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:

Song, Y., Pfeiffer, F., Radek, R., Hearne, C., Hervé, V., Brune, A. (2022) Comparative analysis of Brucepastera parasyntrophica gen. nov., sp. nov. and Teretinema zuelzerae gen. nov., comb. nov. (Treponemataceae) reveals the importance of interspecies hydrogen transfer in the energy metabolism of spirochetes. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (in press). (Online)

Brune, A., Song, Y., Oren, A., Paster, B.J. (2022) A new family for 'termite gut treponemes': Description of Breznakiellaceae fam. nov., Gracilinema caldarium gen. nov., comb. nov., Leadbettera azotonutricia gen. nov., comb. nov., Helmutkoenigia isoptericolens gen. nov., comb. nov., and Zuelzera stenostrepta gen. nov., comb. nov., and proposal of Rectinemataceae fam. nov. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 72: 5439. (Online)

Arora, J., Kinjo, Y., Šobotník, J., Bucek, A., Clitheroe, C., Stiblik, P., Roisin, Y., Žifcáková, L., Park, Y.C., Kim, K.Y., Sillam-Dussès, D., Hervé, V., Lo, N., Tokuda, G., Brune, A., Bourguignon, T. (2022) The functional evolution of termite gut microbiota. Microbiome 10: 78. (Online)

Song, Y., Hervé, V., Radek, R., Pfeiffer, F., Zheng, H., Brune, A. (2021) Characterization and phylogenomic analysis of Breznakiella homolactica gen. nov. sp. nov. indicates that termite gut treponemes evolved from non-acetogenic spirochetes in cockroaches. Environ. Microbiol. 23: 4228–4245. (Online)

Horvathova, T., Sustr, V., Chronakova, A., Semanova, S., Lang, K., Dietrich, C., Hubacek, T., Ardestani, M., Lara, A., Brune, A., Simek, M. (2021) Methanogenesis in the digestive tract of the tropical millipedes Archispirostreptus gigas (Diplopoda, Spirostreptidae) and Epibolus pulchripes (Diplopoda, Pachybolidae). Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 87: e00614–21. (Online)

Loh, H.Q., Hervé, V., Brune, A. (2021) Metabolic potential for reductive acetogenesis and a novel energy-converting [NiFe] hydrogenase in Bathyarchaeia from termite guts – a genome-centric analysis. Front. Microbiol. 11: 3644. (Online)

Strassert, J.F.H., Wurzbacher, C., Hervé, V., Antany, T., Brune, A., Radek, R. (2021) Long rDNA amplicon sequencing of insect-infecting nephridiophagids reveals their affiliation to the Chytridiomycota and a potential to switch between hosts. Sci. Rep. 11: 396. (Online)

Complete publication list

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