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The Termite Cellulase System as a Novel Target Site for Termite Control

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021577/00001

Material Information

Title: The Termite Cellulase System as a Novel Target Site for Termite Control
Physical Description: 1 online resource (71 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Wheeler, Marsha M
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: cellulase, endoglucanase, exoglucanase, inhibitors, protozoa, termite
Entomology and Nematology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Entomology and Nematology thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Termites are among the few insects capable of efficiently digesting cellulose, the major component in wood. This singular ability enables termites to play important ecological roles and makes them major structural pests worldwide. All termite species require the presence of specialized enzymes called cellulases for the digestion of cellulosic materials. In many termite pest species, cellulases are both symbiotic and endogenous in origin. This collaborative cellulase system is central to termite nutrition and survival, and consequently considered a potential target site for novel termite control agents, including cellulase inhibitors. Thus, the overall objective of this research project was to identify novel compounds as potential inhibitors of termite cellulases. Specifically, three prototype cellulase inhibitors were tested against workers of the Eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes, including the disaccharide-based cellobioimidazole (CBI) and fluoro-methyl cellobiose (FMCB) and the monosaccharide-based fluoro-methyl glucose (FMG). These compounds were tested in vitro through cellulase activity assays, as well as in vivo in 24-day bioassays. In addition, this research developed a technique to monitor cellulolytic protozoan populations in termites, as an effort to clarify whether decreases in cellulase activity are the result of protozoan death or enzymatic inhibition. This study provides novel data indicating that the disaccharide-based inhibitor CBI is a strong inhibitor of termite cellulases and caused moderate termite mortality. This research also suggests that quantitative real time -PCR is a viable method to monitor shifts in cellulolytic protozoa populations.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Marsha M Wheeler.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2007.
Local: Adviser: Oi, Faith M.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2007
System ID: UFE0021577:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021577/00001

Material Information

Title: The Termite Cellulase System as a Novel Target Site for Termite Control
Physical Description: 1 online resource (71 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Wheeler, Marsha M
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: cellulase, endoglucanase, exoglucanase, inhibitors, protozoa, termite
Entomology and Nematology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Entomology and Nematology thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Termites are among the few insects capable of efficiently digesting cellulose, the major component in wood. This singular ability enables termites to play important ecological roles and makes them major structural pests worldwide. All termite species require the presence of specialized enzymes called cellulases for the digestion of cellulosic materials. In many termite pest species, cellulases are both symbiotic and endogenous in origin. This collaborative cellulase system is central to termite nutrition and survival, and consequently considered a potential target site for novel termite control agents, including cellulase inhibitors. Thus, the overall objective of this research project was to identify novel compounds as potential inhibitors of termite cellulases. Specifically, three prototype cellulase inhibitors were tested against workers of the Eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes, including the disaccharide-based cellobioimidazole (CBI) and fluoro-methyl cellobiose (FMCB) and the monosaccharide-based fluoro-methyl glucose (FMG). These compounds were tested in vitro through cellulase activity assays, as well as in vivo in 24-day bioassays. In addition, this research developed a technique to monitor cellulolytic protozoan populations in termites, as an effort to clarify whether decreases in cellulase activity are the result of protozoan death or enzymatic inhibition. This study provides novel data indicating that the disaccharide-based inhibitor CBI is a strong inhibitor of termite cellulases and caused moderate termite mortality. This research also suggests that quantitative real time -PCR is a viable method to monitor shifts in cellulolytic protozoa populations.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Marsha M Wheeler.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2007.
Local: Adviser: Oi, Faith M.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2007
System ID: UFE0021577:00001


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03007e471f6be952fe8f849f2339a136499e5ff8








THE TERMITE CELLULASE SYSTEM AS A NOVEL TARGET SITE FOR TERMITE
CONTROL



















By

MARSHA MARIA WHEELER


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2007











































O 2007 Marsha Maria Wheeler

































To my family and to Andrew Magis









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I thank my committee members, Dr. D. B. Boucias, Dr. M. E. Scharf, and my advisor, Dr.

F. M. Oi. I specifically thank Dr. Boucias for manuscript review and vivid discussions on

termite protozoa, Dr. Scharf for providing wonderful research and learning opportunities, and Dr.

Oi for introducing me to the world of termites. In addition, I thank Dr. X. Zhou for invaluable

mentorship and Matt Tarver for support and friendship.












TABLE OF CONTENTS


page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .............. ...............4.....


LIST OF TABLES ................. ...............7......._.....


LIST OF FIGURES .............. ...............8.....


AB S TRAC T ............._. .......... ..............._ 10...


CHAPTER


1 LITERATURE REVIEW ................. ...............12...............


Introducti on ................. ...............12......__ ......
Colony Structure ................. ...............13.................
Termite Digestion ................ ...............15.................
Statement of Purpose ................. ...............17................


2 IN VITRO INHIBITION OF TERMITE CELLULASES BY SUGAR-BASED
INHIBITORS ........._... ...... .__ ...............19...


Introducti on ........._... ...... ._ ...............19...
Materials and Methods .............. ...............20....
Termites ........._... ...... ._ ...............20...
Chem icals ................... ......... .... ...........2

Optimization of Cellulase Activity Assays ............... ... ............... ... ........2
Enzyme Preparation for Cellulase Distribution and in vitro Inhibition Assays ..............21
Cellulase Activity Assays............... .......... ..........2
Cellulase Distribution across R. flavipes Gut .....__.___ ........___ ... .._.._.........2
In vitro Inhibition .............. ...............23....
Re sults........._..... .. .. ...._..._ ....... .._._ ... ...........2

Optimization of Cellulase Activity Assays .............. ...............24....
Cellulase Distribution across R. flavipes Gut .....__.___ ........___ ... .._.._.........2
In vitro Inhibition .............. ...............24....
Discussion ........._... ...... ._ ._ ...............25....


3 EFFECTS OF THREE SUGAR-BASED CELLULASE INHIBITORS ON FEEDING
AND MORTALITY OF Reticulitermes flavipes .............. ...............33....


Introducti on ................. ...............33.................
Material and Method s ................. ...............3.. 4......... ....
Term ites ............... .... ...............34.......... ......
Cellulase Inhibitor Bioassays .................. ... .... .............3
Validative Bioassays with Mono- and Disaccharides .............. ...............36....
Post-feeding Inhibition ........._.._ ..... ._._ ...............36....












Data Analysis............... ...............37
R e sults................... ... .......... ...............38.......
Cellulase Inhibitor Bioassays .................. ... .... .............3
Validative Bioassays with Mono- and Disaccharides .............. ...............39....
Post-feeding Inhibition ................ ...............39......__. .....
Discussion ................. ...............39........ ......


4 MOLECULAR AND BIOCHEMICAL MARKERS FOR MONITORING DYNAMIC
SHIFT S OF CELLULOLYTIC PROTOZOA INT Reticulitermes flavipes ................... ..........46


Introducti on ........._..._. ...._ ... ...............46......
Materials and Methods .............. ...............48....
Term ites ........._..._. ...._ ... ...............48......
Ultraviolet Irradiation ........._..._.._ ...._._. ...............48.....
Protozoan Counts.................. ...............4

Quantitative Real Time-PCR............... ...............49
Cellulase Activity As says............... ...............50.
Tissue preparation .............. ...............50....
Substrate preparation............... ..............5
Cellulase activity as says............... ...............51.
In vitro Cellulase Stability Estimate ......__....._.__._ ......._._. ...........5
Statistical Analyses............... ...............52
Re sults.........._.... ......_ ...............52....
Protozoan Counts.................. ...............5

Quantitative Real-Time PCR............... ...............53..
Regression Analysis .............. ...............53....
Cellulase Activity As say s............... ...............53.
Cellulase Stability Estimate............... ...............54
Discussion ........._.__....... .__ ...............54....


5 CONCLU SION................ ..............6


APPENDIX


POSTINHIBITION AVERAGED RESULTS .............. ...............66....


LIST OF REFERENCES ................. ...............67................


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .............. ...............71....










LIST OF TABLES


Table page
2-1 Distribution of cellulase activity across the R. flavipes gut. Data points within
row with the same letter are not significantly different by the LSD t-test (n =
3; df = 2; p<0.05). All ANOVAs were significant at p<0.05. ............. ................3 1

A-1 Inhibition of termite cellulases after 24-day inhibitor bioassays. Averaged
data for each inhibitor are derived from three replicates per inhibitor
concentration. (*) denotes data which were significantly different from
control s (p<0.05)............... ...............66










LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page
2-1 Chemical structure of fluoro-methyl glucose (FMG), fluoro-methyl
cellobiose (FMCB) and cellobioimidazole (CBI)............... .................2

2-2 Optimization conditions for CMC assays including (A) sub state
concentration, (B) protein concentration, (C) assay time, (D) homogenization
buffer, (E) assay temperature and (F) residual glucose. Arrows indicate the
conditions used throughout CMC assays. .............. ...............29....

2-3 Optimization condition for pNPC and pNPG assays including (A) substrate
concentration, (B) protein concentration, (C) assay time, (D) homogenization
buffer. Arrows indicate the specific conditions used in pNPC and pNPG
activity assays. ............. ...............30.....

2-4 I5o determination for each inhibitor tested on termite cellulases. .........................32

3-1 Effects on feeding (TOP) and mortality (BOTTOM) by three prototype
cellulase inhibitors FMG (A, B), CBI (C, D) and FMCB (E, F). Results are
shown as percentage relative to methanol-treated controls, (*) indicates a
significant difference between treatments and controls ................. ................ ...42

3-2 Results from mono-and disaccharide bioassays. (A) Shows cumulative
feeding results after 24 days for glucose, maltose and cellobiose, while (B)
shows cumulative mortality for the three sugars. Cumulative feeding and
mortality results are shown as a percentage of water-treated controls, (*)
indicates a significant difference between treatments and water-treated
controls ................. ...............43.................

3-3 Post-feeding inhibition results for FMCB, FMG and CBI. (*) indicates a
significant difference between treatment and controls. See Appendix A for
averaged results ................. ...............44.................

3-4 Comparison of Hield and laboratory colonies used to test FMG. The lab
colony was kept under laboratory conditions for > 1 year and the Hield colony
was held under laboratory conditions for < 1 month. .............. ....................4

4-2 The impact of UV irradiation on protozoan populations. (A) Micrographs
showing decreases in protozoan populations, post-UV treatment. (B) Table
showing protozoan counts results with associated standard errors, as well as
results summarized as a percentage relative to untreated controls. Means with
different letters are significantly different based on the Student-Newman-
Keuls test (p < 0.05)............... ...............59.

4-3 The effect of UV irradiation on cellulase gene expression. (A) Results for
endogenous Cell-1; and (B-D) results for symbiotic Cell-2, Cell-3 and Cell-4.
The error bars represent the standard error of the mean. (E) Visual










confirmation of qRT-PCR results, after 29 PCR cycles are shown on a 2%
agarose gel (9Cl~ of sample and 2 Cl1 of loading buffer) ................. ................ ...60

4-4 A regression model showing the correlation between protozoan counts and
cellulase gene expression. (A) Shows the results for endogenous Cell-1 and
(B-D) show results for symbiotic Cell-2, Cell-3 and Cell-4. ................ ...............61

4-5 Impact of UV irradiation on cellulase enzyme activity. (A-C) show the results
for endoglucanase, exoglucanase and P-glucosidase activity, respectively ...........62

4-6 An estimate of exoglucanase, endoglucanase and P-glucosidase stability in
worker termite whole-body homogenates after incubation at 27 O C for a total
of 16 days. .............. ...............63....









Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science

THE TERMITE CELLULASE SYSTEM AS A NOVEL TARGET SITE FOR TERMITE
CONTROL

By

Marsha Maria Wheeler

December 2007

Chair: Faith M. Oi
Maj or: Entomology and Nematology

Termites are among the few insects capable of efficiently digesting cellulose, the maj or

component in wood. This singular ability enables termites to play important ecological roles and

makes them maj or structural pests worldwide. All termite species require the presence of

specialized enzymes called cellulases for the digestion of cellulosic materials. In many termite

pest species, cellulases are both symbiotic and endogenous in origin. This collaborative cellulase

system is central to termite nutrition and survival, and consequently considered a potential target

site for novel termite control agents, including cellulase inhibitors. Thus, the overall obj ective of

this research proj ect was to identify novel compounds as potential inhibitors of termite

cellulases. Specifically, three prototype cellulase inhibitors were tested against workers of the

Eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes, including the disaccharide-based

cellobioimidazole (CBI) and fluoro-methyl cellobiose (FMCB) and the monosaccharide-based

fluoro-methyl glucose (FMG). These compounds were tested in vitro through cellulase activity

assays, as well as in vivo in 24-day bioassays. In addition, this research developed a technique to

monitor cellulolytic protozoan populations in termites, as an effort to clarify whether decreases

in cellulase activity are the result of protozoan death or enzymatic inhibition. This study provides

novel data indicating that the disaccharide-based inhibitor CBI is a strong inhibitor of termite









cellulases and caused moderate termite mortality. This research also suggests that quantitative

real time -PCR is a viable method to monitor shifts in cellulolytic protozoa populations.









CHAPTER 1
LITERATURE REVIEW

Introduction

Despite the number and diversity of insects, few are able to exploit the nutritive value of

cellulose, the most abundant polymer on earth. Unlike glycogen and starch that have a helical

structure and a -1,4- glucosidic bonds, cellulose has P -1,4- bonds which gives cellulose a highly

rigid structure. Specifically, cellulose consists of composite forms of highly crystallized

microfibrils among amorphous matrices. For this reason, cellulose digestion is a complex process

that requires the presence of specialized enzymes called cellulases. These enzymes are capable

of hydrolyzing glucosidic linkages in cellulose and degrading it into the universal energy source,

glucose.

Termites are the most efficient cellulose-digesters, with assimilation efficiencies often

approaching 99% (Breznak and Brune 1994). They thrive in a variety of ecosystems worldwide

and play an important role in the biorecycling of plant material (Ohkuma 2003).

Phylogenetically, termites are classified into two maj or groups, a more primitive group known as

the lower termites and a more advanced group known as the higher termites. Three-fourths of all

termite species are higher termites and belong to the family Termitidae. Members of the families

Mastotermitidae, Kalotermitidae, Termopsidiae, Rhinotermitidae, Serritermitidae and

Hodotermitidae all belong to the lower termite group (Krishna and Weesner 1969).

Lower termite species, particularly subterranean species, have been the focus of many

studies because several pest species belong to this group (Su and Scheffrahn 1990). In addition,

lower termites have long been known to rely on their hindgut protozoa to produce cellulases

(Cleveland 1924, Hungate 1939). The relationship between lower termite species and protozoa is

considered a textbook case of insect symbiosis, in which termites require the cellulolytic action










of protozoa for survival and in return they provide a habitat and nutrition to the protozoa. Recent

studies have shown that lower termites also possess endogenous cellulases and that both

endogenous and symbiotic cellulases are important for cellulose digestion (Watanabe et al.

1998). Higher termites do not harbor cellulolytic flagellates and instead acquire cellulases by

cultivating fungi (suggested for Macrotermitinae only) or rely on endogenous cellulases

(Breznak and Brune, 1994).

Colony Structure

Termites and Hymenoptera (ants, wasps, and bees) are also noteworthy because they are

among the few insect orders that have evolved eusociality. Their colonies exhibit a division in

reproductive labor, cooperative brood care, and overlapping adult generations (Wilson 1971).

However, unlike Hymenoptera which exhibits haploidiploidy, both males and females within the

termite colony are diploid. Termite colonies are polyphenic and most termite colonies can be

divided into a reproductive caste, a defensive or soldier caste, a worker caste, and an immature

brood. However, unlike the general portrayal of termite societies where the queen and king live

with a group of sterile workers, in many termite species individuals retain developmental and

reproductive options (Thorne 1997).

