The effect of two commercial baits on bacterial community in the termite gut

Monday, November 17, 2014: 11:24 AM
B110-112 (Oregon Convention Center)
Rachel Ann Arango , USDA - Forest Service, Madison, WI
Kenneth Raffa , Department of Entomology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Frederick Green III , USDA - Forest Service, Madison, WI
Subterranean termites are responsible for billions of dollars worth of damage to structures annually in the United States. Despite numerous advances in termiticide development, subterranean termite treatment in the field is still an imperfect science at best. The implementation of baiting matrices for controlling termite populations was a significant advancement in the application of environmentally friendly methods of controlling these pests. However, there is still much to be learned on how these baits work at a population level. Although many of the available commercial baits are known to act as chitin synthesis inhibitors, the effect of these baits in the field as well as in laboratory tests have been shown to be widely variable suggesting additional modes of action. Despite this fact, few studies have focused on the impact of these baits on termite gut symbionts, particularly the effect of baits on the gut bacterial community. Here, we examine the effect of two commercially available baits, hexaflumeron and diflubenzuron on bacterial gut symbionts on two colonies of Reticulitermes flavipes and one colony of Reticulitermes tibialis using 454-pyrosequencing. Initial results suggest a treatment effect at the phyla level in the Spirochaetes, Firmicutes, Endomicrobia and Actinobacteria.