What is the symbiotic relationship between termite and bacteria?

What is the symbiotic relationship between termite and bacteria?

Termites thrive on a diet of wood thanks to a remarkable biological coexistence involving two other organisms. A symbiotic protist that lives in the guts of these wood-eating insects breaks down cellulose found in plant cell walls. And inside each protist lives beneficial bacteria that assist the metabolic process.

What microorganisms are present in termite digestive tract?

Protozoa in the termite gut breakdown the polysaccharides in wood to produce acetate; a food source for the termite. The breakdown of wood also produces H2 and CO2. Archaea in the gut convert the H2 and CO2 to methane, while bacteria compete to convert the H2 and CO2 to more acetate thus reducing methane production.

Why is the relationship between a termite and the protist that lives in its digestive tract an example of mutualism?

The protists get a safe home in the termite’s gut and a continual supply of ingested wood. The termite is unable to digest cellulose by itself, so it uses the protists in its gut to do so. Both partners benefit from the symbiotic association, and that is what mutualism means.

Are termites microorganisms?

Three groups of microorganisms are usually associated with the termites in a symbiotic existence. Two of these are the bacteria and protozoa which live within the hindgut of the insect. The third group are the fungi which some termites cultivate as ‘fungus gardens’ or ‘fungus combs’ (Sands 1969).

How do microorganisms affect ecosystems?

The primary harmful effects of microbes upon our existence and civilization is that they are an important cause of disease in animals and crop plants, and they are agents of spoilage and decomposition of our foods, textiles and dwellings.

What is the bacteria in a termites stomach?

(2008) isolated three intestinal bacteria from the hind gut of the subterranean termite Coptotermes curvignathus, identified them as (Enterobacter aerogenes, E. cloacae and Clavibacter agropyri) and demonstrated their roles in cellulose degradation.

What protozoa live in termites?

The symbiotic flagellates of termites belong to two lineages of protozoa: the Oxymonadida and the Parabasalia.

What kind of organisms are in the termite gut?

This student page has not been curated. The termite gut contains organisms from all three domains of life, Bacteria, Eukarya, and Archaea. (1) There is a great diversity of microbes in the termite gut, many of which are unidentified because of the tiny size of termites and also due to the challenge of growing them outside of the termite gut.

How is a termite able to digest wood?

Although termites are insects that eat wood, termites are not capable of digesting wood on their own. Endosymbionts that live within the intestines of the termite assist in converting the wood into nutrients that the termite is able to digest.

Where does most cellulose digestion occur in a termite?

(4) Their investigation found that most cellulose digestion occurs in the hindgut for termites that have flagellates, and the midgut for termites without the presence of flagellates in their gut.