Caste differentiation, in termites, is not a genetically predetermined process but rather a

postembryonic process that is induced by hormonal and environmental signals. There are two

developmental pathways involved in differentiation, a sexual line also called the imaginal or

nymphal line that exhibits wing buds and developing eyes and an apterous line that leads to

wingless and eyeless individuals that function as workers. Those that differentiate into the sexual

line comprise the reproductive caste. This caste is divided into alates and non-alate derived

reproductive. Alates are fully pigmented, winged adults with compound eyes (Krishna and

Weesner 1969). They are produced seasonally, disperse and found new colonies. Colony









establishment was traditionally thought to occur through "royal pairs" (single male and female

alate); however the occurrence of primary polyandry in laboratory and field colonies has also

been documented (Grube and Forschler 2004), as well as colony establishment by non-alate

reproductive. There are two types of non-alate reproductive that can differentiate to replace or

supplement the founding king and queen. Neotenic reproductive differentiate as a result of the

death or senescence of reproductive. Those that differentiate to aid the reproductive potential of

a colony are called supplementary reproductive (Laine and Wright 2003, Thorne et al. 2003).

All of these reproductive forms are physiologically specialized to produce large numbers of

offspring. The abdomen of both the queen and female neotenics becomes distended through a

process called physogastry.

In the majority of lower termite species, soldiers have a morphologically distinct head

region with long mandibles and usually comprise a low percentage of the termite colony (1-3 %

for R. flavipes) (Howard and Haverty 1981). They are traditionally considered the defensive

caste but may also participate in food scouting and foraging. Additionally, termite soldiers are

thought to play a role in caste differentiation, primarily by regulating JH titers in nestmates. In

recent years, significant progress has been made delineating the proximate mechanisms in the

soldier differentiation process, including the role of juvenile hormone and hexamerin proteins in

the induction and suppression of Reticulitermes flavipes Kollar worker to soldier differentiation

(Zhou et al. 2006).

The vast maj ority of a termite colony is made up of workers. In R. flavipes workers can

comprise up to 90% of the colony (Howard and Haverty 1981). A true worker refers to a

nonreproductive, nonsoldier individual that has reached at least its third instar. Unlike larvae,

workers have sclerotized mandibles and a darkened abdomen. This true worker caste is found in









almost all lower termites and it is found among termite species that forage away from their nest

(Thorne 1997). Many morphologically and developmentally distinct groups such as nymphs,

later instar "larvae", and pseudergates can perform worker tasks. Pseudergates are non-

reproductive individuals that have regressed from the imaginal line at a late larval instar (Snyder

1926, Miller 1969, Laine and Wright 2003). However, the maj ority of tasks including tunneling,

foraging, alarm giving, and broodcare are performed by the worker caste (Crosland et al. 1997).

Termite Digestion

The digestive physiology of termite species is governed by cellulose degradation process

and by a continuous exchange of nutrients between diverse castes (Krishna and Weesner 1969).

The worker caste is the primary wood consumer and provides nourishment to all other castes by

means of trophallaxis, or liquid food transfer. In lower termites, proctodeal trophallaxis, which

involves anal-oral food transfer, is probably of greater importance than oral to oral trophallaxis;

because symbiotic protozoa are transferred from one nestmate to another by proctodeal

trophallaxis (Thorne 1997). Recent research has shown that the highest number of cellulase gene

transcripts are found in the worker caste (Scharf et al. 2003a). More specifically, endogenous

cellulases were found in workers, nymphs, alates and supplementary reproductive, while

symbiotic cellulases were found in all forms except supplementary reproductive (Scharf et al.

2005); thus, suggesting a correlation between digestive physiology and the role each caste plays

in colony digestion and nutrition.

In termites, several important metabolic activities are aided by gut microbiota including

cellulose hydrolysis, fermentation of depolymerized products and intestinal nitrogen cycling and

nitrogen fixation (Brune and Friedrich 2000). In lower termites, cellulose and hemicellulose

digestion is aided by anaerobic protozoa. Protozoa occupy a substantial portion of the hindgut in

lower termites and are known to phagocytize wood particles and ferment polysaccharides to









acetate, CO2 and H2 (Cleveland 1924, Hungate 1939, Yamin 1981). Recent studies have shown

that termites also depolymerize cellulose through the of action endogenous cellulases (Watanabe

et al. 1998, Nakashima et al. 2002, Zhou et al. 2007). Unlike symbiont-produced cellulases

which are localized in the hindgut, endogenous cellulases are found in the salivary glands/foregut

or the midgut, depending on whether the termite species belongs to the lower or higher termite

group, respectively (Tokuda et al. 2004). Thus, in higher termites which do not harbor

cellulolytic protozoa, endogenous cellulases can at least partially account for their cellulolytic

capabilities.

More specifically, cellulose digestion is thought to be achieved through the collaborative

action of three different types of cellulases namely, endoglucanases, exoglucanases and P-

glucosidases. Endoglucanases internally cleave 1,4 P-D-glucosidic linkages and release glucose,

cellobiose and cellotriose units while, exoglucanases terminally cleave cellulose units from the

ends of cellulose chains. P-glucosidases release glucose by hydrolyzing P-D- glucose residues

from cellobiose and cellotriose units (Martin 1991, Breznak and Brune 1994). Similarly

hemicelluloses are degraded by the action of specialized enzymes called xylanases which cleave

1,4 P-D xylosidic linkages to release xylose (Breznak and Brune 1994). In lower termite R.

speratus, xylanase activity was mainly restricted to the hindgut, suggesting that in this species

xylanases are primarily produced by gut symbionts (Inoue et al. 1997).

Endogenous termite cellulases have been classified as endoglucanases for R. flavipes, R.

speratus, and Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki and have been structurally classified as members

of the glucoside-hydrolase family 9 (GHF9) (Watanabe et al. 1998, Nakashima et al. 2002, Zhou

et al. 2007). However, symbiotic cellulases for these species have been classified into GHF7 and

GHF45 and are thought to have both endoglucanase and exoglucanase activity (Ohtoko et al.









2000, Nakashima et al. 2002, Zhou et al. 2007). The synergistic action of both endoglucanases

and exoglucanases in lower termite hindguts is thought to make the symbiotic cellulase system

more efficient than endogenous cellulases which primarily have endoglucanase activity (Tokuda

et al. 2005).

Prokaryotes in the termite hindgut have been hypothesized to play a role in cellulose

digestion, particularly in the flagellate-free higher termites. However, there is currently

insufficient research that supports this hypothesis, and consequently the contribution of bacteria

to the cellulose digestion is thought to be negligible (Breznak and Brune 1994). Instead, bacteria

are thought to play maj or roles in acetogenesis, methanogenesis and nitrogen Eixation and form

highly compartmentalized communities. In R. flavipes, bacterial communities have been found to

range from aerotolerant lactic-acid bacteria, facultative anaerobic enterobacteria and strictly

aerobic bacteria (Brune 1998).

Statement of Purpose

The overall objective of this research proj ect is to investigate the potential of cellulase

inhibition as novel termite control method. More specifically, this project investigates the

potential of monosaccharide and disaccharide-based compounds as cellulase inhibitors of R.

flavipes workers. The central hypothesis is that if cellulase inhibition occurs it will impact

termite feeding and cause termite mortality. The specific research obj ectives that tested the

central hypothesis are: i) to assess whether cellulase inhibition can be observed in vitro by

conducting termite gut dissections and cellulase activity assays, ii) to examine the impact of

cellulase inhibitors on termite feeding and mortality and iii) to develop a method to monitor

shifts in cellulolytic protozoan populations in order to assess whether decreases in cellulase

activity are due to cellulase inhibition or death of cellulolytic protozoa. This proj ect provides










important information regarding the cellulase system of R. flavipes and the viability of the

termite cellulase system as a target site for novel termite control agents.









CHAPTER 2
IN Y7TRO INHIBITION OF TERMITE CELLULASES BY SUGAR-BASED INHIBITORS

Introduction

Termites are efficient cellulose-digesters and thrive in a variety of ecosystems worldwide.

Although they play an important ecological role in the biorecycling of plant material, they are

notorious for their status as maj or structural pests, causing an estimated 20 billion dollars in

structural damage each year (worldwide) (Su 2002). Based on the presence or absence of

symbiotic protozoa, termites are divided into two maj or phylogenetic groups: a more primitive

group known as the lower termites and a more derived group known as the higher termites. From

early studies done by Cleveland (1924), lower termites have been known to rely on cellulolytic

protozoa for the digestion of cellulosic materials. Specifically, protozoan symbionts contribute

specialized enzymes called cellulases. Recent research has shown that termites also produce their

own cellulases and that endogenous cellulases are important to both lower and higher termite

cellulose digestion (Watanabe et al. 1998, Nakashima et al. 2002, Tokuda et al. 2005, Zhou et al.

2007).

Unlike higher termites which have a broader feeding guild, lower termite feeding habits are

mainly restricted to wood at varying stages of decay (Waller and La Fage 1987). Consequently,

the maj ority of pest species belong to this group and the lower termite cellulase system is

considered a potential target for innovative termite control agents, such as cellulase inhibitors

(Zhu et al. 2005). In general, the cellulase system is composed of three different functional types

of cellulases, namely endoglucanases, exoglucanases and P-glucosidases. These enzymes

collaboratively degrade cellulose chains into simple sugars including glucose.

Inhibition of any of these three types of cellulases would lessen the efficiency of cellulose

digestion and potentially cause termite mortality. To date, however, only a single study has









tested different compounds as potential inhibitors of P-glucosidases for the species Coptotermes

formosanus Shiraki (Zhu et al. 2005). Therefore, the present study is an effort to continue to

identify novel compounds that serve as termite cellulase inhibitors. Specifically, the obj ectives of

this investigation were to (1) survey the distribution of endoglucanase, exoglucanase and P-

glucosidase enzymes across the gut ofR. flavipes workers and (2) test the efficacy of cellulase

inhibitors fluoro-methyl glucose (FMG), cellobioimidazole (CBI) and fluoro-methyl cellobiose

(FMCB) in vitro. Both obj ectives used homogenates of dissected guts as an enzyme source and

were tested using cellulase activity assays. This study suggests the disaccharides CBI and FMCB

are strong and moderate inhibitors (respectively) of exoglucanase and P-glucosidase enzymes.

Materials and Methods

Termites

The R. flavipes colony was collected from the University of Florida campus and was

identified as R. flavipes using a PCR-RFLP identification key (Szalanski et al. 2003) and soldier

head morphology. The colony was held in a plastic container supplied with moist brown paper

towels and pine shims as food. Termites were kept in an environmental chamber in darkness at

approximately 220C and 70 % RH for 6 months before including them in this study.

Chemicals

The sugar-based compounds cellobioimidazole (CBI), fluoro-methyl cellobiose (FMCB),

and fluoro-methyl glucose (FMG) were synthesized by Carbohydrate Synthesis Ltd (Oxford,

UJK) (Fig. 2-1). Inhibitor concentrations were diluted using reagent-grade methanol as a solvent.

The concentration range tested for in vitro cellulase enzyme assays was 10-3 to 10-9 M. The

model substrates used were carboxy-methyl cellulose (CMC), p-nitrophenol cellobioside

(pNPC), and p-nitrophenol glucopyranoside (pNPG). All three substrates were diluted in

homogenization buffer (0. 1 M sodium acetate, pH of 5.8).










Optimization of Cellulase Activity Assays

Optimization of cellulase activity assays was carried out using whole-body homogenates as

an enzyme source. Homogenates were prepared by homogenizing worker termites using a

Teflon-glass tissue homogenizer and ice-cold homogenization buffer. Following

homogenization, whole-body extracts were centrifuged at 14,000 rpm at 4oC for 15 min and then

passed through a glass wool filter to remove excess lipids. Protein concentration was determined

using a commercially available bicinchoninic acid assay (Pierce; Rockford, IL) with bovine

serum albumin as a standard.

The CMC assay is an endpoint assay, which allowed for the optimization of more

conditions than pNPC and pNPG assays, which are kinetic assays. Assay conditions examined

for CMC assays included substrate concentration (0.0625 2%), protein concentration (0.3125 -

40 termite / ml; 0.0331 3.2513 mg protein / ml), assay time (10-70 min), assay temperature (22

- 570C), and homogenization buffer pH (3.4 6.6). The impact of residual glucose present in the

termite gut was assessed by comparing CMC hydrolysis activity with and without denatured

protein. The conditions tested for the kinetic pNPC and pNPG assays were substrate

concentration (0.125 16 mM and 0.25 32 mM, respectively), protein concentration (0.3125 -

40 termite / ml; 0.0331 3.2513 mg protein / ml), assay time (10 70 min), and homogenization

buffer pH (3.4 6.6).

Enzyme Preparation for Cellulase Distribution and in vitro Inhibition Assays

Gut dissections were carried out for cellulase distribution studies and for in vitro inhibition

assays. In both of these studies, the gut was dissected by decapitating each worker termite,

opening the abdomen, and removing the gut intact. In the cellulase distribution study, the gut was

divided into three maj or parts: salivary glands/foregut, midgut and hindgut. For in vitro









inhibition assays, the gut was divided into two regions in which the hindgut remained separate

from the salivary glands/foregut and the midgut.

In both experiments, 25 gut regions were placed in a 2 ml Tenbroeck tissue grinder and

homogenized in 1 ml of ice-cold homogenization buffer (0.1 M sodium acetate, pH of 5.8). Gut

homogenates were then centrifuged (14,000 rpm at 4oC for 15 min); and the resulting supernatant

was used directly as an enzyme source for the cellulase distribution study and in vitro inhibition

assays. Protein concentration was determined using the same protein assay described in the

optimization study.

Cellulase Activity Assays

Cellulase activity assays were modified from Han et al. (1995) and optimized for running

in 96-well microtiter plates and reading with a microplate spectrophotometer. A substrate

concentration of 0.5 % CMC was used for CMC-based endoglucanases assays and a 4mM

substrate concentration was used for the pNPC-based exoglucanase and pNPG- P-glucosidase

assays. Endpoint CMC assays were incubated at 320C, for 30 min and the reaction terminated by

the addition of 100 Cl~ of 1% 3, 5-dinitrosalicylic acid (DNSA), 30% sodium potassium tartrate,

and 0.4 M NaOH to each sample well and fixed by placement of the microtiter plate on a 1000"C

water bath for 10 minutes. To achieve color formation microtiter plates were placed on ice for 15

min and then read at 520 nm. The spectrophotometer absorbance readings were analyzed relative

to a glucose standard curve.

In pNPC and pNPG assays, enzyme and substrate reacted for 20 minutes at 320C before

being read kinetically at 420 nm at room temperature. PNPG assays were read for at total of 1 h,

while pNPC assays were read for 1.5 h. An absorbance reading for each sample was measured

every 2 min and mean velocity was used as a measure of activity.









Cellulase Distribution across R. flavipes Gut

The distribution of endoglucanase, exoglucanase, and P-glucosidase activities across the R.

flavipes gut was assessed by dissecting the gut into three regions: salivary glands/foregut,

midgut, and hindgut and by estimating the enzyme activity in each region through CMC, pNPC

and pNPG assays. Homogenates were prepared using worker termites from a single termite

colony. Three separate preparations, as well as three sub-samples were included for each gut

region. Reactions consisted of 10 Cl~ of enzyme and 90 Cl1 of substrate. The specific activity and

% total activity were calculated for each gut region. Statistical analyses were carried out using

SAS software and data were analyzed using a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) on raw

data. Means were separated using the Tukey-Kramer HSD method (SAS Institute).

Inz vitro Inhibition

The efficacy of the three prototype cellulase inhibitors FMG, FMCB and CBI was tested

against two different gut enzyme sources that included endogenous termite cellulases from

salivary gland, foregut and midgut, and symbiotic cellulases from the hindgut. Assays were

initiated by addition of 5 Cll inhibitor (in methanol) in a 95-C1l reaction that contained 10-Cll

enzyme preparation and 85 Cll substrate solution. For each inhibitor, a concentration range of 10-3

- 10-9 M (serial dilution) was tested and appropriate concentrations were identified. Percent

inhibition was calculated relative to methanol controls. Using a range of inhibitor concentrations,

inhibition curves were generated and used to determine 50% inhibition (i. e., Iso) by linear

regression and extrapolation. Each inhibition curve was derived from three independent

preparations with three determinations for each concentration.












