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Antonio Massimo Ippolito, Angelo Iacobellis, Michele Milella, Fabio Conti, Vincenzo Messina, Maria Rosa Valvano, Grazia Anna Niro, Filomena Morisco, Michele Barone, Antonio Patrizio Termite, Giuseppina Brancaccio, Angelo Andriulli
OBJECTIVES: To determine whether older adults with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) achieve a sustained viral response (SVR) after treatment with direct-acting antiviral therapy. PARTICIPANTS: Individuals aged 80 and older with chronic HCV infection (N = 253; n = 213 with cirrhosis, n = 40 with advanced fibrosis). MEASUREMENTS: We investigated the efficacy, safety, and global clinical effect of treatment with different combinations of direct antiviral agents (DAAs)...
November 14, 2017: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Emily Mevers, Thomas Chouvenc, Nan-Yao Su, Jon Clardy
Bacteria and fungi in shared environments compete with one another for common substrates, and this competition typically involves microbially-produced small molecules. An investigation of one shared environmental niche, the carton material of the Formosan subterranean termite Coptotermes formosanus, identified the participants on one of these molecular exchanges. Molecular characterization of several termite-associated actinobacteria strains identified eleven known antimicrobial metabolites that may aid in protecting the C...
November 13, 2017: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Michel Diouf, Vincent Hervé, Philippe Mora, Alain Robert, Sophie Frechault, Corinne Rouland-Lefèvre, Edouard Miambi
Studies on termite symbiosis have revealed that significant symbiont lineages are maintained across generations. However, most studies have focused only on the worker caste. Little is known about the gut microbiota of reproductives, the most probable vectors for transmitting these lineages to offspring. Using 16S rRNA gene-based Illumina MiSeq sequencing, we compared the gut microbiota of swarming alates of the higher termite Nasutitermes arborum with those of their nestmates from the parental colony. The OTU-based alpha diversity indices showed that the gut microbiota of the alates was at least as diverse as those of non-reproductive adults...
November 10, 2017: Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek
Lakshya Katariya, Priya B Ramesh, Thejashwini Gopalappa, Sathish Desireddy, Jean-Marie Bessière, Renee M Borges
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...
November 9, 2017: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Simon Hellemans, Denis Fournier, Robert Hanus, Yves Roisin
In termite species with asexual queen succession (AQS), parthenogenetically produced immatures mostly differentiate into secondary queens, called "neotenics." In order to elucidate the ontogenetic origin of neotenics in Cavitermes tuberosus (Termitidae: Termitinae), a neotropical termite with AQS, we investigated developmental pathways of offspring according to their sex and genetic origin using both morphometric and genetic tools. The caste system of C. tuberosus follows the classical pathway of Termitidae...
November 2017: Evolution & Development
Michal Linial, Nadav Rappoport, Dan Ofer
Short stable peptides have huge potential for novel therapies and biosimilars. Cysteine-rich short proteins are characterized by multiple disulfide bridges in a compact structure. Many of these metazoan proteins are processed, folded, and secreted as soluble stable folds. These properties are shared by both marine and terrestrial animal toxins. These stable short proteins are promising sources for new drug development. We developed ClanTox (classifier of animal toxins) to identify toxin-like proteins (TOLIPs) using machine learning models trained on a large-scale proteomic database...
October 29, 2017: Toxins
A M Cárdenas, P Gallardo, D Toledo
The subterranean termite Reticulitermes grassei Clément causes lesions in the trunk of Quercus suber L. by constructing feeding galleries, but no information is available regarding other Quercus species from the Mediterranean region. This work aimed to study the suitability of the other main oak species of Mediterranean forests as a food resource for R. grassei. Two experiments, choice and non-choice feeding, were conducted lasting for 15, 30, and 45 days each. In the non-choice experiment, termites were offered one of the following food types: Quercus suber, Quercus ilex L...
November 6, 2017: Bulletin of Entomological Research
Wataru Suehiro, Fujio Hyodo, Hiroshi O Tanaka, Chihiro Himuro, Tomoyuki Yokoi, Shigeto Dobata, Benoit Guénard, Robert R Dunn, Edward L Vargo, Kazuki Tsuji, Kenji Matsuura
Invasions are ecologically destructive and can threaten biodiversity. Trophic flexibility has been proposed as a mechanism facilitating invasion, with more flexible species better able to invade. The termite hunting needle ant Brachyponera chinensis was introduced from East Asia to the United States where it disrupts native ecosystems. We show that B. chinensis has expanded dietary breadth without shifting trophic position in its introduced range. Transect sampling of ants and termites revealed a negative correlation between the abundance of B...
November 3, 2017: Scientific Reports
Thomas Chouvenc, Nan-Yao Su
Termite baits using chitin synthesis inhibitors can protect structures from subterranean termite damage by eliminating colonies. One of the potential shortcomings of baits is that termites may have to feed extensively on a bait station for the colony to be eliminated. If disturbances occur during this critical feeding time, termites may abandon the site, which could prevent colony elimination. We exposed whole laboratory colonies of Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) containing an average of 59,000 termites to 0...
November 1, 2017: Journal of Economic Entomology
Lírio Cosme, Marcelo M Haro, Nelsa Maria P Guedes, Terezinha Maria C Della Lucia, Raul Narciso C Guedes
BACKGROUND: The importance and impact of invasive species are usually considered based on their economic implications, particularly their direct damage. The West Indian drywood termite Cryptotermes brevis (Walker) is an example and concern in structural lumber, furniture, and other wood products. Despite its importance, its tropical wood preferences and wood physical characteristics contributing to resistance were not yet investigated. 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...
