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

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Microbial communities of the gut and nest of the litter-feeding termite Procornitermes araujoi (Syntermitinae)

Author(s):
Alberto José Arab Olavarrieta, Edimar Agnaldo Moreira , Thábata Alvarez , Gabriela Félix Persinoti , Douglas Antonio Alvaredo Paixão , Fabio Squina , Letícia Menezes , Ana Maria Costa Leonardo , Tiago Carrijo , Alberto José Arab Olavarrieta
Institution(s):
Centro de Ciências Naturais e Humanas. Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC), Santo André, Brazil; Centro de Ciências Naturais e Humanas. Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC), Santo André, Brazil ; Universidade Positivo, Curitiba, Brazil ; Laboratório Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia do Bioetanol (CTBE), Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais, Campinas, Brazil ; Laboratório Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia do Bioetanol (CTBE), Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais, Campinas, Brazil ; Programa em Processos Tecnológicos e Ambientais, Universidade de Sorocaba (UNISO), Sorocaba, Brazil ; Departamento de Biologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Rio Claro, Brazil ; Departamento de Biologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Rio Claro, Brazil ; Centro de Ciências Naturais e Humanas. Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC), Santo André, Brazil ; Centro de Ciências Naturais e Humanas. Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC), Santo André, Brazil
Termites and wood feeding cockroaches evolved from a common ancestor that gained the ability to digest lignocellulose through microbial symbionts. The evolution of this symbiotic association allowed many termites to decompose ingested lignocellulose from plant-derived substrates, including herbivore dung and soil humus. The subfamily Syntermitinae contains approximately one-hundred neotropical species that range in their feeding habits from wood and litter-feeding to humus-feeding species. In Southeastern Brazil, litter-feeding Syntermitinae have important role in pastures and savannas by decomposing most of the lignocellulose through the ingestion of various form of plant materials, herbivore dung and soil humus. However, only limited information is available about the feeding ecology and associated microbial communities of this feeding guild. Here we conducted a study of the microbial communities associated to the litter-feeding termite Procornitermes araujoi using Illumina sequencing of the 16S and ITS rRNA genes. Gut of workers and soldiers, and nest samples of P. araujoi yielded 23 bacterial and two fungal phyla. Firmicutes and Spirochaetes dominated the bacterial gut community of both workers and soldiers, which is consistent with other higher termites. Since soldiers and young instars obtain nutrients and gut microbes from the hindgut fluids of workers, our results reinforces the importance of proctodeal trophallaxis on soldier feeding. Actinobacteria dominated the microbiota assemblage of internal nest walls, suggesting that colonization conditions by these bacteria are better in the nest walls than in guts. On the other hand, Sordariomycetes was the most abundant fungal class in both gut and nest samples. In the context of Syntermitinae, microbial assemblages were dissimilar to other species suggesting a singular diet in this species. Fapesp # 2015/21497-6.
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