Optimization of Cellulase Activity Assays

Optimization of CMC, pNPC and pNPG assays were carried out to ensure accurate

measurement of termite cellulase activity. The results indicate that a protein concentration

between 0.5 to 1.5 mg/ml and a homogenization buffer pH of 5.8 was optimal for all three assay

types (Fig. 2-2 and 2-3). Results also indicate that optimal conditions for CMC assays include a

substrate concentration of 0.5 % CMC and an assay time and temperature of 30 min and 320C. In

addition, a comparison of active and denatured protein suggests residual glucose does not affect

CMC assay results (Fig. 2-2). Optimal conditions for pNPC and pNPG included a substrate

concentration of 4mM pNPC/G; and showed cellulase activity to be stable after 20 min of assay

time (Fig. 2-3). The conditions used in cellulase activity assays were all within the linear activity

range.

Cellulase Distribution across R. flavipes Gut

Baseline cellulase distribution data indicates the amount of total protein is higher in the

hindgut than in the salivary gland/foregut and midgut tissues. Based on specific activity results

endoglucanase, exoglucanase and P-glucosidase activity were highest in the salivary

gland/foregut region. However, when the data was corrected for total gut protein concentration

and represented as a "% of total activity", endoglucanase and exoglucanase activity are highest

in the hindgut followed by salivary glands/foregut and midgut tissues. In contrast, when

correcting for % total activity, P-glucosidase activity was higher in the salivary glands/foregut

and had a similar activity level in midgut and hindgut regions (Table 2-1).

Inz vitro Inhibition

The I5o determinations for each inhibitor are shown in Figure 2-4. Cellulase activity assays

indicate the monosaccharide FMG did not strongly inhibit cellulase activity. The disaccharides


Results









CBI and FMCB, however, inhibited both exoglucanase and P-glucosidase activity in both gut

regions. Cellobio-imidazole (Isos in nM CLM range) had a greater inhibitory effect than FMCB

(Isos in mM range) and was more active against cellulase activities located in the salivary

gland/foregut/midgut extracts. None of the three prototype inhibitors had a strong inhibitory

effect against endoglucanase activity.

Discussion

This study assessed three sugar-based compounds and their potential as cellulase inhibitors

for the subterranean termite, R. flavipes. In addition, baseline distribution of endoglucanase,

exoglucanase and P-glucosidase activity was determined for salivary gland/foregut, midgut and

hindgut regions. The conditions for conducting cellulase activity assays were optimized, and %

total activity results indicate the maj ority of endoglucanase and exoglucanase activities are

localized in the hindgut. This finding is in agreement with previous research and supports the

notion that endoglucanase and exoglucanase enzymes are produced by hindgut protozoa in lower

termite species and that a considerable portion of endoglucanase activity is endogenous and

located in the salivary gland/foregut region (Breznak and Brune 1994, Watanabe et al. 1998,

Zhou et al. 2007). P-glucosidase assays indicate this activity is both endogenous and symbiotic in

origin since significant levels of P-glucosidase total activity were comprised in the salivary

gland/foregut and hindgut regions and because specific activities within these two regions were

significantly different from each other. Similar endogenous P-glucosidase distribution results

have been reported for several termite species, including the lower termite Neotermes

koshunensis Shiraki and the higher termite Na~sutitermes takasagoensis~tt~~tt~~tt~~t Shiraki (Tokuda et al.

1997, Tokuda et al. 2002). Significant P-glucosidase activity has also been found in the hindgut

of R. speratus Kolbe (Inoue et al. 1997).









The main goal of this investigation was to test three sugar-based compounds against R.

flavipes workers and to assess whether they inhibit cellulases, in vitro. To our knowledge, the

monosaccharide FMG and disaccharide FMCB have not been previously identified as cellulase

inhibitors. Conversely, CBI is already known to non-competitively inhibit cellobiohydrolases

(exoglucanases) in the cellulolytic fungi Trichoderma reesei and Phanerochaete chrysosporium

(Vonhoff et al. 1999, Ubhayasekera et al. 2005). Results from the present study revealed CBI is

also a strong inhibitor (nM-CLM range) of termite cellulases and is particularly active against

exoglucanase and P-glucosidase enzymes. Similarly, FMCB inhibited exo- and P-glucosidase

activities, but was moderate (mM range) in comparison with CBI results. CBI and FMCB

inhibited both endogenous (salivary gland/foregut/midgut) and symbiotic (hindgut) cellulases.

However, FMCB did not show differences between the two gut tissues, while CBI had a more

pronounced effect on endogenous exoglucanases than on symbiotic exoglucanases. Differences

in inhibition efficiencies were previously reported and discussed for cellobiohydrolases of 7:

reesei and P. chrysosporium and were shown to be the result of structural differences within the

sub-sites for both fungal cellulase enzymes (Ubhayasekera et al. 2005). Thus, the different

inhibition efficiencies observed in this study may reflect structural differences between

endogenous and symbiotic cellulases; however further research is needed to clarify this

contention.

In conclusion, this study represented an important first step in identifying potential

inhibitors that target the R. flavipes cellulase system. Specifically, this study showed that CBI is

a strong inhibitor of termite and symbiont-produced cellulases, while FMCB and FMG are

moderate to weak cellulase inhibitors, respectively. Moreover, this study supports previous

research and further validates that R. flavipes cellulases are both endogenous and symbiotic in










origin (Zhou et al. 2007). Further research has investigated the effects of CBI, FMCB and FMG

on termite feeding and mortality (See Chapter 3). Feeding bioassays characterized the biological

effect of CBI, FMCB and FMG and tested for cellulase inhibition after bioassays were

completed.











OH
( O


HO


HO


>eF
F F


Cellobio-imid azole


Fluoromethyl
Glucose


OH
(O OH

HO4- HO F
Ho3VLHO HO F
HO


Fluoromethyl
Cellobiose


Figure 2-1.


Chemical structure of fluoro-methyl glucose (FMG), fluoro-methyl cellobiose
(FMCB) and cellobioimidazole (CBI).


























































































20 24 28 32 36 40 44 48

Assay Temperature (deg.)


Figure 2-2.


52 56 60


Optimization conditions for CMC assays including (A) substrate concentration,

(B) protein concentration, (C) assay time, (D) homogenization buffer, (E) assay

temperature and (F) residual glucose. Arrows indicate the conditions used

throughout CMC assays.


-* CMC-based endoglucanase activity

40-



30



20-



10-

D


3 4 4 2 5 5 8 6 6

Homogenization Buffer pH


| t CMC-based endoglucanase activity


0


0


o


0


0


0


0


O


-


-


-






-


C 7


E 6

E s


54


,3





1








soo



700


600

500

= 400

7 00





* 60

a 0




20








1 0


-w c;lvlu-Dasea enaoglucanase activity
~50


E 40


.230-






20


25 00 05 10 15 20 25

Protein Concentration (mg/mi)


00 05 10 15 20

CMC Concentration (%)



e CMC-based endoglucanase activity










- 0 2 0 40 5 0 7

-sa Tm in


30 35


0 300
O

S250-


O 200-


S150-

100

y ow


-e Denatured protein
-0 Active protein


16 -1 2 -08 -04 00

Protein Concentration Log(mg/mi)
















-e pNPG-based bela-glucosidase activity -e pNPG-based bela-glucosidase activity
-0 pNPC-based exoglucanase activity 5 01 pNPC-based exoglucanase activity

E 4 0-





[4 mM] i2 0-



A

15 -1 0 -05 00 05 10 15 20 00 05 10 15 20 25

Substrate Concentration Log(mMI) Protein Concentration (mglmi)


E so-
-* pNPG-based beta-glucosidase activity "E -* pNPG-based bela-glucosidase activity
-0 pNPC-based exoglucanase activity 2 0 pNPC-based exoglucanase activity
E 30-



205






C
S0 1
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 3 4 25 8


E

20
E.

S15-



05

- 10


15-




So -


E
.2 0-







20 0


30 35


Homogenization Buffer pH


6 6


Assay Time (min)


Figure 2-3.


Optimization condition for pNPC and pNPG assays including (A) substrate
concentration, (B) protein concentration, (C) assay time, (D) homogenization
buffer. Arrows indicate the specific conditions used in pNPC and pNPG activity

assays.












Table 2-1. Distribution of cellulase activity across the R. flavipes gut. Data points within row
with the same letter are not significantly different by the LSD t-test (n = 3; df = 2;
p<0.05). All ANOVAs were significant at p<0.05.

Activity Assay Data Type Foregut Midgut Hindgut
Protein Pierce mg / termite 9.9 & 1.0 8.4 & 0.6 20.4 & 0.8
Total Activity 1.2 b 1.0 b 2.4 a
Endoglucanase CMC nmol / min / mg 2 44.6 & 6.4 13.0 & 5.6 13.4 & 0.2
Ratio 3.4 a 1.0 b 1.0 b
% of Total 3 39.8 & 2.8 b 8.5 & 3.6 c 51.7 & 1.4 a
Exoglucanase pNPC mmol / min / mg 2 0.97 & 0.24 0.30 + 0.01 0.78 & 0.21
Ratio 3.2 a 1.0 b 2.6 a
% of Total 3 21.3f 5.0 b 4.9 & 0.4 c 73.8 & 4.7 a
(3-glucosidase pNPG mmol / min / mg 2 6.2 & 0.7 2.8 & 0.2 0.6 & 0.1
Ratio 9.8 a 4.4 b 1.0 c
%o of Total 3 56.4 & 3.9 a 18.9 & 1.9 b 24.8 & 2.0 b


1. Total Clg of protein per termite per gut region.
2. Specific activity for each substrate by gut region.
3. Specific activity corrected for total gut protein by gut region and then converted to a
percentage.











mmENDO (CMC)
SEXO (pNPC)
mmBETA (pNPG)


No inhibition


1x10-o
1x10-1
1x10-2
1x10-
1x10-
1x10 6

1x10-
1x10-7
1x10-8
1x10-9


a
1
*--*
'

O



w a
" 2


Foregut / SG Hngt Foregut / SG Hngt Foregut / SG Hidu
+ Midgut + Midgut + Midgut


FMG


FMCB


CBI


Figure 2-4.


150 determination for each inhibitor tested on termite cellulases.









CHAPTER 3
EFFECTS OF THREE SUGAR-BASED CELLULASE INHIBITORS ON FEEDING AND
MORTALITY OF Reticulitermes flavipes WORKERS

Introduction

Termites are important structural pests, causing an estimated global impact of $20 billion

annually (Su 2002). Many pest species, including the widely-distributed Coptotermes and

Reticultermes spp., belong to the lower termite group. Lower termites rely on the production of

both endogenous cellulases and symbiotic cellulases to digest cellulose, a maj or component in

wood (Cleveland 1924, Watanabe et al. 1998). In lower termites, endogenous cellulases are

localized in the salivary/foregut or midgut regions, while symbiotic cellulases are produced by

anaerobic protozoa and restricted to the hindgut (Tokuda et al. 1999, Nakashima et al. 2002,

Zhou et al. 2007). Through the action of cellulases, specifically endoglucanases, exoglucanases

and P-glucosidases, termites are able to degrade cellulose chains into glucose. The collaboration

of symbiotic and endogenous cellulases enables lower termites to efficiently digest cellulose and

is the main reason why termites are considered important economic pests.

Current control options for subterranean termites include soil termiticides and baiting

systems (Su and Scheffrahn 2000). Soil termiticides are liquid insecticides that are applied in

large volumes along foundation perimeters. Liquid insecticides are often neurotoxins which elicit

acute toxicity in insects. However, the environmental persistence of liquid termiticides has raised

public health and environmental concerns. Bait systems are considered more environmentally

sound and provide colony elimination through the action of chitin synthesis inhibitors or

metabolic inhibitors; however, bait systems provide complete colony elimination more slowly

than soil termiticides. In this respect, a faster and more environmentally friendly termite control

method is needed.









Several studies have investigated the potential of sugar-based compounds as termite

feeding stimulants and bait additives (Waller and Curtis 2003, Swoboda et al. 2004). Feeding

stimulants could increase consumption of termiticides and provide faster colony elimination.

However, compounds that act as both feeding stimulants and termiticides remain largely

unidentified. Recently, Zhu et al. (2005) researched the potential of cellulase inhibitors as a

novel termite control method. Cellulase inhibitors would decrease digestion efficiencies and

could potentially elicit a compensatory feeding response and cause termite mortality. Thus, the

goal of this study was to evaluate three prototype cellulase inhibitors against R. flavipes and

assess their potential as novel termite control agents, as well as potential termite feeding

stimulants. The inhibitors used were the disaccharides cellobioimidazole (CBI) and fluoro-

methyl cellobiose (FMCB) and the monosaccharide fluoro-methyl glucose (FMG). The specific

obj ectives for this study were to 1) conduct cellulase inhibitor bioassays that assess the impact of

cellulase inhibitors on the feeding and survivorship of R. flavipes workers, 2) conduct mono-and

disaccharide bioassays to further verify the feeding and mortality results from inhibitor bioassays

and 3) verify cellulase inhibition via cellulase activity assays. This study provides novel data

indicating after 24-day feeding bioassays the disaccharide-based inhibitor CBI inhibits

exoglucanase and P-glucosidase activity and causes moderate termite mortality.

Material and Methods

Termites

Termite colonies were collected from nearby field sites at the University of Florida

campus. Colonies were identified as Reticulitermes flavipes using a PCR-RFLP identification

key (Szalanski et al. 2003), and were held in plastic containers provisioned with moist, brown

paper towels and pine shims. Termite colonies were held in darkness at approximately 220C and









70% RH. Colonies were allowed to acclimate to laboratory conditions for at least one month

before including them in these experiments.

Cellulase Inhibitor Bionssays

Cellulase inhibitor bioassays were modeled after previous caste differentiation assays

described by (Scharf et al. 2003b, Zhou et al. 2007), and consisted of sets of 15 worker termites

in plastic petri dishes (10 x 15 mm, Nunc Inc., Naperville, IL) with treated paper disks (Georgia-

Pacific). Worker termites were used because of their status as primary wood consumers and

because cellulase gene and protein expression are highest in the worker caste (Scharf et al.

2003a, Scharf et al. 2005). One termite colony was used to test the effects of CBI and FMG1 and

a different colony was used to repeat the FMG assay and to test the effects of FMCB. The CBI

and FMG bioassays were conducted in May of 2006, while the FMG and FMCB bioassays were

carried out in July of 2006.

High-purity CBI, FMCB and FMG were synthesized by Carbohydrate Synthesis Ltd

(Oxford, UK). Different concentrations for each inhibitor were prepared using reagent-grade

methanol as a solvent. The concentrations prepared were 75, 50, 25, 10, 5, 1, 0.5, and 0.1 mM

(approximately 3, 2, 1, 0.4, 0.2, 0.04, 0.02 and 0.004 % wt/wt). Paper disks were pre-weighed

and then treated with 50 Cl1 of a given inhibitor concentration. Controls consisted of filter paper

disks treated with 50 Cl1 of methanol. Treated paper disks were placed in a fume hood for

approximately 30 m before including them in bioassays. Treatments and controls were held in

complete darkness at approximately 270C and 70% RH. For each inhibitor, three replicate dishes

of 15 termites each were assayed per concentration.




7171717135
SThe colony replicate for CBI and FMG was done by Dr. M.E. Scharf and Dr. X. Zhou.









All assays were carried out for a total of 24 days. Termite mortality and filter paper

moisture were monitored every 4th day. Every 8th day, paper disks were replaced with a new,

treated disk. To estimate paper consumption, paper disks were dried and re-weighed. After 24-

day feeding bioassays surviving termites were frozen at -200C for post-inhibition studies.

Validative Bionssays with Mono- and Disaccharides

Mono- and disaccharide bioassays were conducted to further validate the results from

feeding bioassays. Three different sugars were chosen based on structural similarity to the

cellulase inhibitors used in feeding bioassays including glucose (Fisher Scientific), D(+) -maltose

monohydrate (90%) and D(+)-cellobiose (98%) (Acros Organics). Glucose is a monosaccharide

similar in structure to FMG, while maltose and cellobiose are alpha and beta-linked

disaccharides, respectively, similar to both CBI and FMCB. Mono- and disaccharide bioassays

were completed in a similar manner as feeding assays; however due to differences in solubility,

mono-and disaccharides sugars were dissolved in dH20 instead of methanol. Sugar bioassays

consisted of three replicate dishes per concentration and were replicated across two different

termite colonies. The first colony replicate was carried out in August of 2006 and the second in

October of 2006.

