonization, as seen previously for bacterial communities. Generally, eukaryotic community is determined......Soil protist microorganisms represent an important part of the soil microbial community being major players in providing ecosystem services. Changes in their community structure and dynamics may influence the rate and kind of soil formation and fertility. Corroborative studies indicate that protist...

  5. Thraustochytrium gaertnerium sp. nov.: A new Thraustochytrid Stramenopilan protist from mangroves of Goa, India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Bongiorni, L.; Jain, R.; Raghukumar, S.; Aggarwal, R.K.

    Thraustochytrids are ubiquitous, chemo-organotrophic, marine stramenipilan protists belonging to the class Labyrinthulomycetes. Their taxonomy is largely based on life cycle development stages. Described here is a new species of thraustochytrid...

  6. Detection of the thraustochytrid protist Ulkenia visurgensis in a hydroid, using immunofluorescence

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, S.

    to November 1986 By treating the samples with antiserum prepared against this organism and conjugated with FITC stain, the protist was regularly found to occur in association with a hydroid Several cells of the organism were observed in the coelenteron...

  7. Termite Diversity in Urban Landscape, South Jakarta, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arinana, Arinana; Aldina, Rifat; Nandika, Dodi; Rauf, Aunu; Harahap, Idham S; Sumertajaya, I Made; Bahtiar, Effendi Tri

    2016-05-06

    The population of South Jakarta, a city within the Province of Jakarta Capital Region, is increasing annually, and the development of land into building causes termite diversity loss. The aim of this research was to determine the diversity of subterranean termite species and their distribution in South Jakarta and to evaluate the soil profile termite habitat. This study was conducted in South Jakarta and was carried out at four residential areas representing four randomly selected sub-districts. Specimens were collected with a baiting system. At each residence, as many as 25-30 stakes of pine wood (Pinus merkusii) sized 2 cm × 2 cm × 46 cm were placed for termite sampling. Soil samples were also collected from each residence for testing of their texture, pH, soil water content, and C-organic. Three species of subterranean termites were identified, including Coptotermes curvignathus, Microtermes insperatus, and Macrotermes gilvus, with area-specific variations in occurrence. The soil and weather conditions in the studied areas provided suitable habitat for termites, and M. insperatus was the most commonly found species.

  8. Termite Diversity in Urban Landscape, South Jakarta, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arinana Arinana

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The population of South Jakarta, a city within the Province of Jakarta Capital Region, is increasing annually, and the development of land into building causes termite diversity loss. The aim of this research was to determine the diversity of subterranean termite species and their distribution in South Jakarta and to evaluate the soil profile termite habitat. This study was conducted in South Jakarta and was carried out at four residential areas representing four randomly selected sub-districts. Specimens were collected with a baiting system. At each residence, as many as 25–30 stakes of pine wood (Pinus merkusii sized 2 cm × 2 cm × 46 cm were placed for termite sampling. Soil samples were also collected from each residence for testing of their texture, pH, soil water content, and C-organic. Three species of subterranean termites were identified, including Coptotermes curvignathus, Microtermes insperatus, and Macrotermes gilvus, with area-specific variations in occurrence. The soil and weather conditions in the studied areas provided suitable habitat for termites, and M. insperatus was the most commonly found species.

  9. Comparison of three DNA extraction methods for recovery of soil protist DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Susana S; Nielsen, Tue Kjærgaard; Hansen, Lars H; Winding, Anne

    2015-08-01

    The use of molecular methods to investigate protist communities in soil is in rapid development this decade. Molecular analysis of soil protist communities is usually dependant on direct genomic DNA extraction from soil and inefficient or differential DNA extraction of protist DNA can lead to bias in downstream community analysis. Three commonly used soil DNA extraction methods have been tested on soil samples from three European Long-Term Observatories (LTOs) with different land-use and three protist cultures belonging to different phylogenetic groups in different growth stages. The methods tested were: ISOm-11063 (a version of the ISO-11063 method modified to include a FastPrep ®-24 mechanical lysis step), GnS-GII (developed by the GenoSol platform to extract soil DNA in large-scale soil surveys) and a commercial DNA extraction kit - Power Lyzer™ PowerSoil® DNA Isolation Kit (MoBio). DNA yield and quality were evaluated along with DNA suitability for amplification of 18S rDNA fragments by PCR. On soil samples, ISOm-11063 yields significantly higher DNA for two of the three soil samples, however, MoBio extraction favors DNA quality. This method was also more effective to recover copies of 18S rDNA numbers from all soil types. In addition and despite the lower yields, higher DNA quality was observed with DNA extracted from protist cultures with the MoBio method. Likewise, a bead-beating step shows to be a good solution for DNA extraction of soil protists, since the recovery of DNA from protist cultures and from the different soil samples with the ISOm method proved to be efficient in recovering PCR-amplifiable DNA. This study showed that soil DNA extraction methods provide biased results towards the cyst stages of protist organism. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Exploring the potential for actinobacteria as defensive symbionts in fungus-growing termites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Visser, Anna A.; Nobre, Tânia; Currie, Cameron R.

    2012-01-01

    isolated. If so, the antibiotics must be used in a targeted fashion, being applied to specific areas by the termites. We describe the first discovery of an assembly of antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria occurring in fungus-growing termite nests. However, due to the diversity found, and the lack of both......In fungus-growing termites, fungi of the subgenus Pseudoxylaria threaten colony health through substrate competition with the termite fungus (Termitomyces). The potential mechanisms with which termites suppress Pseudoxylaria have remained unknown. Here we explore if Actinobacteria potentially play...... a role as defensive symbionts against Pseudoxylaria in fungus-growing termites. We sampled for Actinobacteria from 30 fungus-growing termite colonies, spanning the three main termite genera and two geographically distant sites. Our isolations yielded 360 Actinobacteria, from which we selected subsets...

  11. ALIMENTARY CANAL ANATOMY AND HISTOLOGY OF THE WORKER TERMITE NEOTERMES BOSEI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LEKSONO EKOPURANTO HARIPRABOWO

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available As social insects, termites live in a colony that consist of reproductive (drone and queen, and non-reproductive (soldiers and workers castes. Workers obtain their food directly from wood, humus, and other substances that contain cellulose. The objective of this study was to examine the alimentary canal of the Neotermes bosei workers. Observations of gut transverse section were carried out through the length, perimeter, and area of each alimentary canal region. The results showed that total length of N. bosei alimentary canal was 13.71+1.28 mm. The canal was divided into fore-, mid-, and hindgut which were 24, 28, and 48%, respectively of the gut total length. Two types of alimentary canal epithelial cells were found, i.e. the squamous and transitional cells. Areas covered with thick muscular tissues were crop, proventriculus, and rectum. Proventriculus was characterized with six large dentitions. There was no gastric caeca in N. bosei midgut, which commonly occurred in chewing insect. Secretory cells .wer e observed at proventriculus and ventriculus regions. Cardiac valve was found at the anterior end of ventriculus. Area with the largest outer perimeter was the rectum pouch. Enteric valve had three internal folds.

  12. Tropical wood resistance to the West Indian drywood termite Cryptotermes brevis: If termites can't chew….

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cosme, Lírio; Haro, Marcelo M; Guedes, Nelsa Maria P; Della Lucia, Terezinha Maria C; Guedes, Raul Narciso C

    2018-04-01

    The importance and impact of invasive species are usually considered based on their economic implications, particularly the direct damage that they cause. The West Indian drywood termite Cryptotermes brevis (Walker) is an example and is a concern in structural lumber, furniture, and other wood products. Despite its importance, its tropical wood preferences and the wood physical characteristics contributing to resistance have not been investigated to date. Here, we developed wood testing units to allow the X-ray recording of termite colonization and then subsequently tested tropical wood resistance to the termite through free-choice and no-choice bioassays using these wood testing units. The relevance of wood density and hardness as determinants of such resistance was also tested, as was termite mandible wear. The wood testing units used allowed the assessment of the termite infestation and wood area loss, enabling subsequent choice bioassays to be performed. While pine (Pinus sp.), jequitiba (Cariniana sp.) and angelim (Hymenolobium petraenum) exhibited the heaviest losses and highest infestations; cumaru (Dipteryx odorata), guariuba (Clarisia racemosa), and purpleheart (Peltogyne sp.) showed the lowest losses and infestations; courbaril (Hymenaea courbaril), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus sp.), and tatajuba (Bagassa guianensis) exhibited intermediary results. Wood hardness and in particular wood density were key determinants of wood resistance to the termites, which exhibited lower infestations associated with greater mandible wear when infesting harder high-density wood. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  13. Decomposition rates and termite assemblage composition in semiarid Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuurman, G.

    2005-01-01

    Outside of the humid tropics, abiotic factors are generally considered the dominant regulators of decomposition, and biotic influences are frequently not considered in predicting decomposition rates. In this study, I examined the effect of termite assemblage composition and abundance on decomposition of wood litter of an indigenous species (Croton megalobotrys) in five terrestrial habitats of the highly seasonal semiarid Okavango Delta region of northern Botswana, to determine whether natural variation in decomposer community composition and abundance influences decomposition rates. 1 conducted the study in two areas, Xudum and Santawani, with the Xudum study preceding the Santawani study. I assessed termite assemblage composition and abundance using a grid of survey baits (rolls of toilet paper) placed on the soil surface and checked 2-4 times/month. I placed a billet (a section of wood litter) next to each survey bait and measured decomposition in a plot by averaging the mass loss of its billets. Decomposition rates varied up to sixfold among plots within the same habitat and locality, despite the fact that these plots experienced the same climate. In addition, billets decomposed significantly faster during the cooler and drier Santawani study, contradicting climate-based predictions. Because termite incidence was generally higher in Santawani plots, termite abundance initially seemed a likely determinant of decomposition in this system. However, no significant effect of termite incidence on billet mass loss rates was observed among the Xudum plots, where decomposition rates remained low even though termite incidence varied considerably. Considering the incidences of fungus-growing termites and non-fungus-growing termites separately resolves this apparent contradiction: in both Santawani and Xudum, only fungus-growing termites play a significant role in decomposition. This result is mirrored in an analysis of the full data set of combined Xudum and Santawani data

  14. Termite Incidence on an Araucaria Plantation Forest in Teluk Bahang, Penang

    OpenAIRE

    Abu Hassan Ahmad; Aiman Hanis Jasmi

    2011-01-01

    A study was carried out to evaluate the incidence of termite attack on an Araucaria cunninghamii plantation at Teluk Bahang Forest Park (TBFP), Penang. The hilly plantation area was surveyed to determine the diversity of termite species present. Termite specimens were collected from standing Araucaria trees, underground monitoring (aggregation) stations, fallen logs, forest litter and mounds (nests). Seven species of termites were identified from 6 genera; Coptotermes curvignathus, Schedorhin...

  15. The impact of edge effect on termite community (Blattodea: Isoptera) in fragments of Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest

    OpenAIRE

    Almeida,C. S.; Cristaldo,P. F.; Florencio,D. F.; Ribeiro,E. J. M.; Cruz,N. G.; Silva,E. A.; Costa,D. A.; Araújo,A. P. A.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Habitat fragmentation is considered to be one of the biggest threats to tropical ecosystem functioning. In this region, termites perform an important ecological role as decomposers and ecosystem engineers. In the present study, we tested whether termite community is negatively affected by edge effects on three fragments of Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest. Termite abundance and vegetation structure were sampled in 10 transects (15 × 2 m), while termite richness, activity, and soil litte...

  16. Levels of specificity of Xylaria species associated with fungus-growing termites: a phylogenetic approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, A.A.; Ros, V.I.D.; Beer, de Z.W.; Debets, A.J.M.; Hartog, E.; Kuyper, T.W.; Laessoe, T.; Slippers, B.; Aanen, D.K.

    2009-01-01

    Fungus-growing termites live in obligate mutualistic symbiosis with species of the basidiomycete genus Termitomyces, which are cultivated on a substrate of dead plant material. When the termite colony dies, or when nest material is incubated without termites in the laboratory, fruiting bodies of the

  17. Comparison of termite assemblages along a landuse gradient on peat areas in Sarawak, Malaysia.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vaessen, T.; Verwer, C.; Demies, M.; Kaliang, H.; Meer, van der P.J.

    2011-01-01

    VAESSEN T, VERWER C, DEMIES M, KALIANG H & VAN DER MEER PJ. 2011. Comparison of termite assemblages along a landuse gradient on peat areas in Sarawak, Malaysia. In this study we assessed the species density and relative abundance of termites in peat land in Sarawak, Malaysia. Termites were

  18. Mitochondrial DNA genetic diversity of the drywood termites Incisitermes minor and I. snyderi

    Science.gov (United States)

    The western drywood termite, Incisitermes minor (Hagen) and the light southern drywood termite I. snyderi (Light) are common drywood termites in southwestern and southern United States, respectively. Despite the economic importance of these two species, no information exists on the mitochondrial gen...

  19. Effects of heartwood extractives on symbiotic protozoan communities and mortality in two termite species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babar Hassan; Mark E. Mankowski; Grant Kirker; Sohail Ahmed

    2017-01-01

    Lower termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) are considered severe pests of wood in service, crops and plantation forests. Termites mechanically remove and digest lignocellulosic material as a food source. The ability to digest lignocellulose not only depends on their digestive physiology, but also on the symbiotic relationship between termites and their intestinal...

  20. Geochemical prospecting for rare earth elements using termite mound materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horiuchi, Yu; Ohno, Tetsuji; Hoshino, Mihoko; Shin, Ki-Cheol; Murakami, Hiroyasu; Tsunematsu, Maiko; Watanabe, Yasushi

    2014-12-01

    The Blockspruit fluorite prospect, located in North West State of the Republic of South Africa, occurs within an actinolite rock zone that was emplaced into the Kenkelbos-type granite of Proterozoic age. There are a large number of termite mounds in the prospect. For geochemical prospecting for rare earth elements (REEs), in total, 200 samples of termite mound material were collected from actinolite rock and granite zones in the prospect. Geochemical analyses of these termite mound materials were conducted by two methods: portable X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Comparison of the two methods broadly indicates positive correlations of REEs (La, Ce, Pr, Nd, and Y), in particular Y and La having a strong correlation. As the result of modal abundance analyses, the actinolite rock at surface mainly consists of ferro-actinolite (89.89 wt%) and includes xenotime (0.26 wt%) and monazite (0.21 wt%) grains as REE minerals. Termite mound materials from actinolite rock also contain xenotime (0.27 wt%) and monazite (0.41 wt%) grains. In addition, termite mound materials from the actinolite rock zone have high hematite and Fe silicate contents compared to those from granite zone. These relationships suggest that REE minerals in termite mound materials originate form actinolite rock. Geochemical anomaly maps of Y, La, and Fe concentrations drawn based on the result of the portable XRF analyses show that high concentrations of these elements trend from SW to NE which broadly correspond to occurrences of actinolite body. These results indicate that termite mounds are an effective tool for REE geochemical prospection in the study area for both light REEs and Y, but a more detailed survey is required to establish the distribution of the actinolite rock body.

  1. Vertical stratification of the termite assemblage in a neotropical rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roisin, Yves; Dejean, Alain; Corbara, Bruno; Orivel, Jerôme; Samaniego, Mirna; Leponce, Maurice

    2006-08-01

    The importance of termites as decomposers in tropical forests has long been recognized. Studies on the richness and diversity of termite species and their ecological function have flourished in more recent times, but these have been mostly conducted in a thin stratum within a standing man's reach. Our aims were to evaluate the specific richness and composition of the termite assemblage in the canopy of a tropical rainforest and to determine its originality with respect to the sympatric ground-level fauna. We conducted systematic searches for canopy termites, together with conventional sampling of the sympatric ground-level fauna, in the San Lorenzo forest, Panama. We hypothesized that (1) the canopy accommodates two categories of wood-feeding termites (long-distance foragers and small-colony "one-piece" species) and possibly soil-feeders in suspended soil-like habitats; (2) due to the abundance of soil-feeders, the overall diversity of the ground fauna is higher than that of the canopy; (3) differences in microclimate and resource accessibility favour vertical stratification among wood-feeders. Sixty-three canopy samples yielded ten species of termites, all wood-feeders. Five of these were not found at ground level, although a total of 243 ground samples were collected, representing 29 species. In addition to long-distance foragers (Microcerotermes and Nasutitermes spp.) and small-colony termites (mostly Kalotermitidae), the canopy fauna included Termes hispaniolae, a wood-feeding Termitidae from an allegedly soil-feeding genus, living in large dead branches. Soil-feeders were absent from the canopy, probably because large epiphytes were scarce. As predicted, the ground fauna was much richer than that of the canopy, but the species richness of both habitats was similar when only wood-feeders were considered. Vertical stratification was strongly marked among wood-feeders, as all common species, apart from the arboreal-nesting Microcerotermes arboreus, could

  2. Diet Segregation between Cohabiting Builder and Inquiline Termite Species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Faria Florencio

    Full Text Available How do termite inquilines manage to cohabit termitaria along with the termite builder species? With this in mind, we analysed one of the several strategies that inquilines could use to circumvent conflicts with their hosts, namely, the use of distinct diets. We inspected overlapping patterns for the diets of several cohabiting Neotropical termite species, as inferred from carbon and nitrogen isotopic signatures for termite individuals. Cohabitant communities from distinct termitaria presented overlapping diet spaces, indicating that they exploited similar diets at the regional scale. When such communities were split into their components, full diet segregation could be observed between builders and inquilines, at regional (environment-wide and local (termitarium scales. Additionally, diet segregation among inquilines themselves was also observed in the vast majority of inspected termitaria. Inquiline species distribution among termitaria was not random. Environmental-wide diet similarity, coupled with local diet segregation and deterministic inquiline distribution, could denounce interactions for feeding resources. However, inquilines and builders not sharing the same termitarium, and thus not subject to potential conflicts, still exhibited distinct diets. Moreover, the areas of the builder's diet space and that of its inquilines did not correlate negatively. Accordingly, the diet areas of builders which hosted inquilines were in average as large as the areas of builders hosting no inquilines. Such results indicate the possibility that dietary partitioning by these cohabiting termites was not majorly driven by current interactive constraints. Rather, it seems to be a result of traits previously fixed in the evolutionary past of cohabitants.

  3. Diet Segregation between Cohabiting Builder and Inquiline Termite Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florencio, Daniela Faria; Marins, Alessandra; Rosa, Cassiano Sousa; Cristaldo, Paulo Fellipe; Araújo, Ana Paula Albano; Silva, Ivo Ribeiro; DeSouza, Og

    2013-01-01

    How do termite inquilines manage to cohabit termitaria along with the termite builder species? With this in mind, we analysed one of the several strategies that inquilines could use to circumvent conflicts with their hosts, namely, the use of distinct diets. We inspected overlapping patterns for the diets of several cohabiting Neotropical termite species, as inferred from carbon and nitrogen isotopic signatures for termite individuals. Cohabitant communities from distinct termitaria presented overlapping diet spaces, indicating that they exploited similar diets at the regional scale. When such communities were split into their components, full diet segregation could be observed between builders and inquilines, at regional (environment-wide) and local (termitarium) scales. Additionally, diet segregation among inquilines themselves was also observed in the vast majority of inspected termitaria. Inquiline species distribution among termitaria was not random. Environmental-wide diet similarity, coupled with local diet segregation and deterministic inquiline distribution, could denounce interactions for feeding resources. However, inquilines and builders not sharing the same termitarium, and thus not subject to potential conflicts, still exhibited distinct diets. Moreover, the areas of the builder’s diet space and that of its inquilines did not correlate negatively. Accordingly, the diet areas of builders which hosted inquilines were in average as large as the areas of builders hosting no inquilines. Such results indicate the possibility that dietary partitioning by these cohabiting termites was not majorly driven by current interactive constraints. Rather, it seems to be a result of traits previously fixed in the evolutionary past of cohabitants. PMID:23805229

  4. Resistance of Wood Wool Cement Board to the Attack of Philippine Termites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Carlos M.; Eusebio, Dwight A.; San Pablo, Marciana R.; Villena, Edgar M.

    2011-01-01

    The resistance of yemane (Gmelina arborea Roxb.)-based wood wool cement board (WWCB) against Philippine termites was evaluated under laboratory and field conditions. Tests were conducted following the FPRDI standard procedures in determining the resistance of WWCB against subterranean and drywood termites. Results of the laboratory tests showed that WWCB was resistant to both Microcerotermes losbañosensis Oshima and Cryptotermes dudleyi Banks. Under field conditions, WWCB was highly resistant to subterranean termites. There was no remarkable termite damage except for the normal nibbling or initial termite feeding on the board during the 8-year exposure period. PMID:26467946

  5. Genome analysis of Elusimicrobium minutum, the first cultivated representative of the Elusimicrobia phylum (formerly Termite Group 1)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Herlemann, D. P. R.; Geissinger, O.; Ikeda-Ohtsubo, W.; Kunin, V.; Sun, H.; Lapidus, A.; Hugenholtz, P.; Brune, A.

    2009-02-01

    The candidate phylum Termite group 1 (TG1), is regularly 1 encountered in termite hindguts but is present also in many other habitats. Here we report the complete genome sequence (1.64 Mbp) of Elusimicrobium minutum strain Pei191{sup T}, the first cultured representative of the TG1 phylum. We reconstructed the metabolism of this strictly anaerobic bacterium isolated from a beetle larva gut and discuss the findings in light of physiological data. E. minutum has all genes required for uptake and fermentation of sugars via the Embden-Meyerhof pathway, including several hydrogenases, and an unusual peptide degradation pathway comprising transamination reactions and leading to the formation of alanine, which is excreted in substantial amounts. The presence of genes encoding lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis and the presence of a pathway for peptidoglycan formation are consistent with ultrastructural evidence of a Gram-negative cell envelope. Even though electron micrographs showed no cell appendages, the genome encodes many genes putatively involved in pilus assembly. We assigned some to a type II secretion system, but the function of 60 pilE-like genes remains unknown. Numerous genes with hypothetical functions, e.g., polyketide synthesis, non-ribosomal peptide synthesis, antibiotic transport, and oxygen stress protection, indicate the presence of hitherto undiscovered physiological traits. Comparative analysis of 22 concatenated single-copy marker genes corroborated the status of Elusimicrobia (formerly TG1) as a separate phylum in the bacterial domain, which was so far based only on 16S rRNA sequence analysis.

  6. Construction and characterization of normalized cDNA libraries by 454 pyrosequencing and estimation of DNA methylation levels in three distantly related termite species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshinobu Hayashi

    Full Text Available In termites, division of labor among castes, categories of individuals that perform specialized tasks, increases colony-level productivity and is the key to their ecological success. Although molecular studies on caste polymorphism have been performed in termites, we are far from a comprehensive understanding of the molecular basis of this phenomenon. To facilitate future molecular studies, we aimed to construct expressed sequence tag (EST libraries covering wide ranges of gene repertoires in three representative termite species, Hodotermopsis sjostedti, Reticulitermes speratus and Nasutitermes takasagoensis. We generated normalized cDNA libraries from whole bodies, except for guts containing microbes, of almost all castes, sexes and developmental stages and sequenced them with the 454 GS FLX titanium system. We obtained >1.2 million quality-filtered reads yielding >400 million bases for each of the three species. Isotigs, which are analogous to individual transcripts, and singletons were produced by assembling the reads and annotated using public databases. Genes related to juvenile hormone, which plays crucial roles in caste differentiation of termites, were identified from the EST libraries by BLAST search. To explore the potential for DNA methylation, which plays an important role in caste differentiation of honeybees, tBLASTn searches for DNA methyltransferases (dnmt1, dnmt2 and dnmt3 and methyl-CpG binding domain (mbd were performed against the EST libraries. All four of these genes were found in the H. sjostedti library, while all except dnmt3 were found in R. speratus and N. takasagoensis. The ratio of the observed to the expected CpG content (CpG O/E, which is a proxy for DNA methylation level, was calculated for the coding sequences predicted from the isotigs and singletons. In all of the three species, the majority of coding sequences showed depletion of CpG O/E (less than 1, and the distributions of CpG O/E were bimodal, suggesting

  7. Construction and characterization of normalized cDNA libraries by 454 pyrosequencing and estimation of DNA methylation levels in three distantly related termite species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Yoshinobu; Shigenobu, Shuji; Watanabe, Dai; Toga, Kouhei; Saiki, Ryota; Shimada, Keisuke; Bourguignon, Thomas; Lo, Nathan; Hojo, Masaru; Maekawa, Kiyoto; Miura, Toru

    2013-01-01

    In termites, division of labor among castes, categories of individuals that perform specialized tasks, increases colony-level productivity and is the key to their ecological success. Although molecular studies on caste polymorphism have been performed in termites, we are far from a comprehensive understanding of the molecular basis of this phenomenon. To facilitate future molecular studies, we aimed to construct expressed sequence tag (EST) libraries covering wide ranges of gene repertoires in three representative termite species, Hodotermopsis sjostedti, Reticulitermes speratus and Nasutitermes takasagoensis. We generated normalized cDNA libraries from whole bodies, except for guts containing microbes, of almost all castes, sexes and developmental stages and sequenced them with the 454 GS FLX titanium system. We obtained >1.2 million quality-filtered reads yielding >400 million bases for each of the three species. Isotigs, which are analogous to individual transcripts, and singletons were produced by assembling the reads and annotated using public databases. Genes related to juvenile hormone, which plays crucial roles in caste differentiation of termites, were identified from the EST libraries by BLAST search. To explore the potential for DNA methylation, which plays an important role in caste differentiation of honeybees, tBLASTn searches for DNA methyltransferases (dnmt1, dnmt2 and dnmt3) and methyl-CpG binding domain (mbd) were performed against the EST libraries. All four of these genes were found in the H. sjostedti library, while all except dnmt3 were found in R. speratus and N. takasagoensis. The ratio of the observed to the expected CpG content (CpG O/E), which is a proxy for DNA methylation level, was calculated for the coding sequences predicted from the isotigs and singletons. In all of the three species, the majority of coding sequences showed depletion of CpG O/E (less than 1), and the distributions of CpG O/E were bimodal, suggesting the presence of

  8. Levels of specificity of Xylaria species associated with fungus-growing termites: a phylogenetic approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Visser, Andre; Ros, V I D; De Beer, Z. W.

    2009-01-01

    Fungus-growing termites live in obligate mutualistic symbiosis with species of the basidiomycete genus Termitomyces, which are cultivated on a substrate of dead plant material. When the termite colony dies, or when nest material is incubated without termites in the laboratory, fruiting bodies...... of the ascomycete genus Xylaria appear and rapidly cover the fungus garden. This raises the question whether certain Xylaria species are specialised in occupying termite nests or whether they are just occasional visitors. We tested Xylaria specificity at four levels: (1) fungus-growing termites, (2) termite genera...... of the ITS region revealed 16 operational taxonomic units of Xylaria, indicating high levels of Xylaria species richness. Not much of this variation was explained by termite genus, species, or colony; thus, at level 2-4 the specificity is low. Analysis of the large subunit rDNA region, showed that all...

  9. Functional characterization and target discovery of glycoside hydrolases from the digestome of the lower termite Coptotermes gestroi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franco Cairo João Paulo L

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Lignocellulosic materials have been moved towards the forefront of the biofuel industry as a sustainable resource. However, saccharification and the production of bioproducts derived from plant cell wall biomass are complex and lengthy processes. The understanding of termite gut biology and feeding strategies may improve the current state of biomass conversion technology and bioproduct production. Results The study herein shows comprehensive functional characterization of crude body extracts from Coptotermes gestroi along with global proteomic analysis of the termite's digestome, targeting the identification of glycoside hydrolases and accessory proteins responsible for plant biomass conversion. The crude protein extract from C. gestroi was enzymatically efficient over a broad pH range on a series of natural polysaccharides, formed by glucose-, xylose-, mannan- and/or arabinose-containing polymers, linked by various types of glycosidic bonds, as well as ramification types. Our proteomic approach successfully identified a large number of relevant polypeptides in the C. gestroi digestome. A total of 55 different proteins were identified and classified into 29 CAZy families. Based on the total number of peptides identified, the majority of components found in the C. gestroi digestome were cellulose-degrading enzymes. Xylanolytic enzymes, mannan- hydrolytic enzymes, pectinases and starch-degrading and debranching enzymes were also identified. Our strategy enabled validation of liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry recognized proteins, by enzymatic functional assays and by following the degradation products of specific 8-amino-1,3,6-pyrenetrisulfonic acid labeled oligosaccharides through capillary zone electrophoresis. Conclusions Here we describe the first global study on the enzymatic repertoire involved in plant polysaccharide degradation by the lower termite C. gestroi. The biochemical characterization of whole

  10. The Physiology of Microbial Symbionts in Fungus-Farming Termites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rodrigues da Costa, Rafael

    with their symbionts are main decomposer of organic matter in Africa, and this is reflect of a metabolic complementarity to decompose plant biomass in the genome of the three organisms involved in this symbiosis. Many of the physiological aspects of this symbiosis remain obscure, and here I focus on physiology...... termites where this is either absent or minimal, and this indicates evolutionary adaptations to dietary intakes displayed by different termite species. In addition to these two physiological aspects of this tripartite symbiosis, we questioned the physiological mechanisms displayed by Termitomyces...

  11. Les attaques des Termites (Isoptera) dans les parcelles de ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SARAH

    31 août 2016 ... attaquées par ces Termites. MÉTHODOLOGIE. Zone d'étude : L'étude est réalisée dans le Ferlo Nord du Sénégal, dans les parcelles de reboisement de la ... attaquées, on cherche l'espèce de Termite qui l'attaque et la partie de la plante ... avec des ouvrages, de Silvestri (1914-15), de Sjöstedt. (1925) et ...

  12. Termite Resistance of MDF Panels Treated with Various Boron Compounds

    OpenAIRE

    Usta, Mustafa; Ustaomer, Derya; Kartal, Saip Nami; Ondaral, Sedat

    2009-01-01

    In this study, the effects of various boron compounds on the termite resistance of MDF panels were evaluated. Either borax (BX), boric acid (BA), zinc borate (ZB), or sodium perborate tetrahydrate (SPT) were added to urea-formaldehyde (UF) resin at target contents of 1%, 1.5%, 2% and 2.5% based on dry fiber weight. The panels were then manufactured using 12% urea-formaldehyde resin and 1% NH4Cl. MDF samples from the panels were tested against the subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus ...

  13. Metagenomic mining of feruloyl esterases from termite enteric flora

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Rashamuse, K

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available on the sequence-derived descriptors and pharmacophoric properties (Udath et al. 2011). The applications of these enzymes in the industry cover a broad spectrum; including pulp and paper processing (Record et al. 2003) and as animal feed additives to facilitate... by Sambrook and Russell (2001). Termite sampling and DNA extraction Sugarcane feeding Trinervitermise trinervoides termite species were collected from Komatipoort, Mpumalanga, South Africa (25° 23' 7.8" S 31° 52' 53.1" E). Approximately 500 worker...

  14. Soil DNA extraction procedure influences protist 18S rRNA gene community profiling outcome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Santos, Susana S.; Nunes, Ines Marques; Nielsen, Tue K.

    2017-01-01

    Advances in sequencing technologies allow deeper studies of the soil protist diversity and function. However, little attention has been given to the impact of the chosen soil DNA extraction procedure to the overall results. We examined the effect of three acknowledged DNA recovery methods, two...... manual methods (ISOm-11063, GnS-GII) and one commercial kit (MoBio), on soil protist community structures obtained from different sites with different land uses. Results from 18S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing suggest that DNA extraction method significantly affect the replicate homogeneity, the total...... number of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) recovered and the overall taxonomic structure and diversity of soil protist communities. However, DNA extraction effects did not overwhelm the natural variation among samples, as the community data still strongly grouped by geographical location...

  15. Pseudomonas aeruginosa adaptation to lungs of cystic fibrosis patients leads to lowered resistance to phage and protist enemies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friman, Ville-Petri; Ghoul, Melanie; Molin, Søren

    2013-01-01

    -resistant and highly toxic for protists. In contrast, bacteria isolated from long time chronically infected patients (2-23 years), were less efficient in both resisting phages and killing protists. Moreover, chronic isolates showed reduced killing of wax moth larvae (Galleria mellonella) probably due to weaker...

  16. Complete genome sequence of the termite hindgut bacterium Spirochaeta coccoides type strain (SPN1T), reclassification in the genus Sphaerochaeta as Sphaerochaeta coccoides comb. nov. and emendations of the family Spirochaetaceae and the genus Sphaerochaeta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abt, Birte; Han, Cliff; Scheuner, Carmen; Lu, Megan; Lapidus, Alla; Nolan, Matt; Lucas, Susan; Hammon, Nancy; Deshpande, Shweta; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Tapia, Roxane; Goodwin, Lynne; Pitluck, Sam; Liolios, Konstantinos; Pagani, Ioanna; Ivanova, Natalia; Mavromatis, Konstantinos; Mikhailova, Natalia; Huntemann, Marcel; Pati, Amrita; Chen, Amy; Palaniappan, Krishna; Land, Miriam; Hauser, Loren; Brambilla, Evelyne-Marie; Rohde, Manfred; Spring, Stefan; Gronow, Sabine; Goker, Markus; Woyke, Tanja; Bristow, James; Eisen, Jonathan A.; Markowitz, Victor; Hugenholtz, Philip; Kyrpides, Nikos C.; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Detter, John C.

    2012-05-25

    Spirochaeta coccoides Dröge et al. 2006 is a member of the genus Spirochaeta Ehrenberg 1835, one of the oldest named genera within the Bacteria. S. coccoides is an obligately anaerobic, Gram-negative, non-motile, spherical bacterium that was isolated from the hindgut contents of the termite Neotermes castaneus. The species is of interest because it may play an important role in the digestion of breakdown products from cellulose and hemicellulose in the termite gut. Here we provide a taxonomic re-evaluation for strain SPN1T, and based on physiological and genomic characteristics, we propose its reclassification as a novel species in the genus Sphaerochaeta, a recently published sister group of the Spirochaeta. The 2,227,296 bp long genome of strain SPN1T with its 1,866 protein-coding and 58 RNA genes is a part of the GenomicEncyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea project.

  17. [Recent progress in protist virology--molecular ecology, taxonomy, molecular evolution].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagasaki, Keizo; Tomaru, Yuji

    2009-06-01

    At present, more than 40 protist-infecting viruses have been isolated and characterized. From the viewpoints of molecular ecology, taxomony and molecular evolution, several new discoveries were made within the last five years. In this minireview, three topics of interest on protist-infecting viruses are introduced: 1) molecular ecological relationships between a bloom-forming dinoflagellate Heterocapsa circularisquama and its ssRNA virus (HcRNAV); 2) findings of new ssRNA- and ssDNA-virus groups infecting diatoms; 3) establishment of a hypothesis concerning the evolution of picornaviruses. The potential of aquatic virus studies is far-reaching and inestimable.

