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Eisuke Tasaki, Kazuya Kobayashi, Kenji Matsuura, Yoshihito Iuchi
The trade-off between reproduction and longevity is known in wide variety of animals. Social insect queens are rare organisms that can achieve a long lifespan without sacrificing fecundity. The extended longevity of social insect queens, which contradicts the trade-off, has attracted much attention because it implies the existence of an extraordinary anti-aging mechanism. Here, we show that queens of the termite Reticulitermes speratus incur significantly lower oxidative damage to DNA, protein and lipid and have higher activity of antioxidant enzymes than non-reproductive individuals (workers and soldiers)...
2017: PloS One
He Du, Thomas Chouvenc, Nan-Yao Su
Age polyethism in a social insect colony occurs when individuals of different ages perform different tasks. In termites (Isoptera), it has mostly been reported in higher termites, but elements of age polyethism were recently found in juvenile colonies of a lower termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Rhinotermitidae). The objective of this study was to compare age polyethism in immature colonies (10-mo-old) of C. formosanus to the age polyethism observed in juvenile colonies (4-yr-old), to investigate if age polyethism emerges as soon as old workers are present, or if it emerges later on, as the colony grows and ages...
January 9, 2017: Environmental Entomology
Kenji Matsuura
One major advantage of sexual reproduction over asexual reproduction is its promotion of genetic variation, although it reduces the genetic contribution to offspring. Queens of social insects double their contribution to the gene pool, while overuse of asexual reproduction may reduce the ability of the colony to adapt to environmental stress because of the loss of genetic diversity. Recent studies have revealed that queens of some termite species can solve this tradeoff by using parthenogenesis to produce the next generation of queens and sexual reproduction to produce other colony members...
January 1, 2017: Journal of Experimental Biology
Jung-Chun Chang, George Hsiao, Ruo-Kai Lin, Yueh-Hsiung Kuo, Yu-Min Ju, Tzong-Huei Lee
Six new eremophilane-type sesquiterpenes, namely, nigriterpenes A-F (1-6), and one new phenolic compound, named 2-hydroxymethyl-3-pentylphenol (7), along with fomannoxin alcohol, 3-butyl-7-hydroxyphthalide, scytalone, and fomannoxin were isolated from the ethyl acetate extracts of the fermented broths of termite nest-derived Xylaria nigripes, which has long been used as a traditional Chinese medicine for treating insomnia and depression. Their structures were elucidated on the basis of spectroscopic data analysis and compared with the literature...
January 5, 2017: Journal of Natural Products
Robson Tramontina, João Paulo L Franco Cairo, Marcelo V Liberato, Fernanda Mandelli, Amanda Sousa, Samantha Santos, Sarita Cândida Rabelo, Bruna Campos, Jaciane Ienczak, Roberto Ruller, André R L Damásio, Fabio Marcio Squina
BACKGROUND: In nature, termites can be considered as a model biological system for biofuel research based on their remarkable efficiency for lignocellulosic biomass conversion. Redox enzymes are of interest in second-generation ethanol production because they promote synergic enzymatic activity with classical hydrolases for lignocellulose saccharification and inactivate fermentation inhibitory compounds produced after lignocellulose pretreatment steps. RESULTS: In the present study, the biochemical and structural characteristics of the Coptotermes gestroi aldo-keto reductase (CgAKR-1) were comprehensively investigated...
2017: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Andreia de Oliveira Alves, Fred Bernardes Filho
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 29, 2016: Journal of Pediatrics
R A Arango, C M Carlson, C R Currie, B R McDonald, A J Book, F Green, N K Lebow, K F Raffa
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...
December 2016: Environmental Entomology
Adam J Bewick, Kevin J Vogel, Allen J Moore, Robert J Schmitz
DNA methylation contributes to gene and transcriptional regulation in eukaryotes, and therefore has been hypothesized to facilitate the evolution of plastic traits such as sociality in insects. However, DNA methylation is sparsely studied in insects. Therefore, we documented patterns of DNA methylation across a wide diversity of insects. We predicted that underlying enzymatic machinery is concordant with patterns of DNA methylation. Finally, given the suggestion that DNA methylation facilitated social evolution in Hymenoptera, we tested the hypothesis that the DNA methylation system will be associated with presence/absence of sociality among other insect orders...
December 25, 2016: Molecular Biology and Evolution
Thomas Bourguignon, Nathan Lo, Jan Šobotník, Simon Y W Ho, Naeem Iqbal, Eric Coissac, Maria Lee, Martin M Jendryka, David Sillam-Dussès, Barbora Křížková, Yves Roisin, Theodore A Evans
The higher termites (Termitidae) are keystone species and ecosystem engineers. They have exceptional biomass and play important roles in decomposition of dead plant matter, in soil manipulation, and as the primary food for many animals, especially in the tropics. Higher termites are most diverse in rainforests, with estimated origins in the late Eocene (∼54 Ma), postdating the breakup of Pangaea and Gondwana when most continents became separated. Since termites are poor fliers, their origin and spread across the globe requires alternative explanation...
