0292 Quantitation of glucose and pentose release from pine wood between different gut regions of the lower termite Reticulitermes flavipes

Monday, December 13, 2010: 11:35 AM
Royal Palm, Salon 1 (Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center)
Zachary Karl , Entomology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Michael E Scharf , Entomology & Nematology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Termites possess the unique ability to feed upon, digest, and receive nourishment from materials composed of lignocelluloses. This utilization involves the degradation of lignocellulosic materials, such as wood, through a collaboration of both endogenous and exogenous (symbiotic) enzymes, and the digestion of simple five and six-carbon sugars released as a result of the degradative process. A better understanding of this collaboration will aid in the development of more efficient pretreatment techniques for lignocellulosic materials for the purpose of bio-ethanol production, as well as novel termite control technologies. This research was performed with the goal of quantitatively measuring pentose and glucose release from the two components of the termite gut digestome: host (salivary gland, foregut, midgut) and symbiont (hindgut). Enzyme extracts from each fraction were incubated with pine wood saw dust. Simple glucose and pentose detection tests were then performed to quantify the amount of pentose and glucose released. Glucose release was significantly greater than pentose release in the two gut fractions tested and was also significantly greater throughout the entire gut as a whole. The observed collaboration of the different gut fractions in the case of glucose release was significantly greater than expected, while the observed collaboration in the case of pentose release was not significantly greater than expected. These results provide evidence that: 1) glucose release by host and symbiont collaboration is significant in the R. flavipes gut, and 2) recombinant enzymes derived from the entire termite digestome will be powerful tools for the production of cellulosic ethanol.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.52596