Today at Berkeley Lab

Termite Diets Dictate Microbes in Their Guts

Realtors and homeowners cringe at the thought of termites on their properties, but for bioenergy researchers, these insects are rich harbors of microbial communities that can break down woody lignocellulose. Previously, the Joint Genome Institute sequenced the microbes in the hindgut of termites from Costa Rica to identify the genes and enzymes involved in the process of breaking down plant biomass. Following up on this project several years later, a team including JGI researchers wanted to find out how the phrase “you are what you eat” might be applied to a termite’s dietary lifestyle in influencing the composition of the microbial community in its gut. More>

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