Post-feeding Inhibition

Cellulase activity assays tested for cellulase inhibition in termites surviving the 24-day

feeding bioassays. Cellulase activity assays were adapted from Han et al. (1995) and optimized

for a 96-well microplate format. Whole-body homogenates were used as an enzyme source and

were prepared using a motorized Teflon-glass tissue homogenizer. Homogenization was carried

out by using 10 termites/ml of homogenization buffer. After homogenization, preparations were

centrifuged at 14,000 rpm at 4oC for 15 min and then filtered with glass wool to remove excess










lipids. The protein concentration in each sample was determined using a commercially available

bicinchoninic acid assay (Pierce; Rockford, IL) with bovine serum albumin as a standard.

The model substrates used to estimate endoglucanases, exoglucanases and P-glucosidase

activity were carboxy-methyl cellulose (CMC), p-nitrophenol cellobioside (pNPC), and p-

nitrophenol glucopyranoside (pNPG), respectively. All three substrates were diluted in

homogenization buffer (0. 1 M sodium acetate, pH of 5.8). The substrate concentration for CMC

assays was 0.5 %. A 4mM substrate concentration was used for pNPC and pNPG assays.

CMC assays were carried out as endpoint assays and were incubated at 320C, for 30

minutes. After incubation, the reaction terminated with the addition of 100 Cl1 of 1% 3, 5-

dinitrosalicylic acid (DNSA), 30% sodium potassium tartrate, and 0.4 M NaOH to each sample.

The reaction was then fixed by placing the microtiter plate in a 1000C water bath for 10 minutes.

To achieve color formation microtiter plates were placed on ice for 15 minutes. Absorbance was

measured at 520 nm and compared to a glucose standard curve.

In pNPC and pNPG assays, enzyme and substrate reacted for 20 minutes at 320C, before

being read kinetically at 420 nm at room temperature. pNPG assays were read for at total of 1 h,

while pNPC assays were read for 1 h and 30 m. An absorbance reading for each sample was read

every 2 m and mean velocity results were used as activity data.

Data Analysis

At the end of each assay, the data were summarized as cumulative feeding and cumulative

termite mortality. The cumulative feeding and mortality for each concentration were converted

into a percentage of feeding relative to that of untreated (MeOH) controls. The FMG data for

both termite colonies was compiled and averaged into a single data set, as well as analyzed

separately to observe colony variation. Data for cellulase inhibitor bioassays, post-feeding

inhibition and mono/disaccharide assays were analyzed using SAS (SAS Institute; Cary, NC)










(p<0.05). A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to analyze cellulase inhibitor

bioassays and post-feeding inhibition data. The exoglucanase (pNPC) and P-glucosidase (pNPG)

assays were analyzed on ranked data because untransformed data did not meet the assumptions

of ANOVA. A two-way ANOVA was used for mono/disaccharide data. Mean separation was

carried out using Tukey-Kramer HSD and Student-Newman-Keuls (SNK) methods.

Results

Cellulase Inhibitor Bionssays

This research investigated the effect three potential cellulase inhibitors had on termite fi1ter

paper consumption and termite mortality. The monosaccharide FMG did not stimulate fi1ter

paper consumption at any concentration and had significant inhibitory effects throughout the 25-

75 mM concentration range (F= 7.14, df= 8, 51, P< 0.0001) (Fig.3-1). However, the disaccharide

CBI had both inhibitory and stimulatory feeding effects (F= 6.48, df =8, 24, P= 0.0002). The

inhibitory effect occurred at the lowest and the highest concentrations, with significant inhibition

at the 75 mM concentration. A stimulatory effect for CBI occurred at midrange inhibitor

concentrations and was significant at the 5 mM concentration. A similar inhibitory and

stimulatory feeding effect occurred in FMCB bioassays; however the results were not significant

at any inhibitor concentration.

Overall, FMCB caused greater cumulative termite mortality than CBI and FMG (Fig. 3-1).

The highest FMCB-induced mortality was associated with the highest concentrations, with 75

mM causing a mortality rate greater than 40%. Similarly, the mortality observed in FMG

replicates was concentration-dependent. However, the highest FMG concentration reached a

maximum of approximately 20% mortality (combined colony results) and was not significantly

different from methanol-treated controls. Although not significant, CBI-induced mortality was










the highest throughout the same midrange concentrations that were associated with feeding

induction.

Validative Bionssays with Mono- and Disaccharides

Mono- and disaccharide bioassays were carried out to further define the effects of cellulase

inhibitor bioassays on termite feeding and mortality. No significant feeding stimulation was

observed in any of the sugar bioassays (Fig. 3-2). However, a significant inhibitory effect

occurred in the 10 mM treatment in the maltose bioassay (F= 3.64, df= 8, 41, P= 0.0028). No

significant termite mortality was observed in glucose (F=1.54, df= 8, 44, P=0. 1711), cellobiose

(F=1.41, df=8, 43, P=0.2206) or maltose (F=1.06, df=8, 41, P=0.4120) bioassays.

Post-feeding Inhibition

The most pronounced inhibition occurred for exoglucanase and P-glucosidase activities

after exposure to CBI (F= 18.64, df= 8, 30, P<.0001) (Fig. 3-3). Inhibition by CBI occurred in a

dose-dependent manner with the highest concentrations causing the greatest inhibition (70-

90%). By comparison, FMG and FMCB did not strongly inhibit cellulase activity after feeding.

FMG showed the greatest impact on termites treated with 10 mM concentration. At this

concentration, only the endoglucanase activity was significantly affected. FMCB showed a

significant P-glucosidase inhibition at the 0.1 and 75 mM concentrations.

Discussion

The eastern subterranean termite, R. flavipes, is a maj or pest species within the United

States (Su and Scheffrahn 1990). The R. flavipes cellulase system is comprised of both

endogenous and symbiotic cellulases (Zhou et al. 2007). This system is considered a potential

target site for novel termite control agents including cellulase inhibitors (Zhu et al. 2005). The

main obj ective of this study was to test the effects of three prototype cellulase inhibitors against

R. flavipes workers. The results from cellulase inhibitor bioassays indicate that CBI, and to a









lesser extent FMCB, caused both stimulatory and inhibitory feeding effects, while FMG largely

elicited an inhibitory effect. Feeding stimulation in the inhibitor bioassays may be a

compensatory feeding response, where termites increase feeding to compensate for a decrease in

cellulose-digesting efficiency and subsequent nutritional deprivation. This contention was

supported by disaccharide bioassays and post-feeding inhibition assays (for CBI only). Although

many sugars are considered termite phagostimulants (Waller and Curtis 2003), validative

mono/disaccharide bioassays suggest that stimulatory feeding is not a generalized response to

disaccharides and is instead a specific response induced by CBI and FMCB. Swoboda et al.

(2004) described a similar result, where sugars including several disaccharides did not elicit a

stimulatory response throughout non-choice feeding bioassays.

Post-feeding bioassays showed that for CBI, cellulase inhibition occurred throughout

concentrations that caused stimulatory feeding. However, there was no correlation between

concentrations that elicited feeding stimulation and those which had the highest inhibition

percentage. Therefore the highest CBI concentrations, may act as feeding deterrents, while at

midrange concentrations of CBI may act as a feeding stimulants, indicating an interaction

between inhibitor palatability and concentration. Additionally, CBI inhibitor bioassays indicate

that termite mortality was highest at midrange concentrations suggesting a correlation between

feeding stimulation and termite mortality.

Overall the highest percentage of termite mortality was observed for FMCB. However,

post-feeding inhibition assays and previous in vitro studies (Chapter 2) show CBI as being the

most potent cellulase inhibitor. This discrepancy is likely the result of colony variation. FMCB

and CBI were tested using two different termite colonies: a Hield colony was collected and

acclimated to laboratory conditions for 1 month and a laboratory colony which had acclimated to









laboratory condition for > 1 year (respectively). Consequently, FMCB and CBI mortality results

may not be directly comparable, since termite colonies are known to vary in their physiological

status and thus may respond differently to treatment. This occurrence was noted by Zhu et al.

(2005), and in the present study was supported by FMG mortality results, in which the field

colony showed significantly higher mortality than the laboratory colony (Fig. 3-4). Therefore,

CBI may have shown mortality comparable to that of FMCB if assayed using the same field

colony. Unfortunately, the cost and limited availability of each inhibitor played a maj or role in

bioassay succession and colony replication.

In summary, this study shows that the disaccharide-based inhibitor CBI caused significant

stimulatory feeding in termites at midrange inhibitor concentrations. This feeding stimulation

resulted in greater inhibitor intake and caused moderate termite mortality (~20%). Bioassays

involving mono- and disaccharides confirmed that stimulatory feeding is a specific response

elicited by CBI. These observations suggest that stimulatory feeding may be the result of a

decrease in cellulose digestion efficiency. However, cellulase "inhibition" in termites may occur

because of enzyme inhibition, in which there is a direct interaction between inhibitor and

enzyme, or due to cellulolytic symbiont death. Thus, future studies should also clarify how

enzyme inhibition is achieved: through either symbiont death or enzymatic inhibition. In

addition, subsequent bioassays that focus on midrange CBI and FMCB concentrations are

necessary to confirm feeding and mortality results, as well as an assessment of colony to colony

variation.































ouCBI Mortality




40

30


FMG Feeding


FMCB Feeding


MeOH .1
Control


MeOH .1 .5 1 5 10 25 50 75
ControlInhibitor Conc. [mM]


0 0.1 0.5 1 5 10 25 50 75
Inhibitor conc. [mM]


.5 1 5 10 25 50 75
Inhibitor Conc. [mM]


FMG Mortality











MeOH .1 .5 1 5 10 25 50 75
Control
Inhibitor Conc. [mM]


-MeOH
Control


.1 .5 1 5 10 25
Inhibitor Conc. [mM]


MeOH .1
Control


.5 1 5 10 25 50 75
Inhibitor Conc. [mM]


50 75


Figure 3-1.


Effects on feeding (TOP) and mortality (BOTTOM) by three prototype cellulase inhibitors FMG (A, B), CBI (C, D)
and FMCB (E, F). Results are shown as percentage relative to methanol-treated controls, (*) indicates a significant
difference between treatments and controls.































Control 0.1 0.5 1 5 10 25 50 75

Cellobiose Concentration (mM)












Con5 o -. 0. 0 2 0

Cel0is -ocnrto (M


Control 0.1 0.5 1 5 10 25 50 75

Maltose concentration (mM)




25


20


15


10





Control 0.1 0.5 1 5 10 25 50 75

Maltose Concentration (mM)


110


100 +- -


Control 0.1 0.5 1 5 10 25 50 75

Glucose Concentration (mM)


25


c~20

t: 15
o
g 0


Control 0.1 0.5 1 5 10 25 50 75

Glucose Concentration (mM)


Figure 3-2.


Results from mono-and disaccharide bioassays. (A) Shows cumulative feeding results after 24 days for glucose,
maltose and cellobiose, while (B) shows cumulative mortality for the three sugars. Cumulative feeding and mortality
results are shown as a percentage of water-treated controls, (*) indicates a significant difference between treatments
and water-treated controls.








120
Sp-glucosldase

1 0 0 - - - - -

O

u- 60

40

20



0 0.1 0.5 1 5 10 25 50 75

FMCB concentration (mM)


140
SEndoglucanase
SExoglucanase
120 m1 P-glucosldase

O 100 -1-- 1- - -- -- -

S80

060

40

20


0 0.1 0.5 1 5 10 25 50 75

FMG concentration (mM)


HM Endoglucanase
7 Exoglucanase
M p-glucosldase

------


120

- 100 --

O


w- 60

40

20

0


*


0 0.1 0.5 1


5 10 25 50 75


Figure 3-3.


Post-feeding inhibition results for FMCB, FMG and CBI. (*) indicates a
significant difference between treatment and controls. See Appendix A for
averaged results.


CBI concentration (mMI)

















o


0 0.1 0.5 1 5 10 25 50 75


Figure 3-4.


Comparison of field and laboratory colonies used to test FMG. The lab colony
was kept under laboratory conditions for > 1 year and the field colony was held
under laboratory conditions for < 1 month.


FMG Concentration (mM)









CHAPTER 4
MOLECULAR AND BIOCHEMICAL MARKERS FOR MONITORING DYNAMIC
SHIFTS OF CELLULOLYTIC PROTOZOA INTReticulitermes flavipes

Introduction

The mutualism between lower termite species and a variety of symbiotic protozoa has

been of interest to termite researchers since early studies done by Cleveland (1924). Symbiotic

protozoa have long been known to be important to the process of termite cellulose digestion.

Namely, protozoan species produce cellulases, which are enzymes capable of cleaving the 1,4 P-

D-glucosidic linkages in cellulose (a maj or component of wood). In recent years, additional

advances have been made in characterizing the cellulase system of many lower termite species,

including Reticulitermes flavipes Kollar, R. speratus Kolbe and Coptotermes formosa~nus Shiraki

(Inoue et al. 1997, Nakashima et al. 2002, Zhou et al. 2007).

The cellulase system in lower termites is known to involve both endogenous and

symbiotic cellulases (Watanabe et al. 1998, Nakashima et al. 2002, Tokuda et al. 2005, Zhou et

al. 2007). Unlike symbiotic cellulases which are confined to the hindgut, endogenous cellulases

are produced and found in the salivary glands or the midgut, depending on termite family

(Tokuda et al. 1999, Zhou et al. 2007). This study investigated the cellulase system of the lower

termite R. flavipes, which is one of the most destructive termite species in the United States. The

R. flavipes cellulase system, like that of all other lower termite species, is known to be comprised

of three main types of enzymes including endoglucanases, exoglucanases and P-glucosidases.

These enzymes degrade cellulose by cleaving different linkages along the cellulose chain.

Endoglucanases internally hydrolyze glucosidic linkages while exoglucanases terminally cleave

cellulose units from the ends of cellulose chains. P-glucosidases release glucose by hydrolyzing

P-D- glucose residues from cellobiose and cellotriose units (Breznak and Brune 1994).









Thus far, the full-length protein coding regions of four cellulase genes have been isolated

from R. JIvipes, including an endogenous (Cell-1) and three symbiotic cellulases (Cell-2, Cell-3

and Cell-4). The endogenous Cell-1 and the symbiotic Cell-2 are classified as endoglucanases,

while Cell-3 and Cell-4 are exoglucanases. In R. JIvipes, endogenous endoglucanase activity is

mainly localized in the salivary glands and symbiotic cellulase activity is localized in the hindgut

(Zhou et al. 2007).

The process of cellulose degradation can sustain nearly 100 % of lower termite

metabolism (Breznak and Brune 1994). Thus, given the dependence of lower termites on wood,

the lower termite cellulase system is considered a potential target for termite control agents (Zhu

et al. 2005, Zhou et al. 2007). However despite the major role of protozoa in the lower termite

cellulase system, to date there are few techniques beyond actual protozoan counts available to

monitor the effects that novel termite control agents could have on cellulolytic protozoan

populations. Although protozoan counts provide a quantitative and direct measure of protozoan

populations, they are also time-consuming and labor intensive. Therefore, the main goal of this

investigation was to develop an effective, alternative method to monitor fluctuations of

cellulolytic termite protozoa. Specifically, the obj ectives of this study were to (1) use UV

irradiation to remove hindgut protozoa from R. JIvipes workers and to test whether (2)

quantitative real time-PCR (qRT-PCR) and/or cellulase enzyme assays can be used to monitor

changes in termite cellulolytic protozoan populations. In addition, an estimate of endoglucanase,

exoglucanase and P-glucosidase stability in vitro was also included. Our results suggest that

qRT-PCR is a viable method to monitor shifts in cellulolytic protozoa populations and verify

specifically that the R. JIvipes genes Cell-2, Cell-3, and Cell-4 are symbiont-derived.












Termites

Termite colonies were collected from the University of Florida campus (Gainesville, FL,

USA). Each colony was placed in a sealed plastic container and supplied with moist, brown

paper towels and wooden shims (pine) as food. The termite colonies were held in complete

darkness at approximately 220C and 70 % RH for at least a month before including them in these

experiments.