  18. Odor aversion and pathogen-removal efficiency in grooming behavior of the termite Coptotermes formosanus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aya Yanagawa

    Full Text Available The results of biocontrol with entomopathogens in termites have been discouraging because of the strong social hygiene behavior for removing pathogens from termite colonies. However, the mechanism of pathogen detection is still unclear. For the successful application of biopesticides to termites in nature, it would be beneficial to identify substances that could disrupt the termite's ability to perceive pathogens. We hypothesized that termites can perceive pathogens and this ability plays an important role in effective hygiene behavior. In this study, pathogen-detection in the subterranean termite Coptotermes formosanus was investigated. We performed quantitative assays on conidia removal by grooming behavior using epifluoresence microscopy and Y-maze tests to examine the perception of fungal odor by termites. Three species each of high- and low-virulence entomopathogenic fungi were used in each test. The results demonstrated that termites removed conidia more effectively from a nestmate's cuticle if its odor elicited stronger aversion. Highly virulent pathogens showed higher attachment rates to termite surfaces and their odors were more strongly avoided than those of low-virulence isolates in the same species. Moreover, termites appeared to groom each other more persistently when they had more conidia on their bodies. In brief, insect perception of pathogen-related odor seems to play a role in the mechanism of their hygiene behavior.

  19. Appraisal of the Economic Activities of Termites: A Review | Ibrahim ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Their burrowing within the soil increases the rate of percolation of water into the soil, thereby promoting water absorbent of the soil. Their feeding habit includes decomposition of dead trees, and incorporation into the soil, mineral nutrients of these trees. Man in response to the destructive activities of termites, developed ...

  20. appraisal of the economic activities of termites: a review

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    DR.AMIN

    be divided into three general categories based on their habitat: damp wood, dry wood and subterranean. (Paul and ..... e.g. Zoo Basel in Switzerland hold two African termites. (Macrotermes bellicosus). Their populations exist and thrive. ... The advantage of this method is the ability to treat the entire structure without the use.

  1. Processed products of termites and lake flies: improving ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Processed products of termites and lake flies: improving entomophagy for food security within the lake victoria region. ... Among the factors contributing to food shortage in Africa are lack of appropriate preservation and storage facilities, tropical heat and poor road network for marketing produce. High food spoilage caused ...

  2. Utilization of the termite Hodotermes mossambicus (Hagen) by ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Five species of primarily nocturnal geckos (Ptenopus garrulus maculatus, Chondrodactylus angulifer angulifer, Pachydactylus bibronii, P. mariquensis latirosths and P. punctatus) collected near Keetmanshoop, South West Africa on the night of 3 October 1987 were found to contain large numbers of the harvester termite ...

  3. Green house gas emissions from termite ecosystem | Gomati ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Recent estimates of the total annual source strength of CH4 vary from 400 to 1200 Tg. Activities such as rice cultivation, cattle production, mining, use of fossil fuels and biomass burning is believed to be the cause of increasing methane levels in the atmosphere. To add to this list is the source from termites, which contributes ...

  4. Asexual queen succession in the higher termite Embiratermes neotenicus

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fougeyrollas, R.; Dolejšová, Klára; Sillam-Dusses, D.; Roy, V.; Poteaux, C.; Hanus, Robert; Roisin, Y.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 282, č. 1809 (2015), 20150260/1-20150260/7 ISSN 0962-8452 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-12774S Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : thelytokous parthenogenesis * breeding system * termites * Isoptera * Termitidae * reproductive strategies Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 4.823, year: 2015

  5. Tyraminergic and Octopaminergic Modulation of Defensive Behavior in Termite Soldier.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuki Ishikawa

    Full Text Available In termites, i.e. a major group of eusocial insects, the soldier caste exhibits specific morphological characteristics and extremely high aggression against predators. Although the genomic background is identical to the other non-aggressive castes, they acquire the soldier-specific behavioral character during the course of caste differentiation. The high aggressiveness and defensive behavior is essential for colony survival, but the neurophysiological bases are completely unknown. In the present study, using the damp-wood termite Hodotermopsis sjostedti, we focused on two biogenic amines, octopamine (OA and tyramine (TA, as candidate neuromodulators for the defensive behavior in soldiers. High-performance liquid chromatographic analysis revealed that TA levels in the brain and suboesophageal ganglion (SOG and the OA level in brain were increased in soldiers than in pseudergates (worker caste. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that TA/OA neurons that innervate specific areas, including the mandibular muscles, antennal nerve, central complex, suboesophageal ganglion, and thoracic and/or abdominal ganglia, were enlarged in a soldier-specific manner. Together with the results that pharmacological application of TA promoted the defensive behavior in pseudergates, these findings suggest that the increased TA/OA levels induce the higher aggressiveness and defensive behavior in termite soldiers. The projection targets of these soldier-specific enlarged TA/OA neurons may have important roles in the higher aggressiveness and defensive behavior of the termite soldiers, inducing the neuronal transition that accompanies external morphological changes.

  6. Recommendations for treated-area choice assays with termites (Isoptera)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chris J. Peterson; Patrick D. Gerard; Janice Ems-Wilson

    2005-01-01

    The repellency of catnip (Nepeta cataria) essential oil was evaluated in a treated-area choice assay with subterranean termites (Reticulitermes spp.). It appeared that fewer R. virginicus were found on the treated portion of a petri dish within a period of about 7d; R. flavipes was not...

  7. Determining termite diversity in arid Namibian rangelands – a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Three methods of sampling termite diversity in arid rangelands were tested in Namibia during the wet (March) and dry (October) seasons of 1998. Six sites were chosen: one pair on each of three farms representing a gradient of land use intensity. At each site, two adjacent plots of 1 ha each were sampled: one plot by a ...

  8. Nonrelatives inherit colony resources in a primitive termite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johns, Philip M; Howard, Kenneth J; Breisch, Nancy L; Rivera, Anahi; Thorne, Barbara L

    2009-10-13

    The evolution of eusociality, especially how selection would favor sterility or subfertility of most individuals within a highly social colony, is an unresolved paradox. Eusociality evolved independently in diverse taxa, including insects (all ants and termites; some bees, wasps, thrips, and beetles), snapping shrimp, and naked mole rats. Termites have received comparatively less focus than the haplodiploid Hymenoptera (ants, bees, and wasps); however, they are the only diploid group with highly complex colonies and an extraordinary diversity of castes. In this study we staged encounters between unrelated colonies of primitive dampwood termites, Zootermopsis nevadensis, mimicking natural meetings that occur under bark. During encounters, kings and/or queens were killed and surviving members merged into one colony. After encounters, members of both unrelated colonies cooperated as a single social unit. We determined the colony of origin of replacement reproductives that emerged after death of kings and/or queens. Here, we document that replacement reproductives developed from workers in either or both original colonies, inherited the merged resources of the colony, and sometimes interbred. Because this species shares many characteristics with ancestral termites, these findings demonstrate how ecological factors could have promoted the evolution of eusociality by accelerating and enhancing direct fitness opportunities of helper offspring, rendering relatedness favoring kin selection less critical.

  9. Cultural significance of termites in sub-Saharan Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huis, van Arnold

    2017-01-01

    Background: The number of termite species in the world is more than 2500, and Africa with more than 1000 species has the richest intercontinental diversity. The family Termitidae contains builders of great mounds up to 5 m high. Colonies are composed of casts: a queen, a king, soldiers and workers.

  10. Chemical alarm in the termite Termitogeton planus (Rhinotermitidae)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dolejšová, Klára; Krasulová, Jana; Kutalová, K.; Hanus, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 40, 11/12 (2014), s. 1269-1276 ISSN 0098-0331 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP506/10/1570 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : termites * soldiers * frontal gland * alarm pheromone * Rhinotermitidae * Termitogeton Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 2.747, year: 2014

  11. Termites of the Savanna ecosystem project study area, Nylsvley

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ferrar, P

    1982-09-01

    Full Text Available This report describes the termite fauna of the Savanna Ecosystem Project study area at the Nylsvley Nature Reserve, with an illustrated key for identification of species. Twenty-one species of fifteen genera and two families are recorded, and notes...

  12. Variation in positive selection in termite GNBPs and Relish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulmer, Mark S; Crozier, Ross H

    2006-02-01

    Social insects are model organisms for investigating molecular evolution in the innate immune system. Their diversity affords comparative analysis among closely related species, and group living is likely to contribute to the pathogen stress imposed on the immune system. We used different models of nucleotide substitution at nonsynonymous (amino acid altering) and synonymous (silent) sites to compare the different levels and type of selection among three immunity genes in 13 Australian termite species (Nasutitermes). The immunity genes include two encoding pathogen recognition proteins (gram-negative bacterial-binding proteins) that duplicated and diverged before or soon after the evolution of the termites and a transcription factor (Relish), which induces the production of antimicrobial peptides. A comparison of evolutionary models that assign four unrestricted classes of dN/dS (the ratio of the nonsynonymous to synonymous substitution rate) to different Nasutitermes lineages revealed that the occurrence of positive selection (dN/dS > 1) varies among lineages and the three genes. Positive selection appears to have driven the evolution of all three genes in an ancestral lineage of three subterranean termites. It had previously been suggested that there was a transition along this ancestral lineage to termite morphology and ecology associated with a diet of decayed wood, a diet that may expose termites to elevated levels of fungal and bacterial pathogens. Relish appears to have experienced the highest levels of selective pressure for change among all three genes. Positively selected sites in the molecule are located in regions that are important for its activation, which suggests that amino acid substitutions at these sites are a counter response to pathogen mechanisms that disrupt the activation of Relish.

  13. The New Higher Level Classification of Eukaryotes with Emphasis on the Taxonomy of Protists

    Science.gov (United States)

    SINA M. ADL; ALASTAIR G. B. SIMPSON; MARK A. FARMER; ROBERT A. ANDERSEN; O. ROGER ANDERSON; JOHN R. BARTA; SAMUEL S. BOWSER; GUY BRUGEROLLE; ROBERT A. FENSOME; SUZANNE FREDERICQ; TIMOTHY Y. JAMES; SERGEI KARPOV; PAUL KUGRENS; JOHN KRUG; CHRISTOPHER E. LANE; LOUISE A. LEWIS; JEAN LODGE; DENIS H. LYNN; DAVID G. MANN; RICHARD M. MCCOURT; LEONEL MENDOZA; ØJVIND MOESTRUP; SHARON E. MOZLEY-STANDRIDGE; THOMAS A. NERAD; CAROL A. SHEARER; ALEXEY V. SMIRNOV; FREDERICK W. SPIEGEL; MAX F.J.R. TAYLOR

    2005-01-01

    This revision of the classification of unicellular eukaryotes updates that of Levine et al. (1980) for the protozoa and expands it to include other protists. Whereas the previous revision was primarily to incorporate the results of ultrastructural studies, this revision incorporates results from both ultrastructural research since 1980 and molecular phylogenetic...

  14. Salmonella transcriptional signature in Tetrahymena phagosomes and role of acid tolerance in passage through the protist

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salmonella enterica Typhimurium remains undigested in the food vacuoles of the common protist, Tetrahymena, and is egested as viable cells in its fecal pellets. We investigated the interaction of S. Typhimurium with Tetrahymena by microarray gene expression profiling. The transcriptome of S. Typhimu...

  15. Effects of Predation by Protists on Prokaryotic Community Function, Structure, and Diversity in Anaerobic Granular Sludge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirakata, Yuga; Oshiki, Mamoru; Kuroda, Kyohei; Hatamoto, Masashi; Kubota, Kengo; Yamaguchi, Takashi; Harada, Hideki; Araki, Nobuo

    2016-01-01

    Predation by protists is top-down pressure that regulates prokaryotic abundance, community function, structure, and diversity in natural and artificial ecosystems. Although the effects of predation by protists have been studied in aerobic ecosystems, they are poorly understood in anoxic environments. We herein studied the influence of predation by Metopus and Caenomorpha ciliates—ciliates frequently found in anoxic ecosystems—on prokaryotic community function, structure, and diversity. Metopus and Caenomorpha ciliates were cocultivated with prokaryotic assemblages (i.e., anaerobic granular sludge) in an up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor for 171 d. Predation by these ciliates increased the methanogenic activities of granular sludge, which constituted 155% of those found in a UASB reactor without the ciliates (i.e., control reactor). Sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons using Illumina MiSeq revealed that the prokaryotic community in the UASB reactor with the ciliates was more diverse than that in the control reactor; 2,885–3,190 and 2,387–2,426 operational taxonomic units (>97% sequence similarities), respectively. The effects of predation by protists in anaerobic engineered systems have mostly been overlooked, and our results show that the influence of predation by protists needs to be examined and considered in the future for a better understanding of prokaryotic community structure and function. PMID:27431197

  16. Selective feeding behaviour of key free-living protists: avenues for continued study

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Montagnes, D. J. S.; Barbosa, A. B.; Boenigk, J.; Davidson, K.; Jürgens, K.; Macek, Miroslav; Parry, J. D.; Roberts, E. C.; Šimek, Karel

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 53, č. 1 (2008), s. 83-98 ISSN 0948-3055. [SAME /10./. Faro, 02.09.2007-07.09.2007] R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA206/08/0015 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60170517 Keywords : protist * grazing * ingestion Subject RIV: EH - Ecology , Behaviour Impact factor: 2.190, year: 2008

  17. The soil food web revisited: Diverse and widespread mycophagous soil protists

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geisen, Stefan; Koller, R.; Hünninghaus, M.; Dumack, K.; Urich, T.; Bonkowski, M.

    2016-01-01

    Soil protists are commonly suggested being solely bacterivorous, serving together with bacterivorous nematodes as the main controllers of the bacterial energy channel in soil food webs. In contrast, the fungal energy channel is assumed to be controlled by arthropods and mycophagous nematodes. This

  18. Seasonal and Daily Patterns in Activity of the Western Drywood Termite, Incisitermes minor (Hagen)

    OpenAIRE

    Lewis, Vernard; Leighton, Shawn; Tabuchi, Robin; Haverty, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Activity of colonies of the western drywood termite, Incisitermes minor, was measured with acoustic emission (AE) technology in five loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) logs. Termite activity, whether it was feeding, excavation or movement, was monitored for 11 months under ambient conditions in a small wooden structure maintained at the University of California Richmond Field Station. AE, temperature, and humidity data were measured in 3-minute increments. Termite activity was greater during the wa...

  19. An 18S rRNA Workflow for Characterizing Protists in Sewage, with a Focus on Zoonotic Trichomonads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maritz, Julia M; Rogers, Krysta H; Rock, Tara M; Liu, Nicole; Joseph, Susan; Land, Kirkwood M; Carlton, Jane M

    2017-11-01

    Microbial eukaryotes (protists) are important components of terrestrial and aquatic environments, as well as animal and human microbiomes. Their relationships with metazoa range from mutualistic to parasitic and zoonotic (i.e., transmissible between humans and animals). Despite their ecological importance, our knowledge of protists in urban environments lags behind that of bacteria, largely due to a lack of experimentally validated high-throughput protocols that produce accurate estimates of protist diversity while minimizing non-protist DNA representation. We optimized protocols for detecting zoonotic protists in raw sewage samples, with a focus on trichomonad taxa. First, we investigated the utility of two commonly used variable regions of the 18S rRNA marker gene, V4 and V9, by amplifying and Sanger sequencing 23 different eukaryotic species, including 16 protist species such as Cryptosporidium parvum, Giardia intestinalis, Toxoplasma gondii, and species of trichomonad. Next, we optimized wet-lab methods for sample processing and Illumina sequencing of both regions from raw sewage collected from a private apartment building in New York City. Our results show that both regions are effective at identifying several zoonotic protists that may be present in sewage. A combination of small extractions (1 mL volumes) performed on the same day as sample collection, and the incorporation of a vertebrate blocking primer, is ideal to detect protist taxa of interest and combat the effects of metazoan DNA. We expect that the robust, standardized methods presented in our workflow will be applicable to investigations of protists in other environmental samples, and will help facilitate large-scale investigations of protistan diversity.

  20. The effect of termites as ecosystem engineers in the humid tropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martius, C.

    2001-12-01

    The effects of termites as "ecosystem engineers" in humid tropical ecosystems are manyfold and range from the modification of content and composition of organic matter in soils, changes of the soil structure, over effects on the composition of vegetation, to the enhancement of biodiversity of other organisms. An overview if given over findings of recent years with a focus on termites in Amazonian rain forests. Factors that determine termite distribution and diversity are then discussed, and the pests status of termites is shortly reviewed, on the basis of which management strategies for this particular group of soil organisms are outlined.

  1. Termite Mounds Effects on Soil Properties in the Atlantic Forest Biome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Santana de Lima

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Termites have peculiar activities in the soil, inducing significant changes in the soil properties. The objective of this study was to assess physical and chemical properties and soil organic matter to evaluate the effect of termite activity and termite mounds on the soil. Two toposequences were selected and divided in slope thirds (shoulder, backslope, and footslope. In each of these, four termite mounds were selected. Samples were taken from the soils and termite mounds (top, center, and base along with a variety of termites for identification. Analyses were carried out for physical, soil texture, and chemical properties, as well as for particle size and chemical fractioning of organic matter. The species Cornitermes cumulans was found in all mounds. Soil with termite mound presented higher clay content, acidity, and Al3+ content. Phosphorus contents differed considerably between mound material and soil. Sum of bases and cation exchange capacity of the soil were higher in mounds, and differed within the mounds, according to the sampling height. Total organic carbon and particulate carbon content were highest at the mound base. A marked disparity was observed between the contents of humic substances in the mounds and surrounding soil, with humin fraction differences in distinct topographic position. The high nutrient contents detected in the termite mounds confirm the importance of termites in concentrating nutrients.

  2. Efficacy of vetiver oil and nootkatone as soil barriers against Formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maistrello, L; Henderson, G; Laine, R A

    2001-12-01

    Vetiver oil and its components nootkatone and cedrene were assessed as sand treatments for their efficacy to disrupt food recruitment by Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki. Termites were required to tunnel through sand treated with vetiver oil, nootkatone, cedrene, or untreated sand to reach a food source. Results showed that sand treated with vetiver oil or nootkatone disrupted termite tunneling behavior. As a consequence, after 21 d, wood consumption and termite survival were significantly lower compared with cedrene-treated or untreated sand treatments. Sand treated with vetiver oil or nootkatone at 100 microg/g substrate were effective barriers to termites.

  3. Gut Bacterial Community of the Xylophagous Cockroaches Cryptocercus punctulatus and Parasphaeria boleiriana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berlanga, Mercedes; Llorens, Carlos; Comas, Jaume; Guerrero, Ricardo

    2016-01-01

    Cryptocercus punctulatus and Parasphaeria boleiriana are two distantly related xylophagous and subsocial cockroaches. Cryptocercus is related to termites. Xylophagous cockroaches and termites are excellent model organisms for studying the symbiotic relationship between the insect and their microbiota. In this study, high-throughput 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA was used to investigate the diversity of metagenomic gut communities of C. punctulatus and P. boleiriana, and thereby to identify possible shifts in symbiont allegiances during cockroaches evolution. Our results revealed that the hindgut prokaryotic communities of both xylophagous cockroaches are dominated by members of four Bacteria phyla: Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Actinobacteria. Other identified phyla were Spirochaetes, Planctomycetes, candidatus Saccharibacteria (formerly TM7), and Acidobacteria, each of which represented 1–2% of the total population detected. Community similarity based on phylogenetic relatedness by unweighted UniFrac analyses indicated that the composition of the bacterial community in the two species was significantly different (P cockroach species clustered with sequences previously described in termites and other cockroaches, but not with those from other animals or environments. These results suggest that, during their evolution, those cockroaches conserved several bacterial communities from the microbiota of a common ancestor. The ecological stability of those microbial communities may imply the important functional role for the survival of the host of providing nutrients in appropriate quantities and balance. PMID:27054320

  4. Analysis of hindgut bacterial phyla frequency and diversity in subterranean termites exposed to chitosan-treated wood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olanrewaju Raji; Juliet D. Tang; Telmah Telmadarrehei; Dragica Jeremic

    2017-01-01

    The termite hindgut contains a microbial community that symbiotically aids in digestion of lignocellulosic materials. For better understanding of the dynamics of the bacteria-termite relationship, a species survey of bacterial hindgut microbes in subterranean termites (Reticulitermes flavipes: Kollar) collected from Louisville, Mississippi was...

  5. Termites (Isoptera) From The Lower Jspura River, Amazonas State, Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Constantino, Reginaldo

    1991-01-01

    Seventy species of termites were colected in primary forests on the lower Japurá River, Amazonas State, Brazil. Seven new species, Orthognathotermes humilis, sp. n., Spinitennes longiceps, sp. n., Annitermes gnomus, sp. n., Araujotermes nanus, sp. n., Embiratermes ignotus, sp. n., Subulitennes constricticeps, sp. n., and Syntermes robustus, sp.n., are described. The imago of Cavitermes parvicavus is described for the first time Drawings ofthe soldiers' head., ...

  6. Uric acid, an important antioxidant contributing to survival in termites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tasaki, Eisuke; Sakurai, Hiroki; Nitao, Masaru; Matsuura, Kenji; Iuchi, Yoshihito

    2017-01-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are generated spontaneously in all organisms and cause oxidative damage to biomolecules when present in excess. Accumulated oxidative damage accelerates aging; enhanced antioxidant capacity may be a positive factor for longevity. Recently, numerous studies of aging and longevity have been performed using short-lived animals, however, longevity mechanisms remain unknown. Here we show that a termite Reticulitermes speratus that is thought to be long-lived eusocial insect than other solitary insects uses large quantities of uric acid as an antioxidant against ROS. We demonstrated that the accumulation of uric acid considerably increases the free radical-scavenging activity and resistance against ultraviolet-induced oxidative stress in laboratory-maintained termites. In addition, we found that externally administered uric acid aided termite survival under highly oxidative conditions. The present data demonstrates that in addition to nutritional and metabolic roles, uric acid is an essential antioxidant for survival and contributes significantly to longevity. Uric acid also plays important roles in primates but causes gout when present in excess in humans. Further longevity studies of long-lived organisms may provide important breakthroughs with human health applications. PMID:28609463

  7. Divergence times in the termite genus Macrotermes (Isoptera: Termitidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandl, R; Hyodo, F; Korff-Schmising, M von; Maekawa, K; Miura, T; Takematsu, Y; Matsumoto, T; Abe, T; Bagine, R; Kaib, M

    2007-10-01

    The evolution of fungus-growing termites is supposed to have started in the African rain forests with multiple invasions of semi-arid habitats as well as multiple invasions of the Oriental region. We used sequences of the mitochondrial COII gene and Bayesian dating to investigate the time frame of the evolution of Macrotermes, an important genus of fungus-growing termites. We found that the genus Macrotermes consists of at least 6 distantly related clades. Furthermore, the COII sequences suggested some cryptic diversity within the analysed African Macrotermes species. The dates calculated with the COII data using a fossilized termite mound to calibrate the clock were in good agreement with dates calculated with COI sequences using the split between Locusta and Chortippus as calibration point which supports the consistency of the calibration points. The clades from the Oriental region dated back to the early Tertiary. These estimates of divergence times suggested that Macrotermes invaded Asia during periods with humid climates. For Africa, many speciation events predated the Pleistocene and fall in range of 6-23 million years ago. These estimates suggest that savannah-adapted African clades radiated with the spread of the semi-arid ecosystems during the Miocene. Apparently, events during the Pleistocene were of little importance for speciation within the genus Macrotermes. However, further investigations are necessary to increase the number of taxa for phylogenetic analysis.

  8. Gut-brain axis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Romijn, Johannes A.; Corssmit, Eleonora P.; Havekes, Louis M.; Pijl, Hanno

    2008-01-01

    To summarize recent studies on the regulation and the functions of the gut-brain axis. Visual cues of food and food intake interact with the gut-brain axis at the level of the hypothalamus. However, the hypothalamic response to glucose intake is considerably altered in patients with type 2 diabetes

  9. Effects of rice husk ash and termite hill types on the physical and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This waste can be recycled through inclusion as stabilizer in brick making, thereby eliminating the hazard posed to the environment. This paper examined the effects of rice husk ash (RHA) on the two termite clay soils in brick making. The two termite clay soils obtained from red and gray anthills were stabilized with rice husk ...

  10. Quantification of termite bioturbation in a savannah ecosystem: Application of OSL dating

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Jeppe Ågård; Thomsen, Kristina Jørkov; Murray, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Luminescence dating is one of the most promising technique available for studying bioturbation on pedological timescales. In this study, we use multi-grain and single-grain quartz OSL to quantify termite bioturbation processes (Macrotermes natalensis) in a savannah ecosystem in Ghana. Termites tr...

  11. Heavy metals in some termite species and their nests in Ojo, Lagos ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Termites feed on decaying organic matter including plant parts and wood, concentrating heavy metals in the process. The main campus of Lagos State University was surveyed for termite species and their heavy metal contents. Nests including mounds, wooden structures and discarded wood products were observed for ...

  12. Resistance of borax–copper treated wood in aboveground exposure to attack by Formosan subterranean termites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stan Lebow; Bessie Woodward; Douglas Crawford; William Abbott

    2005-01-01

    The spread of Formosan subterranean termites (FSTs) in the southern United States has increased public interest in finding a preservative treatment to protect framing lumber from termite attack. This study evaluated the use of a borax-based preservative to protect wood from FST attack. Southern Pine and Douglas-fir specimens were pressure-treated with three...

  13. Control Of Book Termites Using Solid Attractants At The Central Library Of Universitas Sumatera Utara USU

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ameilia Zuliyanti Siregar

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available It has been identified the extent of damage due to the activity of Captotermes sp Microtermis sp Formica sp Araneus sp and Stegonium sp on books in the USU Library. Furthermore prevention of dominant pest attack on the book containing cellulose as the main food of termites termites control action term control by Action Research method action research Kurt Lewin adoption is done intensively from July to September 2017. used are of neem leaf Azadirachta indica tobacco leaf Nicotiana tabacum rubber cassava leaf Manihot glaziovii and betel nut Areca catechu which can be used as Termite Baiting System TBS. This method includes three stages in the form of planning planning activity and reflection actuating and reflexion and evaluation evaluation. The results show the higher number of termites in F1799.3 0.328 with zero days after application. Based on the research recorded in sampling for 3 months with 4 treatments had a significant effect on the percentage of the number of termites that died and collected with the value of F is 86.27 p amp706 0000 and the percentage of death is F 59.13 p amp706 0000. Pearson correlation value recorded percentage of termite mortality r 0.349 and percentage of book affected r -0597 showed a very significant relationship. Pinet pellet is the best attractant in controlling termite pests followed by tobacco plants poisonous yams and neem. Optimal FFB techniques in its use can control termite colonies in an environmentally friendly manner.

  14. Patterns of interaction specificity of fungus-growing termites and Termitomyces symbionts in South Africa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aanen, Duur K; Ros, Vera I D; de Fine Licht, Henrik H

    2007-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae live in a mutualistic symbiosis with basidiomycete fungi of the genus Termitomyces. Here, we explored interaction specificity in fungus-growing termites using samples from 101 colonies in South-Africa and Senegal, belonging to eight species...

  15. Parametric City Scale Energy Modeling Perspectives on using Termite in city scaled models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Negendahl, Kristoffer; Nielsen, Toke Rammer

    Termite is a parametric tool using the Danish building performance simulation engine Be10 written for the Grasshopper3D/Rhino3D environment. The tool Be10 is originally intended for building energy frame calculations and is required by Danish law when constructing new buildings. Termite opens up...

  16. Vertical transmission as the key to the colonization of Madagascar by fungus-growing termites?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nobre, T.; Eggleton, P.; Aanen, D.K.

    2010-01-01

    The mutualism between fungus-growing termites (Macrotermitinae) and their mutualistic fungi (Termitomyces) began in Africa. The fungus-growing termites have secondarily colonized Madagascar and only a subset of the genera found in Africa is found on this isolated island. Successful long-distance

  17. Patterns of interaction specificity of fungus-growing termites and Termitomyces symbionts in South Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aanen, D.K.; Ros, V.I.D.; Licht, H.H.D.; Mitchel, J.; de Beer, Z.W.; Slippers, B.; Rouland-LeFevre, C.; Boomsma, J.J.

    2007-01-01

    Background: Termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae live in a mutualistic symbiosis with basidiomycete fungi of the genus Termitomyces. Here, we explored interaction specificity in fungus-growing termites using samples from 101 colonies in South-Africa and Senegal, belonging to eight species

  18. Termite Incidence on an Araucaria Plantation Forest in Teluk Bahang, Penang

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abu Hassan Ahmad

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available A study was carried out to evaluate the incidence of termite attack on an Araucaria cunninghamii plantation at Teluk Bahang Forest Park (TBFP, Penang. The hilly plantation area was surveyed to determine the diversity of termite species present. Termite specimens were collected from standin Araucaria trees, underground monitoring (aggregation stations, fallen logs, forest litter and mounds (nests. Seven species of termites were identified from 6 genera; Coptotermes curvignathus, Schedorhinotermes medioobscurus, Schedorhinotermes malaccensis, Odontotermes sarawakensis Parrhinotermes aequalis, Macrotermes malaccensis and Hospitalitermes hospitalis. A total of 289 Araucaria trees were inspected for signs of termite attack. Termite infestation of trees was determined mainly by the presence of mud on the trunk, but particularly around their butts at ground line. The most dominant termite species discovered infesting the Araucaria trees was Coptotermes curvignathus; accountable for 74% of all infestations. Schedorhinotermes medioobscurus and Odontotermes sarawakensis were commonly found infesting dead trees and/or tree stumps. Approximately 21.5% of all Araucaria trees in the plantation forest at Teluk Bahang were infested by termites.

  19. Patterns of interaction specificity of fungus-growing termites and Termitomyces symbionts in South Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aanen, D.K.; Ros, V.I.D.; Fine Licht, de H.H.; Mitchell, J.; Beer, de Z.W.; Slippers, B.; Rouland-Lefevre, C.; Boomsma, J.J.

    2007-01-01

    Background Termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae live in a mutualistic symbiosis with basidiomycete fungi of the genus Termitomyces. Here, we explored interaction specificity in fungus-growing termites using samples from 101 colonies in South-Africa and Senegal, belonging to eight species

  20. Termite Incidence on an Araucaria Plantation Forest in Teluk Bahang, Penang.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jasmi, Aiman Hanis; Ahmad, Abu Hassan

    2011-11-02

    A study was carried out to evaluate the incidence of termite attack on an Araucaria cunninghamii plantation at Teluk Bahang Forest Park (TBFP), Penang. The hilly plantation area was surveyed to determine the diversity of termite species present. Termite specimens were collected from standin Araucaria trees, underground monitoring (aggregation) stations, fallen logs, forest litter and mounds (nests). Seven species of termites were identified from 6 genera; Coptotermes curvignathus, Schedorhinotermes medioobscurus, Schedorhinotermes malaccensis, Odontotermes sarawakensis Parrhinotermes aequalis, Macrotermes malaccensis and Hospitalitermes hospitalis. A total of 289 Araucaria trees were inspected for signs of termite attack. Termite infestation of trees was determined mainly by the presence of mud on the trunk, but particularly around their butts at ground line. The most dominant termite species discovered infesting the Araucaria trees was Coptotermes curvignathus; accountable for 74% of all infestations. Schedorhinotermes medioobscurus and Odontotermes sarawakensis were commonly found infesting dead trees and/or tree stumps. Approximately 21.5% of all Araucaria trees in the plantation forest at Teluk Bahang were infested by termites.

  1. Associations of Two Ecologically Significant Social Insect Taxa in the Litter of an Amazonian Rainforest: Is There a Relationship between Ant and Termite Species Richness?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy L. Mertl

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In spite of the ecological dominance of Neotropical ants and termites, little is understood about how their interactions influence their species richness and distribution. We surveyed ground-dwelling termite and ant species in a primary rainforest in Ecuador and analyzed ecological correlates of diversity. Termite richness was positively correlated with ant richness and abundance of twig-nesting ants. We found no evidence of competition for twigs between termites and ants. No ecological factors were correlated with termite diversity although elevation and twig and log abundance influenced ant diversity. When ant richness was compared to the richness of termites employing different predator defenses, a positive correlation was found with soldierless termites, but not genera employing chemical or mechanical defense. Our results suggest that multiple ecological factors influence ant and termite diversity, and that ant predation on termites may have a greater effect than competition between ant and termites for nest sites and food sources.

  2. Membrane bioreactor wastewater treatment plants reveal diverse yeast and protist communities of potential significance in biofouling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liébana, Raquel; Arregui, Lucía; Belda, Ignacio; Gamella, Luis; Santos, Antonio; Marquina, Domingo; Serrano, Susana

    2015-01-01

    The yeast community was studied in a municipal full-scale membrane bioreactor wastewater treatment plant (MBR-WWTP). The unexpectedly high diversity of yeasts indicated that the activated sludge formed a suitable environment for them to proliferate, with cellular concentrations of 2.2 ± 0.8 × 10(3) CFU ml(-1). Sixteen species of seven genera were present in the biological reactor, with Ascomycetes being the most prevalent group (93%). Most isolates were able to grow in a synthetic wastewater medium, adhere to polyethylene surfaces, and develop biofilms of variable complexity. The relationship between yeast populations and the protists in the MBR-WWTP was also studied, revealing that some protist species preyed on and ingested yeasts. These results suggest that yeast populations may play a role in the food web of a WWTP and, to some extent, contribute to membrane biofouling in MBR systems.

  3. Stimulation of bacteria and protists in rhizosphere of glyphosate-treated barley

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Imparato, Valentina; Santos, Susana; Johansen, Anders

    2016-01-01

    Glyphosate is extensively used for weed control and to ripen crops. Despite a number of studies on the direct effect of glyphosate on plants and soil organisms, only little is known about indirect effect of glyphosate on rhizosphere microbial communities, following the accelerated turnover...... of the fast-dying root biomass. In microcosms we studied the indirect effect of glyphosate on the microbial community in the rhizosphere of barley with phyllosphere application of glyphosate in comparison to leaving the plant intact or cutting off the shoot. Attempting to link the response of bacterial...... and protist communities to foliar application of glyphosate, we measured bacterial and protist abundance, diversity and physiological status, as well as soil organic carbon. Foliar application of glyphosate doubled bacterial abundance of the culturable fraction present in the rhizosphere compared to the other...

