Project description:Termites have a unique ability to effectively digest lignocellulose with the help of mutualistic symbionts. While gut bacteria and protozoa have been relatively well characterized in termites, the virome remains largely unexplored. Here, we report two genomes of microviruses (termite-associated microvirus-1 [TaMV-1] and termite-associated microvirus-2 [TaMV-2]) associated with the gut of Coptotermes formosanus.
Project description:Coptotermes suzhouensis (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) is a significant subterranean termite pest of wooden structures and is widely distributed in southeastern China. The complete mitochondrial DNA sequence of C. suzhouensis was analyzed in this study. The mitogenome was a circular molecule of 15,764 bp in length, which contained 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 transfer RNA genes, two ribosomal RNA genes, and an A+T-rich region with a gene arrangement typical of Isoptera mitogenomes. All PCGs were initiated by ATN codons and terminated by complete termination codons (TAA), except COX2, ND5, and Cytb, which ended with an incomplete termination codon T. All tRNAs displayed a typical clover-leaf structure, except for tRNASer(AGN), which did not contain the stem-loop structure in the DHU arm. The A+T content (69.23%) of the A+T-rich region (949 bp) was higher than that of the entire mitogenome (65.60%), and two different sets of repeat units (A+B) were distributed in this region. Comparison of complete mitogenome sequences with those of Coptotermes formosanus indicated that the two taxa have very high genetic similarity. Forty-one representative termite species were used to construct phylogenetic trees by maximum likelihood, maximum parsimony, and Bayesian inference methods. The phylogenetic analyses also strongly supported (BPP, MLBP, and MPBP = 100%) that all C. suzhouensis and C. formosanus samples gathered into one clade with genetic distances between 0.000 and 0.002. This study provides molecular evidence for a more robust phylogenetic position of C. suzhouensis and inferrs that C. suzhouensis was the synonymy of C. formosanus.
Project description:The complete genome of bacteriophage CVT22 infecting Citrobacter sp. strain TM1552 is reported here. Both the bacteriophage and Citrobacter sp. TM1552 were isolated from the gut of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus. This is the first report of a genome sequence of a bacteriophage isolated from the termite gut.
Project description:Cockroach allergens can lead to serious allergy and asthma symptoms. Termites are evolutionarily related to cockroaches, cohabitate in human dwellings, and represent an increasing pest problem in the United States. The Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus) is one of the most common species in the southern United States. Several assays were used to determine if C. formosanus termite proteins cross-react with cockroach allergens. Expressed sequence tag and genomic sequencing results were searched for homology to cockroach allergens using BLAST 2.2.21 software. Whole termite extracts were analyzed by mass-spectrometry, immunoassay with IgG and scFv antibodies to cockroach allergens, and human IgE from serum samples of cockroach allergic patients. Expressed sequence tag and genomic sequencing results indicate greater than 60% similarity between predicted termite proteins and German and American cockroach allergens, including Bla g 2/Per a 2, Bla g 3/Per a 3, Bla g 5, Bla g 6/Per a 6, Bla g 7/Per a 7, Bla g 8, Per a 9, and Per a 10. Peptides from whole termite extract were matched to those of the tropomyosin (Bla g 7), arginine kinase (Per a 9), and myosin (Bla g 8) cockroach allergens by mass-spectrometry. Immunoblot and ELISA testing revealed cross-reaction between several proteins with IgG and IgE antibodies to cockroach allergens. Several termite proteins, including the hemocyanin and tropomyosin orthologs of Blag 3 and Bla g 7, were shown to crossreact with cockroach allergens. This work presents support for the hypothesis that termite proteins may act as allergens and the findings could be applied to future allergen characterization, epitope analysis, and clinical studies.
Project description:Termites have a distinct polyphenism controlled by concise hormonal and molecular mechanisms. Workers undergo double molts to transform into soldiers (worker-presoldier-soldier). Juvenile hormone analogs, such as methoprene, can induce workers to transform into presoldiers. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the worker-to-presoldier transformation in Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki is still not clear. We sequenced the transcriptome of workers four days after they had fed on methoprene-treated filter paper and control group workers, which fed on acetone-treated filter paper. The transcriptome of C. formosanus was assembled using the de novo assembly method. Expression levels of unigenes in the methoprene-treated group and the control group were compared. The differentially expressed genes were further analyzed by Gene Ontology (GO) term enrichment analysis and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway enrichment analysis. Tetrapyrrole binding, oxidoreductase activity, and metal ion binding were the only three enriched GO terms. Juvenile hormone synthesis was the first ranked enriched pathway. Carbohydrate, amino acid, and lipid metabolism pathways were also enriched. These three pathways may be related to fat body development, which is critical for presoldier formation. Our results have demonstrated the significance of JH synthesis pathways, and pathways related to fat body development in the artificial induction of presoldiers.
Project description:Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, live socially in microbial-rich habitats. To understand the molecular mechanism by which termites combat pathogenic microbes, a full-length normalized cDNA library and four Suppression Subtractive Hybridization (SSH) libraries were constructed from termite workers infected with entomopathogenic fungi (Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana), Gram-positive Bacillus thuringiensis and Gram-negative Escherichia coli, and the libraries were analyzed. From the high quality normalized cDNA library, 439 immune-related sequences were identified. These sequences were categorized as pattern recognition receptors (47 sequences), signal modulators (52 sequences), signal transducers (137 sequences), effectors (39 sequences) and others (164 sequences). From the SSH libraries, 27, 17, 22 and 15 immune-related genes were identified from each SSH library treated with M. anisopliae, B. bassiana, B. thuringiensis and E. coli, respectively. When the normalized cDNA library was compared with the SSH libraries, 37 immune-related clusters were found in common; 56 clusters were identified in the SSH libraries, and 259 were identified in the normalized cDNA library. The immune-related gene expression pattern was further investigated using quantitative real time PCR (qPCR). Important immune-related genes were characterized, and their potential functions were discussed based on the integrated analysis of the results. We suggest that normalized cDNA and SSH libraries enable us to discover functional genes transcriptome. The results remarkably expand our knowledge about immune-inducible genes in C. formosanus Shiraki and enable the future development of novel control strategies for the management of Formosan subterranean termites.
Project description:The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, is a serious pest worldwide. Juvenile hormone analog (and its analogs such as methoprene) can induce the transformation of the worker caste into soldier caste in C. formosanus. However, several factors, such as feeding substrate and colony origin, influence the proportion of solider formation. The molecular mechanism of worker to soldier transformation of C. formosanus is still not clear. RT-qPCR is a powerful tool for molecular studies. Accurate gene quantification by the relative quantification method requires a stable expressed gene as the reference gene. However, no reference genes were available for this species in the methoprene bioassay. To study the problem of gene response to methoprene by RT-qPCR we have to first screen reference genes in C. formosanus. Workers were fed with methoprene. Termites were collected during the methoprene bioassay and separated into head and thorax+abdomen. Expression profiles of 10 candidate reference genes in the two body part types were investigated using RT-qPCR. The results were analyzed by a set of established methods (geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper, and RefFinder) as well as comparative ?Ct method. Our results suggest that RPS18 is the most stably-expressed gene both in the head and thorax+abdomen for expression analysis in the methoprene bioassay of C. formosanus. The screening of suitable reference genes in C. formosanus establishes the foundation for the molecular study of soldier caste differentiation in this species.