During the last year, our team at sub-programme 2 (SP2) continues in excellent publication activity. The team is focused on biology of termites and their role as important decomposers with a global impact. One of the aims of the research design was to examine and to analyse the role of environmental symbiotic organism in decomposition process. Recently published articles bring new knowledge to our topic.
The key knowledge to explain the evolution of symbiotic relationships between termites and microbes is the actual phylogeny of termites themselves. Last year we achieved a great publication in the top-notched journal Current Biology, where we made an important step to finally decipher the evolutionary history of termites.
For a long time, the only proven existence of external symbiotic microbes of termites were fungal gardens of Macrotermitinae, but our results show, that beneficial relationship with environmental microbes are much more common, including newly discovered bacterial gardens of Sphaerotermitinae.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology: Termites are associated with external species-specific bacterial communities