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Samuel A Ocko, Hunter King, David Andreen, Paul Bardunias, J Scott Turner, Rupert Soar, L Mahadevan
How termite mounds function to facilitate climate control is still only partially understood. Recent experimental evidence in the mounds of a single species, the south Asian termite Odontotermes obesus, suggests that the daily oscillations of radiant heating associated with diurnal insolation patterns drive convective flow within them. How general this mechanism is remains unknown. To probe this, we consider the mounds of the African termite Macrotermes michaelseni, which thrives in a very different environment...
September 15, 2017: Journal of Experimental Biology
Huei-Mei Hsieh, Mei-Chu Chung, Pao-Yang Chen, Fei-Man Hsu, Wen-Wei Liao, Ai-Ning Sung, Chun-Ru Lin, Chung-Ju Rachel Wang, Yu-Hsin Kao, Mei-Jane Fang, Chi-Yung Lai, Chieh-Chen Huang, Jyh-Ching Chou, Wen-Neng Chou, Bill Chia-Han Chang, Yu-Ming Ju
BACKGROUND: Termitomyces mushrooms are mutualistically associated with fungus-growing termites, which are widely considered to cultivate a monogenotypic Termitomyces symbiont within a colony. Termitomyces cultures isolated directly from termite colonies are heterokaryotic, likely through mating between compatible homokaryons. RESULTS: After pairing homokaryons carrying different haplotypes at marker gene loci MIP and RCB from a Termitomyces fruiting body associated with Odontotermes formosanus, we observed nuclear fusion and division, which greatly resembled meiosis, during each hyphal cell division and conidial formation in the resulting heterokaryons...
September 19, 2017: Botanical Studies (Taipei, Taiwan)
N A Rossiter-Rachor, S A Setterfield, L B Hutley, D McMaster, S Schmidt, M M Douglas
The African grass Andropogon gayanus Kunth. is invading Australian savannas, altering their ecological and biogeochemical function. To assess impacts on nitrogen (N) cycling, we quantified litter decomposition and N dynamics of grass litter in native grass and A. gayanus invaded savanna using destructive in situ grass litter harvests and litterbag incubations (soil surface and aerial position). Only 30% of the A. gayanus in situ litter decomposed, compared to 61% of the native grass litter, due to the former being largely comprised of highly resistant A...
September 15, 2017: Scientific Reports
Heng-Phon Too, Congqiang Zhang
Lignocellulose is the most plentiful, renewable natural resource on earth and has been successfully used for the production of biofuels. A significant challenge is to develop cost-effective, environmentally friendly and efficient processes for the conversion of lignocellulose material into suitable substrates for biotransformation. A number of approaches have been explored to convert lignocellulose into sugars, e.g. combining chemical pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis. In nature, there are organisms that can biotransform the complex lignocellulose efficiently, such as wood-degrading fungi (brown rot and white rot fungi), bacteria (e...
September 11, 2017: Current Medicinal Chemistry
Garry Webb
The efficacy of bistrifluron termite bait was evaluated using in-ground bait stations placed around Coptotermes lacteus mounds in south-eastern Australia during late summer and autumn (late February to late May 2012). Four in-ground bait stations containing timber billets were placed around each of twenty mounds. Once sufficient numbers of in-ground stations were infested by termites, mounds were assigned to one of four groups (one, two, three or four 120 g bait canisters or 120 to 480 g bait in total per mound) and bait canisters installed...
September 12, 2017: Insects
Norsyarizan Jamil, Wan Nurainie Wan Ismail, Siti Shamimi Abidin, Mazdan Ali Amaran, Ratnawati Hazali
A survey on termite species composition was conducted in Samunsam Wildlife Sanctuary, Sarawak in February 2015. Overall 19 species of termite belonging to 13 genera and 8 subfamilies was found in the sanctuary. It was recorded the subfamily of Termitinae had the highest number of species (6 species, equal to 31.58% of total species), followed by Nasutermitinae (3 species, 15.79%), Macrotermitinae, Amitermitinae, Rhinotermitinae, Coptotermitinae, (2 species, 10.53% respectively), and Heterotermitinae, Termitogetoninae (1 species, 5...
July 2017: Tropical Life Sciences Research
Qian Sun, Kenneth F Haynes, Jordan D Hampton, Xuguo Zhou
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...
September 6, 2017: Die Naturwissenschaften
Timothy M Judd, James R Landes, Haruna Ohara, Alex W Riley
Most studies on termite food selection have focused on a single nutrient per choice, however, termites, like all animals, must balance multiple nutrients in their diet. While most studies that use multi-nutrient approaches focus on macromolecules, the ability to balance the intake of inorganic nutrients is also vital to organisms. In this study, we used the geometric framework to test the effects of multiple inorganic nutrients on termite feeding. We presented the subsets of Reticulitermes flavipes colonies with food enriched with varying in levels of KCl, MgSO₄, and FePO₄...
September 6, 2017: Insects
Xiaohong Su, Xiaojuan Yang, Jing Li, Lianxi Xing, He Liu, Jiaoling Chen
Termite workers are characterized by unique flexibility in that a worker can develop in one of three ways: remain a worker, become a soldier within two successive moults, or become a neotenic reproductive (NR) within a single moult. However, is it true that workers can transform into NRs within a single moult? Actually, the developmental pathways of workers turning into NRs remains unclear. In this study, we show for the first time that the female workers of Reticulitermes labralis develop into NRs after a pre-NRs stage...
July 2017: Evolution & Development
Martyna Marynowska, Xavier Goux, David Sillam-Dussès, Corinne Rouland-Lefèvre, Yves Roisin, Philippe Delfosse, Magdalena Calusinska
BACKGROUND: 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...