Ultraviolet Irradiation

UV irradiation was successfully used as a defaunation method in R. speratus by Inoue et

al. (1997). Their irradiation protocol was applied to this study with minor modifications. Prior to

UV irradiation, termites were fed moistened cellulose powder (Sigma-Aldrich) for 48 h, in order

to make hindgut contents more accessible to UV light. Thirty worker termites were irradiated

(375.5nm, Gelman Sciences Inc., Model No. 51438) for 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 hours. The UV light was

placed at a distance of approximately 9 cm away from the dishes. In order to ensure that termites

would be evenly exposed to the UV light, the 30 termites were divided into 3 Petri dishes

(10x15mm, Nunc) and were lined up under the UV light, exposed, then transferred to Petri

dishes provisioned with moistened filter paper disks for 24 h. After the 24 h period elapsed,

termites that were exposed for the same time interval were recombined (n=30). Five termites

were used immediately for protozoan counts while the remaining 25 were divided roughly in half

and stored at either -800C for quantitative real-time PCR analysis or at -200C for cellulase

enzyme assays. Treatments were replicated across 3 different R. flavipes colonies.

Protozoan Counts

In order to estimate the number of protozoa in each termite hindgut, a total of five

termites for each time interval were dissected per replicate. Dissections were carried out by


Materials and Methods









immobilizing each termite on ice, gently holding the head and then extracting the hindgut by

pulling on the last abdominal segments. The protocol used for protozoan counts was described

by Lewis and Forschler (2004) with minor modifications. Protozoan counts were conducted by

placing each hindgut into a microcentrifuge tube containing 100 Cl1 of ice-cold lx phosphate

buffered saline (PBS). The gut was homogenized for approximately 15 s with a sterile toothpick,

then 10 Cll of the hindgut homogenate were loaded onto a hemacytometer (Bright-line

Hemacytometer, Fisher Scientific, Pittsburgh, PA) and the number of protozoa was examined by

counting 0.4 Cl~ under 400 X magnification using a Leitz Laborlux S microscope.

Quantitative Real time-PCR

In order to test for changes in cellulase gene expression, total RNA from whole termites

was extracted using the SV total RNA isolation kit (Promega; Madison, WI). The quantity of

total RNA was determined through spectrophotometry and then converted to cDNA using the

iScriptTAI cDNA synthesis kit (Bio-Rad; Hercules, CA). Quantitative real time-PCR was

performed using an iCycler iQ real time detection system (Bio-Rad) with SYBR Green"

Supermix (Bio-Rad). qRT-PCR was used to investigate gene (mRNA) expression of four

cellulase genes (Cell-1, Cell-2, Cell-3, and Cell-4), as well as fl-actin which was included as a

reference gene. Validation of these target and reference genes, including comparisons of PCR

amplification efficiencies, was described in a previous report (Zhou et al. 2007). Cellulase gene

transcript abundance was chosen to specifically monitor changes in cellulolytic protozoan

populations, rather than as-yet undefined genomic DNA sequence markers. The forward and

reverse primer sequences used were: Cell- 1 RT (5' -TCACAAGCAAGCAGGCATAC-3 and 5'-

ATGAGAGCAGAATTGGCAGC-3 '), Cell-2 RT (5 '-CCAATGGGGATGTTACAAGG-3 and 5'-

CAACTCATCCCATCGGAATC-3 '), Cell-3 RT (5' -GCTGGAAACCACAGGACAAT-3 and 5'-

ACTGTGTACGCCTGGGAAAC-3 '), Cell-4 RT (5' -GCTGGGGGTGTTATTCATTCCTA-3 and 5'-










CTTCGAGCAAGCATGAACTG-3 '), and p-actin (5 '-AGAGGGAAATCGTGCGTGAC-3' and 5'-

CAATAGTGATGACCTGGCCGT-3 '). The relative expression levels for Cell-1, Cell-2, Cell-3 and

Cell-4 in relation to the reference gene, B-actin were determine by the 2 method (Livak

and Schmittgen 2001). For each gene, three PCR reactions were performed per treatment per

colony.

Cellulase Activity Assays

Tissue preparation

To test whether UV defaunation had an impact on cellulase enzyme activity, termites

stored at -200C were first homogenized using a motorized Teflon-glass tissue homogenizer. The

homogenization buffer was 0.1 M sodium acetate (pH 5.8). This buffer was used in tissue

preparations and cellulase enzyme assays. Whole-body homogenates were centrifuged at 14,000

rpm at 4oC for 15 min. In order to remove excess lipids, the clear supernatant from each sample

was removed carefully, avoiding the lipid layer and placed into new microcentrifuge tubes. This

product was used as an enzyme source in the cellulase assays described below. To estimate the

protein concentration for each sample a bicinchoninic acid assay (Pierce, Rockford, IL) was used

with bovine serum albumin as a standard.

Substrate preparation

To measure endoglucanase, exoglucanase, and P-glucosidase activity, the model substrates

used included carboxy-methyl cellulose (CMC), p-nitrophenol cellobioside (pNPC), and p-

nitrophenol glucopyranoside (pNPG), respectively. Stock solutions of each material were

prepared in methanol. All three substrate stocks were diluted in homogenization buffer

immediately before assays. The final substrate concentration used for the CMC-based

endoglucanase assays was 0.5% (w/v), while a 4 mM substrate concentration was used for the

pNPC and pNPG assays.









Cellulase activity assays

The protocol for endoglucanase, exoglucanase, and P-glucosidase assays was modified

from Han et al. (1995) and optimized for a COStar@ 96-well microtiter plate (Corning Inc.;

Corning, NY) and a microplate spectrophotometer. Other conditions such as protein and

substrate concentration, assay time, and buffer pH were previously (Chapter 2). All three assays

were carried out by placing 10 Cl1 of enzyme extract and 90 Cl1 of buffer+substrate in each sample

well. CMC-endoglucanase assays are endpoint assays in which the microtiter plate was placed in

an incubator at 320C for a total assay time of 30 minutes. The reaction was stopped by adding

100 Cl~ of 1% 3, 5-dinitrosalicylic acid (DNSA), 30% sodium potassium tartrate, and 0.4 M

sodium hydroxide to each sample well. To stop any remaining enzymatic activity, the microtiter

plate was placed in a 950C water bath for 10 minutes and then cooled on ice for 15 minutes to

allow color formation. The plate was read at 520 nm using the endpoint setting. The absorbance

readings, relative to a glucose standard curve, were used to calculate the specific activity.

pNPC and pNPG assays are kinetic assays which measure the release of p-nitrophenol.

These assays were carried out by allowing the enzyme and buffer + substrate mixtures to react

for 20 minutes at 320C before being read at 420 nm, at room temperature. pNPC assays were

read every 2 min for a total of 1 h and 30 min, while pNPG assays were read every 2 min for 1 h.

The mean velocity results from pNPC exoglucanase and pNPG P-glucosidase assays were

used to estimate specific activity. For each cellulase assay, activity was estimated from three

reactions per treatment per colony.

In vitro Cellulase Stability Estimate

Cellulase protein stability was determined in vitro using three separate preparations of

whole-body homogenates from the same termite colony. Whole-body homogenates were held at

270C for a total of 16 days. At 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 16 days, 130 Cl~ of each preparation were removed










and frozen at -200C. Endoglucanase, exoglucanase, and P-glucosidase activity for each time

interval were tested using CMC, pNPC and pNPG assays, which were carried out as described in

the previous section. In each cellulase activity assay, each preparation was assayed in triplicate

per time interval.

Statistical Analyses

Statistical analyses were carried out using SAS (SAS Institute; Cary, NC). Protozoan

counts, qRT-PCR results and cellulase activity assay data did not meet the assumptions for an

analysis of variance (ANOVA). Thus, the data were ranked and a two-way ANOVA (Conover

and Iman 1981) was used to analyze gene expression and enzyme activity results (with blocking

on colony, and UV-treatment-time as the main factor). A one-way ANOVA on raw cellulase

activity data was used to analyze cellulase stability results. Means for all three data sets were

separated using the Student-Newman-Keuls procedure. Linear regression analysis was used to

test for correlations of protozoan count results with qRT-PCR cellulase gene expression data.

Linear regression analyses were performed using the PROC REG procedure in SAS.

Results

Protozoan Counts

A photomicrograph displaying several protozoa species observed during gut dissection

are shown in Figure 4-1. The results for the protozoan counts are summarized in Figure 4-2. UV

irradiation significantly reduced the number of protozoa in a time/dose-dependent manner (F =

14.55, df = 4,68, P <0.0001). Numbers of protozoa recovered after 0 and 1 h of irradiation were

significantly greater than numbers of protozoa recovered after 2, 3, and 4 h of irradiation. The

smallest decrease was observed after 1 h of UV exposure, where protozoan populations were

reduced by an average of 24%. After 2, 3, and 4 h of UV irradiation 42, 87 and 93 % reductions

were observed, respectively.









Quantitative real-time PCR

In addition to reducing symbiont populations, UV irradiation significantly reduced the

expression of symbiotic cellulases, Cell-2 (F=43.12, df=4,37, P<0.0001), Cell-3 (F=72. 16,

df=4,3 5, P<0.0001) and Cell-4 (F=1 61.06, df=4,3 8, P<0.0001) (Fig. 4-3B-D), but did not cause

a decrease in the endogenous cellulase, Cell-1 (F= 2.96, df=4,38, P = 0.03 )(Figure 4-3A). None

of the symbiotic cellulase genes showed significant reductions in gene expression after 1 h of

UV treatment. However, all three symbiotic cellulase genes showed a sharp decrease in

expression after 2 h of UV exposure (Fig. 4-3B-D). The greatest decline in cellulase expression

was observed in Cell-4 (Fig. 4-3D) which showed a reduction of approximately 95 % after 4 h of

irradiation. Interestingly, a slight increase of Cell-1 expression was observed for all four UV

treatments, but only the 2 h treatment was significantly different from untreated controls (Fig 4-

3A). The results for qRT-PCR data were confirmed by viewing PCR products by electrophoresis

on 2% agarose gels (Figure 4-3E).

Regression analysis

Linear regression models comparing protozoan count results and qRT-PCR/gene

expression data were significant for Cell-2(P=0.0036), Cell-3(P=0.0086), and Cell-4 (P=0.0070)

but were not significant for Cell-1(P=0.20). R2 ValUeS for Cell-2, Cell-3, and Cell-4 were 0.490,

0.450, and 0.440, respectively; while the r2 Value for the endogenous Cell-1 was 0. 118 (Fig. 4-4).

Cellulase Activity Assays

Overall, the results for CMC (F=1.61, df=4,3 8, P= 0. 19), pNPG (F=0.3 1, df=4,37, P=

0.87) and pNPC (F=2.52, df=4,38, P= 0.56) assays did not show significant differences in

cellulase enzyme activity across the 0-4 h UV treatment times. These results are consistent for

both whole-body homogenates, as well as CMC and pNPG assays on termite foregut + midgut

and hindgut dissections. However, hindgut dissections showed a significant decrease in










exoglucanase activity after 3 and 4 h of UV irradiation. The results for whole-body homogenates

are shown in Fig. 4-4 and indicate no statistically significant differences in endoglucanase, P-

glucosidase, or exoglucanase activity following UV treatment and a 24 h post-treatment period.

Cellulase Stability Estimate

A cellulase stability estimate was included to clarify cellulase activity results and

investigate the length of time at which cellulase enzymes remain active, in vitro. This experiment

indicates that all three types of cellulases were significantly impacted (~ 20%) after whole-body

preparations were incubated at 27 OC for 2 d (Fig. 4-6)(P <0.0001). The half-life for all three

cellulases occurred after 4 d of incubation. The most pronounced effect was observed for

exoglucanases which showed a sharp decline in activity after 4 d and had close to 0% activity

remaining after 16 days. P-glucosidases and endoglucanases showed a similar decline after 4

days but still retained over 20% of activity after 16 d. Therefore, these results may partially

explain why a significant decline in cellulase activity was not observed after UV treatment since

a considerable portion of cellulase activity remained after 24 h of incubation at 27 oC.

Discussion

The lower termite R. flavipes is one of the most destructive termite species within the

continental United States. Through recent efforts, significant progress has been made to begin to

characterize the cellulase system in this species. Several protozoan species are known to play a

central role in the R. flavipes digestive system, contributing endoglucanase and exoglucanase

cellulase enzymes (Zhou et al. 2007). In this study, UV irradiation was used as a defaunation

method to remove protozoan symbionts from R. flavipes hindguts. This method was previously

described as an effective defaunation method for R. speratus (Inoue et al. 1997). The current

study indicates that UV irradiation is indeed capable of removing hindgut protozoa from R.

flavipes, but only at longer exposure times than reported by Inoue et al. (1997). In the present










study a wavelength of 375.5 nm, which is just outside the visible light spectrum, was used to

minimize the impact of UV irradiation on termites. At this wavelength, protozoa were removed

in a time/dose-dependent manner, with 4 h of irradiation being most effective. However, UV

irradiation apparently did not adversely impact termite hosts. The expression profile of two

endogenous termite genes, Cell-1 and B-actin, corroborates the minimal visible impact of UV

irradiation on R. flavipes workers. The effect of UV irradiation on bacterial communities was not

investigated, primarily because the contribution of bacteria to cellulose digestion in lower

termites is thought to be insignificant (Breznak and Brune 1994), and because this was not a

research obj ective in this study.

The main obj ective of this research was to determine whether qRT-PCR and/or cellulase

enzyme assays could be useful tools in monitoring dynamic shifts in the cellulolytic hindgut

protozoa of R. flavipes. For qRT-PCR work, cellulase genes were chosen to specifically monitor

declines in cellulolytic protozoa. However, it is likely other genes, such as small subunit

ribosomal genes, would be better suited to monitor protozoan populations in general.

Nevertheless, this report shows that, after UV treatment, mRNA expression of the symbiotic

cellulase genes Cell- 2, Cell-3 and Cell-4 correlates with decreases in protozoan populations.

Thus, symbiotic cellulase gene (mRNA) expression and qRT-PCR can be used to effectively

monitor dynamic shifts in cellulolytic protozoan populations. Not surprisingly, no correlation

was observed between protozoan counts and expression of Cell-1, which is not symbiotic in

origin (Zhou et al. 2007). Interestingly, the results for Cell-1 instead show a slight increase in

Cell-1 expression particularly for the 2-hr UV treatment (Fig 4-3A). This determination suggests

that endogenous cellulases may possibly compensate for a decline in protozoan populations;

however, more research is needed to confirm this possibility.









No correlation was observed between cellulase enzyme activity and shifts in protozoan

populations. In particular, in enzyme assays, no significant decrease in activity was observed

despite significant UV-induced reductions in symbiont populations. These results were

consistent in endoglucanase and P-glucosidase assays on both dissected termite guts and whole-

body homogenates. However, termite hindgut homogenates did show a significant decrease in

exoglucanase activity after 3 and 4 h of UV irradiation. This exoglucanase activity result is in

agreement with gene expression data, as well as our determination that exoglucanase activity is

mostly derived from hindgut symbionts. Thus, one possible explanation for the stable activity

observed after UV defaunation is that endogenous activities mask those that are symbiont-

derived. Protein stability may also at least partially explain the lack of decline in enzyme activity

after UV defaunation. Two observations support such a "protein stability" hypothesis. First,

despite there being some agreement with gene expression and defaunation counts, hindgut-

specific exoglucanase activity only showed a ~30% decrease after UV defaunation. Second, in

vitro cellulase stability estimates indicate only a slight decline in enzyme activity of ~20% after a

2-day incubation period at 27 oC. Thus, due to (i) masking effects by endogenous enzymes and

(ii) cellulase protein stability, cellulase activity assays are apparently not the best-suited method

for monitoring dynamic shifts in hindgut protozoan populations in R. flavipes. For this purpose,

quantitative real-time PCR may be the better-suited monitoring tool.

