Chemical analysis of food processing by the fungus-growing termite Macrotermes gilvus
Johjima, T.; Inoue, T.; Ohkuma, M.; Noparatnaraporn, N.; Kudo, T.
Sociobiology 42(3): 815-824
ISSN/ISBN: 0361-6525 Accession: 004071635
In order to investigate the mechanism of food processing by the fungus-growing termite Macrotermes gilvus, we analyzed chemical composition of fallen leaves, foodstore, and newer and older part of fungus comb. Proportions of extractives changed considerably during food processing, while proportions of holocellulose remained mostly unchanged. Contents of water-soluble phenolics were much lower in the old part of the fungus comb than in the fallen leaves. Possible roles of foodstore and Termitomyces for reduction of litter toxicity are discussed.