Insect gut microbiology and symbiosis

Prof. Dr. Andreas Brune

Research Area

Termite guts are tiny bioreactors converting lignocellulose to microbial fermentation products that fuel the metabolism of the host. My research group studies the role of the termite gut microbiota in the symbiotic digestion of wood, focusing on the biology of the prokaryotic and eukaryotic symbionts and their interactions, the structure and functions of the intestinal ecosystem, and the evolution of its microbiota. Other aspects are the microbial processes in the guts of humivorous soil macrofauna, such as soil-feeding termites and scarab beetle larvae.

The group of Andreas Brune in November 2018

Recent publications:

Tokuda, G., Mikaelyan, A., Fukuia, C., Matsuura, Y., Watanabe, H., Fujishima, M., Brune, A. (2018) Fiber-associated spirochetes are major agents of hemicellulose degradation in the hindgut of wood-feeding higher termites. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (online first). (Online)

Brune, A. (2018) Methanogens in the digestive tract of termites. In: (Endo)symbiotic Methanogenic Archaea, 2nd edn. Microbiology Monographs, vol. 19 (J.H.P. Hackstein, ed.). Springer, Cham, pp. 81–101. (Online)

Bourguignon, T., Lo, N., Dietrich, C., Šobotník, J., Sidek, S., Roisin, Y., Brune, A., Evans, T.A. (2018) Rampant host-switching shaped the termite gut microbiome. Curr. Biol. 28: 649–654.e2. (Online)

Complete publication list

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