Complementary symbiont contributions to plant decomposition in a fungus-farming termite

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dc.contributor.author Poulson, Michael
dc.contributor.author Hu, Haofu
dc.contributor.author Li, Cai
dc.contributor.author Chen, Zhensheng
dc.contributor.author Xu, Luohao
dc.contributor.author Otani, Saria
dc.contributor.author Nygaard, Sanne
dc.contributor.author Nobre, Tania
dc.contributor.author Klaubauf, Sylvia
dc.contributor.author Schindler, Philipp M.
dc.contributor.author Hauser, Frank
dc.contributor.author Pan, Hailin
dc.contributor.author Yang, Zhikai
dc.contributor.author Sonnenberg, Anton S.M.
dc.contributor.author De Beer, Z. Wilhelm
dc.contributor.author Zhang, Yong
dc.contributor.author Wingfield, Michael J.
dc.contributor.author Grimmelikhuijzen, Cornelis J.P.
dc.contributor.author De Vries, Ronald P.
dc.contributor.author Korb, Judith
dc.contributor.author Aanen, Duur K.
dc.contributor.author Wang, Jun
dc.contributor.author Boomsma, Jacobus J.
dc.contributor.author Zhang, Guojie
dc.date.accessioned 2014-11-17T12:07:57Z
dc.date.available 2014-11-17T12:07:57Z
dc.date.issued 2014
dc.description.abstract Termites normally rely on gut symbionts to decompose organic matter but the Macrotermitinae domesticated Termitomyces fungi to produce their own food. This transition was accompanied by a shift in the composition of the gut microbiota, but the complementary roles of these bacteria in the symbiosis have remained enigmatic. We obtained high-quality annotated draft genomes of the termite Macrotermes natalensis, its Termitomyces symbiont, and gut metagenomes from workers, soldiers, and a queen. We show that members from 111 of the 128 known glycoside hydrolase families are represented in the symbiosis, that Termitomyces has the genomic capacity to handle complex carbohydrates, and that worker gut microbes primarily contribute enzymes for final digestion of oligosaccharides. This apparent division of labor is consistent with the Macrotermes gut microbes being most important during the second passage of comb material through the termite gut, after a first gut passage where the crude plant substrate is inoculated with Termitomyces asexual spores so that initial fungal growth and polysaccharide decomposition can proceed with high efficiency. Complex conversion of biomass in termite mounds thus appears to be mainly accomplished by complementary cooperation between a domesticated fungal monoculture and a specialized bacterial community. In sharp contrast, the gut microbiota of the queen had highly reduced plant decomposition potential, suggesting that mature reproductives digest fungal material provided by workers rather than plant substrate. en_US
dc.description.librarian hj2014 en_US
dc.description.sponsorship A STENO grant from The Danish Council for Independent Research | Natural Sciences (to M.P.), Danish National Research Foundation Centre of Excellence Grant DNRF57 (to J.J.B.), and a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship (300837; to G.Z.). en_US
dc.description.uri http://www.pnas.org/ en_US
dc.identifier.citation Poulson, M, Hu, H, Li, C, Chen, Z, Xu, L, Otani, S, Nygaard, S, Nobre, T, Klaubauf, S, Schindler, PM, Hauser, F, Pan, H, Yang, Z, Sonnenberg, ASM, De Beer, ZW, Zhang, Y, Wingfield, MJ, Grimmelikhuijzen, CJP, De Vries, RP, Korb, J, Aanen, DK, Wang, J, Boomsma, JJ & Zhang, G 2014, 'Complementary symbiont contributions to plant decomposition in a fungus-farming termite', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 111, no. 40, pp. 14500-14505. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0027-8424 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 1091-6490 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.1073/pnas.1319718111
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/42642
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher National Academy of Sciences en_US
dc.rights © 2014 by the National Academy of Sciences en_US
dc.subject Carbohydrate-active enzymes en_US
dc.subject Eusocial en_US
dc.subject Symbioses en_US
dc.subject Cellulose en_US
dc.subject Lignin en_US
dc.title Complementary symbiont contributions to plant decomposition in a fungus-farming termite en_US
dc.type Postprint Article en_US


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