  4. Gut Microbiota-brain Axis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hong-Xing; Wang, Yu-Ping

    2016-10-05

    To systematically review the updated information about the gut microbiota-brain axis. All articles about gut microbiota-brain axis published up to July 18, 2016, were identified through a literature search on PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Web of Science, with the keywords of "gut microbiota", "gut-brain axis", and "neuroscience". All relevant articles on gut microbiota and gut-brain axis were included and carefully reviewed, with no limitation of study design. It is well-recognized that gut microbiota affects the brain's physiological, behavioral, and cognitive functions although its precise mechanism has not yet been fully understood. Gut microbiota-brain axis may include gut microbiota and their metabolic products, enteric nervous system, sympathetic and parasympathetic branches within the autonomic nervous system, neural-immune system, neuroendocrine system, and central nervous system. Moreover, there may be five communication routes between gut microbiota and brain, including the gut-brain's neural network, neuroendocrine-hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, gut immune system, some neurotransmitters and neural regulators synthesized by gut bacteria, and barrier paths including intestinal mucosal barrier and blood-brain barrier. The microbiome is used to define the composition and functional characteristics of gut microbiota, and metagenomics is an appropriate technique to characterize gut microbiota. Gut microbiota-brain axis refers to a bidirectional information network between the gut microbiota and the brain, which may provide a new way to protect the brain in the near future.

  5. Constructs and methods for genome editing and genetic engineering of fungi and protists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hittinger, Christopher Todd; Alexander, William Gerald

    2018-01-30

    Provided herein are constructs for genome editing or genetic engineering in fungi or protists, methods of using the constructs and media for use in selecting cells. The construct include a polynucleotide encoding a thymidine kinase operably connected to a promoter, suitably a constitutive promoter; a polynucleotide encoding an endonuclease operably connected to an inducible promoter; and a recognition site for the endonuclease. The constructs may also include selectable markers for use in selecting recombinations.

  6. Geographic distance and mountain ranges structure freshwater protist communities on a European scalе

    OpenAIRE

    Boenigk,Jens; Wodniok,Sabina; Bock,Christina; Beisser,Daniela; Hempel,Christopher; Grossmann,Lars; Lange,Anja; Jensen,Manfred

    2018-01-01

    Protists influence ecosystems by modulating microbial population size, diversity, metabolic outputs and gene flow. In this study we used eukaryotic ribosomal amplicon diversity from 218 European freshwater lakes sampled in August 2012 to assess the effect of mountain ranges as biogeographic barriers on spatial patterns and microbial community structure in European freshwaters. The diversity of microbial communities as reflected by amplicon clusters suggested that the eukaryotic microbial inve...

  7. Cryptic infection of a broad taxonomic and geographic diversity of tadpoles by Perkinsea protists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambouvet, Aurélie; Gower, David J; Jirků, Miloslav; Yabsley, Michael J; Davis, Andrew K; Leonard, Guy; Maguire, Finlay; Doherty-Bone, Thomas M; Bittencourt-Silva, Gabriela Bueno; Wilkinson, Mark; Richards, Thomas A

    2015-08-25

    The decline of amphibian populations, particularly frogs, is often cited as an example in support of the claim that Earth is undergoing its sixth mass extinction event. Amphibians seem to be particularly sensitive to emerging diseases (e.g., fungal and viral pathogens), yet the diversity and geographic distribution of infectious agents are only starting to be investigated. Recent work has linked a previously undescribed protist with mass-mortality events in the United States, in which infected frog tadpoles have an abnormally enlarged yellowish liver filled with protist cells of a presumed parasite. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that this infectious agent was affiliated with the Perkinsea: a parasitic group within the alveolates exemplified by Perkinsus sp., a "marine" protist responsible for mass-mortality events in commercial shellfish populations. Using small subunit (SSU) ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequencing, we developed a targeted PCR protocol for preferentially sampling a clade of the Perkinsea. We tested this protocol on freshwater environmental DNA, revealing a wide diversity of Perkinsea lineages in these environments. Then, we used the same protocol to test for Perkinsea-like lineages in livers of 182 tadpoles from multiple families of frogs. We identified a distinct Perkinsea clade, encompassing a low level of SSU rDNA variation different from the lineage previously associated with tadpole mass-mortality events. Members of this clade were present in 38 tadpoles sampled from 14 distinct genera/phylogroups, from five countries across three continents. These data provide, to our knowledge, the first evidence that Perkinsea-like protists infect tadpoles across a wide taxonomic range of frogs in tropical and temperate environments, including oceanic islands.

  8. Organic matter composition and the protist and nematode communities around anecic earthworm burrows

    OpenAIRE

    Andriuzzi, Walter S.; NGO, Phuong-thi; Geisen, Stefan; Keith, Aidan M.; Dumack, Kenneth; Bolger, Thomas; Bonkowski, Michael; Brussaard, Lijbert; Faber, Jack H.; Chabbi, Abad; Rumpel, Cornelia; Schmidt, Olaf

    2016-01-01

    By living in permanent burrows and incorporating organic detritus from the soil surface, anecic earthworms contribute to soil heterogeneity, but their impact is still under-studied in natural field conditions. We investigated the effects of the anecic earthworm Lumbricus centralis on fresh carbon (C) incorporation, soil organic matter composition, protists, and nematodes of a Cambisol under grassland. We used plant material labelled with stable isotope tracers to detect fresh C input around e...

  9. Characterizing ncRNAs in human pathogenic protists using high-throughput sequencing technology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lesley Joan Collins

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available ncRNAs are key genes in many human diseases including cancer and viral infection, as well as providing critical functions in pathogenic organisms such as fungi, bacteria, viruses and protists. Until now the identification and characterization of ncRNAs associated with disease has been slow or inaccurate requiring many years of testing to understand complicated RNA and protein gene relationships. High-throughput sequencing now offers the opportunity to characterize miRNAs, siRNAs, snoRNAs and long ncRNAs on a genomic scale making it faster and easier to clarify how these ncRNAs contribute to the disease state. However, this technology is still relatively new, and ncRNA discovery is not an application of high priority for streamlined bioinformatics. Here we summarize background concepts and practical approaches for ncRNA analysis using high-throughput sequencing, and how it relates to understanding human disease. As a case study, we focus on the parasitic protists Giardia lamblia and Trichomonas vaginalis, where large evolutionary distance has meant difficulties in comparing ncRNAs with those from model eukaryotes. A combination of biological, computational and sequencing approaches has enabled easier classification of ncRNA classes such as snoRNAs, but has also aided the identification of novel classes. It is hoped that a higher level of understanding of ncRNA expression and interaction may aid in the development of less harsh treatment for protist-based diseases.

  10. A modified single-cell electroporation method for molecule delivery into a motile protist, Euglena gracilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohmachi, Masashi; Fujiwara, Yoshie; Muramatsu, Shuki; Yamada, Koji; Iwata, Osamu; Suzuki, Kengo; Wang, Dan Ohtan

    2016-11-01

    Single-cell transfection is a powerful technique for delivering chemicals, drugs, or probes into arbitrary, specific single cells. This technique is especially important when the analysis of molecular function and cellular behavior in individual microscopic organisms such as protists requires the precise identification of the target cell, as fluorescence labeling of bulk populations makes tracking of individual motile protists virtually impossible. Herein, we have modified current single-cell electroporation techniques for delivering fluorescent markers into single Euglena gracilis, a motile photosynthetic microalga. Single-cell electroporation introduced molecules into individual living E. gracilis cells after a negative pressure was applied through a syringe connected to the micropipette to the target cell. The new method achieves high transfection efficiency and viability after electroporation. With the new technique, we successfully introduced a variety of molecules such as GFP, Alexa Fluor 488, and exciton-controlled hybridization-sensitive fluorescent oligonucleotide (ECHO) RNA probes into individual motile E. gracilis cells. We demonstrate imaging of endogenous mRNA in living E. gracilis without interfering with their physiological functions, such as swimming or division, over an extended period of time. Thus the modified single-cell electroporation technique is suitable for delivering versatile functional molecules into individual motile protists. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Genome Editing by CRISPR/Cas9: A Game Change in the Genetic Manipulation of Protists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lander, Noelia; Chiurillo, Miguel A; Docampo, Roberto

    2016-09-01

    Genome editing by CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)/Cas9 (CRISPR-associated gene 9) system has been transformative in biology. Originally discovered as an adaptive prokaryotic immune system, CRISPR/Cas9 has been repurposed for genome editing in a broad range of model organisms, from yeast to mammalian cells. Protist parasites are unicellular organisms producing important human diseases that affect millions of people around the world. For many of these diseases, such as malaria, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis and cryptosporidiosis, there are no effective treatments or vaccines available. The recent adaptation of the CRISPR/Cas9 technology to several protist models will be playing a key role in the functional study of their proteins, in the characterization of their metabolic pathways, and in the understanding of their biology, and will facilitate the search for new chemotherapeutic targets. In this work we review recent studies where the CRISPR/Cas9 system was adapted to protist parasites, particularly to Apicomplexans and trypanosomatids, emphasizing the different molecular strategies used for genome editing of each organism, as well as their advantages. We also discuss the potential usefulness of this technology in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. © 2016 The Author(s) Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology © 2016 International Society of Protistologists.

  12. Genome Editing by CRISPR/Cas9: a Game Change in the Genetic Manipulation of Protists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lander, Noelia; Chiurillo, Miguel A.; Docampo, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    Genome editing by CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)/Cas9 (CRISPR-associated gene 9) system has been transformative in biology. Originally discovered as an adaptive prokaryotic immune system, CRISPR/Cas9 has been repurposed for genome editing in a broad range of model organisms, from yeast to mammalian cells. Protist parasites are unicellular organisms producing important human diseases that affect millions of people around the world. For many of these diseases, such as malaria, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis and cryptosporidiosis, there are no effective treatments or vaccines available. The recent adaptation of the CRISPR/Cas9 technology to several protist models will be playing a key role in the functional study of their proteins, in the characterization of their metabolic pathways, and in the understanding of their biology, and will facilitate the search for new chemotherapeutic targets. In this work we review recent studies where the CRISPR/Cas9 system was adapted to protist parasites, particularly to Apicomplexans and trypanosomatids, emphasizing the different molecular strategies used for genome editing of each organism, as well as their advantages. We also discuss the potential usefulness of this technology in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. PMID:27315329

  13. [Giant protists (xenophyophores and komokiaceans) from the Clarion-Clipperton ferromanganese nodule field (Eastern Pacific)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamenskaia, O E; Mel'nik, V F; Gooday, A J

    2012-01-01

    Our previous investigations showed that giant protists (xenophyophores and komokiaceans) are one of the key groups in the deep-sea mega- and macrobenthos, dominating in density and biomass in some areas of the World Ocean. Analyses of 38600 seafloor photographs and fauna from 30 box-corers taken in the Russian Exploratory area at the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone ferromanganese nodule field revealed a diverse and abundant fauna of these organisms. Xenophyophores were found on 70% of seafloor photographs. Their abundance averaged 1600 specimens per hectare, whereas abundance of the next common group, Actiniaria, did not exceed 170 specimens per hectare. The maximum abundance of xenophyophores was 12 specimens per m2 (equal to 120000 specimens per hectare). In the box-corers, xenophyophores were found in 30% of samples. The most common group in these samples was Komokiacea. They occurred in 100% of samples. It was shown earlier that abundance and species diversity of macro- and meiobenthos increased when xenophyophores and komokiaceans were present. On the Russian exploratory area, the giant protists structure benthic communities. Study of these protists is especially important in the light of mining planned in the deep sea and for understanding of recovery of benthic communities after mining. We have found 6 species of xenophyophores, 4 of them were new and 25 species of komokiaceans, most part of part of them was not known earlier.

  14. Coexisting protist-bacterial community accelerates protein transformation in microcosm experiments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ngo Vy Thao

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Proteins constitute the major portion of labile substances in the marine environment and are an important source of organic matter supporting marine ecosystems. However, previous studies have revealed that specific bacterial membrane proteins are refractory in the oceans. We here show by kinetic analyses of protease degradation activity using inactivated Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa cells as a proteinaceous substrate that bacterial proteases are insufficient to completely hydrolyze proteins, which may partially cause the protein accumulation in seawater. Protease activity was monitored simultaneously in 8 microcosms subjected to differing conditions. Some Pa proteins were retained for 30 days in the presence of bacteria without protists, whereas the Pa proteins were completely disappeared in the presence of both, indicating that these proteins were substantially incorporated into protist biomass. Our result suggests that protists play an important role in the transformation of bacterial proteins in seawater. Our experiments also imply that the functional/taxonomic diversity should be taken into account when considering decomposition activity in marine environments.

  15. Vertical Distribution of Termites on Trees in Two Forest Landscapes in Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hou-Feng; Yeh, Hsin-Ting; Chiu, Chun-I; Kuo, Chih-Yu; Tsai, Ming-Jer

    2016-03-25

    Termites are a key functional group in the forest ecosystem, but they damage trees. To investigate the termite infestation pattern on the whole tree, we cut 108 blackboard trees,Alstonia scholaris(L.) R. Br., and 50 Japanese cedars,Cryptomeria japonica (L. f.) D. Don, into sections. The bark surface and cross sections of the tree trunk were examined along the axes. A high percentage of blackboard trees (92.6%) was infested by fungus-growing termites,Odontotermes formosanus(Shiraki), but damage was limited to the bark surface at a 2-m height. The infestation rate of dampwood termites,Neotermes koshunensis(Shiraki), was only 4.6% (5/108), and all infestations were associated with trunk wounds.N. koshunensiswas found at significantly higher portion of a tree thanO. formosanus Among 50 Japanese cedars, 20 living trees were not infested by any termites, but 26 of the 30 dead trees were infested by subterranean termites,Reticulitermes flaviceps(Oshima), which excavated tunnels in the trunk. The infestation rate at basal sections was higher than that at distal sections. Only one Japanese cedar tree was infested by another dampwood termite,Glyptotermes satsumensis(Matsumura). The two dominant termite species,O. formosanusandR. flaviceps, had subterranean nests and infested trees from bottom up. The two primitive termitesN. koshunensis andG. satsumensishad low infestation rates and are most likely to infest trees by alates from top down. The niche segregation in trees of three termite families, Kalotermitidae, Rhinotermitidae, and Termitidae, was distinct. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Chemical Fertility Signaling in Termites: Idiosyncrasies and Commonalities in Comparison with Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korb, Judith

    2018-04-04

    Termites evolved eusociality independently from social Hymenoptera. As a common trait, reproductive monopoly is maintained through chemical communication. The queen (and in termites also a king) prevents workers from reproduction by conveying their reproductive status. In termites all soldiers are sterile, but workers' potential to reproduce differs between species. It ranges from totipotency in wood-dwelling lower termites where workers are a transient stage from which all other castes develop, to sterile workers in some higher termites. Intermediate are species in which workers can develop into replacement sexuals within the nest but not into winged sexuals. I summarize the patchy picture about fertility signaling that we currently have for termites, pointing also to potential conflicts over reproduction that differ from those in social Hymenoptera. Recent findings imply that, similar to many social Hymenoptera, wood-dwelling termites that live in confined nests use long-chain cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) as fertility signals. Yet other compounds are important as well, comprising proteinaceous secretions and especially volatiles. For a subterranean termite, two volatiles have been identified as primer pheromones that prevent reproductive differentiation of workers. It requires more data to test whether wood-dwelling termites use CHCs, while species with larger colonies and less confined nests use volatiles, or whether all species rely on multicomponent signals. Ultimately, we need more effort to model and test potential conflicts over reproduction between queens, kings and workers. Here results from social Hymenoptera cannot be transferred to termites as the latter are diploid and commonly inbred. This review illustrates promising future research avenues.

  17. The antibacterial protein lysozyme identified as the termite egg recognition pheromone.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenji Matsuura

    Full Text Available Social insects rely heavily on pheromone communication to maintain their sociality. Egg protection is one of the most fundamental social behaviours in social insects. The recent discovery of the termite-egg mimicking fungus 'termite-ball' and subsequent studies on termite egg protection behaviour have shown that termites can be manipulated by using the termite egg recognition pheromone (TERP, which strongly evokes the egg-carrying and -grooming behaviours of workers. Despite the great scientific and economic importance, TERP has not been identified because of practical difficulties. Herein we identified the antibacterial protein lysozyme as the TERP. We isolated the target protein using ion-exchange and hydrophobic interaction chromatography, and the MALDI-TOF MS analysis showed a molecular size of 14.5 kDa. We found that the TERP provided antibacterial activity against a gram-positive bacterium. Among the currently known antimicrobial proteins, the molecular size of 14.5 kDa limits the target to lysozyme. Termite lysozymes obtained from eggs and salivary glands, and even hen egg lysozyme, showed a strong termite egg recognition activity. Besides eggs themselves, workers also supply lysozyme to eggs through frequent egg-grooming, by which egg surfaces are coated with saliva containing lysozyme. Reverse transcript PCR analysis showed that mRNA of termite lysozyme was expressed in both salivary glands and eggs. Western blot analysis confirmed that lysozyme production begins in immature eggs in queen ovaries. This is the first identification of proteinaceous pheromone in social insects. Researchers have focused almost exclusively on hydrocarbons when searching for recognition pheromones in social insects. The present finding of a proteinaceous pheromone represents a major step forward in, and result in the broadening of, the search for recognition pheromones. This novel function of lysozyme as a termite pheromone illuminates the profound influence

  18. Do termites avoid carcasses? Behavioral responses depend on the nature of the carcasses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kok-Boon Neoh

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Undertaking behavior is a significant adaptation to social life in enclosed nests. Workers are known to remove dead colony members from the nest. Such behavior prevents the spread of pathogens that may be detrimental to a colony. To date, little is known about the ethological aspects of how termites deal with carcasses. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we tested the responses to carcasses of four species from different subterranean termite taxa: Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki and Reticulitermes speratus (Kolbe (lower termites and Microcerotermes crassus Snyder and Globitermes sulphureus Haviland (higher termites. We also used different types of carcasses (freshly killed, 1-, 3-, and 7-day-old, and oven-killed carcasses and mutilated nestmates to investigate whether the termites exhibited any behavioral responses that were specific to carcasses in certain conditions. Some behavioral responses were performed specifically on certain types of carcasses or mutilated termites. C. formosanus and R. speratus exhibited the following behaviors: (1 the frequency and time spent in antennating, grooming, and carcass removal of freshly killed, 1-day-old, and oven-killed carcasses were high, but these behaviors decreased as the carcasses aged; (2 the termites repeatedly crawled under the aging carcass piles; and (3 only newly dead termites were consumed as a food source. In contrast, M. crassus and G. sulphureus workers performed relatively few behavioral acts. Our results cast a new light on the previous notion that termites are necrophobic in nature. CONCLUSION: We conclude that the behavioral response towards carcasses depends largely on the nature of the carcasses and termite species, and the response is more complex than was previously thought. Such behavioral responses likely are associated with the threat posed to the colony by the carcasses and the feeding habits and nesting ecology of a given species.

  19. Exploring the potential for actinobacteria as defensive symbionts in fungus-growing termites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visser, Anna A; Nobre, Tânia; Currie, Cameron R; Aanen, Duur K; Poulsen, Michael

    2012-05-01

    In fungus-growing termites, fungi of the subgenus Pseudoxylaria threaten colony health through substrate competition with the termite fungus (Termitomyces). The potential mechanisms with which termites suppress Pseudoxylaria have remained unknown. Here we explore if Actinobacteria potentially play a role as defensive symbionts against Pseudoxylaria in fungus-growing termites. We sampled for Actinobacteria from 30 fungus-growing termite colonies, spanning the three main termite genera and two geographically distant sites. Our isolations yielded 360 Actinobacteria, from which we selected subsets for morphological (288 isolates, grouped in 44 morphotypes) and for 16S rRNA (35 isolates, spanning the majority of morphotypes) characterisation. Actinobacteria were found throughout all sampled nests and colony parts and, phylogenetically, they are interspersed with Actinobacteria from origins other than fungus-growing termites, indicating lack of specificity. Antibiotic-activity screening of 288 isolates against the fungal cultivar and competitor revealed that most of the Actinobacteria-produced molecules with antifungal activity. A more detailed bioassay on 53 isolates, to test the specificity of antibiotics, showed that many Actinobacteria inhibit both Pseudoxylaria and Termitomyces, and that the cultivar fungus generally is more susceptible to inhibition than the competitor. This suggests that either defensive symbionts are not present in the system or that they, if present, represent a subset of the community isolated. If so, the antibiotics must be used in a targeted fashion, being applied to specific areas by the termites. We describe the first discovery of an assembly of antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria occurring in fungus-growing termite nests. However, due to the diversity found, and the lack of both phylogenetic and bioactivity specificity, further work is necessary for a better understanding of the putative role of antibiotic-producing bacteria in the fungus

  20. Termites community as environmental bioindicators in highlands: a case study in eastern slopes of Mount Slamet, Central Java

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    IDHAM SAKTI HARAHAP

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Pribadi T,Raffiudin R,HarahapIS (2011Termites community as environmental bioindicators in highlands: a case study in eastern slopes of Mount Slamet, Central Java. Biodiversitas 12: 235-240. Termites ecological behaviour is much affected by land use change and disturbance level. Their variation in diversity can be used as bioindicator of environmental quality. However, termite community response to land use changes and habitat disturbance in highland ecosystems remains poorly understood. This study was conducted to investigate the response of termite community to land use intensification and to explore their role as environmental bioindicator in Mount Slamet. A standard survey protocol was used to collect termites in five land use typesof various disturbance levels,i.e. protected forest, recreation forest, production forest,agroforestry, and urban area. It was found two termite families i.e. Rhinotermitidae and Termitidae with seven species, i.e Schedorhinotermes javanicus, Procapritermes sp, Pericapritermes semarangi, Macrotermes gilvus, Microtermes insperatus, Nasutitermes javanicus, and N. matanganensis. Termite species’ richness and evenness, Shannon-Wiener index, relative abundance, and biomass of termite were declined along with the land use types and disturbance level from protected forest to urban area. Habitat disturbance was the main declining factor of termite diversity. Termite composition changed along with the land use disturbance level. Soil feeding termites were sensitive to the disturbance – they were not found in urban area. Hence, their presence or absence can be used as environmental bioindicator to detect habitat disturbance.

  1. Response of Termite (Blattodea: Termitoidae) Assemblages to Lower Subtropical Forest Succession: A Case Study in Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhi-Qiang; Ke, Yun-Ling; Zeng, Wen-Hui; Zhang, Shi-Jun; Wu, Wen-Jing

    2016-02-01

    Termite (Blattodea: Termitoidae) assemblages have important ecological functions and vary in structure between habitats, but have not been studied in lower subtropical forests. To examine whether differences in the richness and relative abundance of termite species and functional groups occur in lower subtropical regions, termite assemblages were sampled in Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve, China, among pine forest, pine and broad-leaved mixed forest (mixed forest), and monsoon evergreen broad-leaved forest (monsoon forest). The dominant functional group was wood-feeding termites (family Termitidae), and the mixed forest hosted the greatest richness and relative abundance. Soil-feeding termites were absent from the lower subtropical system, while humus-feeding termites were sporadically distributed in mixed forest and monsoon forest. The species richness and functional group abundance of termites in our site may be linked to the forest succession. Altitude, soil temperature, air temperature, surface air relative humidity, and litter depth were significant influences on species and functional group diversity.

  2. Conservation of Protists: The Krauthügel Pond in Austria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilhelm Foissner

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Although constituting more than 100,000 described species, protists are virtually ignored within the arena of biodiversity conservation. One reason is the widespread belief that the majority of protists have cosmopolitan distributions, in contrast to the highly hetereogenous biogeography of the “mega-Metazoa”. However, modern research reveals that about one third of the known protists have restricted distributions, which endorses their conservation, at least in special cases. Here, we report what probably ranks as the first successful conservation intervention focused directly on known protist diversity. It is justified by unique species, type localities, and landscape maintenance as evidence for legislation. The protected habitat comprises an ephemeral pond, which is now a “Natural Monument” for ciliated protozoa. This wetland occupies a natural depression on the Krauthügel (“cabbage hill” south of the fortress of Salzburg City. When filled, the claviform pond has a size of ~30 × 15 m and a depth rarely surpassing 30 cm. Water is present only for some days or weeks, depending on heavy and/or prolonged rain. The pond occupied an agricultural field where root and leafy vegetables were cultivated for possibly more than 200 years. In the 1960s, this area became a grassland utilized as an autumn pasture, but was abandoned in the 1990s. Repeated sampling between 1982 and 2012 recovered a total of at least 150 ciliate taxa, of which 121 were identified to species level. Eight species were new to science, and an additional 10 poorly known species were reinvestigated and neotypified with populations from the Krauthügel pond. Both endemism and type localities justify the argument that the “integrative approach” in biodiversity and conservation issues should include protists and micro-metazoans. We argue that Krauthügel holds a unique reference node for biodiversity inventories to obtain the baseline knowledge—which is the

  3. Kinship, inbreeding and fine-scale spatial structure influence gut microbiota in a hindgut-fermenting tortoise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Michael L; Dean, Samantha H; Longo, Ana V; Rothermel, Betsie B; Tuberville, Tracey D; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2015-05-01

    Herbivorous vertebrates rely on complex communities of mutualistic gut bacteria to facilitate the digestion of celluloses and hemicelluloses. Gut microbes are often convergent based on diet and gut morphology across a phylogenetically diverse group of mammals. However, little is known about microbial communities of herbivorous hindgut-fermenting reptiles. Here, we investigate how factors at the individual level might constrain the composition of gut microbes in an obligate herbivorous reptile. Using multiplexed 16S rRNA gene sequencing, we characterized the faecal microbial community of a population of gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) and examined how age, genetic diversity, spatial structure and kinship influence differences among individuals. We recovered phylotypes associated with known cellulolytic function, including candidate phylum Termite Group 3, suggesting their importance for gopher tortoise digestion. Although host genetic structure did not explain variation in microbial composition and community structure, we found that fine-scale spatial structure, inbreeding, degree of relatedness and possibly ontogeny shaped patterns of diversity in faecal microbiomes of gopher tortoises. Our findings corroborate widespread convergence of faecal-associated microbes based on gut morphology and diet and demonstrate the role of spatial and demographic structure in driving differentiation of gut microbiota in natural populations. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Supersymmetric GUTs and cosmology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lazarides, G.; Shafi, Q.

    1982-06-01

    By examining the behaviour of supersymmetric GUTs in the very early universe we find two classes of realistic models. In one of them supersymmetry is broken at or near the superheavy GUT scale. The cosmological implications of such models are expected to be similar to those of nonsupersymmetric GUTs. In the second class of models, the superheavy GUT scale is related to the supersymmetry breaking scale a la Witten. Two types of cosmological scenarios appear possible in this case, either with or without an intermediate (new) inflationary phase. They can be experimentally distinguished, since the former predicts an absence and the latter an observable number density of superheavy monopoles. A mechanism for generating baryon asymmetry in such models is pointed out. Further constraint on model building appears if global R invariance is employed to resolve the strong CP problem. (author)

  5. Termite assemblages (Blattodea: Isoptera in a habitat humidity gradient in the semiarid region of northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alane A.V.O. Couto

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT We compared the termite assemblages of different ecosystems in a humidity gradient. Three areas were sampled: (i a humid montane forest; (ii a hillside forest where shaded coffee (Coffea arabica Linnaeus, 1753 is cultivated; (iii a seasonally dry forest (Caatinga. Active collection protocols were employed in each area during the dry and rainy seasons. The species were grouped according to their habitats and feeding habits. A total of 45 termite species belonging to 20 genera and three families were encountered. The termite fauna of the Caatinga was as rich and abundant as that of the humid forest areas, but it was distinct from it in species composition. Most termite species encountered in the montane forest were also found in the agro-ecological site, but some species were only found in the latter. The termite fauna of the Caatinga varied seasonally the most, with significantly reduced abundance during the dry period. When species richness, abundance, and species composition were considered together the climatic seasons were not found to significantly affect the termite faunas in any of the study areas. The numbers of encounters per feeding group and per habitat exploited did not differ among the different areas, or during the different seasons. Even in adjacent areas, the humidity gradient, as well as the vegetational characteristics, are reflected in differences in the termite fauna. Agro-ecological regimes can be considered viable alternatives to traditional methods of cultivation as they largely conserve the biodiversity found in non-modified environments.

  6. Termites utilise clay to build structural supports and so increase foraging resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberst, Sebastian; Lai, Joseph C S; Evans, Theodore A

    2016-02-08

    Many termite species use clay to build foraging galleries and mound-nests. In some cases clay is placed within excavations of their wooden food, such as living trees or timber in buildings; however the purpose for this clay is unclear. We tested the hypotheses that termites can identify load bearing wood, and that they use clay to provide mechanical support of the load and thus allow them to eat the wood. In field and laboratory experiments, we show that the lower termite Coptotermes acinaciformis, the most basal species to build a mound-nest, can distinguish unloaded from loaded wood, and use clay differently when eating each type. The termites target unloaded wood preferentially, and use thin clay sheeting to camouflage themselves while eating the unloaded wood. The termites attack loaded wood secondarily, and build thick, load-bearing clay walls when they do. The termites add clay and build thicker walls as the load-bearing wood is consumed. The use of clay to support wood under load unlocks otherwise unavailable food resources. This behaviour may represent an evolutionary step from foraging behaviour to nest building in lower termites.

  7. Colonization with the enteric protozoa Blastocystis is associated with increased diversity of human gut bacterial microbiota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Audebert, Christophe; Even, Gaël; Cian, Amandine; Loywick, Alexandre; Merlin, Sophie; Viscogliosi, Eric; Chabé, Magali

    2016-05-05

    Alterations in the composition of commensal bacterial populations, a phenomenon known as dysbiosis, are linked to multiple gastrointestinal disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome, or to infections by diverse enteric pathogens. Blastocystis is one of the most common single-celled eukaryotes detected in human faecal samples. However, the clinical significance of this widespread colonization remains unclear, and its pathogenic potential is controversial. To address the issue of Blastocystis pathogenicity, we investigated the impact of colonization by this protist on the composition of the human gut microbiota. For that purpose, we conducted a cross-sectional study including 48 Blastocystis-colonized patients and 48 Blastocystis-free subjects and performed an Ion Torrent 16S rDNA gene sequencing to decipher the Blastocystis-associated gut microbiota. Here, we report a higher bacterial diversity in faecal microbiota of Blastocystis colonized patients, a higher abundance of Clostridia as well as a lower abundance of Enterobacteriaceae. Our results contribute to suggesting that Blastocystis colonization is usually associated with a healthy gut microbiota, rather than with gut dysbiosis generally observed in metabolic or infectious inflammatory diseases of the lower gastrointestinal tract.

  8. Radiation and Gut

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Potten, C.S.; Hendry, J.H.

    1995-08-01

    Texts on gut with reference to radiation (or other cytotoxic and carcinogenic agents) consist of primary research papers, review articles, or books which are now very out-of-date. With this in mind, the present book was conceived. Here, with chapters by experts in the field, we cover the basic structure and cell replacement process in the gut, the physical situation relevant for gut radiation exposure and a description of some of the techniques used to study radiation effects, in particular the clonal regeneration assay that assesses stem cell functional capacity. Chapters comprehensively cover the effects of radiation in experimental animal model systems and clinical experiences. The effects of radiation on the supportive tissue of the gut is also reviewed. The special radiation situation involving ingested radionuclides is reviewed and the most important late response-carcinogenesis-within the gut is considered. This book follows a volume on 'Radiation and Skin' (1985) and another on 'Radiation and Bone Marrow' is in preparation. The present volume is intended to cover the anatomy and renewal characteristics of the gut, and its response in terms of carcinogenicity and tissue injury in mammalian species including in particular man. The book is expected to be useful to students and teachers in these topics, as well as clinical oncologists (radiotherapists) and medical oncologists, and industrial health personnel. 70 figs., 20 tabs., 869 refs

  9. Termites Are Resistant to the Effects of Fire at Multiple Spatial Scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avitabile, Sarah C.; Nimmo, Dale G.; Bennett, Andrew F.; Clarke, Michael F.

    2015-01-01

    Termites play an important ecological role in many ecosystems, particularly in nutrient-poor arid and semi-arid environments. We examined the distribution and occurrence of termites in the fire-prone, semi-arid mallee region of south-eastern Australia. In addition to periodic large wildfires, land managers use fire as a tool to achieve both asset protection and ecological outcomes in this region. Twelve taxa of termites were detected by using systematic searches and grids of cellulose baits at 560 sites, clustered in 28 landscapes selected to represent different fire mosaic patterns. There was no evidence of a significant relationship between the occurrence of termite species and time-since-fire at the site scale. Rather, the occurrence of species was related to habitat features such as the density of mallee trees and large logs (>10 cm diameter). Species richness was greater in chenopod mallee vegetation on heavier soils in swales, rather than Triodia mallee vegetation of the sandy dune slopes. At the landscape scale, there was little evidence that the frequency of occurrence of termite species was related to fire, and no evidence that habitat heterogeneity generated by fire influenced termite species richness. The most influential factor at the landscape scale was the environmental gradient represented by average annual rainfall. Although termites may be associated with flammable habitat components (e.g. dead wood), they appear to be buffered from the effects of fire by behavioural traits, including nesting underground, and the continued availability of dead wood after fire. There is no evidence to support the hypothesis that a fine-scale, diverse mosaic of post-fire age-classes will enhance the diversity of termites. Rather, termites appear to be resistant to the effects of fire at multiple spatial scales. PMID:26571383

  10. Termites Are Resistant to the Effects of Fire at Multiple Spatial Scales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah C Avitabile

    Full Text Available Termites play an important ecological role in many ecosystems, particularly in nutrient-poor arid and semi-arid environments. We examined the distribution and occurrence of termites in the fire-prone, semi-arid mallee region of south-eastern Australia. In addition to periodic large wildfires, land managers use fire as a tool to achieve both asset protection and ecological outcomes in this region. Twelve taxa of termites were detected by using systematic searches and grids of cellulose baits at 560 sites, clustered in 28 landscapes selected to represent different fire mosaic patterns. There was no evidence of a significant relationship between the occurrence of termite species and time-since-fire at the site scale. Rather, the occurrence of species was related to habitat features such as the density of mallee trees and large logs (>10 cm diameter. Species richness was greater in chenopod mallee vegetation on heavier soils in swales, rather than Triodia mallee vegetation of the sandy dune slopes. At the landscape scale, there was little evidence that the frequency of occurrence of termite species was related to fire, and no evidence that habitat heterogeneity generated by fire influenced termite species richness. The most influential factor at the landscape scale was the environmental gradient represented by average annual rainfall. Although termites may be associated with flammable habitat components (e.g. dead wood, they appear to be buffered from the effects of fire by behavioural traits, including nesting underground, and the continued availability of dead wood after fire. There is no evidence to support the hypothesis that a fine-scale, diverse mosaic of post-fire age-classes will enhance the diversity of termites. Rather, termites appear to be resistant to the effects of fire at multiple spatial scales.

