International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI2018), August 5-10, 2018 in Guarujá, Brazil.

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Analysis of symbiotic bacterial communities associated with wood feeding termites in Neotropics

Author(s):
Tomáš Větrovský, Patrik Soukup , Petr Stiblík , Petr Táborský , Petr Baldrian , Jan Šobotník , Tomáš Větrovský
Institution(s):
Institute of Microbiology of the CAS, Czech Republic; Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Czech Republic ; Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Czech Republic ; Faculty of Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic ; Institute of Microbiology of the CAS, Czech Republic ; Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Czech Republic ; Institute of Microbiology of the CAS, Czech Republic
Bacterial endosymbionts are well-studied among termites, but only anecdotal observations exist on ectosymbionts colonizing termite food or nesting material. The main objective of our work is to investigate community composition of ecto-, as well as endo-symbiotic microorganisms of dominant wood feeding termite species occurring in the French Guiana (Nouragues Nature Reserve). We selected three termite species highly abundant in deadwood – Heterotermes tenuis and Coptotermes testaceus as representatives of lower termite species and Nasutitermes octopilis representing higher termites. Bacterial communities from termite bodies, galleries and adjacent non infested wood were analysed by amplicon sequencing on Illumina Miseq platform. The sequencing data were processed and analysed using the SEED 2 pipeline (http://www.biomed.cas.cz/mbu/lbwrf/seed/). Bacterial communities of lower termites were dominated by bacteria associated with endosymbiotic protozoans, such as Azobacteroides, Ancillula, Symbiothrix and Endomicrobium. The Azobacteroides represented the most abundant taxonomical group and species within this genus were specific for each termite species. Endosymbiotic bacteria of Nasutitermes were mainly represented by bacteria belonging to the genera Fibrobacter and Spirochaeta, with Fibrobacter spp. being obligate endosymbionts of this termite species. Ectosymbiotic bacteria were mainly represented by Acidobacter and Bryocella associated with Coptotermes and Heterotermes, and Bradyrhizobium genus was found in wood galleries of all three termite species. The interactions between termites and their allied microorganism belong to hot topics in current science, and we believe that our study brings a lot of new insights into complex net of relationships between host and its symbionts.
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