Exoglucanases genes and proteins would likely be the most accurate indicators of

changes in cellulolytic protozoan populations. Exoglucanase activity showed the most

pronounced decline after defaunation, and as stated previously, the maj ority of exoglucanase

activity is thought to be symbiotic (Zhou et al. 2007). Inoue et al. (1997) did observe a decrease

in cellulase activity after 24 h in UV- treated R. speratus workers. However, in the case of Inoue









et al. a different UV wavelength, irradiation time, and termite species were used relative to the

current study. It is possible that, in the present study, a greater decrease in cellulase activity

could have been observed if a different defaunation methodology were used, such as a different

UV wavelength, different irradiation times, or a different method of defaunation altogether.

Other alternative defaunation methods include temperature (Cleveland 1924, Yokoe 1964),

starvation (Cleveland 1925, Inoue et al. 1997) and oxygenation (Cleveland 1925) .

In summary, this study establishes (1) that UV irradiation can be used as a defaunation

method for R. JIvipes workers (2) that qRT-PCR is a reliable monitoring technique for

cellulolytic symbiont populations and (3) that cellulases in whole-body homogenates are stable

for up to 2 days at 27 oC. This research also corroborates previous studies characterizing the

cellulase system ofR. JIvipes by verifying that previously identified Cell-2, Cell-3 and Cell-4

genes are indeed symbiont-derived (Zhou et al. 2007). The findings of this research can be

applied in future high-throughput screens of novel termite control agents such as cellulase

inhibitors, and in investigating whether inhibitor modes action include eradication or reduction

of cellulolytic protozoa. qRT-PCR can also be used to quickly define the effects that different

diets, starvation, or other external factors such as temperature might have on protozoan

populations. Future research will use both qRT-PCR and cellulase activity assays to investigate

the refaunation process in the R. JIvipes hindgut post-UV treatment, as well as the impacts of

novel cellulase inhibitors on gut fauna.














































Figure 4-1.


Different protozoa species in the R. flavipes hindgut. Photographs were taken using
differential interference microscopy. Tentative species identification for each photograph
is (A) Dinenympha gracilis, (B) Dinenympha fimbriata, (C) Pyrsonympha vertens and (D)
Trichonympha aglis.
































UV exposure time (h) Protozoan Counts % of Time 0 h

0 78.6 & 17.6a 100

1 59.5 A 14.2ab 75.6 & 18.1 %

2 45.9 & 23.7bc 58.3 & 30.2 %

3 10. 0 & 3.0cd 12.7 & 3.8 %

4 5.8 & 1.9d 7.4 & 2.4 %


Figure 4-2.


The impact of UV irradiation on protozoan populations. (A) Micrographs
showing decreases in protozoan populations, post-UV treatment. (B) Table
showing protozoan counts results with associated standard errors, as well as
results summarized as a percentage relative to untreated controls. Means with
different letters are significantly different based on the Student-Newman-Keuls
test (p < 0.05).














B











2 3 4


mm Cell-2 -


O
-- O
V)L
*W
e!
xE

z
E







V~L
V~Q)
Q)
W'E
re
Qo
z
E


0 1 2 3 4


0 1 2 3 4
UV Exposure Time (h)


01 2 3
UV Exposure Time (h)


UV EXPOSURE TIME (h) E



Cell~ IEd ceenous





Ce/I-3 *~Symbiotic


Cell-4


1 23 4 5


Figure 4-3.


The effect of UV irradiation on cellulase gene expression. (A) Results for
endogenous Cell-1; and (B-D) results for symbiotic Cell-2, Cell-3 and Cell-4. The
error bars represent the standard error of the mean. (E) Visual confirmation of
qRT-PCR results, after 29 PCR cycles are shown on a 2% agarose gel (9Cl1 of
sample and 2 Cl1 of loading buffer).















Cell-2
O

0 0





O O
r2=0.490
o p <0.01

0 20 40 60 80 100 120

Cell-4

r2=0.440
p < 0.01










0 20 40 60 80 100 120
Protozoan counts


3





~r2=0.118
p > 0.1


0 20-J 40 60 80 100 120


- 2=0.450 v
-p <0.01 o

-V







0 20 40 60 80 100 120
Protozoan counts


Cell-1


25

u,20





E o5
0-






1 2

0 1 o


S06


Figure 4-4.


A regression model showing the correlation between protozoan counts and
cellulase gene expression. (A) Shows the results for endogenous Cell-1 and (B-D)
show results for symbiotic Cell-2, Cell-3 and Cell-4.









1 20 -1 ciwc-based En~doglucasese ctivity A

1 0 0 - - - -

80

60 -0

40

S20

0

O


S120 pPNc-based Exoglcanase Ac~tivit

1 0 0 -- - - -


80

60 -0

40

20 -2

0

O


Q 120 i pNPG-based .,,,, p-lcsdseAtvt


80 -


60 -0

40-

20 -2

0
0 1 2 3 4

UV Exposure Time (h)

Figure 4-5. Impact of UV irradiation on cellulase enzyme activity. (A-C) show the results for
endoglucanase, exoglucanase and P-glucosidase activity, respectively.





62














Exoglucanase


0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16




Endoglucanase
















0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16





- P-glucosidase



-rJ


-


-


-


-


-


-


100


80


60


40


20


0








100


80


60


40


20


0






l oo


80


60


40


20


0


0 2 4 6 8 10

Assay Days


12 14 16


Figure 4-6.


An estimate of exoglucanase, endoglucanase and P-glucosidase stability in worker
termite whole-body homogenates after incubation at 27 O C for a total of 16 days.









CHAPTER 5
CONCLUSION

The main obj ective of this research was to assess the potential of three carbohydrate-based

compounds as novel inhibitors of termite cellulases. The three compounds tested were the

monosaccharide fluoro-methyl glucose (FMG) and the disaccharides fluoro-methyl cellobiose

(FMCB) and cellobioimidazole (CBI). The efficacy of each compound was tested using in vitro,

cellulase activity assays, feeding bioassays, as well as post-feeding cellulase activity assays.

In vitro inhibition results indicated that the disaccharides CBI and FMCB were strong (nM

range) to moderate inhibitors of exoglucanase and P-glucosidase activities. In contrast, FMG was

not an effective inhibitor of any cellulase activities tested. Similarly in post-feeding cellulase

activity assays, CBI showed strong inhibition of exoglucanase and P-glucosidase activities.

FMCB and FMG on the other hand, caused moderate but largely non-significant cellulase

inhibition after 24-day bioassays. In general, prototype cellulase inhibitors did not induce

significant termite mortality. These results may reflect a colony effect, particularly for CBI

bioassays which were performed on a single laboratory colony. However, the additional

inhibition of endoglucanase enzymes may be required to obtain greater termite mortality.

Therefore, subsequent research should focus on possible endoglucanase inhibitors.

In termites, attenuated cellulase activity could be achieved through enzymatic inhibition

and/or through symbiont death. The former could have caused CBI-induced inhibition of

exoglucanase and P-glucosidase enzymes which was observed during in vitro cellulase activity

assays; however, the latter may have caused the moderate endoglucanase inhibition observed

after 24-day bioassays, but not in in vitro studies. Thus, as part of this investigation, a technique

to monitor shifts in cellulolytic protozoan populations was developed. Specifically, the results of










this study indicated that quantitative real time-PCR (qRT-PCR) can be used as a reliable

technique to monitor cellulolytic protozoan populations.

In conclusion, this research is an important step forward in investigating the potential of

cellulase inhibitors as a novel termite control method. The results from this research indicate that

CBI is an effective inhibitor of two functional types of cellulases. In addition, CBI elicited

promising biological effects including feeding stimulation and moderate termite mortality.

Although additional research is necessary to continue to define the potential of cellulase

inhibitors as termite control agents, this study provides novel information regarding the effects of

cellulase inhibition in termites. Both inhibitor study results, as well as the methodology

developed during this investigation provide essential information for future characterization

studies.





















































CBI


Inhibitor
concentration
(mM)
Control
0.1
0.5
1
5
10
25
50
75
Control
0.1
0.5
1
5
10
25
50
75
Control
0.1
0.5
1
5
10
25
50
75


Endoglucanase Exoglucanase (3-glucosidase
nmol / min / mg mmol /min /mg mmol /min /mg


Inhibitor


APPENDIX
POSTINHIBITION AVERAGED RESULTS

Table A-1. Inhibition of termite cellulases after 24-day inhibitor bioassays. Averaged data for
each inhibitor are derived from three replicates per inhibitor concentration. (*)
denotes data which were significantly different from controls (p<0.05).


0.063
0.059
0.063
0.059
0.054
0.050 *
0.054
0.059
0.061
0.078
0.063
0.065
0.072
0.063
0.065
0.071
0.067
0.063
0.059
0.054
0.059
0.051
0.048
0.050
0.053
0.055
0.054


0.349
0.335
0.323
0.303
0.231
0.231
0.310
0.320
0.265
0.394
0.291
0.312
0.349
0.294
0.333
0.377
0.381
0.239
0.328
0.255
0.195
0.159
0.081 1
0.072 "
0.077 "
0.091 "
0.069 "


0.732
0.695
0.645
0.625
0.560
0.536
0.737
0.767
0.680
0.884
0.655 *
0.701
0.733
0.720
0.786
0.810
0.839
0.635 *
0.639
0.466
0.345
0.304 *
0.183 *
0.151 *
0.065 *
0.04 *
0.045 *


FMG


FMCB










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Yokoe, Y., 1964. Cellulase activity in the termite, Leucotermes speratus, with new evidence in
support of a cellulase produced by termite itself. Scientific papers of the College of
General Education, University of Tokyo (Biological Section) 14, 1 15-120.

Zhou, X., F. M. Oi, and M. E. Scharf., 2006. Social exploitation of hexamerin: RNAi reveals a
major caste-regulatory factor in termites. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103, 4499-4504.

Zhou, X., J. A. Smith, P. G. Koehler, F. M. Oi, and M. E. Scharf., 2007. Correlation of cellulase
gene expression and cellulolytic activity throughout the gut of the termite Reticulitermes
flavipes. Gene 395, 29-39.

Zhu, B. C. R., G. Henderson, and R. L. Laine., 2005. Screening method for inhibitors against
Formosan subterranean termite P-glucosidases in vivo. J. Econ. Entomol. 98, 41-46.









BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Marsha Wheeler was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. When she was 18 years old she

moved to Richmond IN, where she attended Earlham College. In May of 2003, she received a

Bachelor of Arts degree from Earlham College, with a maj or in Biology. In August of 2005, she

moved to Gainesville, FL to pursue a Master of Science degree in entomology.





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1 THE TERMITE CELLULASE SYSTEM AS A NOVEL TARGET SITE FOR TERMITE CONTROL By MARSHA MARIA WHEELER A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2007

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2 2007 Marsha Maria Wheeler

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3 To my family and to Andrew Magis

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank my committee members, Dr. D. B. Boucia s, Dr. M. E. Scharf, and my advisor, Dr. F. M. Oi. I specifically thank Dr. Boucias for manuscript review a nd vivid discussions on termite protozoa, Dr. Scharf for providing wonderf ul research and learni ng opportunities, and Dr. Oi for introducing me to the world of termites. In addition, I thank Dr. X. Zhou for invaluable mentorship and Matt Tarver for support and friendship.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........7 LIST OF FIGURES................................................................................................................ .........8 ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... ............10 CHAPTER 1 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................12 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........12 Colony Structure............................................................................................................... ......13 Termite Digestion.............................................................................................................. .....15 Statement of Purpose........................................................................................................... ...17 2 IN VITRO INHIBITION OF TERMITE CELLULASES BY SUGAR-BASED INHIBITORS..................................................................................................................... .....19 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........19 Materials and Methods.......................................................................................................... .20 Termites....................................................................................................................... ....20 Chemicals...................................................................................................................... ..20 Optimization of Cellulase Activity Assays.....................................................................21 Enzyme Preparation for Ce llulase Distribution and in vitro Inhibition Assays..............21 Cellulase Activity Assays................................................................................................22 Cellulase Distribution across R. flavipes Gut..................................................................23 In vitro Inhibition............................................................................................................23 Results........................................................................................................................ .............24 Optimization of Cellulase Activity Assays.....................................................................24 Cellulase Distribution across R. flavipes Gut..................................................................24 In vitro Inhibition............................................................................................................24 Discussion..................................................................................................................... ..........25 3 EFFECTS OF THREE SUGAR-BASED CE LLULASE INHIBITORS ON FEEDING AND MORTALITY OF Reticulitermes flavipes ...................................................................33 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........33 Material and Methods........................................................................................................... ..34 Termites....................................................................................................................... ....34 Cellulase Inhibitor Bioassays..........................................................................................35 Validative Bioassays with Monoand Disaccharides.....................................................36 Post-feeding Inhibition....................................................................................................36

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6 Data Analysis.................................................................................................................. .37 Results........................................................................................................................ .............38 Cellulase Inhibitor Bioassays..........................................................................................38 Validative Bioassays with Monoand Disaccharides.....................................................39 Post-feeding Inhibition....................................................................................................39 Discussion..................................................................................................................... ..........39 4 MOLECULAR AND BIOCHEMICAL MARKERS FOR MONITORING DYNAMIC SHIFTS OF CELLULOLYTIC PROTOZOA IN Reticulitermes flavipes .............................46 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........46 Materials and Methods.......................................................................................................... .48 Termites....................................................................................................................... ....48 Ultraviolet Irradiation......................................................................................................48 Protozoan Counts.............................................................................................................48 Quantitative Real Time-PCR...........................................................................................49 Cellulase Activity Assays................................................................................................50 Tissue preparation....................................................................................................50 Substrate preparation................................................................................................50 Cellulase activity assays...........................................................................................51 In vitro Cellulase Stability Estimate................................................................................51 Statistical Analyses..........................................................................................................52 Results........................................................................................................................ .............52 Protozoan Counts.............................................................................................................52 Quantitative Real-Time PCR...........................................................................................53 Regression Analysis........................................................................................................53 Cellulase Activity Assays................................................................................................53 Cellulase Stability Estimate.............................................................................................54 Discussion..................................................................................................................... ..........54 5 CONCLUSION..................................................................................................................... ..64 APPENDIX POSTINHIBITION AVERAGED RESULTS....................................................................... 66 LIST OF REFERENCES............................................................................................................. ..67 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.........................................................................................................71

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7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2-1 Distribution of cellulase activity across the R. flavipes gut. Data points within row with the same letter are not signifi cantly different by the LSD t-test (n = 3; df = 2; p<0.05). All ANOVAs were significant at p<0.05................................31 A-1 Inhibition of termite cellulases after 24-day inhibitor bioassays. Averaged data for each inhibitor are derived from three replicates per inhibitor concentration. (*) denotes data which were significantly different from controls (p<0.05)....................................................................................................66

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8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1 Chemical structure of fluoro-met hyl glucose (FMG), fluoro-methyl cellobiose (FMCB) and cellobioimidazole (CBI)..................................................28 2-2 Optimization conditions for CMC a ssays including (A) substrate concentration, (B) protein concentrati on, (C) assay time, (D) homogenization buffer, (E) assay temperature and (F) residual glucose. Arrows indicate the conditions used throughout CMC assays...............................................................29 2-3 Optimization condition for pNPC and pN PG assays including (A) substrate concentration, (B) protein concentrati on, (C) assay time, (D) homogenization buffer. Arrows indicate the specific conditions used in pNPC and pNPG activity assays........................................................................................................30 2-4 I50 determination for each inhibito r tested on termite cellulases..........................32 3-1 Effects on feeding (TOP) and mortality (BOTTOM) by three prototype cellulase inhibitors FMG (A, B), CBI (C, D) and FMCB (E, F). Results are shown as percentage relative to meth anol-treated controls, (*) indicates a significant difference between treatments and controls.........................................42 3-2 Results from mono-and disaccharide bioassays. (A) Shows cumulative feeding results after 24 days for glucos e, maltose and cellobiose, while (B) shows cumulative mortality for the three sugars. Cumulative feeding and mortality results are shown as a percen tage of water-treated controls, (*) indicates a significant difference betw een treatments and water-treated controls...................................................................................................................43 3-3 Post-feeding inhibition results for FMCB, FMG and CBI. (*) indicates a significant difference between treatment and controls. See Appendix A for averaged results......................................................................................................44 3-4 Comparison of field and laboratory col onies used to test FMG. The lab colony was kept under laboratory conditions for > 1 year and the field colony was held under laboratory conditions for < 1 month.............................................45 4-2 The impact of UV irradiation on pr otozoan populations. (A) Micrographs showing decreases in protozoan popu lations, post-UV treatment. (B) Table showing protozoan counts results with a ssociated standard errors, as well as results summarized as a percentage rela tive to untreated controls. Means with different letters are significantly different based on the Student-NewmanKeuls test (p < 0.05)...............................................................................................59 4-3 The effect of UV irradiation on cellula se gene expression. (A) Results for endogenous Cell-1; and (B-D) results for symbiotic Cell-2, Cell-3 and Cell-4. The error bars represent the standa rd error of the mean. (E) Visual