  11. Viruses and Protists Induced-mortality of Prokaryotes around the Antarctic Peninsula during the Austral Summer

    KAUST Repository

    Vaque, Dolors

    2017-03-27

    During the Austral summer 2009 we studied three areas surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula: the Bellingshausen Sea, the Bransfield Strait and the Weddell Sea. We aimed to investigate, whether viruses or protists were the main agents inducing prokaryotic mortality rates, and the sensitivity to temperature of prokaryotic heterotrophic production and mortality based on the activation energy (Ea) for each process. Seawater samples were taken at seven depths (0.1-100 m) to quantify viruses, prokaryotes and protists abundances, and heterotrophic prokaryotic production (PHP). Viral lytic production, lysogeny, and mortality rates of prokaryotes due to viruses and protists were estimated at surface (0.1-1 m) and at the Deep Fluorescence Maximum (DFM, 12-55 m) at eight representative stations of the three areas. The average viral lytic production ranged from 1.0 +/- 0.3 x 10(7) viruses ml(-1) d(-1) in the Bellingshausen Sea to1.3 +/- 0.7 x 10(7) viruses ml(-1) d(-1) in the Bransfield Strait, while lysogeny, when detectable, recorded the lowest value in the Bellingshausen Sea (0.05 +/- 0.05 x 10(7) viruses ml(-1) d(-1)) and the highest in the Weddell Sea (4.3 +/- 3.5 x 10(7) viruses ml(-1) d(-1)). Average mortality rates due to viruses ranged from 9.7 +/- 6.1 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) in the Weddell Sea to 14.3 +/- 4.0 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) in the Bellingshausen Sea, and were higher than averaged grazing rates in the Weddell Sea (5.9 +/- 1.1 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1)) and in the Bellingshausen Sea (6.8 +/- 0.9 x 10(4) cells ml-1 d(-1)). The highest impact on prokaryotes by viruses and main differences between viral and protists activities were observed in surface samples: 17.8 +/- 6.8 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) and 6.5 +/- 3.9 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) in the Weddell Sea; 22.1 +/- 9.6 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) and 11.6 +/- 1.4 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) in the Bransfield Strait; and 16.1 +/- 5.7 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) and 7.9 +/- 2.6 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) in

  12. Viruses and Protists Induced-mortality of Prokaryotes around the Antarctic Peninsula during the Austral Summer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaqué, Dolors; Boras, Julia A.; Torrent-Llagostera, Francesc; Agustí, Susana; Arrieta, Jesús M.; Lara, Elena; Castillo, Yaiza M.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Sala, Maria M.

    2017-01-01

    During the Austral summer 2009 we studied three areas surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula: the Bellingshausen Sea, the Bransfield Strait and the Weddell Sea. We aimed to investigate, whether viruses or protists were the main agents inducing prokaryotic mortality rates, and the sensitivity to temperature of prokaryotic heterotrophic production and mortality based on the activation energy (Ea) for each process. Seawater samples were taken at seven depths (0.1–100 m) to quantify viruses, prokaryotes and protists abundances, and heterotrophic prokaryotic production (PHP). Viral lytic production, lysogeny, and mortality rates of prokaryotes due to viruses and protists were estimated at surface (0.1–1 m) and at the Deep Fluorescence Maximum (DFM, 12–55 m) at eight representative stations of the three areas. The average viral lytic production ranged from 1.0 ± 0.3 × 107 viruses ml−1 d−1 in the Bellingshausen Sea to1.3 ± 0.7 × 107 viruses ml−1 d−1 in the Bransfield Strait, while lysogeny, when detectable, recorded the lowest value in the Bellingshausen Sea (0.05 ± 0.05 × 107 viruses ml−1 d−1) and the highest in the Weddell Sea (4.3 ± 3.5 × 107 viruses ml−1 d−1). Average mortality rates due to viruses ranged from 9.7 ± 6.1 × 104 cells ml−1 d−1 in the Weddell Sea to 14.3 ± 4.0 × 104 cells ml−1 d−1 in the Bellingshausen Sea, and were higher than averaged grazing rates in the Weddell Sea (5.9 ± 1.1 × 104 cells ml−1 d−1) and in the Bellingshausen Sea (6.8 ± 0.9 × 104 cells ml−1 d−1). The highest impact on prokaryotes by viruses and main differences between viral and protists activities were observed in surface samples: 17.8 ± 6.8 × 104 cells ml−1 d−1 and 6.5 ± 3.9 × 104 cells ml−1 d−1 in the Weddell Sea; 22.1 ± 9.6 × 104 cells ml−1 d−1 and 11.6 ± 1.4 × 104 cells ml−1 d−1 in the Bransfield Strait; and 16.1 ± 5.7 × 104 cells ml−1 d−1 and 7.9 ± 2.6 × 104 cells ml−1 d−1 in the Bellingshausen

  13. Gut Microbiota-brain Axis

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Hong-Xing; Wang, Yu-Ping

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To systematically review the updated information about the gut microbiota-brain axis. Data Sources: All articles about gut microbiota-brain axis published up to July 18, 2016, were identified through a literature search on PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Web of Science, with the keywords of “gut microbiota”, “gut-brain axis”, and “neuroscience”. Study Selection: All relevant articles on gut microbiota and gut-brain axis were included and carefully reviewed, with no limitation of s...

  14. Construction of cDNA libraries: focus on protists and fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Ezpeleta, Naiara; Teijeiro, Shona; Forget, Lise; Burger, Gertraud; Lang, B Franz

    2009-01-01

    Sequencing of cDNA libraries is an efficient and inexpensive approach to analyze the protein-coding portion of a genome. It is frequently used for surveying the genomes of poorly studied eukaryotes, and is particularly useful for species that are not easily amenable to genome sequencing, because they are nonaxenic and/or difficult to cultivate. In this chapter, we describe protocols that have been applied successfully to construct and normalize a variety of cDNA libraries from many different species of free-living protists and fungi, and that require only small quantities of cell material.

  15. Evolution of Rhizaria: new insights from phylogenomic analysis of uncultivated protists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burki, Fabien; Kudryavtsev, Alexander; Matz, Mikhail V; Aglyamova, Galina V; Bulman, Simon; Fiers, Mark; Keeling, Patrick J; Pawlowski, Jan

    2010-12-02

    Recent phylogenomic analyses have revolutionized our view of eukaryote evolution by revealing unexpected relationships between and within the eukaryotic supergroups. However, for several groups of uncultivable protists, only the ribosomal RNA genes and a handful of proteins are available, often leading to unresolved evolutionary relationships. A striking example concerns the supergroup Rhizaria, which comprises several groups of uncultivable free-living protists such as radiolarians, foraminiferans and gromiids, as well as the parasitic plasmodiophorids and haplosporids. Thus far, the relationships within this supergroup have been inferred almost exclusively from rRNA, actin, and polyubiquitin genes, and remain poorly resolved. To address this, we have generated large Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) datasets for 5 species of Rhizaria belonging to 3 important groups: Acantharea (Astrolonche sp., Phyllostaurus sp.), Phytomyxea (Spongospora subterranea, Plasmodiophora brassicae) and Gromiida (Gromia sphaerica). 167 genes were selected for phylogenetic analyses based on the representation of at least one rhizarian species for each gene. Concatenation of these genes produced a supermatrix composed of 36,735 amino acid positions, including 10 rhizarians, 9 stramenopiles, and 9 alveolates. Phylogenomic analyses of this large dataset revealed a strongly supported clade grouping Foraminifera and Acantharea. The position of this clade within Rhizaria was sensitive to the method employed and the taxon sampling: Maximum Likelihood (ML) and Bayesian analyses using empirical model of evolution favoured an early divergence, whereas the CAT model and ML analyses with fast-evolving sites or the foraminiferan species Reticulomyxa filosa removed suggested a derived position, closely related to Gromia and Phytomyxea. In contrast to what has been previously reported, our analyses also uncovered the presence of the rhizarian-specific polyubiquitin insertion in Acantharea. Finally, this

  16. Evolution of Rhizaria: new insights from phylogenomic analysis of uncultivated protists

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bulman Simon

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent phylogenomic analyses have revolutionized our view of eukaryote evolution by revealing unexpected relationships between and within the eukaryotic supergroups. However, for several groups of uncultivable protists, only the ribosomal RNA genes and a handful of proteins are available, often leading to unresolved evolutionary relationships. A striking example concerns the supergroup Rhizaria, which comprises several groups of uncultivable free-living protists such as radiolarians, foraminiferans and gromiids, as well as the parasitic plasmodiophorids and haplosporids. Thus far, the relationships within this supergroup have been inferred almost exclusively from rRNA, actin, and polyubiquitin genes, and remain poorly resolved. To address this, we have generated large Expressed Sequence Tag (EST datasets for 5 species of Rhizaria belonging to 3 important groups: Acantharea (Astrolonche sp., Phyllostaurus sp., Phytomyxea (Spongospora subterranea, Plasmodiophora brassicae and Gromiida (Gromia sphaerica. Results 167 genes were selected for phylogenetic analyses based on the representation of at least one rhizarian species for each gene. Concatenation of these genes produced a supermatrix composed of 36,735 amino acid positions, including 10 rhizarians, 9 stramenopiles, and 9 alveolates. Phylogenomic analyses of this large dataset revealed a strongly supported clade grouping Foraminifera and Acantharea. The position of this clade within Rhizaria was sensitive to the method employed and the taxon sampling: Maximum Likelihood (ML and Bayesian analyses using empirical model of evolution favoured an early divergence, whereas the CAT model and ML analyses with fast-evolving sites or the foraminiferan species Reticulomyxa filosa removed suggested a derived position, closely related to Gromia and Phytomyxea. In contrast to what has been previously reported, our analyses also uncovered the presence of the rhizarian-specific polyubiquitin

  17. Evolution of Rhizaria: new insights from phylogenomic analysis of uncultivated protists

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background Recent phylogenomic analyses have revolutionized our view of eukaryote evolution by revealing unexpected relationships between and within the eukaryotic supergroups. However, for several groups of uncultivable protists, only the ribosomal RNA genes and a handful of proteins are available, often leading to unresolved evolutionary relationships. A striking example concerns the supergroup Rhizaria, which comprises several groups of uncultivable free-living protists such as radiolarians, foraminiferans and gromiids, as well as the parasitic plasmodiophorids and haplosporids. Thus far, the relationships within this supergroup have been inferred almost exclusively from rRNA, actin, and polyubiquitin genes, and remain poorly resolved. To address this, we have generated large Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) datasets for 5 species of Rhizaria belonging to 3 important groups: Acantharea (Astrolonche sp., Phyllostaurus sp.), Phytomyxea (Spongospora subterranea, Plasmodiophora brassicae) and Gromiida (Gromia sphaerica). Results 167 genes were selected for phylogenetic analyses based on the representation of at least one rhizarian species for each gene. Concatenation of these genes produced a supermatrix composed of 36,735 amino acid positions, including 10 rhizarians, 9 stramenopiles, and 9 alveolates. Phylogenomic analyses of this large dataset revealed a strongly supported clade grouping Foraminifera and Acantharea. The position of this clade within Rhizaria was sensitive to the method employed and the taxon sampling: Maximum Likelihood (ML) and Bayesian analyses using empirical model of evolution favoured an early divergence, whereas the CAT model and ML analyses with fast-evolving sites or the foraminiferan species Reticulomyxa filosa removed suggested a derived position, closely related to Gromia and Phytomyxea. In contrast to what has been previously reported, our analyses also uncovered the presence of the rhizarian-specific polyubiquitin insertion in Acantharea

  18. Gut Microbiota-brain Axis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hong-Xing; Wang, Yu-Ping

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To systematically review the updated information about the gut microbiota-brain axis. Data Sources: All articles about gut microbiota-brain axis published up to July 18, 2016, were identified through a literature search on PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Web of Science, with the keywords of “gut microbiota”, “gut-brain axis”, and “neuroscience”. Study Selection: All relevant articles on gut microbiota and gut-brain axis were included and carefully reviewed, with no limitation of study design. Results: It is well-recognized that gut microbiota affects the brain's physiological, behavioral, and cognitive functions although its precise mechanism has not yet been fully understood. Gut microbiota-brain axis may include gut microbiota and their metabolic products, enteric nervous system, sympathetic and parasympathetic branches within the autonomic nervous system, neural-immune system, neuroendocrine system, and central nervous system. Moreover, there may be five communication routes between gut microbiota and brain, including the gut-brain's neural network, neuroendocrine-hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, gut immune system, some neurotransmitters and neural regulators synthesized by gut bacteria, and barrier paths including intestinal mucosal barrier and blood-brain barrier. The microbiome is used to define the composition and functional characteristics of gut microbiota, and metagenomics is an appropriate technique to characterize gut microbiota. Conclusions: Gut microbiota-brain axis refers to a bidirectional information network between the gut microbiota and the brain, which may provide a new way to protect the brain in the near future. PMID:27647198

  19. Termite assemblages from oil palm agroecosystems across Riau Province, Sumatra, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saputra, Andi; Jalaludin, Nur-Atiqah; Hazmi, Izfa Riza; Rahim, Faszly

    2016-11-01

    Termite survey was conducted at six oil palm agroecosystem sites in Riau Province, Sumatra, Indonesia to document species richness across the sites. Six sites were surveyed by using continuous transect representing gradients of oil palm landuse across Indragiri Hulu to Bengkalis District since February 5th, 2015 until May 21st, 2015. Termites were sampled by modified transect protocols (100 m × 4 m × 10 cm). A total of 23 species belonging to two families and five subfamilies were collected. The termite assemblage was dominated by wood-feeding termites. The major family collected was Rhinotermitidae which included some pest species, such as Coptotermes curvignathus, C. sepangensis, C. kalshoveni, Schedorhinotermes malaccensis, S. medioobscurus, S. brevialatus, and S. javanicus.

  20. LBA-ECO ND-04 Termite Mound and Soil Characterization, Amazonas, Brazil: 1999-2001

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — ABSTRACT: This data set reports the results of a comprehensive study of mound building termites at the Embrapa research station in the Distrito Agropecuario da...

  1. LBA-ECO ND-04 Termite Mound and Soil Characterization, Amazonas, Brazil: 1999-2001

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set reports the results of a comprehensive study of mound building termites at the Embrapa research station in the Distrito Agropecuario da SUFRAMA,...

  2. Impact des termites dans les champs paysans de riz et de mais en ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Oryza sativa L) and corn (Zea mays L.) in farmer fields. To reach this goal, a preliminary sampling was undertaken from the natural environment (shrub savannah) in a view of inventorying termites species to be used in this investigation.

  3. Termites as ecological indicators of mine-land rehabilitation in tropical Australia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hinz, D.A.

    2001-01-01

    This paper presents examples from field research of termites as indicators of rehabilitation success in the wet-dry tropics at Nabalco's bauxite mine, Gove, Australia and in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Field studies indicate that soil-plant-animal interactions are crucial in determining the recovery of disturbed land and that termites play an over-riding role in the process. Termites are seen as ecological indicators for successful soil and vegetation development in humid tropical environments. In land rehabilitation, termites help to create healthy, self-regulated vegetation systems that integrate with the surrounding landscapes and build structures and functions equal to those of the pre-disturbed system. They are reliable in signaling the health and stress factors of a system and provide a predictable response

  4. Characterization of magnetic material in the mound-building termite Macrotermes gilvus in Southeast Asia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Esa, Mohammad Faris Mohammad; Hassan, Ibrahim Haji [School of Chemical Sciences and Food Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor (Malaysia); Rahim, Faszly; Hanifah, Sharina Abu [School of Environmental Scieces and Natural Resources Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor (Malaysia)

    2015-09-25

    Magnetic material such as magnetite are known as particles that respond to external magnetic field with their ferromagnetic properties as they are believed contribute to in responding to the geomagnetic field. These particles are used by terrestrial animals such as termites for navigation and orientation. Since our earth react as giant magnetic bar, the magnitude of this magnetic field present by intensity and direction (inclination and direction). The magnetic properties and presence of magnetite in termites Macrotermes gilvus, common mound-building termite were tested. M. gilvus termites was tested with a Vibrating Sample Magnetometer VSM to determine the magnetic properties of specimen. The crushed body sample was characterized with X-Ray Diffraction XRD to show the existent of magnetic material (magnetite) in the specimens. Results from VSM indicate that M. gilvus has diamagnetism properties. The characterization by XRD shows the existent of magnetic material in our specimen in low concentration.

  5. A phylogenetic community approach for studying termite communities in a West African savannah.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hausberger, Barbara; Korb, Judith

    2015-10-01

    Termites play fundamental roles in tropical ecosystems, and mound-building species in particular are crucial in enhancing species diversity, from plants to mammals. However, it is still unclear which factors govern the occurrence and assembly of termite communities. A phylogenetic community approach and null models of species assembly were used to examine structuring processes associated with termite community assembly in a pristine savannah. Overall, we did not find evidence for a strong influence of interspecific competition or environmental filtering in structuring these communities. However, the presence of a single species, the mound-building termite Macrotermes bellicosus, left a strong signal on structuring and led to clustered communities of more closely related species. Hence, this species changes the assembly rules for a whole community. Our results show the fundamental importance of a single insect species for community processes, suggesting that more attention to insect species is warranted when developing conservation strategies. © 2015 The Author(s).

  6. Density-body mass relationships: Inconsistent intercontinental patterns among termite feeding-groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahlsjö, Cecilia A. L.; Parr, Catherine L.; Malhi, Yadvinder; Meir, Patrick; Rahman, Homathevi; Eggleton, Paul

    2015-02-01

    Allometric relationships are useful for estimating and understanding resource distribution in assemblages with species of different masses. Damuth's law states that body mass scales with population density as M-0.75, where M is body mass and -0.75 is the slope. In this study we used Damuth's law (M-0.75) as a null hypothesis to examine the relationship between body mass and population density for termite feeding-groups in three different countries and regions (Cameroon, West Africa; Peru South America; and Malaysia SE Asia). We found that none of the feeding-groups had a relationship where M-0.75 while the data suggested that population density-body mass relationships for true soil-feeding termites in Cameroon (M2.7) and wood-feeding termites in Peru (M1.5) were significantly different from the expected values given by Damuth's law. The dominance of large-bodied true soil-feeding termites in Cameroon and the absence of fungus-growing termites from Peru suggest that these allometric patterns are due to heterogeneities in termite biogeographical evolution. Additionally, as these feeding-groups have higher population density than expected by their body masses it may be suggested that they also have a higher energy throughput than expected. The results presented here may be used to gain further understanding of resource distribution among termite feeding-groups across regions and an insight into the importance of evolutionary history and biogeography on allometric patterns. Further understanding of population density-body mass relationships in termite feeding-groups may also improve understanding of the role these feeding-groups play in ecosystem processes in different regions.

  7. Villification of the gut

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tallinen, Tuomas; Shyer, Amy E.; Tabin, Clifford J.; Mahadevan, L.

    2014-03-01

    The villi of the human and chick gut are formed in similar stepwise progressions, wherein the mesenchyme and attached epithelium first fold into longitudinal ridges, then a zigzag pattern, and lastly individual villi. We combine biological manipulations and quantitative modeling to show that these steps of villification depend on the sequential differentiation of the distinct smooth muscle layers of the gut, which restrict the expansion of the growing endoderm and mesenchyme, generating compressive stresses that lead to their buckling and folding. Our computational model incorporates measured elastic properties and growth rates in the developing gut, recapitulating the morphological patterns seen during villification in a variety of species. Our study provides a mechanical basis for the genesis of these epithelial protrusions that are essential for providing sufficient surface area for nutrient absorption.

  8. Hot topics in gut microbiota

    OpenAIRE

    Doré, Joël; Simrén, Magnus; Buttle, Lisa; Guarner, Francisco

    2013-01-01

    The study of gut microbiota is a rapidly moving field of research, and the impact of gut microbial communities on human health is widely perceived as one of the most exciting advancements in biomedicine in recent years. The gut microbiota plays a key role in digestion, metabolism and immune function, and has widespread impact beyond the gastrointestinal tract. Changes in the biodiversity of the gut microbiota are associated with far reaching consequences on host health and development. Furthe...

  9. Strong positive effects of termites on savanna bird abundance and diversity are amplified by large herbivore exclusion

    OpenAIRE

    Moe, Stein R.; Eldegard, Katrine; Rannestad, Ole Tobias; Okullo, Paul; Lindtjørn, Ommund; Støen, Ole Gunnar; Dale, Svein

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Vast areas of the African savanna landscapes are characterized by tree‐covered Macrotermes termite mounds embedded within a relatively open savanna matrix. In concert with termites, large herbivores are important determinants of savanna woody vegetation cover. The relative cover of woody species has considerable effects on savanna function. Despite the potentially important ecological relationships between termite mounds, woody plants, large herbivores, and birds, these associations ...

  10. Diet, gut microbiota and cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proctor, Cicely; Thiennimitr, Parameth; Chattipakorn, Nipon; Chattipakorn, Siriporn C

    2017-02-01

    The consumption of a diet high in fat and sugar can lead to the development of obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline. In the human gut, the trillions of harmless microorganisms harboured in the host's gastrointestinal tract are called the 'gut microbiota'. Consumption of a diet high in fat and sugar changes the healthy microbiota composition which leads to an imbalanced microbial population in the gut, a phenomenon known as "gut dysbiosis". It has been shown that certain types of gut microbiota are linked to the pathogenesis of obesity. In addition, long-term consumption of a high fat diet is associated with cognitive decline. It has recently been proposed that the gut microbiota is part of a mechanistic link between the consumption of a high fat diet and the impaired cognition of an individual, termed "microbiota-gut-brain axis". In this complex relationship between the gut, the brain and the gut microbiota, there are several types of gut microbiota and host mechanisms involved. Most of these mechanisms are still poorly understood. Therefore, this review comprehensively summarizes the current evidence from mainly in vivo (rodent and human) studies of the relationship between diet, gut microbiota and cognition. The possible mechanisms that the diet and the gut microbiota have on cognition are also presented and discussed.

  11. Efficacy of Chlorantraniliprole in Controlling Structural Infestations of the Eastern Subterranean Termite in the USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Susan C; Vargo, Edward L; Keefer, T Chris; Labadie, Paul; Scherer, Clay W; Gallagher, Nicola T; Gold, Roger E

    2017-08-31

    Subterranean termites are the most economically important structural pests in the USA, and the eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) (Dictyoptera: Rhinotermitidae) is the most widely distributed species. Soil treatment with a liquid termiticide is a widely used method for controlling subterranean termites in structures. We assessed the efficacy of a nonrepellent termiticide, Altriset ® (active ingredient: chlorantraniliprole), in controlling structural infestations of R. flavipes in Texas, North Carolina, and Ohio and determined the post-treatment fate of termite colonies in and around the structures. In all three states, microsatellite markers indicated that only one R. flavipes colony was infesting each structure. A single chlorantraniliprole treatment provided effective structural protection as there was no further evidence of termite activity in and on the majority of structures from approximately 1 month to 2 years post-treatment when the study concluded. Additionally, the treatment appeared to either severely reduce the infesting colony's footprint at monitors in the landscape or eliminate colony members from these monitors. A supplemental spot-treatment was conducted at one house each in Texas and North Carolina at 5 and 6 months post-treatment, respectively; no termites were observed thereafter in these structures and associated landscaping. The number of colonies found exclusively in the landscape (not attacking the structure) varied among the states, with the largest number of colonies in Texas (0-4) and North Carolina (0-5) as compared to 0-1 in Ohio, the most northern state.

  12. Monitoring Termite-Mediated Ecosystem Processes Using Moderate and High Resolution Satellite Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lind, B. M.; Hanan, N. P.

    2016-12-01

    Termites are considered dominant decomposers and prominent ecosystem engineers in the global tropics and they build some of the largest and architecturally most complex non-human-made structures in the world. Termite mounds significantly alter soil texture, structure, and nutrients, and have major implications for local hydrological dynamics, vegetation characteristics, and biological diversity. An understanding of how these processes change across large scales has been limited by our ability to detect termite mounds at high spatial resolutions. Our research develops methods to detect large termite mounds in savannas across extensive geographic areas using moderate and high resolution satellite imagery. We also investigate the effect of termite mounds on vegetation productivity using Landsat-8 maximum composite NDVI data as a proxy for production. Large termite mounds in arid and semi-arid Senegal generate highly reflective `mound scars' with diameters ranging from 10 m at minimum to greater than 30 m. As Sentinel-2 has several bands with 10 m resolution and Landsat-8 has improved calibration, higher radiometric resolution, 15 m spatial resolution (pansharpened), and improved contrast between vegetated and bare surfaces compared to previous Landsat missions, we found that the largest and most influential mounds in the landscape can be detected. Because mounds as small as 4 m in diameter are easily detected in high resolution imagery we used these data to validate detection results and quantify omission errors for smaller mounds.

  13. The impact of edge effect on termite community (Blattodea: Isoptera) in fragments of Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, C S; Cristaldo, P F; Florencio, D F; Ribeiro, E J M; Cruz, N G; Silva, E A; Costa, D A; Araújo, A P A

    2017-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation is considered to be one of the biggest threats to tropical ecosystem functioning. In this region, termites perform an important ecological role as decomposers and ecosystem engineers. In the present study, we tested whether termite community is negatively affected by edge effects on three fragments of Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest. Termite abundance and vegetation structure were sampled in 10 transects (15 × 2 m), while termite richness, activity, and soil litter biomass were measured in 16 quadrants (5 × 2 m) at forest edge and interior of each fragment. Habitat structure (i.e. number of tree, diameter at breast height and soil litter biomass) did not differ between forest edge and interior of fragments. Termite richness, abundance and activity were not affected by edge effect. However, differences were observed in the β diversity between forest edge and interior as well as in the fragments sampled. The β diversity partitioning indicates that species turnover is the determinant process of termite community composition under edge effect. Our results suggest that conservation strategies should be based on the selection of several distinct sites instead of few rich sites (e.g. nesting).

  14. Occurrence of fungi in combs of fungus-growing termites (Isoptera: Termitidae, Macrotermitinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guedegbe, Herbert J; Miambi, Edouard; Pando, Anne; Roman, Jocelyne; Houngnandan, Pascal; Rouland-Lefevre, Corinne

    2009-10-01

    Fungus-growing termites cultivate their mutualistic basidiomycete Termitomyces species on a substrate called a fungal comb. Here, the Suicide Polymerase Endonuclease Restriction (SuPER) method was adapted for the first time to a fungal study to determine the entire fungal community of fungal combs and to test whether fungi other than the symbiotic cultivar interact with termite hosts. Our molecular analyses show that although active combs are dominated by Termitomyces fungi isolated with direct Polymerase Endonuclease Restriction - Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE), they can also harbor some filamentous fungi and yeasts only revealed by SuPER PCR-DGGE. This is the first molecular evidence of the presence of non-Termitomyces species in active combs. However, because there is no evidence for a species-specific relationship between these fungi and termites, they are mere transient guests with no specialization in the symbiosis. It is however surprising to notice that termite-associated Xylaria strains were not isolated from active combs even though they are frequently retrieved when nests are abandoned by termites. This finding highlights the implication of fungus-growing termites in the regulation of fungi occurring within the combs and also suggests that they might not have any particular evolutionary-based association with Xylaria species.

  15. Genetic evidence for multiple invasions of the eastern subterranean termite into Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scaduto, David A; Garner, Shawn R; Leach, Emma L; Thompson, Graham J

    2012-12-01

    Social insects are among the world's most successful species at invading new environments. Their characteristic division of labor can influence their capacity to colonize new habitats, often with negative ecological or economic impact. The social Hymenoptera (i.e., ants, bees, and wasps), are well studied in this regard, but much less is known about the invasive biology of termites (Isoptera). In this study we use province-wide sampling and a population genetic analysis to infer the minimum number of eastern subterranean termite [Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar)] introductions into Ontario (Canada). Structure analysis of multilocus microsatellite genotypes grouped the 30 collection points into K = 3 genetic clusters, suggesting as many three independent introductions into southern Ontario. Levels of genetic diversity were higher in termites from the Pelee region than in termites from Toronto and other Ontario cities, suggesting that these Pelee termite populations are potentially older and native to Ontario. A single origin scenario, in which all populations stem from a single source, therefore is not supported by the genetic data. Instead, our analysis suggests multiple independent introductions of this highly social, subterranean termite into Ontario, where the species is now well established as a structural pest of urban habitats.

  16. The impact of edge effect on termite community (Blattodea: Isoptera in fragments of Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. S. Almeida

    Full Text Available Abstract Habitat fragmentation is considered to be one of the biggest threats to tropical ecosystem functioning. In this region, termites perform an important ecological role as decomposers and ecosystem engineers. In the present study, we tested whether termite community is negatively affected by edge effects on three fragments of Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest. Termite abundance and vegetation structure were sampled in 10 transects (15 × 2 m, while termite richness, activity, and soil litter biomass were measured in 16 quadrants (5 × 2 m at forest edge and interior of each fragment. Habitat structure (i.e. number of tree, diameter at breast height and soil litter biomass did not differ between forest edge and interior of fragments. Termite richness, abundance and activity were not affected by edge effect. However, differences were observed in the β diversity between forest edge and interior as well as in the fragments sampled. The β diversity partitioning indicates that species turnover is the determinant process of termite community composition under edge effect. Our results suggest that conservation strategies should be based on the selection of several distinct sites instead of few rich sites (e.g. nesting.

  17. Large herbivores maintain termite-caused differences in herbaceous species diversity patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okullo, Paul; Moe, Stein R

    2012-09-01

    Termites and large herbivores affect African savanna plant communities. Both functional groups are also important for nutrient redistribution across the landscape. We conducted an experiment to study how termites and large herbivores, alone and in combination, affect herbaceous species diversity patterns in an African savanna. Herbaceous vegetation on large vegetated Macrotermes mounds (with and without large herbivores) and on adjacent savanna areas (with and without large herbivores) was monitored over three years in Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda. We found substantial differences in species richness, alpha diversity, evenness, and stability between termite mound herbaceous vegetation and adjacent savanna vegetation. Within months of fencing, levels of species richness, evenness, and stability were no longer significantly different between savanna and mounds. However, fencing reduced the cumulative number of species, particularly for forbs, of which 48% of the species were lost. Fencing increased the beta diversity (dissimilarity among plots) on the resource-poor (in terms of both nutrients and soil moisture) savanna areas, while it did not significantly affect beta diversity on the resource-rich termite mounds. While termites cause substantial heterogeneity in savanna vegetation, large herbivores further amplify these differences by reducing beta diversity on the savanna areas. Large herbivores are, however, responsible for the maintenance of a large number of forbs at the landscape level. These findings suggest that the mechanisms underlying the effects of termites and large herbivores on savanna plant communities scale up to shape community structure and dynamics at a landscape level.

  18. Evaluation of Low-Energy Microwaves Technology (Termatrac) for Detecting Western Drywood Termite in a Simulated Drywall System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taravati, Siavash

    2018-03-17

    Detecting drywood termites in structures is very challenging. Microwaves technology (Termatrac T3i) is a nondestructive method for detecting drywood termites in structures. Termatrac device and its mobile application provide a bar as well as a line graph when detecting insect movements, but interpreting these graphs is very subjective. In this paper, Termatrac's output signal is quantified using a new method to study the effect of wall layers, wood type, and termite density on signal strength measured as area under curve in a simulated drywall system in laboratory. Two experiments were conducted on Termatrac T3i at its maximum sensitivity (Gain: 10). In experiment I, HEXBUG Nano was used as a source of movement/vibration and two wood types were used in which the wall layers significantly predicted signal strength, but wood type did not. In experiment II, two different densities of live western drywood termites, Incisitermes minor (Hagen) (Isoptera: Kalotermitidae), were used to study the effect of termite density on signal strength. Interestingly, termite density did not significantly predict signal strength. The maximum reliable wood depth for detecting termites was 5 cm. Microwaves produced by Termatrac also showed good penetration into drywall and produced detectable signals even on a single drywood termite which confirms manufacturer's claim. Suggestions on using and improving microwaves technology for detecting termites is provided which can potentially be applied to other types of insects and noninsect animals.

  19. Philosophy with Guts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherman, Robert R.

    2014-01-01

    Western philosophy, from Plato on, has had the tendency to separate feeling and thought, affect and cognition. This article argues that a strong philosophy (metaphorically, with "guts") utilizes both in its work. In fact, a "complete act of thought" also will include action. Feeling motivates thought, which formulates ideas,…

  20. Gut microbiota and malnutrition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Million, Matthieu; Diallo, Aldiouma; Raoult, Didier

    2017-05-01

    Malnutrition is the leading cause of death worldwide in children under the age of five, and is the focus of the first World Health Organization (WHO) Millennium Development Goal. Breastfeeding, food and water security are major protective factors against malnutrition and critical factors in the maturation of healthy gut microbiota, characterized by a transient bifidobacterial bloom before a global rise in anaerobes. Early depletion in gut Bifidobacterium longum, a typical maternal probiotic, known to inhibit pathogens, represents the first step in gut microbiota alteration associated with severe acute malnutrition (SAM). Later, the absence of the Healthy Mature Anaerobic Gut Microbiota (HMAGM) leads to deficient energy harvest, vitamin biosynthesis and immune protection, and is associated with diarrhea, malabsorption and systemic invasion by microbial pathogens. A therapeutic diet and infection treatment may be unable to restore bifidobacteria and HMAGM. Besides refeeding and antibiotics, future trials including non-toxic missing microbes and nutrients necessary to restore bifidobacteria and HMAGM, including prebiotics and antioxidants, are warranted in children with severe or refractory disease. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. GUT FERMENTATION SYNDROME

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    boaz

    individuals who became intoxicated after consuming carbohydrates, which became fermented in the gastrointestinal tract. These claims of intoxication without drinking alcohol, and the findings on endogenous alcohol fermentation are now called Gut. Fermentation Syndrome. This review will concentrate on understanding ...

