Lignin degradation in wood-feeding insects

Scott M. Geib, Timothy R. Filley, Patrick G. Hatcher, Kelli Hoover, John E. Carlson, Maria Del Mar Jimenez-Gasco, Akiko Nakagawa-Izumi, Rachel L. Sleighter, Ming Tien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

188 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aromatic polymer lignin protects plants from most forms of microbial attack. Despite the fact that a significant fraction of all lignocellulose degraded passes through arthropod guts, the fate of lignin in these systems is not known. Using tetramethylammonium hydroxide thermochemolysis, we show lignin degradation by two insect species, the Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) and the Pacific dampwood termite (Zootermopsis angusticollis). In both the beetle and termite, significant levels of propyl side-chain oxidation (depolymerization) and demethylation of ring methoxyl groups is detected; for the termite, ring hydroxylation is also observed. In addition, culture-independent fungal gut community analysis of A. glabripennis identified a single species of fungus in the Fusarium solani/Nectria haematococca species complex. This is a soft-rot fungus that may be contributing to wood degradation. These results transform our understanding of lignin degradation by wood-feeding insects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12932-12937
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume105
Issue number35
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2 2008

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Lignin
Isoptera
Insects
Beetles
Nectria
Fungi
Arthropods
Fusarium
Hydroxylation
Polymers

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Cite this

Geib, Scott M. ; Filley, Timothy R. ; Hatcher, Patrick G. ; Hoover, Kelli ; Carlson, John E. ; Jimenez-Gasco, Maria Del Mar ; Nakagawa-Izumi, Akiko ; Sleighter, Rachel L. ; Tien, Ming. / Lignin degradation in wood-feeding insects. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2008 ; Vol. 105, No. 35. pp. 12932-12937.
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Lignin degradation in wood-feeding insects. / Geib, Scott M.; Filley, Timothy R.; Hatcher, Patrick G.; Hoover, Kelli; Carlson, John E.; Jimenez-Gasco, Maria Del Mar; Nakagawa-Izumi, Akiko; Sleighter, Rachel L.; Tien, Ming.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 105, No. 35, 02.09.2008, p. 12932-12937.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Jimenez-Gasco, Maria Del Mar

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