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Defend and disinfect: a flexible role for soldiers in termite society

  • The first sterile caste to evolve in termites was the soldier. While the importance of soldiers to termite society defense has long been recognized, the contribution of soldiers to other societal functions, such as colony immunity, is less well understood. We explore this issue by examining the role of soldiers in protecting nestmates against pathogen infection. Even though they are unable to engage in grooming behavior, we find that the presence of soldiers of the Darwin termite, Mastotermes darwiniensis, significantly improves the survival of nestmates following entomopathogenic infection. We also show that the copious exocrine oral secretions produced by Darwin termite soldiers contain a high concentration of proteins involved in digestion, chemical biosynthesis, and immunity. The oral secretions produced by soldiers are sufficient to protect nestmates against infection, and they have potent inhibitory activity against a broad spectrum of microbes. Our findings support the view thatThe first sterile caste to evolve in termites was the soldier. While the importance of soldiers to termite society defense has long been recognized, the contribution of soldiers to other societal functions, such as colony immunity, is less well understood. We explore this issue by examining the role of soldiers in protecting nestmates against pathogen infection. Even though they are unable to engage in grooming behavior, we find that the presence of soldiers of the Darwin termite, Mastotermes darwiniensis, significantly improves the survival of nestmates following entomopathogenic infection. We also show that the copious exocrine oral secretions produced by Darwin termite soldiers contain a high concentration of proteins involved in digestion, chemical biosynthesis, and immunity. The oral secretions produced by soldiers are sufficient to protect nestmates against infection, and they have potent inhibitory activity against a broad spectrum of microbes. Our findings support the view that soldiers may play an important role in colony immunity, and broaden our understanding of the possible function of soldiers during the origin of soldier-first societies.zeige mehrzeige weniger

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Metadaten
Autoren/innen:Shulin He
Koautoren/innen:Dino Peter McMahon, S. Lokatis
Dokumenttyp:Posterpräsentation
Veröffentlichungsform:Präsentation
Sprache:Englisch
Jahr der Erstveröffentlichung:2017
Organisationseinheit der BAM:4 Material und Umwelt
4 Material und Umwelt / 4.0 Abteilungsleitung und andere
DDC-Klassifikation:Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / Ingenieurwissenschaften / Sanitär- und Kommunaltechnik; Umwelttechnik
Freie Schlagwörter:Immunity; Social; Termite
Themenfelder/Aktivitätsfelder der BAM:Umwelt
Umwelt / Umweltschadstoffe
Veranstaltung:Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology
Veranstaltungsort:Groningen, Netherlands
Beginndatum der Veranstaltung:20.08.2018
Enddatum der Veranstaltung:25.08.2018
Verfügbarkeit des Dokuments:Datei im Netzwerk der BAM verfügbar ("Closed Access")
Datum der Freischaltung:21.02.2018
Referierte Publikation:Nein