  2. Gut Microbiota and Atherosclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Daniel Y; Tang, W H Wilson

    2017-08-25

    Studies in microbiota-mediated health risks have gained traction in recent years since the compilation of the Human Microbiome Project. No longer do we believe that our gut microbiota is an inert set of microorganisms that reside in the body without consequence. In this review, we discuss the recent findings which further our understanding of the connection between the gut microbiota and the atherosclerosis. We evaluate studies which illustrate the current understanding of the relationship between infection, immunity, altered metabolism, and bacterial products such as immune activators or dietary metabolites and their contributions to the development of atherosclerosis. In particular, we critically examine rec ent clinical and mechanistic findings for the novel microbiota-dependent dietary metabolite, trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), which has been implicated in atherosclerosis. These discoveries are now becoming integrated with advances in microbiota profiling which enhance our ability to interrogate the functional role of the gut microbiome and develop strategies for targeted therapeutics. The gut microbiota is a multi-faceted system that is unraveling novel contributors to the development and progression of atherosclerosis. In this review, we discuss historic and novel contributors while highlighting the TMAO story mainly as an example of the various paths taken beyond deciphering microbial composition to elucidate downstream mechanisms that promote (or protect from) atherogenesis in the hopes of translating these findings from bench to bedside.

  3. The Human Gut Microbiota

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harmsen, Hermie J. M.; de Goffau, Marcus. C.; Schwiertz, A

    2016-01-01

    The microbiota in our gut performs many different essential functions that help us to stay healthy. These functions include vitamin production, regulation of lipid metabolism and short chain fatty acid production as fuel for epithelial cells and regulation of gene expression. There is a very

  4. Healthy human gut phageome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Manrique, Pilar; Bolduc, Benjamin; Walk, Seth T.; Oost, van der John; Vos, de Willem M.; Young, Mark J.

    2016-01-01

    The role of bacteriophages in influencing the structure and function of the healthy human gut microbiome is unknown. With few exceptions, previous studies have found a high level of heterogeneity in bacteriophages from healthy individuals. To better estimate and identify the shared phageome of

  5. Revision of the termite family Rhinotermitidae (Isoptera) in New Guinea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourguignon, Thomas; Roisin, Yves

    2011-01-01

    Recently, we completed a revision of the Termitidae from New Guinea and neighboring islands, recording a total of 45 species. Here, we revise a second family, the Rhinotermitidae, to progress towards a full picture of the termite diversity in New Guinea. Altogether, 6 genera and 15 species are recorded, among which two species, Coptotermes gambrinus and Parrhinotermes barbatus, are new to science. The genus Heterotermes is reported from New Guinea for the first time, with two species restricted to the southern part of the island. We also provide the first New Guinea records for six species of the genera Coptotermes and Schedorhinotermes. We briefly describe soldiers and imagoes of each species and provide a key based on soldier characters. Finally, we discuss the taxonomic and biogeographical implication of our results. A replacement name, Schedolimulus minutides Bourguignon, is proposed for the termitophilous staphylinid Schedolimulus minutus Bourguignon, to solve a question of secondary homonymy.

  6. Revision of the termite family Rhinotermitidae (Isoptera in New Guinea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Bourguignon

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Recently, we completed a revision of the Termitidae from New Guinea and neighboring islands, recording a total of 45 species. Here, we revise a second family, the Rhinotermitidae, to progress towards a full picture of the termite diversity in New Guinea. Altogether, 6 genera and 15 species are recorded, among which two species, Coptotermes gambrinus and Parrhinotermes barbatus, are new to science. The genus Heterotermes is reported from New Guinea for the first time, with two species restricted to the southern part of the island. We also provide the first New Guinea records for six species of the genera Coptotermes and Schedorhinotermes. We briefly describe soldiers and imagoes of each species and provide a key based on soldier characters. Finally, we discuss the taxonomic and biogeographical implication of our results. A replacement name, Schedolimulus minutides Bourguignon, is proposed for the termitophilous staphylinid Schedolimulus minutus Bourguignon, to solve a question of secondary homonymy.

  7. Survey of the leg exocrine glands in termites(Isoptera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helena Xavier Soares

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available A survey of the leg exocrine glands in the termite workers of 16 species of the families Kalotermitidae and Termitidae was carried out through scanning electron microscope. Glandular openings were not found in the legs of Anoplotermes sp., Ruptitermes sp. (Apicotermitinae, Termitidae or Glyptotermes planus (Kalotermitidae, but they are present, spread over the ventral surface of the first, second and third tarsomeres of other Termitidae such as Armitermes euamignathus, Cornitermes cumulans, Nasutitermes coxipoensis, Rhynchotermes nasutissimus, Syntermes nanus, Embiratermes festivellus (Nasutitermitinae, Amitermes beaumonti, Hoplotermes amplus, Microcerotermes sp., Neocapritermes opacus, Orthognathotermes sp., Spinitermes brevicornutus and Termes sp. (Termitinae. The pores are usually isolated but they can also be grouped inside a round depression. The occurrence of leg exocrine glands in the family Termitidae is reported for the first time.

  8. The secondary structure of large-subunit rRNA divergent domains, a marker for protist evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lenaers, G; Nielsen, Henrik; Engberg, J

    1988-01-01

    ), Tetrahymena thermophila (ciliate), Physarum polycephalum and Dictyostelium discoideum (slime moulds), Crithidia fasciculata and Giardia lamblia (parasitic flagellates). The folding for the D3, D7a and D10 divergent domains has been refined and a consensus model for the protist 24-26S rRNA structure...

  9. Arsenic hypertolerance in the protist Euglena mutabilis is mediated by specific transporters and functional integrity maintenance mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halter, David; Andres, Jérémy; Plewniak, Frédéric; Poulain, Julie; Da Silva, Corinne; Arsène-Ploetze, Florence; Bertin, Philippe N

    2015-06-01

    Arsenic is a toxic metalloid known to cause multiple and severe cellular damages, including lipid peroxidation, protein misfolding, mutagenesis and double and single-stranded DNA breaks. Thus, exposure to this compound is lethal for most organisms but some species such as the photosynthetic protist Euglena mutabilis are able to cope with very high concentrations of this metalloid. Our comparative transcriptomic approaches performed on both an arsenic hypertolerant protist, i.e. E. mutabilis, and a more sensitive one, i.e. E. gracilis, revealed multiple mechanisms involved in arsenic tolerance. Indeed, E. mutabilis prevents efficiently the accumulation of arsenic in the cell through the expression of several transporters. More surprisingly, this protist induced the expression of active DNA reparation and protein turnover mechanisms, which allow E. mutabilis to maintain functional integrity of the cell under challenging conditions. Our observations suggest that this protist has acquired specific functions regarding arsenic and has developed an original metabolism to cope with acid mine drainages-related stresses. © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. The secondary structure of large-subunit rRNA divergent domains, a marker for protist evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lenaers, G; Nielsen, Henrik; Engberg, J

    1988-01-01

    The secondary structure of the large-subunit ribosomal RNA (24-26S rRNA) has been studied with emphasis on comparative analysis of the folding patterns of the divergent domains in the available protist sequences, that is Prorocentrum micans (dinoflagellate), Saccharomyces carlsbergensis (yeast), ...

  11. In situ lignocellulosic unlocking mechanism for carbohydrate hydrolysis in termites: crucial lignin modification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Singh Deepak

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Termites are highly effective at degrading lignocelluloses, and thus can be used as a model for studying plant cell-wall degradation in biological systems. However, the process of lignin deconstruction and/or degradation in termites is still not well understood. Methods We investigated the associated structural modification caused by termites in the lignin biomolecular assembly in softwood tissues crucial for cell-wall degradation. We conducted comparative studies on the termite-digested (i.e. termite feces and native (control softwood tissues with the aid of advanced analytical techniques: 13C crosspolarization magic angle spinning and nuclear magnetic resonance (CP-MAS-NMR spectroscopy, flash pyrolysis with gas chromatography mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS, and Py-GC-MS in the presence of tetramethylammonium hydroxide (Py-TMAH-GC/MS. Results The 13C CP/MAS NMR spectroscopic analysis revealed an increased level of guaiacyl-derived (G unit polymeric framework in the termite-digested softwood (feces, while providing specific evidence of cellulose degradation. The Py-GC/MS data were in agreement with the 13C CP/MAS NMR spectroscopic studies, thus indicating dehydroxylation and modification of selective intermonomer side-chain linkages in the lignin in the termite feces. Moreover, Py-TMAH-GC/MS analysis showed significant differences in the product distribution between control and termite feces. This strongly suggests that the structural modification in lignin could be associated with the formation of additional condensed interunit linkages. Conclusion Collectively, these data further establish: 1 that the major β-O-4' (β-aryl ether was conserved, albeit with substructure degeneracy, and 2 that the nature of the resulting polymer in termite feces retained most of its original aromatic moieties (G unit-derived. Overall, these results provide insight into lignin-unlocking mechanisms for understanding plant cell-wall deconstruction

  12. Commercialization of a system to prevent the insect damage by termite. Kansai Electric Power Co.; Shiroari shokugai boshi system no jitsuyoka ni tsuite

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nitta, T. [Kansai Electric Power Co. Inc., Osaka (Japan)

    2000-01-10

    The paper studied measures to prevent the underground power cable from insect damage by termite. To search for the termite entering the cable, fiber inspection is good, but the length which fiber reaches and the margin of cable diameter are limited. Moreover, the termite prevention use PFP pipe has been developed, but termite invades inside from the joint in PFP pipe. In AP pipe, termite invades from the place where concrete placing is poor and from cracks. As to the method to search for termite, sounds which termite emit to threaten foreign enemies were gathered by microphone, and the frequency was analyzed. As a result, it was verified that it is possible to judge if there is termite or not by checking levels in the 50-1300Hz zone (the method to let termite emit the threatening sound has been unknown). Since the path of invasion of termite is limited to the joint of cable, a thing in which chemical is put on rubber band of cable joint was developed. The chemical which was a little put on the rubber band is a domestic use insecticide generally commercially available, and adopted pyrethroids base chemical the safety of which was estimated. There is no need for spray of termite prevention agent, and the chemical is lower-priced than a change to the termite prevention cable. (NEDO)

  13. Soldier-specific modification of the mandibular motor neurons in termites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuki Ishikawa

    Full Text Available Social insects exhibit a variety of caste-specific behavioral tendencies that constitute the basis of division of labor within the colony. In termites, the soldier caste display distinctive defense behaviors, such as aggressively attacking enemies with well-developed mandibles, while the other castes retreat into the colony without exhibiting any aggressive response. It is thus likely that some form of soldier-specific neuronal modification exists in termites. In this study, the authors compared the brain (cerebral ganglion and the suboesophageal ganglion (SOG of soldiers and pseudergates (workers in the damp-wood termite, Hodotermopsis sjostedti. The size of the SOG was significantly larger in soldiers than in pseudergates, but no difference in brain size was apparent between castes. Furthermore, mandibular nerves were thicker in soldiers than in pseudergates. Retrograde staining revealed that the somata sizes of the mandibular motor neurons (MdMNs in soldiers were more than twice as large as those of pseudergates. The enlargement of MdMNs was also observed in individuals treated with a juvenile hormone analogue (JHA, indicating that MdMNs become enlarged in response to juvenile hormone (JH action during soldier differentiation. This enlargement is likely to have two functions: a behavioral function in which soldier termites will be able to defend more effectively through relatively faster and stronger mandibular movements, and a developmental function that associates with the development of soldier-specific mandibular muscle morphogenesis in termite head. The soldier-specific enlargement of mandibular motor neurons was observed in all examined species in five termite families that have different mechanisms of defense, suggesting that such neuronal modification was already present in the common ancestor of termites and is significant for soldier function.

  14. Can abundance of protists be inferred from sequence data: a case study of foraminifera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra A-T Weber

    Full Text Available Protists are key players in microbial communities, yet our understanding of their role in ecosystem functioning is seriously impeded by difficulties in identification of protistan species and their quantification. Current microscopy-based methods used for determining the abundance of protists are tedious and often show a low taxonomic resolution. Recent development of next-generation sequencing technologies offered a very powerful tool for studying the richness of protistan communities. Still, the relationship between abundance of species and number of sequences remains subjected to various technical and biological biases. Here, we test the impact of some of these biological biases on sequence abundance of SSU rRNA gene in foraminifera. First, we quantified the rDNA copy number and rRNA expression level of three species of foraminifera by qPCR. Then, we prepared five mock communities with these species, two in equal proportions and three with one species ten times more abundant. The libraries of rDNA and cDNA of the mock communities were constructed, Sanger sequenced and the sequence abundance was calculated. The initial species proportions were compared to the raw sequence proportions as well as to the sequence abundance normalized by rDNA copy number and rRNA expression level per species. Our results showed that without normalization, all sequence data differed significantly from the initial proportions. After normalization, the congruence between the number of sequences and number of specimens was much better. We conclude that without normalization, species abundance determination based on sequence data was not possible because of the effect of biological biases. Nevertheless, by taking into account the variation of rDNA copy number and rRNA expression level we were able to infer species abundance, suggesting that our approach can be successful in controlled conditions.

  15. Pyrosequencing analysis of the protist communities in a High Arctic meromictic lake: DNA preservation and change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie eCharvet

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available High Arctic meromictic lakes are extreme environments characterized by cold temperatures, low nutrient inputs from their polar desert catchments and prolonged periods of low irradiance and darkness. These lakes are permanently stratified with an oxygenated freshwater layer (mixolimnion overlying a saline, anoxic water column (monimolimnion. The physical and chemical properties of the deepest known lake of this type in the circumpolar Arctic, Lake A, on the far northern coast of Ellesmere Island, Canada, have been studied over the last 15 years, but little is known about the lake’s biological communities. We applied high-throughput sequencing of the V4 region of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene to investigate the protist communities down the water column at three sampling times: under the ice at the end of winter in 2008, during an unusual period of warming and ice-out the same year, and again under the ice in mid-summer 2009. Sequences of many protist taxa occurred throughout the water column at all sampling times, including in the deep anoxic layer where growth is highly unlikely. Furthermore, there were sequences for taxonomic groups including diatoms and marine taxa, which have never been observed in Lake A by microscopic analysis. However the sequences of other taxa such as ciliates, chrysophytes, Cercozoa and Telonema varied with depth, between years and during the transition to ice-free conditions. These results imply that there are seasonally active taxa in the surface waters of the lake that are sensitive to depth and change with time. DNA from these taxa is superimposed upon background DNA from multiple internal and external sources that is preserved in the deep, cold, largely anoxic water column.

  16. Pitfalls of establishing DNA barcoding systems in protists: the cryptophyceae as a test case.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerstin Hoef-Emden

    Full Text Available A DNA barcode is a preferrably short and highly variable region of DNA supposed to facilitate a rapid identification of species. In many protistan lineages, a lack of species-specific morphological characters hampers an identification of species by light or electron microscopy, and difficulties to perform mating experiments in laboratory cultures also do not allow for an identification of biological species. Thus, testing candidate barcode markers as well as establishment of accurately working species identification systems are more challenging than in multicellular organisms. In cryptic species complexes the performance of a potential barcode marker can not be monitored using morphological characters as a feedback, but an inappropriate choice of DNA region may result in artifactual species trees for several reasons. Therefore a priori knowledge of the systematics of a group is required. In addition to identification of known species, methods for an automatic delimitation of species with DNA barcodes have been proposed. The Cryptophyceae provide a mixture of systematically well characterized as well as badly characterized groups and are used in this study to test the suitability of some of the methods for protists. As species identification method the performance of blast in searches against badly to well-sampled reference databases has been tested with COI-5P and 5'-partial LSU rDNA (domains A to D of the nuclear LSU rRNA gene. In addition the performance of two different methods for automatic species delimitation, fixed thresholds of genetic divergence and the general mixed Yule-coalescent model (GMYC, have been examined. The study demonstrates some pitfalls of barcoding methods that have to be taken care of. Also a best-practice approach towards establishing a DNA barcode system in protists is proposed.

  17. Effects of erosion from mounds of different termite genera on distinct functional grassland types in an African savannah

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gosling, Cleo M.; Cromsigt, Joris P. G. M.; Mpanza, Nokukhanya; Olff, Han

    A key aspect of savannah vegetation heterogeneity is mosaics formed by two functional grassland types, bunch grasslands, and grazing lawns. We investigated the role of termites, important ecosystem engineers, in creating high-nutrient patches in the form of grazing lawns. Some of the ways termites

  18. Correlation between infection by ophiostomatoid fungi and the presence of subterranean termites in Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) roots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Observations of subterranean termites feeding in pine sapwood containing ophiostomatoid fungi prompted a study to investigate the effect of infection by Leptographium fungi on the probability of encountering subterranean termites in loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) roots. Root samples were collected f...

  19. Phylogenetic analyses of Podaxis specimens from Southern Africa reveal hidden diversity and new insights into associations with termites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Conlon, Benjamin H.; Beer, de Z.W.; Fine Licht, De Henrik H.; Aanen, Duur K.; Poulsen, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Although frequently found on mounds of the grass-cutting termite genus . Trinervitermes, virtually nothing is known about the natural history of the fungal genus . Podaxis (Agaricaceae) nor why it associates with termite mounds. More than 40 species of this secotioid genus have been described

  20. Brain-gut interactions.

    OpenAIRE

    Olden, K W

    1994-01-01

    International audience; Our digestive tract has an autonomous functioning but also has a bidirectional relation with our brain known as brain-gut interactions. This communication is mediated by the autonomous nervous system, i.e., the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, with a mixed afferent and efferent component, and the circumventricular organs located outside the blood-brain barrier. The vagus nerve, known as the principal component of the parasympathetic nervous system, is a...

  1. Genes underlying reproductive division of labor in termites, with comparisons to social Hymenoptera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith eKorb

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available All social insects are characterized by a reproductive division of labor. Within a colony only a few individuals reproduce (queens and in termites, also a king while the large majority (workers and soldiers forgo reproduction, at least temporarily. The evolution of such reproductive altruism can ultimately be explained by inclusive fitness theory. Here, I will review the proximate genetic mechanisms underlying this altruism in termites. As social cockroaches they evolved eusociality independently from the social Hymenoptera, which makes them interesting test cases to look for common underlying mechanisms of eusociality and lineage specific idiosyncrasies. First, I will provide a summary of the genes and their function that have been identified to underlie reproductive division of labor - so called 'queen genes,' - in the drywood termite Cryptotermes secundus, an emerging model to study termite social evolution. Second, I outline how widespread these queen genes are across the termite phylogeny, using also evidence from recent genome analyses. I will provide hypotheses about the evolutionary origin of these queen genes, aiming to link proximate mechanisms with ultimate functions. Finally, I will draw comparisons to social Hymenoptera to indicate potential common underpinnings that warrant further testing.

  2. First forensic records of termite activity on non-fossilized human bones in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. A. Queiroz

    Full Text Available Abstract The aim of this study was to describe the first records of termite activity on non-fossilized human bones in Brazil. The cases reported in this study resulted from forensic analysis of six human skeletons found in northeastern Brazil between 2012 and 2014. Traces of tunnels and nests commonly produced by termites were found on several human bone surfaces as well as the specimens and characteristic signs of osteophagic activity. In four cases, the species were identified: Amitermes amifer Silvestri, 1901, Nasutitermes corniger (Motschulsky, 1855 (on two skeletons, and Microcerotermes indistinctus Mathews, 1977. In two other cases, the activity of termites on bone surfaces was evidenced by remains of nests and tunnels produced by these insects. At least in the samples of human remains available for this report, the number of termites collected was greater on bones found during autumn, the rainy season in the Northeast of Brazil. The human bones examined showed termites like insects with lots of strength at bone degradation, capable of continuing the process of decomposition of human remains even in completely skeletonized bodies.

  3. Termite assemblages in five semideciduous Atlantic Forest fragments in the northern coastland limit of the biome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heitor Bruno de Araújo Souza

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Termites are abundant organisms in tropical ecosystems and strongly influence the litter decomposition and soil formation. Despite their importance, few studies about their assemblage structures have been made in Brazilian Atlantic Forest fragments, especially in the area located north of the São Francisco River. This study aims to analyze the assemblage composition of five Atlantic Forest fragments located in the northern biome limit along the Brazilian coast. A standardized sampling protocol of termites was applied in each fragment. Thirty-three termite species belonging to twenty genera and three families were found in the forest fragments. The wood-feeder group was dominant both concerning to species richness and number of encounters in all areas. In sites northern to 7°S, there is an evident simplification of the termite assemblage composition regarding species richness and number of encounters by feeding group. This fact is apparently due to a higher sandy level in soils and to semideciduous character of the vegetation in the northern fragments. Thus, even on the north of São Francisco River, termite biodiversity is heterogeneously spread with highest density of species in the portion between 07°S and São Francisco River mouth (10°29'S.

  4. Clay preference and particle transport behavior of Formosan subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae): a laboratory study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Cai; Henderson, Gregg

    2014-12-01

    Although preference and utilization of clay have been studied in many higher termites, little attention has been paid to lower termites, especially subterranean termites. The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, can modify its habitat by using clay to fill tree cavities. Here, the biological significance of clay on C. formosanus was investigated. Choice tests showed that significantly more termites aggregated in chambers where clay blocks were provided, regardless of colony group, observation period, or nutritional condition (fed or starved). No-choice tests showed that clay had no observable effect on survivorship, live or dry biomass, water content, and tunneling activity after 33-35 d. However, clay appeared to significantly decrease filter paper consumption (dry weight loss). Active particle (sand, paper, and clay) transport behavior was observed in both choice and no-choice tests. When present, clay was preferentially spread on the substrate, attached to the smooth surfaces of the containers, and used to line sand tunnels. Mechanisms and potential application of clay attraction are discussed. © 2013 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  5. First forensic records of termite activity on non-fossilized human bones in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Queiroz, R A; Soriano, E P; Carvalho, M V D; Caldas-Junior, A F; Souza, E H A; Coelho-Junior, L G T M; Campello, R I C; Almeida, A C; Farias, R C A P; Vasconcellos, A

    2016-07-25

    The aim of this study was to describe the first records of termite activity on non-fossilized human bones in Brazil. The cases reported in this study resulted from forensic analysis of six human skeletons found in northeastern Brazil between 2012 and 2014. Traces of tunnels and nests commonly produced by termites were found on several human bone surfaces as well as the specimens and characteristic signs of osteophagic activity. In four cases, the species were identified: Amitermes amifer Silvestri, 1901, Nasutitermes corniger (Motschulsky, 1855) (on two skeletons), and Microcerotermes indistinctus Mathews, 1977. In two other cases, the activity of termites on bone surfaces was evidenced by remains of nests and tunnels produced by these insects. At least in the samples of human remains available for this report, the number of termites collected was greater on bones found during autumn, the rainy season in the Northeast of Brazil. The human bones examined showed termites like insects with lots of strength at bone degradation, capable of continuing the process of decomposition of human remains even in completely skeletonized bodies.

  6. The Termite Reticulitermes flavipes (Rhinotermitidae: Isoptera) Can Acquire Micronutrients from Soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janzow, Micah P; Judd, Timothy M

    2015-06-01

    Micronutrients are important for metabolic processes and structures in insects. How termites obtain micronutrients from the environment is not fully understood. It has been suggested that lower subterranean termites of Rhinotermitidae only gain their nutrients from their food sources. However, for subterranean termites, soil offers a potential source of micronutrients. This study tested the hypothesis that subterranean termites acquire micronutrients from the soil. Laboratory colonies of Reticulitermes flavipes Kollar were reared in arenas in which the levels of micronutrients, food, and soil were varied. The results showed that the micronutrients Ca (Calcium), Fe (Iron), Mg (Magnesium), and Mn (Manganese) were obtained from the soil, Cu (copper) was obtained by the food source, and K (Potassium) and Zn (Zinc) showed no differences between treatments. The results of this experiment suggest that subterranean termites can acquire micronutrients from the soil as well as other food sources. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Termite (order Blattodea, infraorder Isoptera) baiting 20 years after commercial release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Theodore A; Iqbal, Naeem

    2015-07-01

    Termite baiting is now one of the two main management tools in developed countries after 20 years of commercial release. It has two main goals: to use small amounts of active ingredient and 'colony elimination', i.e. death of all individuals in the colony. We consider how well baiting has been evaluated from 100 studies in the scientific literature. Studies have included 15 active ingredients, 23 termite species and 16 countries, yet most studies have focused on the chitin synthesis inhibitor hexaflumuron, Reticulitermes and the United States. Baiting has mostly met its goals: typically about 0.5 g of active ingredient was used, and colony elimination achieved, albeit with rates varying from 0 to 100%, and sometimes supplemented with liquid insecticide. Baiting was most successful using chitin synthesis inhibitors against Reticulitermes and Coptotermes (Rhinotermitidae), in temperate locations, although colony elimination was usually inferred indirectly - mostly by termite absence from baits - and was often slow, from 25 to 450 days. Baiting has been less tested and less successful against higher termites in tropical locations, where they are most diverse and abundant. Future research may have to consider greater termite species diversity and other active ingredients to reduce control times in order to fulfil the potential of baiting. © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry.

  8. Termite Nests as an Abundant Source of Cultivable Actinobacteria for Biotechnological Purposes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sujada, Nikhom; Sungthong, Rungroch; Lumyong, Saisamorn

    2014-01-01

    A total of 118 actinobacterial isolates were collected from the three types of termite nests (mound, carton, and subterranean nests) to evaluate their potential as a source of bioactive actinobacteria with antimicrobial activity. The highest number (67 isolates) and generic abundance (7 known genera) of actinobacterial isolates were obtained from carton nests. Streptomyces was the dominant genus in each type of termite nest. In the non-Streptomyces group, Nocardia was the dominant genus detected in mound and carton nests, while Pseudonocardia was the dominant genus in subterranean nests. A discovery trend of novel species (termite nests examined. Each type of termite nest housed >20% of bioactive actinobacteria that could inhibit the growth of at least one test organism, while 12 isolates, belonging to the genera Streptomyces, Amycolatopsis, Pseudonocardia, Micromonospora and Nocardia, exhibited distinct antimicrobial activities. Streptomyces sp. CMU-NKS-3 was the most distinct bioactive isolate. It was closely related to S. padanus MITKK-103T, which was confirmed by 99% similarities in their 16S rRNA gene sequences. The highest level of extracellular antimicrobial substances was produced by the isolate CMU-NKS-3, which was grown in potato dextrose broth and exhibited a wide range (6.10×10−4–1.25 mg mL−1) of minimum inhibitory concentrations against diverse pathogens. We concluded that termite nests are an abundant source of bioactive strains of cultivable actinobacteria for future biotechnological needs. PMID:24909709

  9. Gut microbiota and liver diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minemura, Masami; Shimizu, Yukihiro

    2015-02-14

    Several studies revealed that gut microbiota are associated with various human diseases, e.g., metabolic diseases, allergies, gastroenterological diseases, and liver diseases. The liver can be greatly affected by changes in gut microbiota due to the entry of gut bacteria or their metabolites into the liver through the portal vein, and the liver-gut axis is important to understand the pathophysiology of several liver diseases, especially non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and hepatic encephalopathy. Moreover, gut microbiota play a significant role in the development of alcoholic liver disease and hepatocarcinogenesis. Based on these previous findings, trials using probiotics have been performed for the prevention or treatment of liver diseases. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the changes in gut microbiota associated with various liver diseases, and we describe the therapeutic trials of probiotics for those diseases.

  10. As you reap, so shall you sow: coupling of harvesting and inoculating stabilizes the mutualism between termites and fungi

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aanen, Duur Kornelis

    2006-01-01

    is likely to be in monoculture and (ii) the termites ‘artificially' select for high nodule production, because their fungal food source also provides the inoculum for the next harvest. I also provide a brief comparison of the termite-fungus mutualism with the analogous agricultural mutualism between attine......At present there is no consensus theory explaining the evolutionary stability of mutualistic interactions. However, the question is whether there are general ‘rules', or whether each particular mutualism needs a unique explanation. Here, I address the ultimate evolutionary stability...... of the ‘agricultural' mutualism between fungus-growing termites and Termitomyces fungi, and provide a proximate mechanism for how stability is achieved. The key to the proposed mechanism is the within-nest propagation mode of fungal symbionts by termites. The termites suppress horizontal fungal transmission...

  11. Foraging, recruitment and predation by Decamorium uelense (Sanstchi) (Formicidae: Myrmicinae) on termites in Southern Guinea Savanna, Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longhurst, C; Johnson, R A; Wood, T G

    1979-01-01

    The myrmicine ant Decamorium uelense is a predator of small termites which feed inside their food sources of roots and plant debris. The ant uses a specialized recruitment regime to secure its prey. A scout ant searches for foraging termites and returns to the nest where it recruits a column of 10-30 ants which attack and immobilize the termites. A mass recruitment phase is then instigated, with larger numbers of ants retrieving the prey. The major prey item is Microtermes (consumed at an annual rate of 632 termites m -2 ), with other small termites accounting for 0.5% of the total predation. The annual predation of Microtermes in primary savanna woodland by D. uelense removes 74% of the standing population.

  12. The fungus-growing termite Macrotermes natalensis harbors bacillaene-producing Bacillus sp. that inhibit potentially antagonistic fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Um, Soohyun; Fraimout, Antoine; Sapountzis, Panagiotis; Oh, Dong-Chan; Poulsen, Michael

    2013-11-19

    The ancient fungus-growing termite (Mactrotermitinae) symbiosis involves the obligate association between a lineage of higher termites and basidiomycete Termitomyces cultivar fungi. Our investigation of the fungus-growing termite Macrotermes natalensis shows that Bacillus strains from M. natalensis colonies produce a single major antibiotic, bacillaene A (1), which selectively inhibits known and putatively antagonistic fungi of Termitomyces. Comparative analyses of the genomes of symbiotic Bacillus strains revealed that they are phylogenetically closely related to Bacillus subtilis, their genomes have high homology with more than 90% of ORFs being 100% identical, and the sequence identities across the biosynthetic gene cluster for bacillaene are higher between termite-associated strains than to the cluster previously reported in B. subtilis. Our findings suggest that this lineage of antibiotic-producing Bacillus may be a defensive symbiont involved in the protection of the fungus-growing termite cultivar.

  13. Thraustochytrid fungoid protists in faecal pellets of the tunicate Pegea confoederata, their tolerance to deep-sea conditions and implication in degradation processes

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, S.; Raghukumar, C.

    During a swarm of the tunicate Pegea confoederata (salp) in the northern Arabian Sea, we examined their faecal pellets for thraustochytrid protists and bacteria to understand the role of the former in decomposition processes in the sea. Fresh faecal...

  14. First Foods and Gut Microbes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laursen, Martin Frederik; Bahl, Martin Iain; Michaelsen, Kim F.

    2017-01-01

    The establishment of the human gut microbiota in early life has been associated with later health and disease. During the 1st months after birth, the microbial composition in the gut is known to be affected by the mode of delivery, use of antibiotics, geographical location and type of feeding...... microbiota development. This perspective paper summarizes the currently very few studies addressing the effects of complementary diet on gut microbiota, and highlights the recent finding that transition to family foods greatly impacts the development of gut microbial diversity. Further, we discuss potential...

  15. Gut Microbiota and Metabolic Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyu Yeon Hur

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Gut microbiota plays critical physiological roles in the energy extraction and in the control of local or systemic immunity. Gut microbiota and its disturbance also appear to be involved in the pathogenesis of diverse diseases including metabolic disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, cancer, etc. In the metabolic point of view, gut microbiota can modulate lipid accumulation, lipopolysaccharide content and the production of short-chain fatty acids that affect food intake, inflammatory tone, or insulin signaling. Several strategies have been developed to change gut microbiota such as prebiotics, probiotics, certain antidiabetic drugs or fecal microbiota transplantation, which have diverse effects on body metabolism and on the development of metabolic disorders.

  16. Comparative gut physiology symposium: The microbe-gut-brain axis

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Comparative Gut Physiology Symposium titled “The Microbe-Gut-Brain Axis” was held at the Joint Annual Meeting of the American Society of Animal Science and the American Dairy Science Association on Thursday, July 21, 2016, in Salt Lake City Utah. The goal of the symposium was to present basic r...

  17. Pillotinas and hollandinas: distribution and behaviour of large spirochaetes symbiotic in termites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    To, L; Margulis, L; Cheung, A T

    1978-01-01

    Pillotina spirochaetes have been observed in the hindguts of wood-eating cockroaches (Cryptocercus punctulatus), and in 25 out of 28 species of termites examined. They were especially abundant in 21 species of dry wood termites of the family Kalotermitidae, from Europe, North America and Australia. These included many species of Kalotermes and one or a few of the following: Glyptotermes, Bifidotermes, Neotermes, Ceratokalotermes, Paraneotermes, Cryptotermes, Porotermes, Marginitermes, Pterotermes, Zootermopsis, Reticulitermes, Coptotermes, Heterotermes, and nasutitermitids. Identifications of pillotinas were made on the basis of large size (0.5--2 micromtere in diameter, 50 to greater than 100 micrometers in length) and wave pattern; these were verified by electron microscopy in K. schwarzi, Pterotermes occidentis and others. Pillotinas were also present in all species of subterranean termites (Family Rhinotermitidae) examined, and in the most primitive Australian termite, Mastotermes darwiniensis (Family Mastotermitidae). They were not observed in damp wood termites (Family Hodotermidiae). Pillotinas are invariably associated with a rich, complex xylophagous microbial community composed primarily of motile prokaryotes, and hypermastigote and polymastigote flagellates. Some have been previously described by those primarily concerned with termite hindgut protozoa. Observations were made on their modes of behaviour, division, and microbial associates. A new genus of spirochaetes, Hollandina, is also described. It is distinguished from Pillotina by a smaller size and several ultrastructural features, but is otherwise closely related taxonomically. Evidence is provided to support Hollande and Gharagozlou's (1967) concept that the pillotinas and hollandinas deserve the taxonomic status of 'family' and that they should be classified with the cristispire siprochaetes a-cording to the scheme developed by Hovind-Hougen (1976). Spirochaetes are treated as a Phylum of the

  18. Cellulomonas macrotermitis sp. nov., a chitinolytic and cellulolytic bacterium isolated from the hindgut of a fungus-growing termite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xinxin; Li, Jingjing; Du, Jiao; Xiao, Hesheng; Ni, Jinfeng

    2018-03-01

    To investigate the symbiotic roles of the gut microbiota in the fungus-growing termite Macrotermes barneyi, a novel strain with chitinolytic and cellulolytic activity, designated strain an-chi-1 T , was isolated from the hindgut of M. barneyi. Strain an-chi-1 T grows optimally at 28-30 °C, pH 8.0 in PYG medium. On the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, this isolate belongs to the genus Cellulomonas with high sequence similarity to Cellulomonas iranensis (99.4%), followed by Cellulomonas flavigena (98.4%), Cellulomonas phragmiteti (97.4%), Cellulomonas oligotrophica (97.2%) and Cellulomonas terrae (97.0%). The DNA-DNA relatedness between an-chi-1 T and the type strains of C. iranensis and C. flavigena DSM20109 T are 35.4% and 23.7%, respectively. The major cellular fatty acids are anteiso-C 15:0 and C 14:0 . The polar lipid profile consists of diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylinositol mannosides, phosphatidylinositol dimannosides and one unidentified phospholipid. The cell-wall sugar is ribose. The peptidoglycan contains glutamic acid, aspartic acid and alanine. The DNA G+C content is 67.3 mol%. Based on its distinctive phenotypic, phylogenetic, and chemotaxonomic characteristics, an-chi-1 T represents a novel species of the genus Cellulomonas, for which the name Cellulomonas macrotermitis sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is an-chi-1 T (= JCM 31923 T  = CICC 24195 T ).

