Banner for LabNotes
From Lab Notes
Contact Information
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592
Email

 

You are here: FPL Home  / Information Products & Services  / Publications

Requested Product

Title: Evaluating the role of Actinobacteria in the gut of wood-feeding termites (Reticulitermes spp.)

Source: In: The International Research Group on Wood Protection, Section 1, Biology: Paper prepared for the IRG48 Scientific Conference on Wood Protection. Ghent, Belgium: 4-8.

Author(s)Arango, Rachel A.; Green III, Frederick; Yang, Vina W.; Lindholm, Joliene R.; Chotlos, Nathaniel P.; Raffa, Kenneth F.

Publication Year: 2017  View PDF »

Category: Conference Proceedings
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4723-2A

Abstract: Nitrogen has been shown to be a limiting nutrient across a range of xylophagous insects. These insects often rely on symbiotic microorganisms in the gut for nitrogen acquisition, via fixation of atmospheric nitrogen or break down of other available nitrogenous substances. In phylogenetically lower, wood-feeding termites, the role of nitrogen fixing bacteria has been well studied. However, there is also evidence that uric acid can be metabolized into ammonia and serve as an additional nitrogen source. In this study, 36 Actinobacterial isolates (Streptomyces spp.) from the guts of Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) and Reticulitermes tibialis Banks, were screened for uric acid breakdown using culture-based methods. Results showed 92% of isolates are capable of degrading uric acid, with 35% classified as having “very strong” uricase activity in vitro. Enzyme assays of four representative Actinobacterial isolates confirmed that uric acid was broken down and ammonia was produced. Soil materials manipulated by termites also showed increased uricase activity compared to soil alone. However, this increase was not accompanied by an increase in overall abundance of Actinobacteria. It is still possible, however, that only those Actinobacteria with uricase activity increase while others remain the same or decrease, which would not change overall abundance values. Results from this study support the hypothesis that Actinobacteria associated with the gut of wood-feeding termites have the potential to contribute to nitrogen acquisition via uricolysis. Future work will be aimed at better understanding this complex relationship between wood-feeding subterranean termites and gut-associated Actinobacteria.

Keywords: Subterranean termites; gut bacteria; nitrogen; uric acid; pH

Publication Review Process: Informally Refereed (Peer-Reviewed)

File size: 567 kb(s)

Date posted: 09/06/2017

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 86137
Current FPL Scientist associated with this product
Green, Frederick
Research Microbiologist
  

Additional items that might interest you
View the video celebrating FPL's 100 years of public service in 2010, from the producers of the Greatest Good....view

Research Highlights from FPL....view

Termite Eradication: A search for the Holy Grail.... view

Moisture Management in Residential Construction Series videos...view

Wood Floor Systems in Residential Construction Series videos....view
- FPL's Mission and Strategic Plan -

FPL's mission is to identify and conduct innovative wood and fiber utilization research that contributes to conservation and productivity of the forest resource, thereby sustaining forests, the economy, and quality of life. ... ..more »

- FPL Research Emphasis Areas -
Advanced Composites

As an integral part of the FPL mission, we improve the long-term sustainability of our Nation's forests by creating valuable composite products from biobased materials ... ..more »


Advanced Structures

The FPL has been in the forefront of wood-frame housing research since 1910 and has long been recognized as a world leader in such housing-related areas as engineered wood ... ..more »


Forest Biorefinery

We all know the compelling reasons that the United States needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Historically, the greatest increases in energy demand have been for transportation fuels ... ..more »


Nanotechnology

A leader in wood products research for over a century, the FPL is positioning itself to become the lead Federal research facility for the application of nanotechnology in forest products ... more »


Woody Biomass Utilization

Forests in the United States contain a substantial amount of small-diameter, overstocked, and underutilized material.FPL research projects are exploring the potential of the small-diameter ... ..more »