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9 confirmation of qRT-PCR results, afte r 29 PCR cycles are shown on a 2% agarose gel (9 l of sample and 2 l of loading buffer)..........................................60 4-4 A regression model showing the corre lation between protozoan counts and cellulase gene expression. (A) Show s the results for endogenous Cell-1 and (B-D) show results for symbiotic Cell-2, Cell-3 and Cell-4 ..................................61 4-5 Impact of UV irradiation on cellulase enzyme activity. (A-C) show the results for endoglucanase, exoglucanase and -glucosidase activity, respectively...........62 4-6 An estimate of exoglucanase, endoglucanase and -glucosidase stability in worker termite whole-body homogenates af ter incubation at 27 C for a total of 16 days...............................................................................................................63

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10 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science THE TERMITE CELLULASE SYSTEM AS A NOVEL TARGET SITE FOR TERMITE CONTROL By Marsha Maria Wheeler December 2007 Chair: Faith M. Oi Major: Entomology and Nematology Termites are among the few insects capable of efficiently digesting cellulose, the major component in wood. This singular ability enables termites to play important ecological roles and makes them major structural pests worldwide. All termite species requi re the presence of specialized enzymes called cellulase s for the digestion of cellulosic materials. In many termite pest species, cellulases are both symbiotic and endogenous in origin. This collaborative cellulase system is central to termite nutrition and survival and consequently consid ered a potential target site for novel termite control agents, including cell ulase inhibitors. Thus, the overall objective of this research project was to identify novel compounds as potential inhibitors of termite cellulases. Specifically, three prototype cellulase inhibitors were tested against workers of the Eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes including the disaccharide-based cellobioimidazole (CBI) and fluoro-methyl ce llobiose (FMCB) and the monosaccharide-based fluoro-methyl glucose (FMG). These compounds were tested in vitro through cellulase activity assays, as well as in vivo in 24-day bioassays. In addition, this research developed a technique to monitor cellulolytic protozoan popul ations in termites, as an effo rt to clarify whether decreases in cellulase activity are the resu lt of protozoan death or enzyma tic inhibition. This study provides novel data indicating that the disaccharide-based i nhibitor CBI is a strong inhibitor of termite

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11 cellulases and caused moderate te rmite mortality. This research also suggests that quantitative real time -PCR is a viable method to monitor shifts in cellulolytic protozoa populations.

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12 CHAPTER 1 LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction Despite the number and diversity of insects, few are able to exploit the nutritive value of cellulose, the most abundant polymer on earth. Unlik e glycogen and starch that have a helical structure and -1,4glucosidic bonds, cellulose has -1,4bonds which give s cellulose a highly rigid structure. Specifically, ce llulose consists of composite forms of highly crystallized microfibrils among amorphous matrices. For this r eason, cellulose digestion is a complex process that requires the presence of specialized enzyme s called cellulases. These enzymes are capable of hydrolyzing glucosidic linkages in cellulose and degr ading it into the univ ersal energy source, glucose. Termites are the most efficient cellulose-digesters, with assimilation efficiencies often approaching 99% (Breznak and Brune 1994). They th rive in a variety of ecosystems worldwide and play an important role in the bi orecycling of plant material (Ohkuma 2003). Phylogenetically, termites are classified into two major groups, a more primitive group known as the lower termites and a more advanced group know n as the higher termites. Three-fourths of all termite species are higher termites and belong to the family Termitidae. Members of the families Mastotermitidae, Kalotermitidae, Termopsidiae, Rhinotermitidae, Serritermitidae and Hodotermitidae all belong to the lower te rmite group (Krishna and Weesner 1969). Lower termite species, particularly subterra nean species, have been the focus of many studies because several pest sp ecies belong to this group (Su and Scheffrahn 1990). In addition, lower termites have long been known to rely on their hindgut protozoa to produce cellulases (Cleveland 1924, Hungate 1939). The relationship betw een lower termite species and protozoa is considered a textbook case of insect symbiosis, in which termites require the cellulo lytic action

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13 of protozoa for survival and in return they provide a habitat and nutrition to the protozoa. Recent studies have shown that lower termites also possess endogenous cellulases and that both endogenous and symbiotic cellulases are important for cellulose digestion (Watanabe et al. 1998). Higher termites do not harbor cellulolytic flagellates and instead acquire cellulases by cultivating fungi (suggested for Macroterm itinae only) or rely on endogenous cellulases (Breznak and Brune, 1994). Colony Structure Termites and Hymenoptera (ants, wasps, and be es) are also noteworthy because they are among the few insect orders that have evolved eu sociality. Their colonies exhibit a division in reproductive labor, cooperative brood care, a nd overlapping adult generations (Wilson 1971). However, unlike Hymenoptera which exhibits hapl oidiploidy, both males and females within the termite colony are diploid. Termite colonies are polyphenic and most termite colonies can be divided into a reproductive caste, a defensive or soldier caste, a worker caste, and an immature brood. However, unlike the general portrayal of termite societie s where the queen and king live with a group of sterile workers, in many termite species individuals re tain developmental and reproductive options (Thorne 1997). Caste differentiation, in termite s, is not a genetically predet ermined process but rather a postembryonic process that is induced by hormo nal and environmental signals. There are two developmental pathways involved in differentiati on, a sexual line also called the imaginal or nymphal line that exhibits wing buds and developing eyes and an apterous line that leads to wingless and eyeless individuals th at function as workers. Those that differentiate into the sexual line comprise the reproductive caste. This caste is divided into alates and non-alate derived reproductives. Alates are fully pigmented, winge d adults with compound eyes (Krishna and Weesner 1969). They are produced seasonall y, disperse and found new colonies. Colony

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14 establishment was traditionally t hought to occur through royal pa irs (single male and female alate); however the occurrence of primary polyandry in laboratory and field colonies has also been documented (Grube and Forschler 2004), as well as colony estab lishment by non-alate reproductives. There are two types of non-alate repr oductives that can differentiate to replace or supplement the founding king and queen. Neotenic re productives differentiate as a result of the death or senescence of reproductive s. Those that differentiate to aid the reproductive potential of a colony are called supplementary reproductives (Lain and Wright 2003, Thorne et al. 2003). All of these reproductive forms are physiological ly specialized to produce large numbers of offspring. The abdomen of both the queen and female neotenics becomes distended through a process called physogastry. In the majority of lower term ite species, soldiers have a morphologically di stinct head region with long mandibles and usually comprise a low percentage of the termite colony (1-3 % for R. flavipes ) (Howard and Haverty 1981). They are tr aditionally considered the defensive caste but may also participate in food scouting and foraging. Additionally, termite soldiers are thought to play a role in caste differentiation, pr imarily by regulating JH tit ers in nestmates. In recent years, significant progress has been made delineating the proximate mechanisms in the soldier differentiation process, including the role of juvenile hormone and hexamerin proteins in the induction and suppression of Reticulitermes flavipes Kollar worker to soldier differentiation (Zhou et al. 2006). The vast majority of a termite co lony is made up of workers. In R. flavipes workers can comprise up to 90% of the colony (Howard and Haverty 1981). A true worker refers to a nonreproductive, nonsoldier individual that has reached at least it s third instar. Unlike larvae, workers have sclerotized mandibles and a darkened abdomen. This true worker caste is found in

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15 almost all lower termites and it is found among termite species that forage away from their nest (Thorne 1997). Many morphologically and developm entally distinct groups such as nymphs, later instar larvae, and pse udergates can perform worker tasks. Pseudergates are nonreproductive individuals that have re gressed from the imaginal line at a late larval instar (Snyder 1926, Miller 1969, Lain and Wright 2003). However, the majority of tasks including tunneling, foraging, alarm giving, and broodcare are performe d by the worker caste (Crosland et al. 1997) Termite Digestion The digestive physiology of termite species is governed by cellulose degradation process and by a continuous exchange of nutrients between di verse castes (Krishna and Weesner 1969). The worker caste is the primar y wood consumer and provides nourishment to all other castes by means of trophallaxis, or liquid food transfer. In lower termites, proctodeal trophallaxis, which involves anal-oral food transfer, is probably of greater importance th an oral to oral trophallaxis; because symbiotic protozoa are transferred fr om one nestmate to another by proctodeal trophallaxis (Thorne 1997). Recent re search has shown that the highest number of cellulase gene transcripts are found in the worker caste (Schar f et al. 2003a). More sp ecifically, endogenous cellulases were found in worker s, nymphs, alates and supplem entary reproductives, while symbiotic cellulases were found in all forms excep t supplementary reproductives (Scharf et al. 2005); thus, suggesting a correlation between dige stive physiology and the role each caste plays in colony digestion and nutrition. In termites, several important metabolic activ ities are aided by gut microbiota including cellulose hydrolysis, fermentation of depolymeri zed products and intestin al nitrogen cycling and nitrogen fixation (Brune and Fr iedrich 2000). In lower termites, cellulose and hemicellulose digestion is aided by anaerobic pr otozoa. Protozoa occupy a substa ntial portion of the hindgut in lower termites and are known to phagocytize wood particles and ferment polysaccharides to

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16 acetate, CO2 and H2 (Cleveland 1924, Hungate 1939, Yamin 1981) Recent studies have shown that termites also depolymerize cellulose through th e of action endogenous cellulases (Watanabe et al. 1998, Nakashima et al. 2002, Zhou et al. 2007). Unlike symbiont-produced cellulases which are localized in the hindgut endogenous cellulases are found in the salivary glands/foregut or the midgut, depending on whether the termite sp ecies belongs to the lower or higher termite group, respectively (Tokuda et al. 2004). Thus in higher termites which do not harbor cellulolytic protozoa, endogenous ce llulases can at least partially account for their cellulolytic capabilities. More specifically, cellulose digestion is thought to be ach ieved through the collaborative action of three different type s of cellulases namely, endogl ucanases, exoglucanases and glucosidases. Endoglucanas es internally cleave 1,4 -D-glucosidic linkages and release glucose, cellobiose and cellotriose units while, exoglucanas es terminally cleave cellulose units from the ends of cellulose chains. -glucosidases release glucose by hydrolyzing -Dglucose residues from cellobiose and cellotriose units (Martin 1991, Breznak and Brune 1994) Similarly hemicelluloses are degraded by the action of specialized enzymes called xylanases which cleave 1,4 -D xylosidic linkages to re lease xylose (Breznak and Br une 1994). In lower termite R. speratus, xylanase activity was mainly restricted to the hindgut, suggesting that in this species xylanases are primarily produced by gut symbionts (Inoue et al. 1997). Endogenous termite cellulases have b een classified as endoglucanases for R. flavipes, R. speratus, and Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki and have been structurally classified as members of the glucoside-hydrolase family 9 (GHF9) (Watanabe et al. 1998, Nakashima et al. 2002, Zhou et al. 2007). However, symbiotic cellulases for th ese species have been classified into GHF7 and GHF45 and are thought to have both endoglucanase and exoglucanase activity (Ohtoko et al.

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17 2000, Nakashima et al. 2002, Zhou et al. 2007). The synergistic action of both endoglucanases and exoglucanases in lower termite hindguts is t hought to make the symbiotic cellulase system more efficient than endogenous cellulases whic h primarily have endogl ucanase activity (Tokuda et al. 2005). Prokaryotes in the termite hindgut have been hypothesized to play a role in cellulose digestion, particularly in the flagellate-free higher termites. However, there is currently insufficient research that supports this hypothesis, and consequently the contribution of bacteria to the cellulose digestion is t hought to be negligible (Breznak and Brune 1994). Instead, bacteria are thought to play major roles in acetogenesis, methanogenesis and nitrogen fixation and form highly compartmentalized communities. In R. flavipes, bacterial communities have been found to range from aerotolerant lactic-acid bacteria, f acultative anaerobic enterobacteria and strictly aerobic bacteria (Brune 1998). Statement of Purpose The overall objective of this re search project is to investigate the potential of cellulase inhibition as novel termite control method. More specifically, this proj ect investigates the potential of monosaccharide and disaccharide-ba sed compounds as cellulase inhibitors of R. flavipes workers. The central hypothesis is that if cellulase inhibition occurs it will impact termite feeding and cause termite mortality. The specific research objectives that tested the central hypothesis are: i) to assess whet her cellulase inhibition can be observed in vitro by conducting termite gut dissections and cellulase activity assays, ii) to examine the impact of cellulase inhibitors on termite feeding and mort ality and iii) to develop a method to monitor shifts in cellulolytic protozoan populations in order to assess whether decreases in cellulase activity are due to cellulase inhibition or deat h of cellulolytic protozoa This project provides

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18 important information regardi ng the cellulase system of R. flavipes and the viability of the termite cellulase system as a target site for novel termite control agents.

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19 CHAPTER 2 IN VITRO INHIBITION OF TERMITE CELLULA SES BY SUGAR-BASED INHIBITORS Introduction Termites are efficient cellulose-digesters and th rive in a variety of ecosystems worldwide. Although they play an important ec ological role in the biorecycli ng of plant material, they are notorious for their status as major structural pe sts, causing an estimated 20 billion dollars in structural damage each year (worldwide) (Su 2002). Based on the presence or absence of symbiotic protozoa, termites are divided into two major phylogenetic groups: a more primitive group known as the lower termites and a more deri ved group known as the higher termites. From early studies done by Cleveland (1924), lower term ites have been known to rely on cellulolytic protozoa for the digestion of cellulosic material s. Specifically, protozoa n symbionts contribute specialized enzymes called cellula ses. Recent research has shown that termites also produce their own cellulases and that endogenous cellulases ar e important to both lower and higher termite cellulose digestion (Watanab e et al. 1998, Nakashima et al. 2002, Tokuda et al. 2005, Zhou et al. 2007). Unlike higher termites which have a broader f eeding guild, lower termite feeding habits are mainly restricted to wood at varying stages of decay (Waller and La Fage 1987). Consequently, the majority of pest species belong to this group and the lower termite cellulase system is considered a potential target for innovative termit e control agents, such as cellulase inhibitors (Zhu et al. 2005). In general, the cellulase system is composed of three different functional types of cellulases, namely endoglucanases, exoglucanases and -glucosidases. These enzymes collaboratively degrade cellulose chains into simple sugars including glucose. Inhibition of any of these three types of cellu lases would lessen the efficiency of cellulose digestion and potentially cause termite morta lity. To date, however, only a single study has

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20 tested different compounds as potential i nhibitors of -glucosidases for the species Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Zhu et al. 2005). Therefore, the pr esent study is an effort to continue to identify novel compounds that serve as termite cellulase inhibitors. Specifically, the objectives of this investigation were to (1) survey the distribution of endoglucanase, exoglucanase and glucosidase enzymes across the gut of R. flavipes workers and (2) test th e efficacy of cellulase inhibitors fluoro-methyl glucose (FMG), cellobi oimidazole (CBI) and fluoro-methyl cellobiose (FMCB) in vitro Both objectives used homogenates of dissected guts as an enzyme source and were tested using cellulase activity assays. Th is study suggests the disaccharides CBI and FMCB are strong and moderate inhibitors (respectively) of exoglucanase and -glucosidase enzymes. Materials and Methods Termites The R. flavipes colony was collected from the Univ ersity of Florida campus and was identified as R. flavipes using a PCR-RFLP identi fication key (Szalanski et al. 2003) and soldier head morphology. The colony was held in a plas tic container supplied with moist brown paper towels and pine shims as food. Termites were kept in an environmental chamber in darkness at approximately 22C and 70 % RH for 6 months before including them in this study. Chemicals The sugar-based compounds cellobioimidazole (CBI), fluoro-methyl cellobiose (FMCB), and fluoro-methyl glucose (FMG) were synt hesized by Carbohydrate Synthesis Ltd (Oxford, UK) (Fig. 2-1). Inhibitor concentr ations were diluted using reagen t-grade methanol as a solvent. The concentration range tested for in vitro cellulase enzyme assays was 10-3 to 10-9 M. The model substrates used were carboxy-methyl cellulose (CMC), p-nitrophenol cellobioside (pNPC), and p-nitrophenol glucopyranoside (pNPG) All three substrates were diluted in homogenization buffer (0.1 M sodium acetate, pH of 5.8).

