Presence of nitrogen fixing Klebsiella pneumoniae in the gut of the Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus) (p3297) A Review by: Mark Edge (Faith & Jaelen Love You)
Because the Formosan termite is an economically important pest. Researchers are concentrating efforts on understanding the details of their physiology. Before the late 80’s early 90’s not much physiological research was concentrated toward any one species of termite outside of general physical characteristic, anatomy, and physiology. In reading early text books about termites there seems to be a clumping together of termite anatomy description and no single distinguishment out side on nesting habits and appearance. Termites however are beneficial eusocial insects (when in the wild) and at the same time destructive, economically important urban pest. The economic portion seems to be the driving force for recent research. Researchers are now unraveling the mysteries of the termite digestive system. This article suggests to control the symbiotic relationship between microbial and protozoa thereby the termite will be the most efficient way to control termite populations. The termite gut has been found to contain endosymbiotic protozoa and bacteria (p3297). According to researchers the prokaryotic bacteria found in the termite gut is responsible for many physiological functions such as cellulose digestion, hemicellulose digestion, acetogenesis, hydrogenesis, methanogenesis, sulfate reduction, and nitrogen fixation (p3297). Cellulose is the main staple of termite diet. However termites cannot digest cellulose with out the assistance of its gut fauna. Digestion starts with the flagellated protozoa. The protozoa degrade cellulose into hydrogen, acetate and carbon dioxide. Bacteria that reside in the gut with the protozoa help digestion by taking these end products a step further. Actogenic bacteria metabolize the hydrogen and carbon dioxide producing an end product of acetate (p3297). The...
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