November 2, 2017: Pest Management Science
Xinxin Sun, Jingjing Li, Jiao Du, Hesheng Xiao, Jinfeng Ni
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...
October 31, 2017: Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek
R H Scheffrahn, T Bourguignon, C Bordereau, R A Hernandez-Aguilar, V M Oelze, P Dieguez, J Šobotnik, A Pascual-Garrido
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...
2017: Insectes Sociaux
V Scicchitano, F Dedeine, B Mantovani, A Luchetti
European dry-wood termites belong to the genus Kalotermes (Kalotermitidae), one of the two termite genera in Europe. Until the recent description of two new species, Kalotermes italicus in Italy and Kalotermes phoenicae in the eastern Mediterranean area, Kalotermes flavicollis was the only taxon known in this region. The presence of additional entities, suggested by morphological and physiological variation observed in K. flavicollis, was supported by molecular studies revealing four distinct genetic lineages: lineage A, K...
October 26, 2017: Bulletin of Entomological Research
J Frances Kamhi, Sara Arganda, Corrie S Moreau, James F A Traniello
Neuromodulators are conserved across insect taxa, but how biogenic amines and their receptors in ancestral solitary forms have been co-opted to control behaviors in derived socially complex species is largely unknown. Here we explore patterns associated with the functions of octopamine (OA), serotonin (5-HT) and dopamine (DA) in solitary ancestral insects and their derived functions in eusocial ants, bees, wasps and termites. Synthesizing current findings that reveal potential ancestral roles of monoamines in insects, we identify physiological processes and conserved behaviors under aminergic control, consider how biogenic amines may have evolved to modulate complex social behavior, and present focal research areas that warrant further study...
2017: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Alain Dejean, Frédéric Petitclerc, Arthur Compin, Frédéric Azémar, Bruno Corbara, Jacques H C Delabie, Céline Leroy
The Neotropical understory plant Tachia guianensis (Gentianaceae)-known to shelter the colonies of several ant species in its hollow trunks and branches-does not provide them with food rewards (e.g., extrafloral nectar). We tested whether these ants are opportunistic nesters or whether mutualistic relationships exist as for myrmecophytes or plants sheltering ant colonies in specialized hollow structures in exchange for protection from enemies and/or nutrient provisioning (myrmecotrophy). We noted 37 ant species sheltering inside T...
November 2017: American Naturalist
F Manzoor, M Pervez
The aim of this study was to test the bioavailability and degradation in soil of the termiticides bifenthrin and fipronil, which are used to treat subterranean termites (Heterotermes indicola, Wasmann). Soil collected from different areas of Lahore was categorized as sandy clay loam (SCL) or sandy loam (SL). Laboratory bioassays were conducted to determine the bioavailability ratio of bifenthrin and fipronil in each type of soil after different periods of time. LT50 values were determined posttreatment at different time intervals...
October 11, 2017: Journal of Economic Entomology
Didi Tarmadi, Tsuyoshi Yoshimura, Yuki Tobimatsu, Masaomi Yamamura, Toshiaki Umezawa
We investigated the effects of lignins as diet components on the physiological activities of a lower termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki. Artificial diets composed of polysaccharides with and without purified lignins (milled-wood lignins) from Japanese cedar (softwood), Japanese beech (hardwood), and rice (grass), were fed to C. formosanus workers. The survival and body mass of the workers as well as the presence of three symbiotic protists in the hindguts of the workers were then periodically examined...
October 14, 2017: Journal of Insect Physiology
G Kakkar, W Osbrink, A Mullins, N-Y Su
Spatial assessment of molting in workers of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki was conducted in laboratory-reared colonies using extended foraging arenas. Workers at a premolt stage were found concentrated in the nest or in a planar arena near the nest. However, molting individuals were found exclusively in the central nest and they stayed inside or near the central nest for at least 36 h postmolting. The absence of premolt workers at foraging sites suggests that the workers have an affinity to the nest for molting and the second study on nest-fidelity evaluation suggested that the workers molt in the proximity of eggs...
September 25, 2017: Journal of Economic Entomology
Christoph Grüter, Francisca H I D Segers, Luana L G Santos, Benedikt Hammel, Uwe Zimmermann, Fabio S Nascimento
Many ant and termite colonies are defended by soldiers with powerful mandibles or chemical weaponry. Recently, it was reported that several stingless bee species also have soldiers for colony defence. These soldiers are larger than foragers, but otherwise lack obvious morphological adaptations for defence. Thus, how these soldiers improve colony fitness is not well understood. Robbing is common in stingless bees and we hypothesized that increased body size improves the ability to recognize intruders based on chemosensory cues...
October 2017: Biology Letters
Erik Francis Acanakwo, Douglas Sheil, Stein R Moe
Seed removal can influence plant community dynamics, composition, and resulting vegetation characteristics. In the African savanna, termites and large herbivores influence vegetation in various ways, likely including indirect effects on seed predators and secondary dispersers. However, the intensity and variation of seed removal rates in African savannas has seldom been studied. We experimentally investigated whether termites and large herbivores were important factors in the mechanisms contributing to observed patterns in tree species composition on and off mounds, in Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda...
October 4, 2017: Ecology
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