Data released on September 01, 2014
Background: Most termites rely on gut microbial symbionts to decompose organic matter. During the process of Macrotermitinae domesticating Termitomyces fungi, it led to the loss of their ancestral gut symbionts and the acquisition a novel gut microbiome, but the complementary roles of the major components of this obligate symbiosis remain enigmatic. Here we provide sequence assemblies for the gut microbiome of 3 distinct castes within the a single colony of termite.
Sampling: The gut DNA were extract from major workers, minor soldiers and the queen from M. natalensis colony Mn117 (S24°40’30.5” E28°47’50.4”, elevation 1045 m). In workers and soldiers, duplicate extractions were performed on 2 x 50 guts pulled out of individuals aseptically, which were pooled after extraction. The queen gut DNA was from a entire queen gut dissected out aseptically.
Finding: The three gut microbiomes were assembled to 446Mb (>1,200,000 genes), 337Mb (>900,000 genes), and 33Mb (>50,000 genes) for workers, soldiers and the queen, respectively.
Poulsen, M., Hu, H., Li, C., Chen, Z., Xu, L., Otani, S., … Zhang, G. (2014). Complementary symbiont contributions to plant decomposition in a fungus-farming termite. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(40), 14500–14505. doi:10.1073/pnas.1319718111