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


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

Requested Product

Title: Effects of heartwood extractives on symbiotic protozoan communities and mortality in two termite species

Source: International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation. 123: 27-36.

Author(s)Hassan, Babar; Mankowski, Mark E., E. .; Kirker, Grant; Ahmed, Sohail

Publication Year: 2017  View PDF »

Category: Journal Articles
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4723-1A

Abstract: Lower termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) are considered severe pests of wood in service, crops and plantation forests. Termites mechanically remove and digest lignocellulosic material as a food source. The ability to digest lignocellulose not only depends on their digestive physiology, but also on the symbiotic relationship between termites and their intestinal microbiota. The current study was designed to test the possible effects of four heartwood extractives (Tectona grandis, Dalbergia sissoo, Cedrus deodara and Pinus roxburghii) on the mortality, feeding rate and protozoan population in two lower termites, Reticulitermes flavpipes and Heterotermes indicola. All wood extractives tested rapidly lowered protozoan numbers in the hindgut of termite workers, which was closely correlated with worker mortality. The average population of protozoans in both termite species, was diminished in a dose-dependent manner after fifteen days feeding on treated filter paper. Mortality of termites increased when fed on filter paper treated with T. grandis or D. sissoo heartwood extractives with minimum feeding rate at the maximum concentration (10 mg ml-1). Protozoan number and termite survival was also compared with starved termites and results showed that protozoan populations were reduced up to 99.60 and 65.71% in R. flavpipes and H indicola, respectively as compared to untreated filter paper controls with ≅ 80% survival for both termite species. Characterizations of heartwood extractives were performed using Gas Chromotography-Mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and chemical profiles were obtained for extractives from each wood species. The largest chemical components, based on percentage of sample, identified from T. grandis were Squalene, 2-methyl-9, 10-Anthracenedione and 1-Methyl-3,4-dihydroisoquinoline. Trismethoxyresveratrol, 1, 3-Diamino-8-n-butyl-5, 6 diydrobenzoquinazoline and 6, 8-dimethyl-Benzanthracene were the largest components from D. sissoo. The largest percentage components of C. deodara were (E) – Atlantone, Di-epi-alpha-cedrene and alpha-Cuprenene. The main components of P. roxburghii were identified as 1, 2, 3, 4-tetrahydro-5, 8-dimethyl-Acridin-9-amine, 2, 3-dihydro-5, 7-dihydroxy-2phenyl-4H-1-Benzopyran-4-one and 5-hydroxy-7-methoxy-2-phenyl4H-1-Benzopyran-4-one. These are discussed in terms of their termiticidal and protozoicidal properties.

Keywords: Subterranean termites; R. flavpipes; H. indicola; heartwood extractives; gut protozoa

Publication Review Process: Formally Refereed

File size: 1,024 kb(s)

Date posted: 09/15/2017

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 86755
Current FPL Scientists associated with this product (listed alphabetically)
Kirker, Grant
Research Forest Products Technologist
Mankowski, Mark
Research Entomologist

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 »


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 »