December 25, 2016: Molecular Biology and Evolution
Feargus Cooney, Emma I K Vitikainen, Harry H Marshall, Wilmie van Rooyen, Robert L Smith, Michael A Cant, Nicole Goodey
In eusocial insects, the ability to discriminate nest-mates from non-nest-mates is widespread and ensures that altruistic actions are directed towards kin and agonistic actions are directed towards non-relatives. Most tests of nest-mate recognition have focused on hymenopterans, and suggest that cooperation typically evolves in tandem with strong antagonism towards non-nest-mates. Here, we present evidence from a phylogenetically and behaviourally basal termite species that workers discriminate members of foreign colonies...
November 2016: Royal Society Open Science
Panagiotis Sapountzis, Jane de Verges, Kathrin Rousk, Magdeleen Cilliers, Barend J Vorster, Michael Poulsen
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...
2016: Frontiers in Microbiology
Michael K Rust, W Lance H Hemsarth
Insect growth regulators (IGRs) such as lufenuron, methoprene, and pyriproxyfen have been important tools in the integrated pest management of cat fleas, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché), for the past two decades. Other IGRs have been registered for the control of termite, dipteran, and lepidopterous pests including chlorfluazuron, cyromazine, dicyclanil, and precocene I, but have been not tested against C. felis The intrinsic activity of IGRs was determined by exposing larvae to treated larval rearing media...
December 22, 2016: Journal of Medical Entomology
Hee Rae Kang, Dahae Lee, René Benndorf, Won Hee Jung, Christine Beemelmanns, Ki Sung Kang, Ki Hyun Kim
Three new isoflavonoid glycosides, termisoflavones A-C (1-3), and eight isoflavonoids (4-11) were isolated from termite-associated Streptomyces sp. RB1 recovered from the cuticle of the South African termite, Macrotermes natalensis. The structures of new compounds were determined by spectroscopic methods including 1D and 2D NMR and HR-MS analysis, as well as comparison of their NMR data with those of related isoflavonoid glycoside derivatives. The absolute configurations of the sugar moieties were clarified by chemical reactions...
December 23, 2016: Journal of Natural Products
Juan Lapuente, Thurston C Hicks, K Eduard Linsenmair
Over a 6 month period during the dry season, from the end of October 2014 to the beginning of May 2015, we studied tool use behavior of previously unstudied and non-habituated savanna chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) living in the Comoé National Park, Ivory Coast (CI). We analyzed all the stick tools and leaf-sponges found that the chimpanzees used to forage for ants, termites, honey, and water. We found a particular behavior to be widespread across different chimpanzee communities in the park, namely, dipping for water from tree holes using sticks with especially long brush-tip modifications, using camera traps, we recorded adults, juveniles, and infants of three communities displaying this behavior...
December 21, 2016: American Journal of Primatology
X-J Liu, L Xie, N Liu, S Zhan, X-G Zhou, Q Wang
Based on prior work, a cellulase from glycosyl hydrolase family 7 (GHF7) was identified and found to be expressed at a high level in Coptotermes formosanus. To determine the function of GHF7 family members in vivo, we used RNA interference (RNAi) to functionally analyse the exoglucanase gene Pseudotrichonympha grassii cellobiohydrolase gene (PgCBH), which was highly expressed in Pseudotrichonympha grassii, a flagellate found in the hindgut of C. formosanus. In this study, the expression level of PgCBH was down-regulated by RNAi, causing the death of P...
December 19, 2016: Insect Molecular Biology
Zhenyu Jin, Guanglin Xie, Qixin Yang
Dascillidae are a small and rarely studied family that includes nine currently recognized genera (Lawrence 2005; Ivie & Barclay 2011; Jin et al. 2013) and about 80 described species divided into two poorly defined subfamilies-a free-living Dascillinae and variously morphologically modified Karumiinae, some of which are apparently associated with subterranean termites. Dascillinae inhabit mostly forested areas of the Northern Hemisphere and Australia (Lawrence 2005).
November 29, 2016: Zootaxa
Carolina Cuezzo
Coendutermes Fontes, 1985 is a monotypic South American termite genus. Coendutermes tucum Fontes, 1985, was described based on morphological characters from soldiers and workers collected in Mato Grosso, Brazil, and Jodensavanne, Suriname. Herein, I describe the imago caste of C. tucum for the first time with additional notes on soldiers, workers, and new distributional records. The studied material is deposited at the Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil (MZUSP). I use the terminology of Fontes (1987) to describe worker mandibles, and that of Noirot (2001) for the different parts of the digestive tube of workers...
December 9, 2016: Zootaxa
N E Stork, D S Srivastava, P Eggleton, M Hodda, G Lawson, R R B Leakey, A D Watt
A citation-classic study published almost twenty years ago found that the species richness of eight taxa each responded differently to anthropogenic disturbance in Cameroon forests. Recent developments in conservation biology suggest that net number of species is an insensitive measure of change and that understanding which species are affected by disturbance is more important. In addition, it is recognized that all disturbance types are not equal in their effect on species and that grouping species according to function rather than taxonomy is more informative of responses of biodiversity to change...
December 16, 2016: Conservation Biology: the Journal of the Society for Conservation Biology
E Mevers, J Saurí, A Moser, M Varlan, G E Martin, J C Clardy
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2016: Planta Medica
J C Chang, G Hsiao, R K Lin, Y H Kuo, Y M Ju, T H Lee
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2016: Planta Medica
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