Jared Leadbetter explains why the termite-gut microbial community is an excellent system for studying the complex interactions between microbes. The symbiotic relationship existing between the host insect and lignocellulose-degrading gut microbes is explained, as well as the industrial uses of these microbes for degrading plant biomass and generating biofuels.
A simple, rapid method for determining the saccharification potential of large numbers of plant biomass samples is described. The automated platform for this analysis involves the preparation of the plant biomass for analysis in 96 well plates and the subsequent performance of pretreatment, hydrolysis and quantification of the sugars released.
This video demonstrates a controlled environment approach to study degradation of lignocellulosic plant tissues by aerobic fungi. The ability to control nutrient sources and moisture is a key advantage of agar-block microcosms, but the approach often yields mixed success. We address critical pitfalls to yield reproducible, low-variability results.
GENPLAT (GLBRC Enzyme Platform) is an automated platform for discovery and optimization of enzyme cocktails for biomass degradation. It can be adapted to multiple feedstocks and mixtures of enzymes containing multiple components.
Extracting DNA from the Gut Microbes of the Termite (Zootermopsis Angusticollis) and Visualizing Gut Microbes
This video illustrates the technique for extracting DNA from the species of microbes resident in the termite hindgut. The preparation of a wet mount slide, which is useful for visualizing the gut microbial community is also illustrated, and a tour through the species-rich gut environment is given.