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.

Recent publications:

Feldewert, C., Lang, K., Brune, A. (2020) The hydrogen threshold of obligately methyl-reducing methanogens. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 367: fnaa137. (Online)

Michaud, C., Hervé, V., Dupont, S., Dubreuil, G., Bézier, A.M., Meunier, J., Brune, A., Dedeine, F. (2020) Efficient but occasionally imperfect vertical transmission of gut mutualistic protists in a wood-feeding termite. Mol. Ecol. 29: 308–324. (Online)

Hervé, V., Liu, P., Dietrich, C., Sillam-Dussès, D., Stiblik, P., Šobotník, J., Brune, A. (2020) Phylogenomic analysis of 589 metagenome-assembled genomes encompassing all major prokaryotic lineages from the gut of higher termites. PeerJ 8: e8614. (Online)

Complete publication list

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