  19. Evidence of cue synergism in termite corpse response behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulyshen, Michael D.; Shelton, Thomas G.

    2012-02-01

    Subterranean termites of the genus Reticulitermes are known to build walls and tubes and move considerable amounts of soil into wood but the causes of this behavior remain largely unexplored. In laboratory assays, we tested the hypothesis that Reticulitermes virginicus (Banks) would carry more sand into wooden blocks containing corpses compared to corpse-free controls. We further predicted that the corpses of predatory ants would elicit a stronger response than those of a benign beetle species or nestmates. As hypothesized, significantly more sand was carried into blocks containing corpses and this material was typically used to build partitions separating the dead from the rest of the colony. Contrary to expectations, however, this behavior did not vary among corpse types. We then tested the hypothesis that oleic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid released during arthropod decay and used by ants and other arthropod taxa in corpse recognition, would induce a similar building response in R. virginicus. To additionally determine the role of foreign objects in giving rise to this behavior, the experiment was carried out with and without imitation corpses (i.e., small glass beads). As predicted, oleic acid induced building (a tenfold increase) but only when applied to beads, suggesting strong synergism between tactile and chemical cues. Oleic acid also significantly reduced the amount of wood consumed by R. virginicus and may possess useful repellent properties.

  20. An American termite in Paris: temporal colony dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baudouin, Guillaume; Dedeine, Franck; Bech, Nicolas; Bankhead-Dronnet, Stéphanie; Dupont, Simon; Bagnères, Anne-Geneviève

    2017-12-01

    Termites of the genus Reticulitermes are widespread invaders, particularly in urban habitats. Their cryptic and subterranean lifestyle makes them difficult to detect, and we know little about their colony dynamics over time. In this study we examined the persistence of Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) colonies in the city of Paris over a period of 15 years. The aim was (1) to define the boundaries of colonies sampled within the same four areas over two sampling periods, (2) to determine whether the colonies identified during the first sampling period persisted to the second sampling period, and (3) to compare the results obtained when colonies were delineated using a standard population genetic approach versus a Bayesian clustering method that combined both spatial and genetic information. Herein, colony delineations were inferred from genetic differences at nine microsatellite loci and one mitochondrial locus. Four of the 18 identified colonies did not show significant differences in their genotype distributions between the two sampling periods. While allelic richness was low, making it hard to reliably distinguish colony family type, most colonies appeared to retain the same breeding structure over time. These large and expansive colonies showed an important ability to fuse (39% were mixed-family colonies), contained hundreds of reproductives and displayed evidence of isolation-by-distance, suggesting budding dispersal. These traits, which favor colony persistence over time, present a challenge for pest control efforts, which apply treatment locally. The other colonies showed significant differences, but we cannot exclude the possibility that their genotype distributions simply changed over time.

  1. The effect of maize stover used as mulch on termite damage to ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    La quantité de pailles de maïs appliquée corrélait significativement (P<0.05) et négativement avec les dégâts des termites mais corrélait positivement avec le nichement des fourmis prédateurs. Les résultats sont discutés dans le contexte de la gestion intégrée des pestes (IPM) pour les termites au niveau des systèmes de ...

  2. Laboratory and field evaluation of Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae for controlling subterranean termites

    OpenAIRE

    Hussain, A; Ahmed, S; Shahid, M

    2011-01-01

    The efficacy of the Metarhizium anisopliae strain ARSEF 6911 was determined in the laboratory and field against two sugarcane pests, Microtermes obesi Holmgren and Odontotermes obesus Rambur (Termitidae: Isoptera). The susceptibility of both termite species to different conidial suspensions (1 × 10(10), 1 × 10(8), 1 × 10(6) and 1 × 10(4) conidia/ml) was determined in laboratory. All conidial suspensions were able to induce mortality. Termite mortality caused by the fungal suspensions was dose...

  3. Pseudomonas aeruginosa adaptation to lungs of cystic fibrosis patients leads to lowered resistance to phage and protist enemies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ville-Petri Friman

    Full Text Available Pathogenic life styles can lead to highly specialized interactions with host species, potentially resulting in fitness trade-offs in other ecological contexts. Here we studied how adaptation of the environmentally transmitted bacterial pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, to cystic fibrosis (CF patients affects its survival in the presence of natural phage (14/1, ΦKZ, PNM and PT7 and protist (Tetrahymena thermophila and Acanthamoebae polyphaga enemies. We found that most of the bacteria isolated from relatively recently intermittently colonised patients (1-25 months, were innately phage-resistant and highly toxic for protists. In contrast, bacteria isolated from long time chronically infected patients (2-23 years, were less efficient in both resisting phages and killing protists. Moreover, chronic isolates showed reduced killing of wax moth larvae (Galleria mellonella probably due to weaker in vitro growth and protease expression. These results suggest that P. aeruginosa long-term adaptation to CF-lungs could trade off with its survival in aquatic environmental reservoirs in the presence of microbial enemies, while lowered virulence could reduce pathogen opportunities to infect insect vectors; factors that are both likely to result in poorer environmental transmission. From an applied perspective, phage therapy could be useful against chronic P. aeruginosa lung infections that are often characterized by multidrug resistance: chronic isolates were least resistant to phages and their poor growth will likely slow down the emergence of beneficial resistance mutations.

  4. Biodiversity of Active and Inactive Bacteria in the Gut Flora of Wood-Feeding Huhu Beetle Larvae (Prionoplus reticularis)▿†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Nicola M.; Addison, Sarah L.; Macdonald, Lucy J.; Lloyd-Jones, Gareth

    2011-01-01

    Huhu grubs (Prionoplus reticularis) are wood-feeding beetle larvae endemic to New Zealand and belonging to the family Cerambycidae. Compared to the wood-feeding lower termites, very little is known about the diversity and activity of microorganisms associated with xylophagous cerambycid larvae. To address this, we used pyrosequencing to evaluate the diversity of metabolically active and inactive bacteria in the huhu larval gut. Our estimate, that the gut harbors at least 1,800 phylotypes, is based on 33,420 sequences amplified from genomic DNA and reverse-transcribed RNA. Analysis of genomic DNA- and RNA-derived data sets revealed that 71% of all phylotypes (representing 95% of all sequences) were metabolically active. Rare phylotypes contributed considerably to the richness of the community and were also largely metabolically active, indicating their participation in digestive processes in the gut. The dominant families in the active community (RNA data set) included Acidobacteriaceae (24.3%), Xanthomonadaceae (16.7%), Acetobacteraceae (15.8%), Burkholderiaceae (8.7%), and Enterobacteriaceae (4.1%). The most abundant phylotype comprised 14% of the active community and affiliated with Dyella ginsengisoli (Gammaproteobacteria), suggesting that a Dyella-related organism is a likely symbiont. This study provides new information on the diversity and activity of gut-associated microorganisms that are essential for the digestion of the nutritionally poor diet consumed by wood-feeding larvae. Many huhu gut phylotypes affiliated with insect symbionts or with bacteria present in acidic environments or associated with fungi. PMID:21841025

  5. Evaluation of the possible role of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae as mechanical vectors of nematodes and protists

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabio Villani

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Nematodes and protists can be transmitted to humans in many ways and little concern has been given to the mechanical transmission by ants. This study aimed at analysing how the eggs of Ascaris lumbricoides and cysts of Entamoeba coli could be mechanically transmitted to the man by Formicidae. Through the experiments using nests of Tapinoma melanocephalum, Linepithema humile and Monomorium pharaonis reared in the laboratory allied to observations of some 17 ant species in an urban park area in Mogi das Cruzes (SP, it was found that L. humile was capable of carrying eggs of A. lumbricoides both in the field and laboratory conditions (1 worker, as well as was Camponotus rufipes (2, Solenopsis saevissima (1 and Acromyrmex niger (1. The cysts of Escherichia coli were found over three workers of C. rufipes. Although the frequency of the workers found transporting pathogens was low, the capacity of common household species in carrying pathogens like nematodes and protists was demonstrated.Os Nematoda e Protista podem ser transmitidos ao homem de diversas maneiras, mas pouca ênfase é dada para a transmissão mecânica por intermédio de formigas. Assim, esse trabalho procurou investigar a transmissão mecânica de ovos de Ascaris lumbricoides e cistos de Entamoeba coli pelos Formicidae. Através de experimentos com espécies mantidas em ninhos no laboratório (Tapinoma melanocephalum, Linepithema humile e Monomorium pharaonis e com 17 espécies de formigas de uma área antropizada na região de Mogi as Cruzes (SP, foi possível constar que os ovos A. lumbricoides foram transportados por L. humile, tanto no campo (1 operária como no laboratório (1 operária, por Camponotus rufipes (2, por Solenopsis saevissima (1 e por Acromyrmrex niger (1. Em três operárias de C. rufipes foram encontrados cistos de E. coli. Apesar da baixa incidência de transporte, as três primeiras espécies pelo fato de viverem muito próximas ao ser humano, podem levar para

  6. The role of gut microbiota in the gut-brain axis: current challenges and perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiao; D'Souza, Roshan; Hong, Seong-Tshool

    2013-06-01

    Brain and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract are intimately connected to form a bidirectional neurohumoral communication system. The communication between gut and brain, knows as the gut-brain axis, is so well established that the functional status of gut is always related to the condition of brain. The researches on the gut-brain axis were traditionally focused on the psychological status affecting the function of the GI tract. However, recent evidences showed that gut microbiota communicates with the brain via the gut-brain axis to modulate brain development and behavioral phenotypes. These recent findings on the new role of gut microbiota in the gut-brain axis implicate that gut microbiota could associate with brain functions as well as neurological diseases via the gut-brain axis. To elucidate the role of gut microbiota in the gut-brain axis, precise identification of the composition of microbes constituting gut microbiota is an essential step. However, identification of microbes constituting gut microbiota has been the main technological challenge currently due to massive amount of intestinal microbes and the difficulties in culture of gut microbes. Current methods for identification of microbes constituting gut microbiota are dependent on omics analysis methods by using advanced high tech equipment. Here, we review the association of gut microbiota with the gut-brain axis, including the pros and cons of the current high throughput methods for identification of microbes constituting gut microbiota to elucidate the role of gut microbiota in the gut-brain axis.

  7. Gut microbiota and allogeneic transplantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Weilin; Xu, Shaoyan; Ren, Zhigang; Jiang, Jianwen; Zheng, Shusen

    2015-08-23

    The latest high-throughput sequencing technologies show that there are more than 1000 types of microbiota in the human gut. These microbes are not only important to maintain human health, but also closely related to the occurrence and development of various diseases. With the development of transplantation technologies, allogeneic transplantation has become an effective therapy for a variety of end-stage diseases. However, complications after transplantation still restrict its further development. Post-transplantation complications are closely associated with a host's immune system. There is also an interaction between a person's gut microbiota and immune system. Recently, animal and human studies have shown that gut microbial populations and diversity are altered after allogeneic transplantations, such as liver transplantation (LT), small bowel transplantation (SBT), kidney transplantation (KT) and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HTCT). Moreover, when complications, such as infection, rejection and graft versus host disease (GVHD) occur, gut microbial populations and diversity present a significant dysbiosis. Several animal and clinical studies have demonstrated that taking probiotics and prebiotics can effectively regulate gut microbiota and reduce the incidence of complications after transplantation. However, the role of intestinal decontamination in allogeneic transplantation is controversial. This paper reviews gut microbial status after transplantation and its relationship with complications. The role of intervention methods, including antibiotics, probiotics and prebiotics, in complications after transplantation are also discussed. Further research in this new field needs to determine the definite relationship between gut microbial dysbiosis and complications after transplantation. Additionally, further research examining gut microbial intervention methods to ameliorate complications after transplantation is warranted. A better understanding of the

  8. Mammalian gut immunity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benoit Chassaing

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The mammalian intestinal tract is the largest immune organ in the body and comprises cells from non-hemopoietic (epithelia, Paneth cells, goblet cells and hemopoietic (macrophages, dendritic cells, T-cells origin, and is also a dwelling for trillions of microbes collectively known as the microbiota. The homeostasis of this large microbial biomass is prerequisite to maintain host health by maximizing beneficial symbiotic relationships and minimizing the risks of living in such close proximity. Both microbiota and host immune system communicate with each other to mutually maintain homeostasis in what could be called a "love-hate relationship." Further, the host innate and adaptive immune arms of the immune system cooperate and compensate each other to maintain the equilibrium of a highly complex gut ecosystem in a stable and stringent fashion. Any imbalance due to innate or adaptive immune deficiency or aberrant immune response may lead to dysbiosis and low-grade to robust gut inflammation, finally resulting in metabolic diseases.

  9. Mammalian Gut Immunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chassaing, Benoit; Kumar, Manish; Baker, Mark T.; Singh, Vishal; Vijay-Kumar, Matam

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian intestinal tract is the largest immune organ in the body and comprises cells from non-hemopoietic (epithelia, Paneth cells, goblet cells) and hemopoietic (macrophages, dendritic cells, T-cells) origin, and is also a dwelling for trillions of microbes collectively known as the microbiota. The homeostasis of this large microbial biomass is prerequisite to maintain host health by maximizing beneficial symbiotic relationships and minimizing the risks of living in such close proximity. Both microbiota and host immune system communicate with each other to mutually maintain homeostasis in what could be called a “love–hate relationship.” Further, the host innate and adaptive immune arms of the immune system cooperate and compensate each other to maintain the equilibrium of a highly complex gut ecosystem in a stable and stringent fashion. Any imbalance due to innate or adaptive immune deficiency or aberrant immune response may lead to dysbiosis and low-grade to robust gut inflammation, finally resulting in metabolic diseases. PMID:25163502

  10. Indigenous utilization of termite mounds and their sustainability in a rice growing village of the central plain of Laos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sivilay Sengdeaune

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The objective of this study was to investigate the indigenous utilization of termite mounds and termites in a rain-fed rice growing village in the central plain of Laos, where rice production is low and varies year-to-year, and to assess the possibility of sustainable termite mound utilization in the future. This research was carried out from 2007 to 2009. Methods The termites were collected from their mounds and surrounding areas and identified. Twenty villagers were interviewed on their use of termites and their mounds in the village. Sixty-three mounds were measured to determine their dimensions in early March, early July and middle to late November, 2009. Results Eleven species of Termitidae were recorded during the survey period. It was found that the villagers use termite mounds as fertilizer for growing rice, vegetable beds and charcoal kilns. The villagers collected termites for food and as feed for breeding fish. Over the survey period, 81% of the mounds surveyed increased in volume; however, the volume was estimated to decrease by 0.114 m3 mound-1 year-1 on average due to several mounds being completely cut out. Conclusion It was concluded that current mound utilization by villagers is not sustainable. To ensure sustainable termite utilization in the future, studies should be conducted to enhance factors that promote mound restoration by termites. Furthermore, it will be necessary to improve mound conservation methods used by the villagers after changes in the soil mass of mounds in paddy fields and forests has been measured accurately. The socio-economic factors that affect mound utilization should also be studied.

  11. Strong positive effects of termites on savanna bird abundance and diversity are amplified by large herbivore exclusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moe, Stein R; Eldegard, Katrine; Rannestad, Ole Tobias; Okullo, Paul; Lindtjørn, Ommund; Støen, Ole Gunnar; Dale, Svein

    2017-12-01

    Vast areas of the African savanna landscapes are characterized by tree-covered Macrotermes termite mounds embedded within a relatively open savanna matrix. In concert with termites, large herbivores are important determinants of savanna woody vegetation cover. The relative cover of woody species has considerable effects on savanna function. Despite the potentially important ecological relationships between termite mounds, woody plants, large herbivores, and birds, these associations have previously received surprisingly little attention. We experimentally studied the effects of termites and large herbivores on the avian community in Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda, where woody vegetation is essentially limited to termite mounds. Our experiment comprised of four treatments in nine replicates; unfenced termite mounds, fenced mounds (excluding large mammals), unfenced adjacent savanna, and fenced savanna. We recorded species identity, abundance, and behavior of all birds observed on these plots over a two-month period, from late dry until wet season. Birds used termite mounds almost exclusively, with only 3.5% of observations occurring in the treeless intermound savanna matrix. Mean abundance and species richness of birds doubled on fenced (large herbivores excluded) compared to unfenced mounds. Feeding behavior increased when large mammals were excluded from mounds, both in absolute number of observed individuals, and relative to other behaviors. This study documents the fundamental positive impact of Macrotermes termites on bird abundance and diversity in an African savanna. Birds play crucial functional roles in savanna ecosystems, for example, by dispersing fruits or regulating herbivorous insect populations. Thus, the role of birds in savanna dynamics depends on the distribution and abundance of termite mounds.

  12. I. Structural studies of termite defense secretions. II. Structural studies of natural products of marine nudibranchs. [Kempene, tridachione

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Solheim, B.A.

    1977-12-01

    Three families of termites have the ability to produce a sticky secretion that envelopes and immobilizes the enemy. In the family Termitidae the secretion contains the diterpenoid hydrocarbons, kempene I and kempene II. The molecular structure of kempene II from the termite, Nasutitermes kempae, is described in detail. Another species of termite, Cubitermes umbratus, contained the diterpenoid hydrocarbon biflora-4,10-19,15-triene in the secretion and this compound is described. Studies were also conducted on the mucous secretion of the pedal gland of the marine nudibranch, Tidachiella diomedea. Tridachione, a substituted ..gamma..-pyrone, was isolated in the pure state and its molecular structure is described in detail. (HLW)

  13. The potential for arms race and Red Queen coevolution in a protist host-parasite system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Råberg, Lars; Alacid, Elisabet; Garces, Esther; Figueroa, Rosa

    2014-12-01

    The dynamics and consequences of host-parasite coevolution depend on the nature of host genotype-by-parasite genotype interactions (G × G) for host and parasite fitness. G × G with crossing reaction norms can yield cyclic dynamics of allele frequencies ("Red Queen" dynamics) while G × G where the variance among host genotypes differs between parasite genotypes results in selective sweeps ("arms race" dynamics). Here, we investigate the relative potential for arms race and Red Queen coevolution in a protist host-parasite system, the dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum and its parasite Parvilucifera sinerae. We challenged nine different clones of A. minutum with 10 clones of P. sinerae in a fully factorial design and measured infection success and host and parasite fitness. Each host genotype was successfully infected by four to ten of the parasite genotypes. There were strong G × Gs for infection success, as well as both host and parasite fitness. About three quarters of the G × G variance components for host and parasite fitness were due to crossing reaction norms. There were no general costs of resistance or infectivity. We conclude that there is high potential for Red Queen dynamics in this host-parasite system.

  14. The Role of Cell Morphotype in Protist Grazing on the Model Diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaudoin, D.; Johnson, M. D.; Tirichine, L.; Rastogi, A.; Bowler, C.

    2016-02-01

    Microzooplankton grazing is the single greatest loss to daily primary production in the oceans. Factors such as prey quality, chemical defense, and morphology are known to play important roles in mediating interactions with protist grazers. However, for most phytoplankton species we lack a mechanistic understanding of variables that modulate grazing and their relative importance. Here we test the hypothesis that morphological complexity acts to decrease grazing rates of microzooplankton predators, using strains of Phaeodactylum tricornutum with distinct morphotypes (oval, fusiform, and triradiate). Specifically we expected to find lower grazing on the triradiate morphotype. In experiments with predominantly uniform morphotypes, our results demonstrate that grazing by the heterotrophic dinoflagellate Oxyrrhis marina was surprisingly greatest on triradiate P. tricornutum, while oval and fusiform morphotypes revealed lower rates. Furthermore, the triradiate morphotype also supported higher growth rates of O. marina. We are currently investigating the role of grazing on morphotype frequency in P. tricornutum strains with mixed phenotypes. Chemical factors, such as prey nutritional content, and oxylipin profiles are also being investigated. Collectively, these experiments will help to determine the role of intraspecific phenotypes in predator-prey interactions, and how grazing helps to shape morphotype frequency in prey populations.

  15. Comparison of similar Arctic and Antarctic morphotypes of heterotrophic protists regarding their genotypes and ecotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitsche, Frank; Arndt, Hartmut

    2015-02-01

    The polar regions offer the opportunity to study possible diversification processes of spatially and temporally separated populations. We focused our study on similar morphotypes/species (e. g. species with the same morphology) of heterotrophic flagellates and ciliates originating from both, Antarctic and Arctic waters: 38 populations of six choanoflagellate morphospecies (Acanthocorbis unguiculata, Helgoeca nana, Diaphanoeca grandis, Savillea micropora, Stephanoeca apheles, Salpingoeca tuba), four other flagellate morphospecies (Cafeteria roenbergensis, Podomonas magma, Procryptobia sorokini, Protaspis sp.) and three ciliate morphospecies (Holosticha sp., Uronema marinum, Pseudocohnilembus persalinus). We analysed similarities and differences regarding their genotypes (SSU rDNA) and for several species regarding morphotypes and autecology (temperature and salinity tolerance). Most of the investigated polar protists were psychrophilic and showed a high salinity tolerance. Morphologically well defined acanthoecid choanoflagellates isolated from both poles showed the lowest intraspecific diversity (< 0.5% p-distance). No intragenomic polymorphism of SSU rDNA within one individual and among clones from one population occurred. The way of dispersal for acanthoecid choanoflagellates still remains unclear. Even under extreme stress none of the examined cultures formed cysts. Single cell PCR appeared to be an appropriate method to investigate species not available as monoclonal cultures. As a prerequisite for barcoding, acanthoecid choanoflagellate species have a very low intraspecific variability regarding SSU rDNA. There was a clear correlation between autecological, morphological and molecular data sets, which may help interpreting molecular data from clone libraries or next generation sequencing. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  16. EhCoactosin stabilizes actin filaments in the protist parasite Entamoeba histolytica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nitesh Kumar

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Entamoeba histolytica is a protist parasite that is the causative agent of amoebiasis, and is a highly motile organism. The motility is essential for its survival and pathogenesis, and a dynamic actin cytoskeleton is required for this process. EhCoactosin, an actin-binding protein of the ADF/cofilin family, participates in actin dynamics, and here we report our studies of this protein using both structural and functional approaches. The X-ray crystal structure of EhCoactosin resembles that of human coactosin-like protein, with major differences in the distribution of surface charges and the orientation of terminal regions. According to in vitro binding assays, full-length EhCoactosin binds both F- and G-actin. Instead of acting to depolymerize or severe F-actin, EhCoactosin directly stabilizes the polymer. When EhCoactosin was visualized in E. histolytica cells using either confocal imaging or total internal reflectance microscopy, it was found to colocalize with F-actin at phagocytic cups. Over-expression of this protein stabilized F-actin and inhibited the phagocytic process. EhCoactosin appears to be an unusual type of coactosin involved in E. histolytica actin dynamics.

  17. Discovery of a dsRNA virus infecting the marine photosynthetic protist Micromonas pusilla

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brussaard, C.P.D.; Noordeloos, A.A.M.; Sandaa, R.-A.; Heldal, M.; Bratbak, G.

    2004-01-01

    We report the isolation of the first double-stranded (ds) RNA virus in the family Reoviridae that infects a protist (microalga Micromonas pusilla, Prasinophyceae). The dsRNA genome was composed of 11 segments ranging between 0.8 and 5.8 kb, with a total size of approximately 25.5 kb. The virus (MpRNAV-01B) could not be assigned to the genus level because host type, genome size, and number of segments smaller than 2 kb did not correspond to either of the two existing 11-segmented dsRNA genera Rotavirus and Aquareovirus. MpRNAV-01B has a particle size of 65-80 nm, a narrow host range, a latent period of 36 h, and contains five major proteins (120, 95, 67, 53, and 32 kDa). MpRNAV-01B was stable to freeze-thawing, resistant to chloroform, ether, nonionic detergents, chelating and reducing agents. The virus was inactivated at temperatures above 35 deg. C and by ionic detergent, ethanol, acetone, and acidic conditions (pH 2-5)

  18. Long-Lived Termite Queens Exhibit High Cu/Zn-Superoxide Dismutase Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eisuke Tasaki

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available In most organisms, superoxide dismutases (SODs are among the most effective antioxidant enzymes that regulate the reactive oxygen species (ROS generated by oxidative energy metabolism. ROS are considered main proximate causes of aging. However, it remains unclear if SOD activities are associated with organismal longevity. The queens of eusocial insects, such as termites, ants, and honeybees, exhibit extraordinary longevity in comparison with the nonreproductive castes, such as workers. Therefore, the queens are promising candidates to study the underlying mechanisms of aging. Here, we found that queens have higher Cu/Zn-SOD activity than nonreproductive individuals of the termite Reticulitermes speratus. We identified three Cu/Zn-SOD sequences and one Mn-SOD sequence by RNA sequencing in R. speratus. Although the queens showed higher Cu/Zn-SOD activity than the nonreproductive individuals, there were no differences in their expression levels of the Cu/Zn-SOD genes RsSOD1 and RsSOD3A. Copper (Cu2+ and Cu+ is an essential cofactor for Cu/Zn-SOD enzyme activity, and the queens had higher concentrations of copper than the workers. These results suggest that the high Cu/Zn-SOD activity of termite queens is related to their high levels of the cofactor rather than gene expression. This study highlights that Cu/Zn-SOD activity contributes to extraordinary longevity in termites.

  19. Termite nests as an abundant source of cultivable actinobacteria for biotechnological purposes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sujada, Nikhom; Sungthong, Rungroch; Lumyong, Saisamorn

    2014-01-01

    A total of 118 actinobacterial isolates were collected from the three types of termite nests (mound, carton, and subterranean nests) to evaluate their potential as a source of bioactive actinobacteria with antimicrobial activity. The highest number (67 isolates) and generic abundance (7 known genera) of actinobacterial isolates were obtained from carton nests. Streptomyces was the dominant genus in each type of termite nest. In the non-Streptomyces group, Nocardia was the dominant genus detected in mound and carton nests, while Pseudonocardia was the dominant genus in subterranean nests. A discovery trend of novel species (nests examined. Each type of termite nest housed >20% of bioactive actinobacteria that could inhibit the growth of at least one test organism, while 12 isolates, belonging to the genera Streptomyces, Amycolatopsis, Pseudonocardia, Micromonospora and Nocardia, exhibited distinct antimicrobial activities. Streptomyces sp. CMU-NKS-3 was the most distinct bioactive isolate. It was closely related to S. padanus MITKK-103T, which was confirmed by 99% similarities in their 16S rRNA gene sequences. The highest level of extracellular antimicrobial substances was produced by the isolate CMU-NKS-3, which was grown in potato dextrose broth and exhibited a wide range (6.10×10(-4)-1.25 mg mL(-1)) of minimum inhibitory concentrations against diverse pathogens. We concluded that termite nests are an abundant source of bioactive strains of cultivable actinobacteria for future biotechnological needs.

  20. Physical and chemical properties of some imported woods and their degradation by termites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanbhag, Rashmi R; Sundararaj, R

    2013-01-01

    The influence of physical and chemical properties of 20 species of imported wood on degradation of the wood by termites under field conditions was studied. The wood species studied were: Sycamore maple, Acer pseudoplatanus L. (Sapindales: Sapindaceae) (from two countries), Camphor, Dryobalanops aromatic C.F.Gaertner (Malvales: Dipterocarpaceae), Beech, Fagus grandifolia Ehrhart (Fagales: Fagaceae), F. sylvatica L. (from two countries), Oak, Quercus robur L., Ash, Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl (Lamiales: Oleaceae), F. excelsior L., Padauk, Pterocarpus soyauxii Taubert (Fabales: Fabaceae), (from two countries), Jamba, Xylia dolabrifiormis Roxburgh, Shorea laevis Ridley (Malvales: Dipterocarpaceae), S. macoptera Dyer, S. robusta Roth, Teak, Tectona grandis L.f. (Lamiales: Lamiaceae) (from five countries), and rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis Müller Argoviensis (Malpighiales: Euphorbiaceae) from India. The termites present were: Odontotermes horni (Wasmann) (Isoptera: Termitidae), O. feae, O. wallonensis, and O. obeus (Rambur). A significant conelation was found between density, cellulose, lignin, and total phenolic contents of the wood and degradation by termites. The higher the density of the wood, the lower the degradation. Similarly, higher amount of lignin and total phenolic contents ensured higher resistance, whereas cellulose drives the termites towards the wood.

  1. Catnip essential oil as a barrier to subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in the laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    C.J. Peterson; J. Ems-Wilson

    2003-01-01

    The essential oil of catnip, Nepeta cataria (Lamiacae) was evaluated for behavioral effects on two populations of subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) and R. virginicus (Banks) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). The catnip essential oil contained =36: 64 E,Z-nepetalactone and Z,E-nepetalactone,...

  2. The evolution of symmetrical snapping in termite soldiers need not lead to reduced chemical defence

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kyjaková, Pavlína; Dolejšová, Klára; Krasulová, Jana; Bednárová, Lucie; Hadravová, Romana; Pohl, Radek; Hanus, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 115, č. 4 (2015), s. 818-825 ISSN 0024-4066 R&D Projects: GA ČR GP13-25354P Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : termites * soldiers * chemical defence * diterpene * cavitene * frontal gland Subject RIV: CB - Analytical Chemistry, Separation Impact factor: 1.984, year: 2015

  3. effects of rice husk ash and termite hill types on the physical and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PROF EKWUEME

    water absorption of both brick types burnt at higher temperature of 900oC. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) study indicate no significance differences in the compressive strength of termite clay brick samples due to rice husk ash content, firing ... used in the making of structural components such as partition walls, building ...

  4. Physical and Chemical Properties of Some Imported Woods and their Degradation by Termites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanbhag, Rashmi R.; Sundararaj, R.

    2013-01-01

    The influence of physical and chemical properties of 20 species of imported wood on degradation of the wood by termites under field conditions was studied. The wood species studied were: Sycamore maple, Acer pseudoplatanus L. (Sapindales: Sapindaceae) (from two countries), Camphor, Dryobalanops aromatic C.F.Gaertner (Malvales: Dipterocarpaceae), Beech, Fagus grandifolia Ehrhart (Fagales: Fagaceae), F. sylvatica L. (from two countries), Oak, Quercus robur L., Ash, Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl (Lamiales: Oleaceae), F. excelsior L., Padauk, Pterocarpus soyauxii Taubert (Fabales: Fabaceae), (from two countries), Jamba, Xylia dolabrifiormis Roxburgh, Shorea laevis Ridley (Malvales: Dipterocarpaceae), S. macoptera Dyer, S. robusta Roth, Teak, Tectona grandis L.f. (Lamiales: Lamiaceae) (from five countries), and rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis Müller Argoviensis (Malpighiales: Euphorbiaceae) from India. The termites present were: Odontotermes horni (Wasmann) (Isoptera: Termitidae), O. feae, O. wallonensis, and O. obeus (Rambur). A significant conelation was found between density, cellulose, lignin, and total phenolic contents of the wood and degradation by termites. The higher the density of the wood, the lower the degradation. Similarly, higher amount of lignin and total phenolic contents ensured higher resistance, whereas cellulose drives the termites towards the wood. PMID:23906349

  5. High Symbiont Relatedness Stabilizes Mutualistic Cooperation in Fungus-Growing Termites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aanen, Duur K; de Fine Licht, Henrik H; Debets, Alfons J M

    2009-01-01

    of spore production in proportion to strain frequency. This positive reinforcement results in an exclusive lifetime association of each host colony with a single fungal symbiont and hinders the evolution of cheating. Our findings explain why vertical symbiont transmission in fungus-growing termites is rare...

  6. Secondary queens in the parthenogenetic termite Cavitermes tuberosus develop through a transitional helper stage

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hellemans, S.; Fournier, D.; Hanus, Robert; Roisin, Y.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 19, č. 6 (2017), s. 253-262 ISSN 1520-541X Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : facultative parthenogenesis * replacement queens * termites * asexual queen succession * ontogeny * Cavitermes Subject RIV: EG - Zoology OBOR OECD: Developmental biology Impact factor: 2.243, year: 2016

  7. Termitomyces sp. associated with the termite Macrotermes natalensis has a heterothallic mating system and multinucleate cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    De Fine Licht, Henrik H; Andersen, Anders; Aanen, Duur Kornelis

    2005-01-01

    Fungi of the genus Termitomyces live in an obligate symbiosis with termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae. Many species of Termitomyces frequently form fruit bodies, which develop from the fungus comb within the nest. In this study, we determined the mating system of a species of Termitomyces ...

  8. Identification of the Trail-Following Pheromone of the Pest Termite Amitermes evuncifer (Isoptera: Termitidae)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kotoklo, E. A.; Sillam-Dusses, David; Kétoh, G.; Sémon, E.; Robert, A.; Bordereau, Ch.; Glitho, I. A.

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 55, č. 2 (2010), s. 579-588 ISSN 0361-6525 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : dodecatrienol * neocembrene * multicomponent pheromone * termites Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 0.534, year: 2010

  9. Chemical systematics of Neotropical termite genera with symmetrically snapping soldiers (Termitidae: Termitinae)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kyjaková, Pavlína; Roy, V.; Jirošová, Anna; Krasulová, Jana; Dolejšová, Klára; Křivánek, Jan; Hadravová, Romana; Rybáček, Jiří; Pohl, Radek; Roisin, Y.; Sillam-Dusses, D.; Hanus, Robert

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 180, č. 1 (2017), s. 66-81 ISSN 0024-4082 R&D Projects: GA ČR GP13-25354P Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : chemical defence * frontal gland * termites * chemical systematics * Termitinae Subject RIV: EG - Zoology OBOR OECD: Biodiversity conservation Impact factor: 2.711, year: 2016

  10. Laboratory and field evaluation of Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae for controlling subterranean termites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hussain, A.; Ahmed, S.; Shahid, M.

