Compositional and Functional Characterisation of Biomass-Degrading Microbial Communities in Guts of Plant Fibre- and Soil-Feeding Higher Termites - Sorbonne Université Access content directly
Journal Articles Microbiome Year : 2020

Compositional and Functional Characterisation of Biomass-Degrading Microbial Communities in Guts of Plant Fibre- and Soil-Feeding Higher Termites

Abstract

Abstract Background Termites are among the most successful insect lineages on the globe and are responsible for providing numerous ecosystem services. They mainly feed on wood and other plant material at different stages of humification. Lignocellulose is often a principal component of such plant diet, and termites largely rely on their symbiotic microbiota and associated enzymes to decompose their food efficiently. While lower termites and their gut flagellates were given larger scientific attention in the past, the gut lignocellulolytic bacteria of higher termites remain less explored. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the structure and function of gut prokaryotic microbiomes from 11 higher termite genera representative of Syntermitinae , Apicotermitinae , Termitidae and Nasutitermitinae subfamilies, broadly grouped into plant fibre- and soil-feeding termite categories. Results Despite the different compositional structures of the studied termite gut microbiomes, reflecting well the diet and host lineage, we observed a surprisingly high functional congruency between gut metatranscriptomes from both feeding groups. The abundance of transcripts encoding for carbohydrate active enzymes as well as expression and diversity profiles of assigned glycoside hydrolase families were also similar between plant fibre- and soil-feeding termites. Yet, dietary imprints highlighted subtle metabolic differences specific to each feeding category. Roughly, 0.18% of de novo re-constructed gene transcripts were shared between the different termite gut microbiomes, making each termite gut a unique reservoir of genes encoding for potentially industrially applicable enzymes, e.g. relevant to biomass degradation. Taken together, we demonstrated the functional equivalence in microbial populations across different termite hosts. Conclusions Our results provide valuable insight into the bacterial component of the termite gut system and significantly expand the inventory of termite prokaryotic genes participating in the deconstruction of plant biomass.

Dates and versions

hal-03994212 , version 1 (17-02-2023)

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Martyna Marynowska, Xavier Goux, David Sillam-Dusses, Corinne Rouland-Lefèvre, Rashi Halder, et al.. Compositional and Functional Characterisation of Biomass-Degrading Microbial Communities in Guts of Plant Fibre- and Soil-Feeding Higher Termites. Microbiome, 2020, 8 (1), pp.96. ⟨10.1186/s40168-020-00872-3⟩. ⟨hal-03994212⟩
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