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Research Articles

Identification and substrate utilisation of fungi associated with low country live wood termite, Glyptotermes dilatatus Bugnion & Popoff and the host plant, Camellia sinensis L.O. Kuntze

Authors:

PD Senanayake,

LK
About PD
Entomology Division, Tea Research Institute, Ratnapura.
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KM Mohotti,

LK
About KM

Tea Research Institute, Talawakelle.

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PA Paranagama

LK
About PA

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Kelaniya, Kelaniya.

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Abstract

The low country live wood termite (Glyptotermes dilatatus) is known to be associated with wood decaying fungi on decayed tea (Camellia sinensis var Assamica) stems. The diversity and prevalence of wood decaying fungi in decayed tea stems however have not been studied extensively. In this study, wood decaying fungi were isolated from decayed tea stems of TRI 4042 cultivar, living termites (G. dilatatus) and termite galleries collected from St. Joachim Tea Estate, Ratnapura, Sri Lanka. Of the fifteen fungi isolated, thirteen were identified using molecular taxonomy. This is the first report of isolation and identification of wood decaying fungi associated with decayed tea stumps. Among the identified fungi species, seven, six, and twelve fungal strains were recovered from the living termites, termite occupied galleries and decayed tea stems, respectively. Fusarium solani, Fusarium sp.1, Fusarium sp. 2, and Rhizomucor variabilis were the common fungi isolated. Results on substrate utilisation patterns of seven fungal species revealed that all the fungi were able to produce at least two enzymes to utilise the test substrates. Further, except with R. variabilis and Neosartorya fischeri, these fungi could digest cellulose and pectin either by producing polygalactouronase or pectate lyase. In utilisation of lignin, none of the test fungi produced laccase although all were able to produce peroxidase.

How to Cite: Senanayake, P., Mohotti, K. & Paranagama, P., (2016). Identification and substrate utilisation of fungi associated with low country live wood termite, Glyptotermes dilatatus Bugnion & Popoff and the host plant, Camellia sinensis L.O. Kuntze. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka. 44(2), pp.175–184. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jnsfsr.v44i2.7998
Published on 30 Jun 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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