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Asymmetric interaction specificity between two sympatric termites and their fungal symbionts

de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard LU ; Boomsma, J.J. and Aanen, D. K. (2007) In Ecological Entomology 32(1). p.76-81
Abstract
1. Fungus-growing termites live in an obligate mutualistic symbiosis with

Termitomyces fungi. The functions of the fungal symbiont have been hypothesised to differ between species and to range from highly specific roles of providing plantdegrading enzymes complementary to termite gut enzymes, to non-specific roles of providing protein-rich food to the termites.

2. Termite species with unspecialised fungal symbionts are predicted to be associated with a wider range of symbionts than species with specialised symbionts. Recent DNA data have confirmed this prediction, but evidence for differences in functional specificity has been sparse and indirect.

3. Here the consequences of symbiont interaction specificity are... (More)
1. Fungus-growing termites live in an obligate mutualistic symbiosis with

Termitomyces fungi. The functions of the fungal symbiont have been hypothesised to differ between species and to range from highly specific roles of providing plantdegrading enzymes complementary to termite gut enzymes, to non-specific roles of providing protein-rich food to the termites.

2. Termite species with unspecialised fungal symbionts are predicted to be associated with a wider range of symbionts than species with specialised symbionts. Recent DNA data have confirmed this prediction, but evidence for differences in functional specificity has been sparse and indirect.

3. Here the consequences of symbiont interaction specificity are experimentally tested by reciprocally exchanging the fungal symbionts of sympatric colonies of Macrotermes natalensis and Odontotermes badius , which were inferred to have specialised and non-specialised symbionts respectively.

4. As expected, survival of O. badius termites on M. natalensis fungus was not significantly worse than on their own fungus, but survival of M. natalensis termites on O. badius fungus was significantly reduced.

5. This asymmetric result confirms that symbiont roles differ significantly between macrotermitine genera and indicates that symbiont transplantation experiments are a powerful tool for testing the functional details of mutualistic symbioses. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Acquired enzyme hypothesis, coevolution, fungus-growing termites, host specifi city, Macrotermitinae, mutualism, mutualistic symbiosis, T ermitomyces .
in
Ecological Entomology
volume
32
issue
1
pages
76 - 81
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:33846828442
ISSN
1365-2311
DOI
10.1111/j.1365-2311.2006.00843.x
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
e56bd6fd-96eb-4bed-8a6a-f462e9535b9e (old id 1970612)
date added to LUP
2011-06-14 13:31:02
date last changed
2017-01-01 04:31:06
@article{e56bd6fd-96eb-4bed-8a6a-f462e9535b9e,
  abstract     = {1. Fungus-growing termites live in an obligate mutualistic symbiosis with<br/><br>
Termitomyces fungi. The functions of the fungal symbiont have been hypothesised to differ between species and to range from highly specific roles of providing plantdegrading enzymes complementary to termite gut enzymes, to non-specific roles of providing protein-rich food to the termites.<br/><br>
2. Termite species with unspecialised fungal symbionts are predicted to be associated with a wider range of symbionts than species with specialised symbionts. Recent DNA data have confirmed this prediction, but evidence for differences in functional specificity has been sparse and indirect.<br/><br>
3. Here the consequences of symbiont interaction specificity are experimentally tested by reciprocally exchanging the fungal symbionts of sympatric colonies of Macrotermes natalensis and Odontotermes badius , which were inferred to have specialised and non-specialised symbionts respectively.<br/><br>
4. As expected, survival of O. badius termites on M. natalensis fungus was not significantly worse than on their own fungus, but survival of M. natalensis termites on O. badius fungus was significantly reduced.<br/><br>
5. This asymmetric result confirms that symbiont roles differ significantly between macrotermitine genera and indicates that symbiont transplantation experiments are a powerful tool for testing the functional details of mutualistic symbioses.},
  author       = {de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard and Boomsma, J.J. and Aanen, D. K.},
  issn         = {1365-2311},
  keyword      = {Acquired enzyme hypothesis,coevolution,fungus-growing termites,host
specifi city,Macrotermitinae,mutualism,mutualistic symbiosis,T ermitomyces .},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {76--81},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Ecological Entomology},
  title        = {Asymmetric interaction specificity between two sympatric termites and their fungal symbionts},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2311.2006.00843.x},
  volume       = {32},
  year         = {2007},
}