alexa New Insights into Microbes in the Midgut of Termite Coptotermes formosanus

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New Insights into Microbes in the Midgut of Termite Coptotermes formosanus

Wood-feeding termites have evolved unique capability to effectively digest lignocellulosic material, using it for both energy and nutrition. This ability depends mainly on the mutualistic interaction between symbiotic gut microbiota and the termite itself. This study investigated microorganisms in the midgut of termite Coptotermes formosanus, a segment that has been less studied than the hindgut. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was initially used to visualize and identify individual bacteria and archaea in the termite’s midgut. After isolation of microorganisms with six different media, preliminary screening was carried out on plates by testing the capability to oxidize guaiacol as well as decolorize the dye azure B. Two selected strains; B207 and L201 were identified as Streptomyces sp. through 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Submerged state fermentation of the strains with softwood biomass as substrate was further performed. The analysis results of attenuated total reflectance fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR), chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and pyrolysis-gas chromatography/ mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS) indicated that streptomyces strains B207 and L201 have certain lignocellulose decomposition capabilities.

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