Symbioses in the Termite Gut
In most species of termites, vast numbers of flagellates inhabit the hindguts of workers. These symbionts can make up as much as one third the. Termites: God's Pint-Sized Builders. by Lanny and Marilyn They live in a symbiotic or mutual relationship with teeny critters called flagellates. These wee. The body color of termites is white (not all species); therefore, they are called " white ants". They depend on the intestinal protozoa in the digestion of cellulose . depicting the symbiotic relation between termites and intestinal flagellates.
Symbioses in the Termite Gut
This gives three-dimensional images of the microbes. Photos courtesy of Dan Gage The protozoans come in a variety of shapes and move around rapidly.
These are their flagella that they use to move. They consume wood particles through the larger end of the cell. They cannot break down the wood by themselves.
They harbor bacteria inside them that do this for them and some of the chemical products that those bacteria produce are used as food by.
This is an example of a symbiosis or "living together". Personympha vertens or maybe Personympha minor? You be the judge. Microjoenia Holomastigotes elongatum Many of the bacteria in the termite gut live closely associated with the protozoans, sometimes on their surface or inside the protozoan cells. They aid in digestion of food and disposal of waste products. In these photos, the bacteria were stained with a dye that stains DNA so they show up as small white or grey spots.
The larger white spots are the nuclei of the protists that contains their chromosomes that are made of DNA.
Termites & Intestinal Flagellates by shanice anderson on Prezi
Bacteria inside white arrows an unidentified protozoan. The nucleus of the protozoan is labeled. The attached spirochaetes help the protzoa to move. Bacteria that live on the surface of their partner are called ectosymbionts. Other bacteria can be seen around the protozoans white arrows.
The spiral-shaped, unattached bacteria are other kinds of spirochaetes. They must also have fresh moist air. Termites construct their mounds to meet these needs.
Their mounds are built with a complicated ventilation system. Termites use spit and mud to build the hard, thick walls. Very close to the surface of these walls are tiny tunnels. Air is heated by the bodies of the termites and their fungus.
This warmed air rises, and tiny tunnels carry the rising warm air close to the surface of the mound. The termitary walls are porous, or have tiny holes.
The tiny tunnels are so near the porous surface that cooled, fresh air can actually leak into the inside air and stale air, and other gases can leak out.
Thus the mound acts like a giant lung and constantly refreshes the air inside.
Amazingly these walls also keep the rain and the heat out! Without ventilation and cooling, the termites would die within hours.
Each huge termite mound is built by worker termites. Worker termites also repair the mound, take care of the king and queen, gather food, and tend the eggs. Amazingly, these tiny workers are blind!
Insects :: Incredible and Inspirational
The queen, king, and soldiers have eyes. Each mound has one queen and one king. The queen can lay more than 30, eggs a day!
There are also soldier termites which defend the colony with their large heads and powerful jaws. They have such large jaws.
Some termites grow fungus to eat, but others have to go outside for food. Termites have a special smell pheromones. When workers stumble into food they leave a scent trail for others to follow. Workers have a different smell than soldiers. If a lot of soldier termites are killed during a battle, there will be less of the soldier smell inside the mound. The queen, down in her egg laying chamber, can sniff the air, and somehow she knows that there are not as many soldier termites. So she begins to lay soldier eggs, to replace those that are missing!
Wood eating termites live on wood. Have you ever tried to eat wood? You can eat wood all you want, but it won't do you much good, because we cannot digest the cellulose in wood.