September 1, 2017: BMC Genomics
Susan C Jones, Edward L Vargo, T Chris Keefer, Paul Labadie, Clay W Scherer, Nicola T Gallagher, Roger E Gold
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...
August 31, 2017: Insects
Nan-Yao Su, Erin J Monteagudo
Effects of ecdysone, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), and an ecdysone agonist, halofenozide, were tested against the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, and the eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar), in a 12-d no choice assay. Approximately 22-26% of R. flavipes and C. formosanus exhibited symptoms of hyperecdysonism, that is, "jackknife" position, when exposed to ecdysone and 20E at 1,000 ppm, respectively. High mortalities were recorded for both termite species in ecdysone and 20E at 100 and 1,000 ppm, but only at 10,000 ppm for halofenizide...
August 1, 2017: Journal of Economic Entomology
Thomas Chouvenc, Rudolf H Scheffrahn, Aaron J Mullins, Nan-Yao Su
The dispersal flight activity ("swarming") of two invasive subterranean termite species, Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) and Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, was monitored in metropolitan southeastern Florida, where both species are now sympatric and major structural pests. Historical records of alates collected in the area showed that the two species have distinct peaks of flight activity, from mid-February to late April for C. gestroi, and from early April to late June for C. formosanus. However, an overlap of the two dispersal flight seasons has been observed since at least 2005...
August 1, 2017: Journal of Economic Entomology
Kanaporn Sujarit, Nikhom Sujada, Takuji Kudo, Moriya Ohkuma, Wasu Pathom-Aree, Saisamorn Lumyong
A novel Gram-stain-positive bacterium designated CMU-NKS-70T was isolated from a subterranean termite nest and characterized using a polyphasic approach. The strain exhibited branching, pinkish-cream aerial mycelium and cream-brown substrate mycelium, and formed chains of rod-like spores. The 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses indicated that strain CMU-NKS-70T belonged to the genus Pseudonocardia, showing high similarity with Pseudonocardia oroxyli D10T (98.9 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity), Pseudonocardia xishanensis YIM 63638T (98...
August 2017: International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
Satoshi Katahira, Nobuhiko Muramoto, Shigeharu Moriya, Risa Nagura, Nobuki Tada, Noriko Yasutani, Moriya Ohkuma, Toru Onishi, Kenro Tokuhiro
BACKGROUND: The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a promising host for lignocellulosic bioethanol production, is unable to metabolize xylose. In attempts to confer xylose utilization ability in S. cerevisiae, a number of xylose isomerase (XI) genes have been expressed heterologously in this yeast. Although several of these XI encoding genes were functionally expressed in S. cerevisiae, the need still exists for a S. cerevisiae strain with improved xylose utilization ability for use in the commercial production of bioethanol...
2017: Biotechnology for Biofuels
H Elsawy, M A Al-Omair, A Sedky, L Al-Otaibi
Alfa cypermethrin is a pyrethroids extensively used as ectoparasiticide in domestic animals, insecticidal spray on cotton, vegetables and other crops and to kill cockroaches, fleas and termites in house and other buildings. Previous studies have shown the adverse effect of α -cypermethrin on brain. This study was planned to evaluate the possible role of α-lipoic acid in α -cypermethrin induced toxicity in brain of male albino rats. Rats were divided into four groups. The control, α-cypermethrin, α-lipoic acid and α -cypermethrin plus α-lipoic acid treated groups...
August 25, 2017: Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy
Vittorio Boscaro, Erick R James, Rebecca Fiorito, Elisabeth Hehenberger, Anna Karnkowska, Javier Del Campo, Martin Kolisko, Nicholas A T Irwin, Varsha Mathur, Rudolf H Scheffrahn, Patrick J Keeling
Members of the genus Trichonympha are among the most well-known, recognizable and widely distributed parabasalian symbionts of lower termites and the wood-eating cockroach species of the genus Cryptocercus. Nevertheless, the species diversity of this genus is largely unknown. Molecular data have shown that the superficial morphological similarities traditionally used to identify species are inadequate, and have challenged the view that the same species of the genus Trichonympha can occur in many different host species...
September 2017: International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
Duur K Aanen, Paul Eggleton
Symbiogenesis, literally 'becoming by living together', refers to the crucial role of symbiosis in major evolutionary innovations. The term usually is reserved for the major transition to eukaryotes and to photosynthesising eukaryotic algae and plants by endosymbiosis. However, in some eukaryote lineages endosymbionts have been lost secondarily, showing that symbiosis can trigger a major evolutionary innovation, even if symbionts were lost secondarily. This leads to the intriguing possibility that symbiosis has played a role in other major evolutionary innovations as well, even if not all extant representatives of such groups still have the symbiotic association...
August 18, 2017: Journal of Theoretical Biology
Judith Korb, Xavier Belles
Termites are social Dictyoptera that evolved eusociality independently from social Hymenoptera. They are characterized by unique developmental plasticity that is the basis of caste differentiation and social organization. As developmental plasticity is a result of endocrine regulation, in order to understand the evolution of termite sociality it is helpful to compare the endocrine underpinning of development between termites and cockroaches. Nijhout and Wheeler (1982) proposed that varying JH titers determine caste differentiation in termites...
August 2017: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Colin M Brand, Linda F Marchant, Klaree J Boose, Frances J White, Tabatha M Rood, Audra Meinelt
Humans exhibit population level handedness for the right hand; however, the evolution of this behavioral phenotype is poorly understood. Here, we compared the laterality of a simple task (grooming) and a complex task (tool use) to investigate whether increasing task difficulty elicited individual hand preference among a group of captive bonobos (Pan paniscus). Subjects were 17 bonobos housed at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Laterality of grooming was recorded using group scans; tool use was recorded using all-occurrence sampling...
2017: Folia Primatologica; International Journal of Primatology
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