Journal of Chemical Ecology (2017) 43, 1078-1085

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Emily Mevers, Thomas Chouvenc, Nan-Yao Su and Jon Clardy (2017)
Chemical interaction among termite-associated microbes
Journal of Chemical Ecology 43 (11-12), 1078-1085
Abstract: Bacteria and fungi in shared environments compete with one another for common substrates, and this competition typically involves microbially-produced small molecules. An investigation of one shared environmental niche, the carton material of the Formosan subterranean termite Coptotermes formosanus, identified the participants on one of these molecular exchanges. Molecular characterization of several termite-associated actinobacteria strains identified eleven known antimicrobial metabolites that may aid in protecting the C. formosanus colony from pathogenic fungal infections. One particular actinobacterial-derived small molecule, bafilomycin C1, elicited a strong chemical response from Trichoderma harzianum, a common soil saprophyte. Upon purification and structure elucidation, three major fungal metabolites were identified, t22-azaphilone, cryptenol, and homodimericin A. Both t22-azaphilone and homodimericin A are strongly upregulated, 123- and 38-fold, respectively, when exposed to bafilomycin C1, suggesting each play a role in defending T. harzianum from the toxic effect of bafilomycin C1.
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Database assignments for author(s): Nan-Yao Su, Thomas Chouvenc

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
general biology - morphology - evolution

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Coptotermes formosanus