A food factory strictly managed by fungus-growing termites

Joo Young Cha, I. G.P. Wirawan, Yutaka Tamai, Si Young Lee, Kun Woo Chun, Sang Yong Lee, Shoji Ohga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this study, we analyzed fungus gardens of Odontotermes feae (Wasmann), which are associated with Termitomyces eurhizus (Berk.) R. Heim, and of Ancistrotermes pakistanicus Ahmad, which are associated with T. striatus (Beeli) R. Heim, to examine the ecological effects of termite use on primordium and fruiting-body formation Our results indicate that the symbiotic termites strictly managed those fungus gardens that developed fruiting bodies We also found that the termites prevented fruiting-body formation in fungus gardens of O. feae associated with T. eurhizus by eating the blackish tips of the primordia just prior to fruiting-body development Ancistrotermes pakistanicus, however, did not eat the growing primordia of T. striatus. Instead, the primordia became fruiting bodies, the pseudorhizae of which were used along with the fungus garden as food for the termites Moreover, our results revealed that Termitomyces developed fruiting bodies in the fungus gardens after the termites had deserted the nest. In conclusion, although the behavior between O. feae and A pakistanicus toward fungus combs differs, their common goal is to maintain mycelial masses, including woody debris as a food resource.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-14
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University
Volume55
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2010

Fingerprint

Isoptera
fruiting bodies
food industry
Fungi
Food
fungi
Termitomyces
Odontotermes
Comb and Wattles
combs (social insects)
Eating
nests
fungus gardens
Gardens
ingestion

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

Cite this

Cha, J. Y., Wirawan, I. G. P., Tamai, Y., Lee, S. Y., Chun, K. W., Lee, S. Y., & Ohga, S. (2010). A food factory strictly managed by fungus-growing termites. Journal of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University, 55(1), 11-14.

A food factory strictly managed by fungus-growing termites. / Cha, Joo Young; Wirawan, I. G.P.; Tamai, Yutaka; Lee, Si Young; Chun, Kun Woo; Lee, Sang Yong; Ohga, Shoji.

In: Journal of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University, Vol. 55, No. 1, 01.02.2010, p. 11-14.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cha, JY, Wirawan, IGP, Tamai, Y, Lee, SY, Chun, KW, Lee, SY & Ohga, S 2010, 'A food factory strictly managed by fungus-growing termites', Journal of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University, vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 11-14.
Cha JY, Wirawan IGP, Tamai Y, Lee SY, Chun KW, Lee SY et al. A food factory strictly managed by fungus-growing termites. Journal of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University. 2010 Feb 1;55(1):11-14.
Cha, Joo Young ; Wirawan, I. G.P. ; Tamai, Yutaka ; Lee, Si Young ; Chun, Kun Woo ; Lee, Sang Yong ; Ohga, Shoji. / A food factory strictly managed by fungus-growing termites. In: Journal of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University. 2010 ; Vol. 55, No. 1. pp. 11-14.
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