    2011-01-01

    The efficacy of the Metarhizium anisopliae strain ARSEF 6911 was determined in the laboratory and field against two sugarcane pests, Microtermes obesi Holmgren and Odontotermes obesus Rambur (Termitidae: Isoptera). The susceptibility of both termite species to different conidial suspensions (1 x 10 10 , 1 x 10 8 , 1 x 10 6 and 1 x 10 4 conidia/ml) was determined in laboratory. All conidial suspensions were able to induce mortality. Termite mortality caused by the fungal suspensions was dose dependent. There were no significant differences in the LT 50 values between species. Field evaluation of M. anisopliae alone or in combination with diesel oil and thyamethoxam was carried out in two growing seasons (autumn 2005 and spring 2006) at two sites located in Punjab, Pakistan. Dipping the sugarcane setts in these suspensions was tried to determine their effects on germination and percentage of bud damage to sugarcane setts. All treatments significantly reduced termite infestation compared to the untreated control. The combined treatment of M. anisopliae and diesel oil significantly reduced insect damage by attaining higher germination > 55% and lower bud damage < 5.50% at both sites in both seasons. The results suggest that the application of M. anisopliae and diesel oil in combination might be a useful treatment option for the management of termites in sugarcane. (author)

  11. Laboratory and field evaluation of Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae for controlling subterranean termites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hussain, A. [South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou (China). College of Natural Resources and Environment; Ahmed, S. [South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou (China). Dept. of Agricultural Entomology; Shahid, M., E-mail: solvia_aah@yahoo.co [University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (Pakistan). Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry

    2011-03-15

    The efficacy of the Metarhizium anisopliae strain ARSEF 6911 was determined in the laboratory and field against two sugarcane pests, Microtermes obesi Holmgren and Odontotermes obesus Rambur (Termitidae: Isoptera). The susceptibility of both termite species to different conidial suspensions (1 x 10{sup 10}, 1 x 10{sup 8}, 1 x 10{sup 6} and 1 x 10{sup 4} conidia/ml) was determined in laboratory. All conidial suspensions were able to induce mortality. Termite mortality caused by the fungal suspensions was dose dependent. There were no significant differences in the LT{sub 50} values between species. Field evaluation of M. anisopliae alone or in combination with diesel oil and thyamethoxam was carried out in two growing seasons (autumn 2005 and spring 2006) at two sites located in Punjab, Pakistan. Dipping the sugarcane setts in these suspensions was tried to determine their effects on germination and percentage of bud damage to sugarcane setts. All treatments significantly reduced termite infestation compared to the untreated control. The combined treatment of M. anisopliae and diesel oil significantly reduced insect damage by attaining higher germination > 55% and lower bud damage < 5.50% at both sites in both seasons. The results suggest that the application of M. anisopliae and diesel oil in combination might be a useful treatment option for the management of termites in sugarcane. (author)

  12. Facultative asexual reproduction and genetic diversity of populations in the humivorous termite Cavitermes tuberosus

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fournier, D.; Hellemans, S.; Hanus, Robert; Roisin, Y.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 283, č. 1832 (2016), č. článku 20160196. ISSN 0962-8452 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-12774S Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : thelytokous parthenogenesis * breeding systems * termites * reproductive strategies * Isoptera * Termitidae Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 4.940, year: 2016

  13. Decay and termite resistance, water absorption and swelling of thermally compressed wood panels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oner Unsal; S. Nami Kartal; Zeki Candan; Rachel A. Arango; Carol A. Clausen; Frederick Green

    2009-01-01

    This study evaluated decay and termite resistance of thermally compressed pine wood panels under pressure at either 5 or 7 MPa and either 120 or 150 °C for 1 h. Wood specimens from the panels were exposed to laboratory decay resistance by using the wood degrading fungi, Gloeophyllum trabeum and Trametes versicolor. The thermal compression process caused increases in...

  14. Decay and termite resistance of medium density fiberboard (MDF) made from different wood species

    Science.gov (United States)

    S. Nami Kartal; Frederick Green

    2003-01-01

    Medium density fiberboard (MDF) production worldwide is increasing due to the development of new manufacturing technologies. As a result, MDF products are increasingly utilized in traditional wood applications that require fungal and insect resistance. This study evaluated the ability of white and brown rot fungi and termites to decompose MDF consisting of different...

  15. Olfactory Cues from Pathogenic Fungus Affect the Direction of Motion of Termites, Coptotermes formosanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanagawa, Aya; Imai, Tomoya; Akino, Toshiharu; Toh, Yoshihiro; Yoshimura, Tsuyoshi

    2015-12-01

    Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus, tend to avoid pathogen odors when tested in Y-tube olfactometers, but approach and groom exposed nestmates to remove pathogens from their cuticle and maintain a healthy population. To better understand their differential reaction to pathogens and their odors, the relationship between odor cues and direction of motion was examined with the fungus Isaria fumosorosea K3 strain. The results indicate that nestmate odor was strongly attractive only in tests where fungal odors were present in both branches of the olfactometer. Termites generally avoid fungal odors when offered a choice without fungal odor. We also tested termite aversion to 3-octanone and 1-octen-3-ol, major surface chemical compounds of I. fumosorosea K3, and estimated the total mass of these compounds present on the conidial surface by direct extraction method. The total quantity of these chemicals on the surface of fungal conidia was estimated to be approximately 0.01 ng per 10(7) conidia. This study demonstrates a context dependent behavioral change in termites in response to the odors of pathogenic fungi.

  16. Termite and fungal resistance of in situ polymerized tributyltin acrylate and acetylated Indonesian and USA wood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebecca E. Ibach; Yusuf Sudo. Hadi; Dodi. Nandika; Sulaeman. Yusuf; Yuliati. Indrayani

    2000-01-01

    Wood [Indonesian pine (IP), Indonesian Jabon (IJ) and USA southern yellow pine (USP)] was either in situ polymerized with tributyltin acrylate (TBTA) or acetylated and then exposed to termite and fungal degradation both in laboratory tests and field exposure. The TBTA woods had an average weight percent gain (WPG) of 11% for IP, 12% for IJ, and 10% for USP. The...

  17. Effects of extractives and ash on natural resistance of four woods to xylophogous termites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juarez Benigno Paes

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This study tested the natural resistance of wood of four tree species to Nasutitermes corniger Motsch. xylophogous termite attack and correlate the resistance with the amount of extract and ash in the chemical composition of the tested species. The species evaluated were Anadenanthera colubrina (Vell. Brenan. var. cebil (Gris. Alts., Tabebuia aurea (Mart. Bureau., Amburana cearensis (Allem. A.C.Sm. and Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh. Test samples with dimensions of 2.00 x 10.16 x 0.64 cm (radial x longitudinal x tangential were obtained at two positions (external heartwood and sapwood of each species. The samples were exposed to action of termites for 45 days in food preference assay. The content of wood extractives was obtained through the sawdust that went through sieve of 40 mesh and were retained in the 60 mesh. The natural resistance was not associated with wood extractive contents. The wood more resistant to termite attack was the Anadenanthera colubrina var. cebil in the two positions (external heartwood and sapwood and Eucalyptus camaldulensis wood presented the greatest wear. The biological resistance of wood was correlated with ash content, i.e., the species with the highest levels was the most resistant to termite attack.

  18. Presumptive horizontal symbiont transmission in the fungus-growing termite Macrotermes natalensis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fine Licht, de H.H.; Boomsma, J.J.; Aanen, D.K.

    2006-01-01

    All colonies of the fungus-growing termite Macrotermes natalensis studied so far are associated with a single genetically variable lineage of Termitomyces symbionts. Such limited genetic variation of symbionts and the absence of sexual fruiting bodies (mushrooms) on M. natalensis mounds would be

  19. Termite Control: Results of Testing at the U.S. Forest Service

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradford M. Kard

    1998-01-01

    Liquid termiticide treatments to soil continue as the most widely used method to protect wooden structures from attack by both native and Formosan subterranean termites, and have been the mainstay of the pest control industry for decades. The Wood Products Insect Research Project was located at Gulfport, MS, until 1995, and is now headquartered on the Mississippi State...

  20. Fungus-Farming Termites Selectively Bury Weedy Fungi that Smell Different from Crop Fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katariya, Lakshya; Ramesh, Priya B; Gopalappa, Thejashwini; Desireddy, Sathish; Bessière, Jean-Marie; Borges, Renee M

    2017-10-01

    Mutualistic associations such as the fungal farms of insects are prone to parasitism and are consequently vulnerable to attack by weeds and pests. Therefore, efficient farm management requires quick detection of weeds for their elimination. Furthermore, if the available weedicides are non-specific, then the ability of insects to discriminate between crop and weeds becomes essential for targeted application of such compounds. Here, we demonstrate for the first time in fungus-farming insects, that worker castes of the fungus-growing termite Odontotermes obesus discriminate between their crop (Termitomyces) and the weedy (Pseudoxylaria) fungi, even if exposed to only fungal scents. Termites respond to the presence of fungal mycelium or scent alone, by burying the weed with the offered material such as soil or agar, possibly anointing the weed with chemicals in the process. The scent profiles of crop and weedy fungi are distinct and the differences are likely exploited by termites to selectively mount their defences. Sesquiterpene compounds such as aristolene and viridiflorol, which are absent from crop odours, may constitute the "weedy scent". Our results provide a general mechanism of how other fungus-farming insects could avoid indiscriminate application of non-specific fungicides which could lead to poisoning their crops, and have bearing on the stability of the mutualism between termites and their crop fungus in the face of parasitism by weedy fungi.

  1. Preliminary evaluation of storax and its constituents: Fungal decay mold and termite resistance

    Science.gov (United States)

    S. Nami Kartal; Evren Terzi; Tsuyoshi Yoshimura; Rachel Arango; Carol A. Clausen; Frederick Green III

    2012-01-01

    Essential oils and their derivatives might be one of the promising preserving agents to prevent funga ldecay and termite/insect attack in wood since such compounds have a long history of safe usage as antimicrobial agents in various industries. Considerable research has focused on utilizing bioactive essential oils and wood extractives based on green technologies to...

  2. Pseudoxylaria as stowaway of the fungus-growing termite nest:

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Visser, Anna A.; Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus; Debets, Alfons J. M.

    2011-01-01

    Though inconspicuous in healthy nests, Pseudoxylaria species are almost always present and overgrow deteriorating fungus-growing termite gardens. Whether these fungi are detrimental to the fungus-garden, benign, or even beneficial is unclear. We hypothesize that Pseudoxylaria is a stowaway...

  3. Chemical Recruitment for Foraging in Ants (Formicidae and Termites (Isoptera: A Revealing Comparison

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klaus Jaffe

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available All termites secrete trail pheromones from their sternal gland, whereas ants use a variety of glands for this purpose. This and the diversity of chemical compounds that serve as trail pheromones among ants, and the uniformity of chemicals among termite trails, suggest a different evolutionary historical dynamics for the development of chemical mass recruitment in both taxa. Termites in addition show pheromonal parsimony. This suggest a single evolutionary origin of pheromone trails in Isoptera, whereas chemical mass recruitment among Formicidae seems to have evolved many times and in different ways. Despite these very different evolutionary histories, both taxa evolved chemical recruitment systems involving attractants and orientation signals, and at least two divergent decision making system for recruitment. This evolutionary analogy suggests that chemical mass recruitment is constraint by fundamental physical dynamic laws. Artificial intelligence including “mass intelligence” and “ant intelligence”, emulates mass recruitment in interacting virtual agents in search of optimal solutions. This approach, however, has copied only the “Democratic” recruitment dynamics with a single compound pheromone. Ant and termite evolution shows more sophisticated recruitment dynamics which, if understood properly, will improve our understanding of nature and applications of artificial “swarm intelligence”.

  4. Termite- and mulch-mediated rehabilitation of vegetation on crusted soil in West Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mando, A.; Brussaard, L.; Stroosnijder, L.

    1999-01-01

    The rehabilitation of vegetation on structurally crusted soils by triggering termite activity through mulch was studied on three soil types in northern Burkina Faso, West Africa. A split-plot design was used in a fenced environment for the experiment. Insecticide (Dieldrin) was used at a rate of 500

  5. Uncovering cryptic species diversity of a termite community in a West African savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hausberger, Barbara; Kimpel, Dorothea; van Neer, Abbo; Korb, Judith

    2011-12-01

    To uncover the termite species diversity of a natural African savanna ecosystem, we combined morphological analyses and sequencing of three gene fragments (cytochrome oxidase I, cytochrome oxidase II and 28SrDNA, total length about 2450 bp) to infer putative species from phylogenetic trees. We identified 18 putative species clusters with high support values and which we retrieved consistently. Samples from two genera (Ancistrotermes and Microcerotermes) were excluded from the mitochondrial phylogenetic analyses as they might represent nuclear mitochondrial sequences (NUMTs). In total, our data suggest a species richness of at least 20 species, all but one belonging to the Termitidae (higher termites), and among them the fungus-growing Macrotermitinae were most prevalent with at least nine putative species. Within the fungus-growers the most species-rich genus was Microtermes and its four putative species were all cryptic species. Their abundance in the samples suggests that they play an important ecological role which is completely unstudied also due to the lack of reliable identification means. Our study shows that morphological traits are unreliable means of species identification for several termite taxa. Yet reliable and consistent identification is necessary for studying the functional role of termites in ecosystem and global processes. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Chemistry and anatomy of the frontal gland in soldiers of the sand termite Psammotermes hybostoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasulová, Jana; Hanus, Robert; Kutalová, Kateřina; Šobotník, Jan; Sillam-Dussès, David; Tichý, Michal; Valterová, Irena

    2012-05-01

    A great diversity of defensive chemicals has been described in termite soldiers equipped with a unique defensive organ, the frontal gland. Along with the functional diversity of these compounds, reflecting the evolutionary history of particular lineages and their defensive strategies, a considerable degree of chemical variability often occurs among species and populations. Thus, the chemistry of termite defense may provide information on the phylogeny and geographic dispersal of species and populations. In this paper, we report on the anatomy of the frontal gland and on the diversity of soldier defensive chemicals in the sand termite, Psammotermes hybostoma, from nine colonies and five different localities in Egypt. Using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, a total of 30 sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, or their oxygenated derivatives, were detected, and the chemical identity of most of them identified. In addition, a ketone, an ester, and a diterpene were identified in some colonies. Within colonies, the chemical composition was stable and did not differ among soldier size categories. However, there were pronounced quantitative and qualitative differences in frontal gland chemicals among colonies and geographic locations. The findings are discussed in a broader comparison with other termite taxa.

  7. Agricultural management affects earthworm and termite diversity across humid to semi-arid tropical zones

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ayuke, F.O.; Pulleman, M.M.; Vanlauwe, B.; Goede, de R.G.M.; Six, J.; Csuzdi, C.; Brussaard, L.

    2011-01-01

    Earthworm and termite diversity were studied in 12 long-term agricultural field trials across the sub-humid to semi-arid tropical zones of Eastern and Western Africa. In each trial, treatments with high and low soil organic C were chosen to represent contrasts in long-term soil management effects,

  8. Talua SINE biology in the genome of the Reticulitermes subterranean termites (Isoptera, Rhinotermitidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luchetti, Andrea; Mantovani, Barbara

    2009-12-01

    Studies on transposable elements in termites are of interest because their genome is in a permanent condition of inbreeding. In this situation, an increase in transposon copy number should be mainly due to a Muller's ratchet effect, with selection against deleterious insertions playing a major role. Short INterspersed Elements (SINEs) are non-autonomous retrotransposons, known to be stable components of eukaryotic genomes. The SINE Talua, first isolated from Reticulitermes lucifugus (Rhinotermitidae), is the only mobile element described so far in termites. In the present survey, Talua has been found widespread in the Isoptera order. In comparison with other non-termite SINEs, Talua diversity and distribution in the Reticulitermes genome demonstrate that Talua is an ancient component of termite genome and that it is significantly associated with other repeats. In particular, the element is found to be involved with microsatellite motifs either as their generator or because inserted in their nearby. Further, two new SINEs and a putative retrotranscriptase-like sequence were found linked to Talua. Talua's genomic distribution is discussed in the light of the available models on transposable element dynamics within inbred genomes, also taking into account SINE role as drivers of genetic diversity in counteracting inbreeding depression.

  9. Termite diversity across an anthropogenic disturbance gradient in the humid forest zone of West Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eggleton, P.; Bignell, D.E.; Hauser, S.; Dibog, L.; Norgrove, L.; Madong, B.

    2002-01-01

    Data are presented for termite assemblages across an anthropogenic disturbance gradient in the humid forest zone of West and Central Africa. Sampling was by standardised 100 mx2 m transects in: primary forest, several ages of regenerating forest, agroforestry plots, short fallows, mixed food crop

  10. Is there a role for termite alates in colony expansion in Wisconsin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frederick Green III; Rachel A. Arango; Glenn R. Esenther; Thomas G. Shelton

    2014-01-01

    Termite colonies in Wisconsin tend to be large and widely spread out geographically, and separated by distances up to 1342km. We recently completed a study to determine the genetic diversity and population substructure of thirteen existing colonies of Reticulitermes flavipes using amplified fragment length polymorphism to determine patterns of...

  11. SPATIAL VARIABILITY AND VITALITY OF EPIGEOUS TERMITE MOUNDS IN PASTURES OF MATO GROSSO DO SUL, BRAZIL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Santana Lima

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Epigeous termite mounds are frequently observed in pasture areas, but the processes regulating their population dynamics are poorly known. This study evaluated epigeous termite mounds in cultivated grasslands used as pastures, assessing their spatial distribution by means of geostatistics and evaluating their vitality. The study was conducted in the Cerrado biome in the municipality of Rio Brilhante, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. In two pasture areas (Pasture 1 and Pasture 2, epigeous mounds (nests were georeferenced and analyzed for height, circumference and vitality (inhabited or not. The area occupied by the mounds was calculated and termite specimens were collected for taxonomic identification. The spatial distribution pattern of the mounds was analyzed with geostatistical procedures. In both pasture areas, all epigeous mounds were built by the same species, Cornitermes cumulans. The mean number of mounds per hectare was 68 in Pasture 1 and 127 in Pasture 2, representing 0.4 and 1 % of the entire area, respectively. A large majority of the mounds were active (vitality, 91 % in Pasture 1 and 84 % in Pasture 2. A “pure nugget effect” was observed in the semivariograms of height and nest circumference in both pastures reflecting randomized spatial distribution and confirming that the distribution of termite mounds in pastures had a non-standard distribution.

  12. Monthly fluctuation of termite caste proportions (Isoptera) within fire ant mounds (hymenoptera: formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas G. Shelton; J.T. Vogt; Marla J. Tanley; Arthur G. Appel

    2003-01-01

    Monthly abundance and caste proportions of subterranean termites (Reticulitennes spp.) inhabiting red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) mounds were recorded during 1999 and 2000 from a relatively undisturbed forest edge in Tuskegee, Alabama. Temperature data were also recorded at these mounds; mean air, soil, and mound temperatures followed a sine model over...

  13. Chemistry and Anatomy of the Frontal Gland in Soldiers of the Sand Termite Psammotermes hybostoma

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Krasulová, Jana; Hanus, Robert; Kutalová, Kateřina; Šobotník, Jan; Sillam-Dusses, David; Tichý, Michal; Valterová, Irena

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 38, č. 5 (2012), s. 557-565 ISSN 0098-0331 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP506/10/1570 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : termites * frontal gland of soldiers * chemical defense * Rhinotermitidae * Psammotermes hybostoma Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 2.462, year: 2012

  14. TERMITES (INSECTA: BLATTODEA BUILDINGS IN URBAN LOCATED IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF SEROPÉDICA, RJ

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. F. M. Soares

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The Termites (Blattodea are insects found between latitudes 52° N e 45° S in temperate climate places, such as in tropical areas. In Brazil, about 300 species were recorded belonging to four families: Kalotermitidae, Rhinotermitidae, Serritermitidae and Termitidae. Considered eusocial, they form colonies of individuals with overlapping generations, cooperative care of offspring and labor division. They develop by paurometabolism and are classified in caste with specific tasks within the colony. The staple food of termites is cellulose, but its source varies according to the species. In natural vegetation areas, termites have got an important ecological role, participating actively in recycling and decomposition of nutrients in ecosystems they inhabit. Besides of the positive contribution in changing soil porosity and aeration. In urban areas, 10% of the species are taken as plagues, causing enormous losses, explicit in cost with prevention, control and repair. Damage caused by termites in urban areas are mainly attributed to the species: Cryptotermes brevis (Walker, 1853, Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann, 1896 and Nasutitermes corniger (Motschulsky, 1896. Therefore, identifying termites species that colonize urban households in the municipality of Seropédica, RJ, has been the objective of this study. Three urban neighbourhoods: Fazenda Caxias, Boa Esperança and Ecologia, were sampled. Building were inspectied and owners interviewed, totalling twelve residents per block in fifteen blocks per neighbourhood. Proportion of infested buildings with each species was made suing the χ2 test and the probability level, from which a comparison was considered significant, was equal to the risk probability at 5% divided by the number of comparisons. Of the total 540 inspections, 30% of the households had occurrence of termites of which 50% C. brevis, 42% C. gestroi and 8% N. corniger. Coexistence of species within a residence was found in only 3% of the

  15. Gut Protozoa: Friends or Foes of the Human Gut Microbiota?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chabé, Magali; Lokmer, Ana; Ségurel, Laure

    2017-12-01

    The importance of the gut microbiota for human health has sparked a strong interest in the study of the factors that shape its composition and diversity. Despite the growing evidence suggesting that helminths and protozoa significantly interact with gut bacteria, gut microbiome studies remain mostly focused on prokaryotes and on populations living in industrialized countries that typically have a low parasite burden. We argue that protozoa, like helminths, represent an important factor to take into account when studying the gut microbiome, and that their presence - especially considering their long coevolutionary history with humans - may be beneficial. From this perspective, we examine the relationship between the protozoa and their hosts, as well as their relevance for public health. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Detection of mitochondrial COII DNA sequences in ant guts as a method for assessing termite predation by ants

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fayle, Tom Maurice; Scholtz, O.; Dumbrell, A. J.; Russell, S.; Segar, Simon Tristram; Eggleton, P.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 10, č. 4 (2015), e0122533 E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA14-32302S Grant - others:European Social Fund(CZ) CZ1.07/2.3.00/20.0064; European Social Fund(CZ) CZ.1.07/2.3.00/30.0006 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : mitochondrial COII DNA sequences Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.057, year: 2015 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0122533

  17. Flipped GUT Inflation

    CERN Document Server

    Ellis, John; Harz, Julia; Huang, Wei-Chih

    2015-01-01

    We analyse the prospects for constructing hybrid models of inflation that provide a dynamical realisation of the apparent closeness between the supersymmetric GUT scale and the possible scale of cosmological inflation. In the first place, we consider models based on the flipped SU(5)$\\times$U(1) gauge group, which has no magnetic monopoles. In one model, the inflaton is identified with a sneutrino field, and in the other model it is a gauge singlet. In both cases we find regions of the model parameter spaces that are compatible with the experimental magnitudes of the scalar perturbations, $A_s$, and the tilt in the scalar perturbation spectrum, $n_s$, as well as with an indicative upper limit on the tensor-to-scalar perturbation ratio, $r$. We also discuss embeddings of these models into SO(10), which is broken at a higher scale so that its monopoles are inflated away.

  18. The gut microbiome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Actis, Giovanni C

    2014-01-01

    Since the discovery and use of the microscope in the 17(th) century, we know that we host trillions of micro-organisms mostly in the form of bacteria indwelling the "barrier organs" skin, gut, and airways. They exert regulatory functions, are in a continuous dialogue with the intestinal epithelia, influence energy handling, produce nutrients, and may cause diabetes and obesity. The human microbiome has developed by modulating or avoiding inflammatory responses; the host senses bacterial presence through cell surface sensors (the Toll-like receptors) as well as by refining mucous barriers as passive defense mechanisms. The cell density and composition of the microbiome are variable and multifactored. The way of delivery establishes the type of initial flora; use of antibiotics is another factor; diet composition after weaning will shape the adult's microbiome composition, depending on the subject's life-style. Short-chain fatty acids participate in the favoring action exerted by microbiome in the pathogenesis of type-2 diabetes and obesity. Clinical observation has pinpointed a sharp rise of various dysimmune conditions in the last decades, including IBD and rheumatoid arthritis, changes that outweigh the input of simple heritability. It is nowadays proposed that the microbiome, incapable to keep up with the changes of our life-style and feeding sources in the past few decades might have contributed to these immune imbalances, finding itself inadequate to handle the changed gut environment. Another pathway to pathology is the rise of directly pathogenic phyla within a given microbiome: growth of adherent E. coli, of C. concisus, and of C. jejuni, might be examples of causes of local enteropathy, whereas the genus Prevotella copri is now suspected to be linked to rise of arthritic disorders. Inflammasomes are required to shape a non colitogenic flora. Treatment of IBD and infectious enteritides by the use of fecal transplant is warranted by this knowledge.

  19. Excavation and aggregation as organizing factors in de novo construction by mound-building termites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Ben; Bardunias, Paul; Turner, J Scott; Nagpal, Radhika; Werfel, Justin

    2017-06-14

    Termites construct complex mounds that are orders of magnitude larger than any individual and fulfil a variety of functional roles. Yet the processes through which these mounds are built, and by which the insects organize their efforts, remain poorly understood. The traditional understanding focuses on stigmergy, a form of indirect communication in which actions that change the environment provide cues that influence future work. Termite construction has long been thought to be organized via a putative 'cement pheromone': a chemical added to deposited soil that stimulates further deposition in the same area, thus creating a positive feedback loop whereby coherent structures are built up. To investigate the detailed mechanisms and behaviours through which termites self-organize the early stages of mound construction, we tracked the motion and behaviour of major workers from two Macrotermes species in experimental arenas. Rather than a construction process focused on accumulation of depositions, as models based on cement pheromone would suggest, our results indicated that the primary organizing mechanisms were based on excavation. Digging activity was focused on a small number of excavation sites, which in turn provided templates for soil deposition. This behaviour was mediated by a mechanism of aggregation, with termites being more likely to join in the work at an excavation site as the number of termites presently working at that site increased. Statistical analyses showed that this aggregation mechanism was a response to active digging, distinct from and unrelated to putative chemical cues that stimulate deposition. Agent-based simulations quantitatively supported the interpretation that the early stage of de novo construction is primarily organized by excavation and aggregation activity rather than by stigmergic deposition. © 2017 The Author(s).

  20. Patterns of interaction specificity of fungus-growing termites and Termitomyces symbionts in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Beer Z Wilhelm

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae live in a mutualistic symbiosis with basidiomycete fungi of the genus Termitomyces. Here, we explored interaction specificity in fungus-growing termites using samples from 101 colonies in South-Africa and Senegal, belonging to eight species divided over three genera. Knowledge of interaction specificity is important to test the hypothesis that inhabitants (symbionts are taxonomically less diverse than 'exhabitants' (hosts and to test the hypothesis that transmission mode is an important determinant for interaction specificity. Results Analysis of Molecular Variance among symbiont ITS sequences across termite hosts at three hierarchical levels showed that 47 % of the variation occurred between genera, 18 % between species, and the remaining 35 % between colonies within species. Different patterns of specificity were evident. High mutual specificity was found for the single Macrotermes species studied, as M. natalensis was associated with a single unique fungal haplotype. The three species of the genus Odontotermes showed low symbiont specificity: they were all associated with a genetically diverse set of fungal symbionts, but their fungal symbionts showed some host specificity, as none of the fungal haplotypes were shared between the studied Odontotermes species. Finally, bilaterally low specificity was found for the four tentatively recognized species of the genus Microtermes, which shared and apparently freely exchanged a common pool of divergent fungal symbionts. Conclusion Interaction specificity was high at the genus level and generally much lower at the species level. A comparison of the observed diversity among fungal symbionts with the diversity among termite hosts, indicated that the fungal symbiont does not follow the general pattern of an endosymbiont, as we found either similar diversity at both sides or higher diversity in the symbiont. Our results further challenge the

  1. Links between diet, gut microbiota composition and gut metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, Harry J; Duncan, Sylvia H; Scott, Karen P; Louis, Petra

    2015-02-01

    The gut microbiota and its metabolic products interact with the host in many different ways, influencing gut homoeostasis and health outcomes. The species composition of the gut microbiota has been shown to respond to dietary change, determined by competition for substrates and by tolerance of gut conditions. Meanwhile, the metabolic outputs of the microbiota, such as SCFA, are influenced both by the supply of dietary components and via diet-mediated changes in microbiota composition. There has been significant progress in identifying the phylogenetic distribution of pathways responsible for formation of particular metabolites among human colonic bacteria, based on combining cultural microbiology and sequence-based approaches. Formation of butyrate and propionate from hexose sugars, for example, can be ascribed to different bacterial groups, although propionate can be formed via alternative pathways from deoxy-sugars and from lactate by a few species. Lactate, which is produced by many gut bacteria in pure culture, can also be utilised by certain Firmicutes to form butyrate, and its consumption may be important for maintaining a stable community. Predicting the impact of diet upon such a complex and interactive system as the human gut microbiota not only requires more information on the component groups involved but, increasingly, the integration of such information through modelling approaches.

  2. GUTs and supersymmetric GUTs in the very early universe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ellis, J.

    1982-10-01

    This talk is intended as background material for many of the other talks treating the possible applications of GUTs to the very early universe. I start with a review of the present theoretical and phenomenological status of GUTs before going on to raise some new issues for their prospective cosmological applications which arise in supersymmetric (susy) GUTs. The first section is an update on conventional GUTs, which is followed by a reminder of some of the motivations for going supersymmetric. There then follows a simple primer on susy and a discussion of the structure and phenomenology of simple sysy GUTs. Finally we come to the cosmological issues, including problems arising from the degeneracy of susy minima, baryosynthesis and supersymmetric inflation, the possibility that gravity is an essential complication in constructing susy GUTs and discussing their cosmology, and the related question of what mass range is allowed for the gravitino. Several parts of this write-up contain new material which has emerged either during the Workshop or subsequently. They are included here for completeness and the convenience of the prospective reader. Wherever possible, these anachronisms will be flagged so as to keep straight the historical record

  3. Development and characterization of microsatellite markers from the humivorous termite Cavitermes tuberosus (Isoptera: Termitinae) using pyrosequencing technology

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fournier, D.; Hanus, Robert; Roisin, Y.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 2 (2015), s. 521-524 ISSN 1877-7252 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : Cavitermes tuberosus * termite * microsatellite * pyrosequencing * population genetics Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 0.446, year: 2015

  4. Gut Microbiota: The Brain Peacekeeper

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mu, Chunlong; Yang, Yuxiang; Zhu, Weiyun

    2016-01-01

    Gut microbiota regulates intestinal and extraintestinal homeostasis. Accumulating evidence suggests that the gut microbiota may also regulate brain function and behavior. Results from animal models indicate that disturbances in the composition and functionality of some microbiota members are associated with neurophysiological disorders, strengthening the idea of a microbiota–gut–brain axis and the role of microbiota as a “peacekeeper” in the brain health. Here, we review recent discoveries on the role of the gut microbiota in central nervous system-related diseases. We also discuss the emerging concept of the bidirectional regulation by the circadian rhythm and gut microbiota, and the potential role of the epigenetic regulation in neuronal cell function. Microbiome studies are also highlighted as crucial in the development of targeted therapies for neurodevelopmental disorders. PMID:27014255

  5. Walking behavior in technicolored GUTs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doff, A.

    2009-01-01

    There exist two ways to obtain walk behavior: assuming a large number of technifermions in the fundamental representation of the technicolor (TC) gauge group, or a small number of technifermions, assuming that these fermions are in higher-dimensional representations of the TC group. We propose a scheme to obtain the walking behavior based on technicolored GUTs (TGUTs), where elementary scalars with the TC degree of freedom may remain in the theory after the GUT symmetry breaking. (orig.)

  6. Walking behavior in technicolored GUTs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Doff, A. [Universidade Tecnologica Federal do Parana-UTFPR-COMAT, Pato Branco, PR (Brazil)

    2009-03-15

    There exist two ways to obtain walk behavior: assuming a large number of technifermions in the fundamental representation of the technicolor (TC) gauge group, or a small number of technifermions, assuming that these fermions are in higher-dimensional representations of the TC group. We propose a scheme to obtain the walking behavior based on technicolored GUTs (TGUTs), where elementary scalars with the TC degree of freedom may remain in the theory after the GUT symmetry breaking. (orig.)

  7. Functional structure of ant and termite assemblages in old growth forest, logged forest and oil palm plantation in Malaysian Borneo

    OpenAIRE

    Luke, Sarah H.; Fayle, Tom M.; Eggleton, Paul; Turner, Edgar C.; Davies, Richard G.

    2014-01-01

    Forested tropical landscapes around the world are being extensively logged and converted to agriculture, with serious consequences for biodiversity and potentially ecosystem functioning. Here we investigate associations between habitat disturbance and functional diversity of ants and termites – two numerically dominant and functionally important taxa in tropical rain forests that perform key roles in predation, decomposition, nutrient cycling and seed dispersal. We compared ant and termite oc...

  8. Functional traits of trees on and off termite mounds: Understanding the origin of biotically-driven heterogeneity in savannas

    OpenAIRE

    van der Plas, F.; Howison, R.; Reinders, J.; Fokkema, W.; Olff, H.

    2013-01-01

    Questions In African savannas, Macrotermes termites contribute to small-scale heterogeneity by constructing large mounds. Operating as islands of high nutrient and water availability and low fire frequency, these mounds support distinct, diverse communities of trees that have been shown to be highly attractive to browsers. However, the distinct traits of tree species on termite mounds have hardly been studied, even though this may help to understand processes determining (1) their characteris...

