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Characterizing lignin in a fungus-cultivating termiteAuthor(s): Hongjie Li; Daniel J. Yelle; John Ralph; Cameron R. Currie; Jianchu Mo
Source: In: Proceedings, polyphenols communication, the XXIXth international conference on polyphenols. 2 p.
Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)
Station: Forest Products Laboratory
PDF: Download Publication (496.0 KB)
DescriptionLignin is a heterogenous plant cell wall polyphenol derived primarily from hydroxycinnamyl alcohols via combinatorial radical coupling reactions containing ether- and C-C linkages . Its depolymerization is challenging, making lignin a major barrier to gaining access to stored energy within lignocellulosic materials . Termites from the sub family Macrotermitinae form a monophyletic group of species that have cultivated fungi (Termitomyces spp.) using wood materials and are able to decompose lignocellulose almost completely . Fungus-cultivating termites have evolved in mutualistic association with multiple microbial symbionts, not only with lignocellulose-digesting basidiomycetes fungi, but also with gut microbiota associated with their fungus comb . The way Macrotermitinae termites and symbiotic microbiota circumvent the lignin barrier and cleave polysaccharides into easily digestible sugars remains a mystery . In this study, we examined the degradation mechanisms of wood lignin and polysaccharides through each stage of the plant substrate flow using a laboratory rearing colony of Odontotermes formosanus .
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CitationLi, Hongjie; Yelle, Daniel J.; Ralph, John; Currie, Cameron R.; Mo, Jianchu. 2018. Characterizing lignin in a fungus-cultivating termite. In: Proceedings, polyphenols communication, the XXIXth international conference on polyphenols. 2 p.
KeywordsLignin, symbiosis, age polyethism, carbohydrate, NMR
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