Termite Gut Flagellates and Their Methanogenic and Eubacterial Symbionts

  • Yuichi HongohEmail author
  • Moriya Ohkuma
Part of the Microbiology Monographs book series (MICROMONO, volume 19)


Termites harbor an abundance and diversity of symbiotic microbes in their gut that comprise all the three domains of life: Eucarya, Bacteria, and Archaea. One of the most prominent features of this microbiota is the cellular association of the gut flagellates with eubacteria and/or methanogenic archaea. The eubacterial and methanogenic symbionts are observed both inside and on the surface of the host flagellate cells. Although molecular approaches have gradually revealed the phylogenetic and spatial structures of these as-yet-uncultivable symbiotic complexes, their functions remain largely unknown. Recently, a method to acquire the complete genome sequence of uncultured bacterial species from a small number of cells has been developed; two complete genome sequences of endosymbiotic eubacteria of termite gut flagellates have been decoded. This novel genomic approach is expected to provide a great progress in the studies of this multilayered symbiotic system in termite gut.


Whole Genome Amplification Methanogenic Archaea Termite Species High Termite Lower Termite 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Bioscience and BiotechnologyTokyo Institute of TechnologyTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Japan Collection of Microorganisms (JCM)RIKEN BioResource CenterWakoJapan

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