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Fungal communities of the foraging soil sheeting built by several fungus-growing termite species (Isoptera, Termitidae: Macrotermitinae) in a dry savanna (Thies, Senegal)



Fungal communities of the foraging soil sheeting built by several fungus-growing termite species (Isoptera, Termitidae: Macrotermitinae) in a dry savanna (Thies, Senegal)



Sociobiology 5(3): 899-914



Three different techniques were used to study the fungal population present in the foraging soil sheeting of three species of fungus-growing termites (Ancistrotennes guineensis, Macroteanes subhyalinus and Odontotermes nilensis) and in the neighboring soil in a dry savanna (Thies, Senegal). The termite soil sheeting showed a significant increase in fungal density compared with the control soil. The structure of the fungal community of each sample obtained using plate count methods as well as Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis on rDNA 18S and rDNA 28S fragments was compared and is discussed. Although the structure and diversity of the fungal communities differ significantly depending on the technique used, the similarity dendograms obtained from the results using each of the three techniques showed the same sample groupings in all cases. The fungal communities of the biogenic structures were always closer to each other than they are to the control soil while the biogenic structures built by O. nilensis and M. subhyalinus were always closer to each other than to those built by A. guineensis.

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