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

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Analysis of symbiotic fungal communities associated with three species of Neotropical termites.

Author(s):
Patrik Soukup, Patrik Soukup , Tomas Vetrovsky , Petr Stiblik , Katerina Votypkova , Petr Taborsky , PetrBaldrian , Jan Sobotnik
Institution(s):
Department of Forest Protection and Entomology, Czech University of Life Sciences, Czech Republic; Department of Forest Protection and Entomology, Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic ; Institute of Microbiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic ; Department of Forest Protection and Entomology, Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic ; Department of Forest Protection and Entomology, Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague, Czech republic ; Faculty of Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic ; Institute of Microbiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech republic ; Department of Forest Protection and Entomology, Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic
Tropical and subtropical forests host the major portion of global biodiversity. Termites belong in these areas to the dominant group of insects with enormous ecological and economic impact. With help from their endosymbiotic and ectosymbiotic microorganisms, termites are the most efficient decomposers of plant tissue at the global scale. While endosymbionts are well-studied among termites, the knowledge about the interaction between the fungi which colonize the food source and nests of termites is still unexplored. Our research focusses on three Neotropical termite species: Nasutitermes octopilis, Coptotermes testaceus and Heterotermes tenuis. We isolated fungal communities from their bodies, galleries where termites feed and the non infested wood as a control from each founded colony. We used culture-independent approach exploiting metabarcodes of ITS2 to survey fungal communities. The metabarcodes were sequenced using NextGen Illumina MiSeq platform. The analysis revealed the differences between the fungal communities isolated from termite bodies and from their food source (galleries and control). Bodies of C. testaceus were dominated by a Corticiales and Leotiomycetes order of fungi. From H.tenuis we isolated Leotiomycetes and GS23 strain and fungal communities from N.octopilis were mainly represented by Sordariales order and GS23 strain of fungi. Within the wooden samples, we isolated Auriculariales and Agaricales which represent the majority of sequences. The only exception we found within the wood samples of N.octopilis where the wood was dominating by Togniniales order of fungi. This experiment is part of the greater study we are conducting in these days and we believe that we are bringing a new insight into the complexity of fungal-termite interaction.
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