  9. Gut dysfunction in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, Adreesh; Biswas, Atanu; Das, Shyamal Kumar

    2016-07-07

    Early involvement of gut is observed in Parkinson's disease (PD) and symptoms such as constipation may precede motor symptoms. α-Synuclein pathology is extensively evident in the gut and appears to follow a rostrocaudal gradient. The gut may act as the starting point of PD pathology with spread toward the central nervous system. This spread of the synuclein pathology raises the possibility of prion-like propagation in PD pathogenesis. Recently, the role of gut microbiota in PD pathogenesis has received attention and some phenotypic correlation has also been shown. The extensive involvement of the gut in PD even in its early stages has led to the evaluation of enteric α-synuclein as a possible biomarker of early PD. The clinical manifestations of gastrointestinal dysfunction in PD include malnutrition, oral and dental disorders, sialorrhea, dysphagia, gastroparesis, constipation, and defecatory dysfunction. These conditions are quite distressing for the patients and require relevant investigations and adequate management. Treatment usually involves both pharmacological and non-pharmacological measures. One important aspect of gut dysfunction is its contribution to the clinical fluctuations in PD. Dysphagia and gastroparesis lead to inadequate absorption of oral anti-PD medications. These lead to response fluctuations, particularly delayed-on and no-on, and there is significant relationship between levodopa pharmacokinetics and gastric emptying in patients with PD. Therefore, in such cases, alternative routes of administration or drug delivery systems may be required.

  10. Mixotrophic Activity and Diversity of Antarctic Marine Protists in Austral Summer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca J. Gast

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Identifying putative mixotrophic protist species in the environment is important for understanding their behavior, with the recovery of these species in culture essential for determining the triggers of feeding, grazing rates, and overall impact on bacterial standing stocks. In this project, mixotroph abundances determined using tracer ingestion in water and sea ice samples collected in the Ross Sea, Antarctica during the summer of 2011 were compared with data from the spring (Ross Sea and fall (Arctic to examine the impacts of bacterivory/mixotrophy. Mixotrophic nanoplankton (MNAN were usually less abundant than heterotrophs, but consumed more of the bacterial standing stock per day due to relatively higher ingestion rates (1–7 bacteria mixotroph−1 h−1 vs. 0.1–4 bacteria heterotroph−1 h−1. Yet, even with these high rates observed in the Antarctic summer, mixotrophs appeared to have a smaller contribution to bacterivory than in the Antarctic spring. Additionally, putative mixotroph taxa were identified through incubation experiments accomplished with bromodeoxyuridine-labeled bacteria as food, immunoprecipitation (IP of labeled DNA, and amplification and high throughput sequencing of the eukaryotic ribosomal V9 region. Putative mixotroph OTUs were identified in the IP samples by taxonomic similarity to known phototroph taxa. OTUs that had increased abundance in IP samples compared to the non-IP samples from both surface and chlorophyll maximum (CM depths were considered to represent active mixotrophy and include ones taxonomically similar to Dictyocha, Gymnodinium, Pentapharsodinium, and Symbiodinium. These OTUs represent target taxa for isolation and laboratory experiments on triggers for mixotrophy, to be combined with qPCR to estimate their abundance, seasonal distribution and potential impact.

  11. Are algal genes in nonphotosynthetic protists evidence of historical plastid endosymbioses?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tian Jing

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background How photosynthetic organelles, or plastids, were acquired by diverse eukaryotes is among the most hotly debated topics in broad scale eukaryotic evolution. The history of plastid endosymbioses commonly is interpreted under the "chromalveolate" hypothesis, which requires numerous plastid losses from certain heterotrophic groups that now are entirely aplastidic. In this context, discoveries of putatively algal genes in plastid-lacking protists have been cited as evidence of gene transfer from a photosynthetic endosymbiont that subsequently was lost completely. Here we examine this evidence, as it pertains to the chromalveolate hypothesis, through genome-level statistical analyses of similarity scores from queries with two diatoms, Phaeodactylum tricornutum and Thalassiosira pseudonana, and two aplastidic sister taxa, Phytophthora ramorum and P. sojae. Results Contingency tests of specific predictions of the chromalveolate model find no evidence for an unusual red algal contribution to Phytophthora genomes, nor that putative cyanobacterial sequences that are present entered these genomes through a red algal endosymbiosis. Examination of genes unrelated to plastid function provide extraordinarily significant support for both of these predictions in diatoms, the control group where a red endosymbiosis is known to have occurred, but none of that support is present in genes specifically conserved between diatoms and oomycetes. In addition, we uncovered a strong association between overall sequence similarities among taxa and relative sizes of genomic data sets in numbers of genes. Conclusion Signal from "algal" genes in oomycete genomes is inconsistent with the chromalveolate hypothesis, and better explained by alternative models of sequence and genome evolution. Combined with the numerous sources of intragenomic phylogenetic conflict characterized previously, our results underscore the potential to be mislead by a posteriori

  12. Evaluation of polyphenols-rich natural compounds as treatments to prevent attacks by subterranean and drywood termites: preliminary results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lara Maistrello

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available In the view to find sustainable methods to prevent termite attacks to wooden objects and structural timbers, this study represents a preliminary step in the evaluation of some natural substances considered as effective by some African popular traditions. Dark shea cake, obtained from the kernels of Vitellaria paradoxa (Sapotaceae, is the phase just before the extraction of shea (= karitè butter. In some West African regions, by-products from this extraction are traditionally believed to protect houses from termites. To verify if this practice has scientific basis, shea cake was used in experiments with both subterranean and drywood termites, respectively Reticulitermes lucifugus (Rossi (Rhinotermitidae and Kalotermes flavicollis (Fabricius (Kalotermitidae. As shea nuts are extremely rich in polyphenols, the trials included a comparison with tannins from chestnut (Castanea sativa. Short-term experiments to evaluate repellency and feeding deterrence of the two compounds were performed. Results showed differences in the behavior of the two termites species and that shea cake is significantly more repellent than chestnut tannins, especially for K. flavicollis. No feeding deterrence activity was detected for either substance for either termite species. Further investigation is currently being performed to better clarify how these compounds affect termite biology.

  13. Acquired Type III Secretion System Determines Environmental Fitness of Epidemic Vibrio parahaemolyticus in the Interaction with Bacterivorous Protists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matz, Carsten; Nouri, Bianka; McCarter, Linda; Martinez-Urtaza, Jaime

    2011-01-01

    Genome analyses of marine microbial communities have revealed the widespread occurrence of genomic islands (GIs), many of which encode for protein secretion machineries described in the context of bacteria-eukaryote interactions. Yet experimental support for the specific roles of such GIs in aquatic community interactions remains scarce. Here, we test for the contribution of type III secretion systems (T3SS) to the environmental fitness of epidemic Vibrio parahaemolyticus. Comparisons of V. parahaemolyticus wild types and T3SS-defective mutants demonstrate that the T3SS encoded on genome island VPaI-7 (T3SS-2) promotes survival of V. parahaemolyticus in the interaction with diverse protist taxa. Enhanced persistence was found to be due to T3SS-2 mediated cytotoxicity and facultative parasitism of V. parahaemolyticus on coexisting protists. Growth in the presence of bacterivorous protists and the T3SS-2 genotype showed a strong correlation across environmental and clinical isolates of V. parahaemolyticus. Short-term microcosm experiments provide evidence that protistan hosts facilitate the invasion of T3SS-2 positive V. parahaemolyticus into a coastal plankton community, and that water temperature and productivity further promote enhanced survival of T3SS-2 positive V. parahaemolyticus. This study is the first to describe the fitness advantage of GI-encoded functions in a microbial food web, which may provide a mechanistic explanation for the global spread and the seasonal dynamics of V. parahaemolyticus pathotypes, including the pandemic serotype cluster O3:K6, in aquatic environments. PMID:21629787

  14. Acquired type III secretion system determines environmental fitness of epidemic Vibrio parahaemolyticus in the interaction with bacterivorous protists.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carsten Matz

    Full Text Available Genome analyses of marine microbial communities have revealed the widespread occurrence of genomic islands (GIs, many of which encode for protein secretion machineries described in the context of bacteria-eukaryote interactions. Yet experimental support for the specific roles of such GIs in aquatic community interactions remains scarce. Here, we test for the contribution of type III secretion systems (T3SS to the environmental fitness of epidemic Vibrio parahaemolyticus. Comparisons of V. parahaemolyticus wild types and T3SS-defective mutants demonstrate that the T3SS encoded on genome island VPaI-7 (T3SS-2 promotes survival of V. parahaemolyticus in the interaction with diverse protist taxa. Enhanced persistence was found to be due to T3SS-2 mediated cytotoxicity and facultative parasitism of V. parahaemolyticus on coexisting protists. Growth in the presence of bacterivorous protists and the T3SS-2 genotype showed a strong correlation across environmental and clinical isolates of V. parahaemolyticus. Short-term microcosm experiments provide evidence that protistan hosts facilitate the invasion of T3SS-2 positive V. parahaemolyticus into a coastal plankton community, and that water temperature and productivity further promote enhanced survival of T3SS-2 positive V. parahaemolyticus. This study is the first to describe the fitness advantage of GI-encoded functions in a microbial food web, which may provide a mechanistic explanation for the global spread and the seasonal dynamics of V. parahaemolyticus pathotypes, including the pandemic serotype cluster O3:K6, in aquatic environments.

  15. Gut immunity in Lepidopteran insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Kai; Yang, Bing; Huang, Wuren; Dobens, Leonard; Song, Hongsheng; Ling, Erjun

    2016-11-01

    Lepidopteran insects constitute one of the largest fractions of animals on earth, but are considered pests in their relationship with man. Key to the success of this order of insects is its ability to digest food and absorb nutrition, which takes place in the midgut. Because environmental microorganisms can easily enter Lepidopteran guts during feeding, the innate immune response guards against pathogenic bacteria, virus and microsporidia that can be devoured with food. Gut immune responses are complicated by both resident gut microbiota and the surrounding peritrophic membrane and are distinct from immune responses in the body cavity, which depend on the function of the fat body and hemocytes. Due to their relevance to agricultural production, studies of Lepidopteran insect midgut and immunity are receiving more attention, and here we summarize gut structures and functions, and discuss how these confer immunity against different microorganisms. It is expected that increased knowledge of Lepidopteran gut immunity may be utilized for pest biological control in the future. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Gut Microbiota and Celiac Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marasco, Giovanni; Di Biase, Anna Rita; Schiumerini, Ramona; Eusebi, Leonardo Henry; Iughetti, Lorenzo; Ravaioli, Federico; Scaioli, Eleonora; Colecchia, Antonio; Festi, Davide

    2016-06-01

    Recent evidence regarding celiac disease has increasingly shown the role of innate immunity in triggering the immune response by stimulating the adaptive immune response and by mucosal damage. The interaction between the gut microbiota and the mucosal wall is mediated by the same receptors which can activate innate immunity. Thus, changes in gut microbiota may lead to activation of this inflammatory pathway. This paper is a review of the current knowledge regarding the relationship between celiac disease and gut microbiota. In fact, patients with celiac disease have a reduction in beneficial species and an increase in those potentially pathogenic as compared to healthy subjects. This dysbiosis is reduced, but might still remain, after a gluten-free diet. Thus, gut microbiota could play a significant role in the pathogenesis of celiac disease, as described by studies which link dysbiosis with the inflammatory milieu in celiac patients. The use of probiotics seems to reduce the inflammatory response and restore a normal proportion of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Additional evidence is needed in order to better understand the role of gut microbiota in the pathogenesis of celiac disease, and the clinical impact and therapeutic use of probiotics in this setting.

  17. RESISTANCE TO THE ATTACK OF DRY-WOOD TERMITES (Cryptotermes brevis OF SIX WOOD SPECIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabrício Gomes Gonçalves

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available The dry wood termites are one of the largest causes of damages in wood used in Brazil. This work analyzed the attackof the Cryptotermes brevis in six commercials wood species in the north of the Rio de Janeiro and south of the Espírito Santo. The testobserved the number of holes, the percentage of died individuals and the damage of the pieces. When compared to the Pinus sp(reference, the species with less susceptibility to the attack were Cedrela fissilis, Cariocar brasiliense and Goupia glabra, that alsopresented the largest percentages of mortality of termites. The Schizolobium parahyba, Toona ciliata and the Tachigalia myrmecophyllawere the species with the highest level of damage.

  18. Hospitalitermes krishnai, a new nasute termite (Nasutitermitinae, Termitidae, Isoptera, from southern Sumatra, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Syaukani Syaukani

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available A new species of nasute termite, Hospitalitermes krishnai sp. n., is described from soldiers and workers discovered in Lampung Province, Sumatra. This species can be distinguished from other related Hospitalitermes species from Southeast Asia by the anterior part of head capsule that is much smaller than the posterior part, head capsule that is moderately constricted behind the antennal sockets, and relatively deep depression between the head and nasus and, finally, the short and robust nasus measuring less than half as long as head capsule. Moreover, in profile the nasus is slightly up-curved but slightly decurved at the apical tip. We name this new species after Professor Kumar Krishna in recognition of his life-long contributions to termite taxonomy, systematics and biology.

  19. Farming termites determine the genetic population structure of Termitomyces fungal symbionts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nobre, Tânia; Fernandes, Cecília; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2011-01-01

    population structure of Termitomyces fungus gardens across 74 colonies of Macrotermes bellicosus in four west and central African countries. We confirm earlier, more limited, studies showing that the Termitomyces symbionts of M. bellicosus are normally transmitted vertically and clonally by dispersing males....... We also document that the symbionts associated with this termite species belong to three main lineages that do not constitute a monophyletic group. The most common lineage occurs over the entire geographical region that we studied, including west, central and southern Africa, where it is also...... associated with the alternative termite hosts Macrotermes subhyalinus and Macrotermes natalensis. While Termitomyces associated with these alternative hosts are horizontally transmitted and recombine freely, the genetic population structure of the same Termitomyces associated with M. bellicosus is consistent...

  20. A Generalist Protist Predator Enables Coexistence in Multitrophic Predator-Prey Systems Containing a Phage and the Bacterial Predator Bdellovibrio

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Johnke

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Complex ecosystems harbor multiple predators and prey species whose direct and indirect interactions are under study. In particular, the combined effects of predator diversity and resource preference on prey removal are not known. To understand the effect of interspecies interactions, combinations of micro-predators—i.e., protists (generalists, predatory bacteria (semi-specialists, and phages (specialists—and bacterial prey were tracked over a 72-h period in miniature membrane bioreactors. While specialist predators alone drove their preferred prey to extinction, the inclusion of a generalist resulted in uniform losses among prey species. Most importantly, presence of a generalist predator enabled coexistence of all predators and prey. As the generalist predator also negatively affected the other predators, we suggest that resource partitioning between predators and the constant availability of resources for bacterial growth due to protist predation stabilizes the system and keeps its diversity high. The appearance of resistant prey strains and subsequent evolution of specialist predators unable to infect the ancestral prey implies that multitrophic communities are able to persist and stabilize themselves. Interestingly, the appearance of BALOs and phages unable to infect their prey was only observed for the BALO or phage in the absence of additional predators or prey species indicating that competition between predators might influence coevolutionary dynamics.

  1. Environmental monitoring through protist next-generation sequencing metabarcoding: assessing the impact of fish farming on benthic foraminifera communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pawlowski, Jan; Esling, Philippe; Lejzerowicz, Franck; Cedhagen, Tomas; Wilding, Thomas A

    2014-11-01

    The measurement of species diversity represents a powerful tool for assessing the impacts of human activities on marine ecosystems. Traditionally, the impact of fish farming on the coastal environment is evaluated by monitoring the dynamics of macrobenthic infaunal populations. However, taxonomic sorting and morphology-based identification of the macrobenthos demand highly trained specialists and are extremely time-consuming and costly, making it unsuitable for large-scale biomonitoring efforts involving numerous samples. Here, we propose to alleviate this laborious task by developing protist metabarcoding tools based on next-generation sequencing (NGS) of environmental DNA and RNA extracted from sediment samples. In this study, we analysed the response of benthic foraminiferal communities to the variation of environmental gradients associated with salmon farms in Scotland. We investigated the foraminiferal diversity based on ribosomal minibarcode sequences generated by the Illumina NGS technology. We compared the molecular data with morphospecies counts and with environmental gradients, including distance to cages and redox used as a proxy for sediment oxygenation. Our study revealed high variations between foraminiferal communities collected in the vicinity of fish farms and at distant locations. We found evidence for species richness decrease in impacted sites, especially visible in the RNA data. We also detected some candidate bioindicator foraminiferal species. Based on this proof-of-concept study, we conclude that NGS metabarcoding using foraminifera and other protists has potential to become a new tool for surveying the impact of aquaculture and other industrial activities in the marine environment. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Evolutionary Cell Biology of Proteins from Protists to Humans and Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plattner, Helmut

    2018-03-01

    During evolution, the cell as a fine-tuned machine had to undergo permanent adjustments to match changes in its environment, while "closed for repair work" was not possible. Evolution from protists (protozoa and unicellular algae) to multicellular organisms may have occurred in basically two lineages, Unikonta and Bikonta, culminating in mammals and angiosperms (flowering plants), respectively. Unicellular models for unikont evolution are myxamoebae (Dictyostelium) and increasingly also choanoflagellates, whereas for bikonts, ciliates are preferred models. Information accumulating from combined molecular database search and experimental verification allows new insights into evolutionary diversification and maintenance of genes/proteins from protozoa on, eventually with orthologs in bacteria. However, proteins have rarely been followed up systematically for maintenance or change of function or intracellular localization, acquirement of new domains, partial deletion (e.g. of subunits), and refunctionalization, etc. These aspects are discussed in this review, envisaging "evolutionary cell biology." Protozoan heritage is found for most important cellular structures and functions up to humans and flowering plants. Examples discussed include refunctionalization of voltage-dependent Ca 2+ channels in cilia and replacement by other types during evolution. Altogether components serving Ca 2+ signaling are very flexible throughout evolution, calmodulin being a most conservative example, in contrast to calcineurin whose catalytic subunit is lost in plants, whereas both subunits are maintained up to mammals for complex functions (immune defense and learning). Domain structure of R-type SNAREs differs in mono- and bikonta, as do Ca 2+ -dependent protein kinases. Unprecedented selective expansion of the subunit a which connects multimeric base piece and head parts (V0, V1) of H + -ATPase/pump may well reflect the intriguing vesicle trafficking system in ciliates, specifically in

  3. Carbohydrates and the human gut microbiota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chassard, Christophe; Lacroix, Christophe

    2013-07-01

    Due to its scale and its important role in maintaining health, the gut microbiota can be considered as a 'new organ' inside the human body. Many complex carbohydrates are degraded and fermented by the human gut microbiota in the large intestine to both yield basic energy salvage and impact gut health through produced metabolites. This review will focus on the gut microbes and microbial mechanisms responsible for polysaccharides degradation and fermentation in the large intestine. Gut microbes and bacterial metabolites impact the host at many levels, including modulation of inflammation, and glucose and lipid metabolisms. A complex relationship occurs in the intestine between the human gut microbiota, diet and the host. Research on carbohydrates and gut microbiota composition and functionality is fast developing and will open opportunities for prevention and treatment of obesity, diabetes and other related metabolic disorders through manipulation of the gut ecosystem.

  4. Gut Microbes Linked to Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Matters November 25, 2013 Gut Microbes Linked to Rheumatoid Arthritis The presence of a specific type of gut bacteria correlates with rheumatoid arthritis in newly diagnosed, untreated people. The finding suggests ...

  5. Mutual Use of Trail-Following Chemical Cues by a Termite Host and Its Inquiline

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Cristaldo, Paulo Fellipe; DeSouza, O.; Krasulová, Jana; Jirošová, Anna; Kutalová, Kateřina; Lima, E. R.; Šobotník, Jan; Sillam-Dusses, D.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 9, č. 1 (2014), e85315/1-e85315/9 E-ISSN 1932-6203 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : inquilinism * trail-following behaviour * termite association * Termitidae * chemical ecology Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 3.234, year: 2014 http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0085315

  6. Physical and Chemical Properties of Some Imported Woods and their Degradation by Termites

    OpenAIRE

    Shanbhag, Rashmi R.; Sundararaj, R.

    2013-01-01

    The influence of physical and chemical properties of 20 species of imported wood on degradation of the wood by termites under field conditions was studied. The wood species studied were: Sycamore maple, Acer pseudoplatanus L. (Sapindales: Sapindaceae) (from two countries), Camphor, Dryobalanops aromatic C.F.Gaertner (Malvales: Dipterocarpaceae), Beech, Fagus grandifolia Ehrhart (Fagales: Fagaceae), F. sylvatica L. (from two countries), Oak, Quercus robur L., Ash, Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl (L...

  7. Measuring system for the study of termite control by a juvenogen

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tykva, Richard; Hanus, Robert; Jakůbek, J.

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 41, č. 9 (2008), s. 1054-1057 ISSN 0263-2241 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA203/05/2146; GA ČR GA206/06/1643 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : termite control * laboratory system * normalization * juvenogen distribution Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 0.662, year: 2008

  8. Asexual queen succession mediates an accelerated colony life cycle in the termite Silvestritermes minutus

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fougeyrollas, R.; Křivánek, Jan; Roy, V.; Dolejšová, Klára; Frechault, S.; Roisin, Y.; Hanus, Robert; Sillam-Dusses, D.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 26, č. 12 (2017), s. 3295-3308 ISSN 0962-1083 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-12774S Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : asexual queen succession * breeding system * life history * parthenogenesis * Silvestritermes minutus * termites Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Genetics and heredity (medical genetics to be 3) Impact factor: 6.086, year: 2016

  9. Uncitermes almeriae, a new termite species from Amazonia (Isoptera, Termitidae, Syntermitinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrijo, Tiago F; Constantini, Joice P; Scheffrahn, Rudolf H

    2016-01-01

    The Neotropical termite genus Uncitermes Rocha & Cancello, 2012 was known from a single species, Uncitermes teevani (Emerson, 1925). In this paper a new species, Uncitermes almeriae sp. n., is described and illustrated from worker and soldier castes, along with observations on the Uncitermes nest. A distribution map with the occurrences of both species is presented. The new species is distinguished from its congener by the presence of short bristles covering the head capsule and frontal tube.

  10. Nonadecadienone, a New Termite Trail-Following Pheromone Identified in Glossotermes oculatus (Serritermitidae)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hanus, Robert; Šobotník, Jan; Krasulová, Jana; Jiroš, Pavel; Žáček, Petr; Kalinová, Blanka; Dolejšová, Klára; Cvačka, Josef; Bourguignon, T.; Roisin, Y.; Lacey, M. J.; Sillam-Dusses, David

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 37, č. 1 (2012), s. 55-63 ISSN 0379-864X R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP506/10/1570 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : Glossotermes * Serritermitidae * sternal gland * termites * trail-following pheromone * (10Z,13Z)-nonadeca-10,13-dien-2-one Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 3.222, year: 2012

  11. Treponema isoptericolens sp. nov., a novel spirochaete from the hindgut of the termite Incisitermes tabogae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dröge, Stefan; Rachel, Reinhard; Radek, Renate; König, Helmut

    2008-05-01

    A novel spirochaete, Treponema sp. strain SPIT5T, was isolated from hindgut contents of the drywood termite Incisitermes tabogae (Snyder). The cells of strain SPIT5T were motile, helical in shape, 0.4-0.5 microm in diameter and generally 12-20 microm long. The strain is obligately anaerobic and ferments different mono-, di- and oligosaccharides by forming ethanol as the main liquid fermentation end product. Furthermore, strain SPIT5T was able to grow anaerobically with yeast extract as sole carbon and energy source. Fastest growth was obtained at 30 degrees C, the temperature at which the termites were also grown. The optimum pH for growth was 7.2, with a range of pH 6.5-8.0. The cells possessed various enzyme activities that are involved in the degradation of lignocellulose in the termite hindgut, such as beta-d-glucosidase, alpha-l-arabinosidase and beta-d-xylosidase. The G+C content of the DNA was 47.7 mol%. Based on 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, strain SPIT5T was shown to belong to the so-called 'termite cluster I' of the genus Treponema. The closest relative of strain SPIT5T was Treponema primitia ZAS-2T, with 92.3 % sequence similarity. On the basis of its phenotypic and genotypic properties, strain SPIT5T can be distinguished from other described species of the genus Treponema. Therefore, strain SPIT5T represents a novel species of Treponema, for which the name Treponema isoptericolens sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is strain SPIT5T (=DSM 18056T =JCM 13955T).

  12. Anti-termite activity of essential oil and its components from Myristica ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Michael Horsfall

    termite activity test followed the method of (Kang et al. 1990). Samples of 10, 25, and 50 mg of fruit essential oil as well as 1 and 5 mg of each individual compound dissolved in 600 µl of acetone were applied to 1 g filter paper samples (What man #3, 8.5 cm in diam). A piece of filter paper treated with solvent only was used ...

  13. Global F-theory GUTs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blumenhagen, Ralph; /Munich, Max Planck Inst.; Grimm, Thomas W.; /Bonn U.; Jurke, Benjamin; /Munich, Max Planck Inst.; Weigand, Timo; /SLAC

    2010-08-26

    We construct global F-theory GUT models on del Pezzo surfaces in compact Calabi-Yau fourfolds realized as complete intersections of two hypersurface constraints. The intersections of the GUT brane and the flavour branes as well as the gauge flux are described by the spectral cover construction. We consider a split S[U(4) x U(1){sub X}] spectral cover, which allows for the phenomenologically relevant Yukawa couplings and GUT breaking to the MSSM via hypercharge flux while preventing dimension-4 proton decay. General expressions for the massless spectrum, consistency conditions and a new method for the computation of curvature-induced tadpoles are presented. We also provide a geometric toolkit for further model searches in the framework of toric geometry. Finally, an explicit global model with three chiral generations and all required Yukawa couplings is defined on a Calabi-Yau fourfold which is fibered over the del Pezzo transition of the Fano threefold P{sup 4}.

  14. Global F-theory GUTs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blumenhagen, Ralph; Grimm, Thomas W.; Jurke, Benjamin; Weigand, Timo

    2010-01-01

    We construct global F-theory GUT models on del Pezzo surfaces in compact Calabi-Yau fourfolds realized as complete intersections of two hypersurface constraints. The intersections of the GUT brane and the flavour branes as well as the gauge flux are described by the spectral cover construction. We consider a split S[U(4)xU(1) X ] spectral cover, which allows for the phenomenologically relevant Yukawa couplings and GUT breaking to the MSSM via hypercharge flux while preventing dimension-4 proton decay. General expressions for the massless spectrum, consistency conditions and a new method for the computation of curvature-induced tadpoles are presented. We also provide a geometric toolkit for further model searches in the framework of toric geometry. Finally, an explicit global model with three chiral generations and all required Yukawa couplings is defined on a Calabi-Yau fourfold which is fibered over the del Pezzo transition of the Fano threefold P 4 [4].

  15. Humic substance-mediated Fe(III) reduction by a fermenting Bacillus strain from the alkaline gut of a humus-feeding scarab beetle larva.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobbie, Sven N; Li, Xiangzhen; Basen, Mirko; Stingl, Ulrich; Brune, Andreas

    2012-06-01

    Humus-feeding macroinvertebrates play an important role in the transformation of soil organic matter. Their diet contains significant amounts of redox-active components such as iron minerals and humic substances. In soil-feeding termites, acid-soluble Fe(III) and humic acids are almost completely reduced during gut passage. Here, we show that the reduction of Fe(III) and humic acids takes place also in the alkaline guts of scarab beetle larvae. Sterilized gut homogenates of Pachnoda ephippiata no longer converted Fe(III) to Fe(II), indicating an essential role of the gut microbiota in the process. From Fe(III)-reducing enrichment cultures inoculated with highly diluted gut homogenates, we isolated several facultatively anaerobic, alkali-tolerant bacteria that were closely related to metal-reducing isolates in the Bacillus thioparans group. Strain PeC11 showed a remarkable capacity for dissimilatory Fe(III) reduction, both at pH 7 and 10. Rates were strongly stimulated by the addition of the redox mediator 2,6-antraquinone disulfonate and by redox-active components in the fulvic-acid fraction of humus. Although the contribution of strain PeC11 to intestinal Fe(III) reduction in P. ephippiata remains to be further elucidated, our results corroborate the hypothesis that the lack of oxygen and the solubilization of humic substances in the extremely alkaline guts of humivorous soil fauna provide favorable conditions for the efficient reduction of Fe(III) and humic substances by a primarily fermentative microbiota. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  16. High throughput screening of hydrolytic enzymes from termites using a natural substrate derived from sugarcane bagasse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucena Severino A

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The description of new hydrolytic enzymes is an important step in the development of techniques which use lignocellulosic materials as a starting point for fuel production. Sugarcane bagasse, which is subjected to pre-treatment, hydrolysis and fermentation for the production of ethanol in several test refineries, is the most promising source of raw material for the production of second generation renewable fuels in Brazil. One problem when screening hydrolytic activities is that the activity against commercial substrates, such as carboxymethylcellulose, does not always correspond to the activity against the natural lignocellulosic material. Besides that, the macroscopic characteristics of the raw material, such as insolubility and heterogeneity, hinder its use for high throughput screenings. Results In this paper, we present the preparation of a colloidal suspension of particles obtained from sugarcane bagasse, with minimal chemical change in the lignocellulosic material, and demonstrate its use for high throughput assays of hydrolases using Brazilian termites as the screened organisms. Conclusions Important differences between the use of the natural substrate and commercial cellulase substrates, such as carboxymethylcellulose or crystalline cellulose, were observed. This suggests that wood feeding termites, in contrast to litter feeding termites, might not be the best source for enzymes that degrade sugarcane biomass.

  17. Synthesis of AzPhchitosan-bifenthrin-PVC to protect cables against termites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lingkun; Cai, Weiwei; Chen, Wu-Ya; Zhang, Li; Hu, Kaikai; Guan, Yan-Qing

    2016-03-30

    The destruction of PVC cables by termites is a continuing and long-standing problem, which can lead to power leakage and power cut. Given the environmental demerits of insecticide overuse, alternative methods of addressing this problem are a highly desirable goal. In this study, we used photo-immobilization to develop a chitosan carrier system to help bifenthrin immobilize on the surface of the PVC substrate. The immobilization was analyzed using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), UV absorption, reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC), Raman absorption spectroscopy, and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA). The surface structure and biological activity of the embedded and immobilized bifenthrin were examined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and X-ray photon-electron spectroscopy (XPS). Its efficacy was assessed in pest experiments. The results indicate a successful embedding and immobilization of bifenthrin. Furthermore, the chemical bonding network between AzPhchitosan, bifenthrin, and PVC is stable, guaranteeing no environmental release of bifenthrin, and also providing more efficacious protection against termites. The evidence suggests that this photo-immobilization of bifenthrin-embedded chitosan on the surface of PVC substrates is a novel and environmentally friendly technique for termite control. This paper also reports a modification of chitosan with respect to its novel application in environmental protection. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Caste-Specific and Sex-Specific Expression of Chemoreceptor Genes in a Termite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuki Mitaka

    Full Text Available The sophisticated colony organization of eusocial insects is primarily maintained through the utilization of pheromones. The regulation of these complex social interactions requires intricate chemoreception systems. The recent publication of the genome of Zootermopsis nevadensis opened a new avenue to study molecular basis of termite caste systems. Although there has been a growing interest in the termite chemoreception system that regulates their sophisticated caste system, the relationship between division of labor and expression of chemoreceptor genes remains to be explored. Using high-throughput mRNA sequencing (RNA-seq, we found several chemoreceptors that are differentially expressed among castes and between sexes in a subterranean termite Reticulitermes speratus. In total, 53 chemoreception-related genes were annotated, including 22 odorant receptors, 7 gustatory receptors, 12 ionotropic receptors, 9 odorant-binding proteins, and 3 chemosensory proteins. Most of the chemoreception-related genes had caste-related and sex-related expression patterns; in particular, some chemoreception genes showed king-biased or queen-biased expression patterns. Moreover, more than half of the genes showed significant age-dependent differences in their expression in female and/or male reproductives. These results reveal a strong relationship between the evolution of the division of labor and the regulation of chemoreceptor gene expression, thereby demonstrating the chemical communication and underlining chemoreception mechanism in social insects.

  19. Caste-Specific and Sex-Specific Expression of Chemoreceptor Genes in a Termite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitaka, Yuki; Kobayashi, Kazuya; Mikheyev, Alexander; Tin, Mandy M Y; Watanabe, Yutaka; Matsuura, Kenji

    2016-01-01

    The sophisticated colony organization of eusocial insects is primarily maintained through the utilization of pheromones. The regulation of these complex social interactions requires intricate chemoreception systems. The recent publication of the genome of Zootermopsis nevadensis opened a new avenue to study molecular basis of termite caste systems. Although there has been a growing interest in the termite chemoreception system that regulates their sophisticated caste system, the relationship between division of labor and expression of chemoreceptor genes remains to be explored. Using high-throughput mRNA sequencing (RNA-seq), we found several chemoreceptors that are differentially expressed among castes and between sexes in a subterranean termite Reticulitermes speratus. In total, 53 chemoreception-related genes were annotated, including 22 odorant receptors, 7 gustatory receptors, 12 ionotropic receptors, 9 odorant-binding proteins, and 3 chemosensory proteins. Most of the chemoreception-related genes had caste-related and sex-related expression patterns; in particular, some chemoreception genes showed king-biased or queen-biased expression patterns. Moreover, more than half of the genes showed significant age-dependent differences in their expression in female and/or male reproductives. These results reveal a strong relationship between the evolution of the division of labor and the regulation of chemoreceptor gene expression, thereby demonstrating the chemical communication and underlining chemoreception mechanism in social insects.

  20. Sex-specific inhibition and stimulation of worker-reproductive transition in a termite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Qian; Haynes, Kenneth F.; Hampton, Jordan D.; Zhou, Xuguo

    2017-10-01

    In social insects, the postembryonic development of individuals exhibits strong phenotypic plasticity in response to the environment, thus generating the caste system. Different from eusocial Hymenoptera, in which queens dominate reproduction and inhibit worker fertility, the primary reproductive caste in termites (kings and queens) can be replaced by neotenic reproductives derived from functionally sterile individuals. Feedback regulation of nestmate differentiation into reproductives has been suggested, but the sex specificity remains inconclusive. In the eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes, we tested the hypothesis that neotenic reproductives regulate worker-reproductive transition in a sex-specific manner. With this R. flavipes system, we demonstrate a sex-specific regulatory mechanism with both inhibitory and stimulatory functions. Neotenics inhibit workers of the same sex from differentiating into additional reproductives but stimulate workers of the opposite sex to undergo this transition. Furthermore, this process is not affected by the presence of soldiers. Our results highlight the reproductive plasticity of termites in response to social cues and provide insights into the regulation of reproductive division of labor in a hemimetabolous social insect.