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21 Optimization of Cellulase Activity Assays Optimization of cellulase activity assays was carried out using whol e-body homogenates as an enzyme source. Homogenates were prepar ed by homogenizing worker termites using a Teflon-glass tissue homogenizer and ice-co ld homogenization buffer. Following homogenization, whole-body extracts were centrifuged at 14,000 rpm at 4C for 15 min and then passed through a glass wool filter to remove excess lipids. Protein concentration was determined using a commercially available bicinchoninic acid assay (Pierce; Rockford, IL) with bovine serum albumin as a standard. The CMC assay is an endpoint assay, whic h allowed for the optimization of more conditions than pNPC and pNPG assays, which are kinetic assays. Assay conditions examined for CMC assays included substrate concentra tion (0.0625 2%), protei n concentration (0.3125 40 termite / ml; 0.0331 3.2513 mg protein / ml), a ssay time (10-70 min), assay temperature (22 57 C), and homogenization buffer pH (3.4 6.6). The impact of residual glucose present in the termite gut was assessed by comparing CMC hydrol ysis activity with and without denatured protein. The conditions tested for the kinetic pNPC and pNPG assays were substrate concentration (0.125 16 mM and 0.25 32 mM, respectively), protein concentration (0.3125 40 termite / ml; 0.0331 3.2513 mg protein / ml), a ssay time (10 70 min), and homogenization buffer pH (3.4 6.6). Enzyme Preparation for Cellulase Distribution and in vitro Inhibition Assays Gut dissections were carried out for cellulase distribution studies and for in vitro inhibition assays. In both of these studies, the gut was dissected by decapitating each worker termite, opening the abdomen, and removing the gut intact. In the cellulase distribution study, the gut was divided into three major parts: salivar y glands/foregut, midgut and hindgut. For in vitro

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22 inhibition assays, the gut was divided into two regions in which the hindgut remained separate from the salivary glands/foregut and the midgut. In both experiments, 25 gut regions were plac ed in a 2 ml Tenbroeck tissue grinder and homogenized in 1 ml of ice-co ld homogenization buffer (0.1 M sodium acetate, pH of 5.8). Gut homogenates were then centrifuged (14,000 rpm at 4C for 15 min); and the resulting supernatant was used directly as an enzyme source for the cellulase distribution study and in vitro inhibition assays. Protein concentration was determined us ing the same protein assay described in the optimization study. Cellulase Activity Assays Cellulase activity assays were modified from Han et al. (1995) and optimized for running in 96-well microtiter plates and reading w ith a microplate spectrophotometer. A substrate concentration of 0.5 % CMC was used for CM C-based endoglucanases assays and a 4mM substrate concentration was used for the pNPC-based exoglucanase and pNPG-glucosidase assays. Endpoint CMC assays were incubated at 32C, for 30 mi n and the reaction terminated by the addition of 100 l of 1% 3, 5-dinitrosalic ylic acid (DNSA), 30% sodi um potassium tartrate, and 0.4 M NaOH to each sample well and fixed by placement of the microtiter plate on a 100C water bath for 10 minutes. To achieve color formation microtiter plates were placed on ice for 15 min and then read at 520 nm. The spectrophotomete r absorbance readings were analyzed relative to a glucose standard curve. In pNPC and pNPG assays, enzyme and subs trate reacted for 20 minutes at 32C before being read kinetically at 420 nm at room temperatur e. PNPG assays were read for at total of 1 h, while pNPC assays were read for 1.5 h. An ab sorbance reading for each sample was measured every 2 min and mean velocity was used as a measure of activity.

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23 Cellulase Distribution across R. flavipes Gut The distribution of endoglu canase, exoglucanase, and -glucosidase activities across the R. flavipes gut was assessed by dissecting the gut into three regions: saliva ry glands/foregut, midgut, and hindgut and by estimating the enzyme activity in each region through CMC, pNPC and pNPG assays. Homogenates were prepared using worker termites from a single termite colony. Three separate preparations, as well as three sub-samples were included for each gut region. Reactions consisted of 10 l of enzyme and 90 l of substrate. The specific activity and % total activity were calculated for each gut regio n. Statistical analyses were carried out using SAS software and data were analyzed using a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) on raw data. Means were separated using the Tuke y-Kramer HSD method (SAS Institute). In vitro Inhibition The efficacy of the three prototype cellulase inhibitors FMG, FMCB and CBI was tested against two different gut enzyme sources th at included endogenous te rmite cellulases from salivary gland, foregut and midgut and symbiotic cellulases fr om the hindgut. Assays were initiated by addition of 5 l inhibitor (in methanol) in a 95l reaction that contained 10l enzyme preparation and 85 l substrate solution. For each inhib itor, a concentration range of 10-3 10-9 M (serial dilution) was test ed and appropriate concentra tions were identified. Percent inhibition was calculated relative to methanol controls. Using a range of inhibitor concentrations, inhibition curves were generated and used to determine 50% inhibition ( i.e. I50) by linear regression and extrapolation. E ach inhibition curve was deri ved from three independent preparations with three determin ations for each concentration.

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24 Results Optimization of Cellulase Activity Assays Optimization of CMC, pNPC and pNPG assa ys were carried out to ensure accurate measurement of termite cellulase activity. The re sults indicate that a protein concentration between 0.5 to 1.5 mg/ml and a homogenization buffe r pH of 5.8 was optimal for all three assay types (Fig. 2-2 and 2-3). Results also indicate that optimal cond itions for CMC assays include a substrate concentration of 0.5 % CMC and an assa y time and temperature of 30 min and 32C. In addition, a comparison of active a nd denatured protein suggests re sidual glucose does not affect CMC assay results (Fig. 2-2). Optimal conditio ns for pNPC and pNPG included a substrate concentration of 4mM pNPC /G; and showed cellulase activity to be stable after 20 min of assay time (Fig. 2-3). The conditions used in cellulase ac tivity assays were all within the linear activity range. Cellulase Distribution across R. flavipes Gut Baseline cellulase distribution da ta indicates the amount of to tal protein is higher in the hindgut than in the salivary gland/foregut and midgut tissues. Based on specific activity results endoglucanase, exoglucanase and -glucosidase activity were highest in the salivary gland/foregut region. However, when the data wa s corrected for total gut protein concentration and represented as a % of to tal activity, endoglucan ase and exoglucanase activity are highest in the hindgut followed by saliv ary glands/foregut and midgut tissues. In contrast, when correcting for % total activity, -glucosidase activity was higher in the salivary glands/foregut and had a similar activity level in midgut and hindgut regions (Table 2-1). In vitro Inhibition The I50 determinations for each inhibitor are show n in Figure 2-4. Cellulase activity assays indicate the monosaccharide FMG did not strongly inhibit cellulase activity. The disaccharides

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25 CBI and FMCB, however, inhi bited both exoglucanase and -glucosidase activity in both gut regions. Cellobio-imidazole (I50s in nM M range) had a greater inhi bitory effect than FMCB (I50s in mM range) and was more active against cellulase activit ies located in the salivary gland/foregut/midgut extracts. None of the thr ee prototype inhibitors had a strong inhibitory effect against endoglucanase activity. Discussion This study assessed three sugar-based compounds a nd their potential as cellulase inhibitors for the subterranean termite, R. flavipes In addition, baseline dist ribution of endoglucanase, exoglucanase and -glucosidase activity was determined for salivary gland/foregut, midgut and hindgut regions. The conditions for conducting cellu lase activity assays were optimized, and % total activity results indicate the majority of endoglucanase and exoglucanase activities are localized in the hindgut. This fi nding is in agreement with prev ious research and supports the notion that endoglucanase and e xoglucanase enzymes are produced by hindgut protozoa in lower termite species and that a considerable por tion of endoglucanase activity is endogenous and located in the salivary gland/foregut regi on (Breznak and Brune 1994, Watanabe et al. 1998, Zhou et al. 2007). -glucosidase assays indica te this activity is both endogenous and symbiotic in origin since significant levels of -glucosidase total activity were comprised in the salivary gland/foregut and hindgut regions and because specific activities within these two regions were significantly different from each other. Similar endogenous -glucosidase distribution results have been reported for several termite species, including the lower termite Neotermes koshunensis Shiraki and the higher termite Nasutitermes takasagoensis Shiraki (Tokuda et al. 1997, Tokuda et al. 2002). Significant -glucosidase activity has also been found in the hindgut of R. speratus Kolbe (Inoue et al. 1997).

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26 The main goal of this investigation was to test three sugar-based compounds against R. flavipes workers and to assess whether they inhibit cellulases, in vitro To our knowledge, the monosaccharide FMG and disaccharide FMCB have not been previously identified as cellulase inhibitors. Conversely, CBI is already known to non-competitively inhibit cellobiohydrolases (exoglucanases) in the cellulolytic fungi Trichoderma reesei and Phanerochaete chrysosporium (Vonhoff et al. 1999, Ubhayasekera et al. 2005). Results from the present study revealed CBI is also a strong inhibitor (nMM range) of termite cellulases and is particularly active against exoglucanase and -glucosidase enzymes. Simila rly, FMCB inhibited exoand -glucosidase activities, but was moderate (mM range) in comparison with CBI results. CBI and FMCB inhibited both endogenous (salivary gland/foregu t/midgut) and symbiotic (hindgut) cellulases. However, FMCB did not show differences between the two gut tissues, while CBI had a more pronounced effect on endogenous exoglucanases th an on symbiotic exoglucanases. Differences in inhibition efficien cies were previously reported a nd discussed for cel lobiohydrolases of T. reesei and P. chrysosporium and were shown to be the result of structural differences within the sub-sites for both fungal cellula se enzymes (Ubhayasekera et al. 2005). Thus, the different inhibition efficiencies observed in this st udy may reflect structural differences between endogenous and symbiotic cellulases; however furt her research is need ed to clarify this contention. In conclusion, this study represented an impor tant first step in identifying potential inhibitors that target the R. flavipes cellulase system. Specifically, th is study showed that CBI is a strong inhibitor of termite and symbiont-produced cellula ses, while FMCB and FMG are moderate to weak cellulase i nhibitors, respectively. Moreover, this study supports previous research and further validates that R. flavipes cellulases are both endogenous and symbiotic in

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27 origin (Zhou et al. 2007). Furthe r research has investigated th e effects of CBI, FMCB and FMG on termite feeding and mortality (See Chapter 3) Feeding bioassays characterized the biological effect of CBI, FMCB and FMG and tested fo r cellulase inhibition after bioassays were completed.

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28 Figure 2-1. Chemical structure of fluoro-met hyl glucose (FMG), fluoro-methyl cellobiose (FMCB) and cellobioimidazole (CBI). N OH HO HO N O OH HO HO HOCellobio-imidazole O OH OH HO HO HO F F FFluoromethyl Glucose O O O OH HO HO HO OH HO HO HO F F FFluoromethyl Cellobiose

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29 Assay Temperature (deg.) 2024283236404448525660 Cellulase Specific Activity (nmol/min/mg) 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 CMC-based endoglucanase activity E Protein Concentration Log(mg/ml) -1.6-1.2-0.8-0.40.00.4 Cellulase Activity (% of Buffer Control) 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 Denatured protein Active protein F Assay Time (min) 01020304050607080 Cellulase Activity (nmol/mg) 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 CMC-based endoglucanase activity C Homogenization Buffer pH 3.44.255.86.6 Cellulase Specific Activity (nmol/min/mg) 0 10 20 30 40 50 CMC-based endoglucanase activity D CMC Concentration (%) 0.00.51.01.52.02.5 Cellulase Specific Activity (nmol/min/mg) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 CMC-based endoglucanase activity A Protein Concentration (mg/ml) 0.00.51.01.52.02.53.03.5 Cellulase Activity (nmol/min) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 CMC-based endoglucanase activity B Assay Temperature (deg.) 2024283236404448525660 Cellulase Specific Activity (nmol/min/mg) 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 CMC-based endoglucanase activity E Assay Temperature (deg.) 2024283236404448525660 Cellulase Specific Activity (nmol/min/mg) 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 CMC-based endoglucanase activity E Protein Concentration Log(mg/ml) -1.6-1.2-0.8-0.40.00.4 Cellulase Activity (% of Buffer Control) 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 Denatured protein Active protein F Protein Concentration Log(mg/ml) -1.6-1.2-0.8-0.40.00.4 Cellulase Activity (% of Buffer Control) 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 Denatured protein Active protein Protein Concentration Log(mg/ml) -1.6-1.2-0.8-0.40.00.4 Cellulase Activity (% of Buffer Control) 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 Denatured protein Active protein F Assay Time (min) 01020304050607080 Cellulase Activity (nmol/mg) 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 CMC-based endoglucanase activity C Assay Time (min) 01020304050607080 Cellulase Activity (nmol/mg) 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 CMC-based endoglucanase activity C Homogenization Buffer pH 3.44.255.86.6 Cellulase Specific Activity (nmol/min/mg) 0 10 20 30 40 50 CMC-based endoglucanase activity D Homogenization Buffer pH 3.44.255.86.6 Cellulase Specific Activity (nmol/min/mg) 0 10 20 30 40 50 CMC-based endoglucanase activity D CMC Concentration (%) 0.00.51.01.52.02.5 Cellulase Specific Activity (nmol/min/mg) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 CMC-based endoglucanase activity A CMC Concentration (%) 0.00.51.01.52.02.5 Cellulase Specific Activity (nmol/min/mg) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 CMC-based endoglucanase activity A Protein Concentration (mg/ml) 0.00.51.01.52.02.53.03.5 Cellulase Activity (nmol/min) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 CMC-based endoglucanase activity B Protein Concentration (mg/ml) 0.00.51.01.52.02.53.03.5 Cellulase Activity (nmol/min) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 CMC-based endoglucanase activity B Figure 2-2. Optimization conditions for CMC a ssays including (A) substrate concentration, (B) protein concentration, (C) assay ti me, (D) homogenization buffer, (E) assay temperature and (F) residual glucose. Arrows indicate the conditions used throughout CMC assays.

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30 Assay Time (min) 01020304050607080 Cellulase Specific Activity (mmol/min/mg) 0.0 0.4 0.8 1.2 1.6 2.0 2.4 2.8 pNPG-based beta-glucosidase activity pNPC-based exoglucanase activity C Homogenization Buffer pH 3.44.255.86.6 Cellulase Specific Activity (mmol/min/mg) 0.1 0.5 1.0 2.0 3.0 8.0 pNPG-based beta-glucosidase activity pNPC-based exoglucanase activity D Substrate Concentration Log(mM) -1.5-1.0-0.50.00.51.01.52.0 Cellulase Specific Activity (mmol/min/mg) 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 pNPG-based beta-glucosidase activity pNPC-based exoglucanase activity A [4 mM] Protein Concentration (mg/ml) 0.00.51.01.52.02.53.03.5 Cellulase Activity (mmol/min) 0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 pNPG-based beta-glucosidase activity pNPC-based exoglucanase activity B Assay Time (min) 01020304050607080 Cellulase Specific Activity (mmol/min/mg) 0.0 0.4 0.8 1.2 1.6 2.0 2.4 2.8 pNPG-based beta-glucosidase activity pNPC-based exoglucanase activity C Assay Time (min) 01020304050607080 Cellulase Specific Activity (mmol/min/mg) 0.0 0.4 0.8 1.2 1.6 2.0 2.4 2.8 pNPG-based beta-glucosidase activity pNPC-based exoglucanase activity C Homogenization Buffer pH 3.44.255.86.6 Cellulase Specific Activity (mmol/min/mg) 0.1 0.5 1.0 2.0 3.0 8.0 pNPG-based beta-glucosidase activity pNPC-based exoglucanase activity D Homogenization Buffer pH 3.44.255.86.6 Cellulase Specific Activity (mmol/min/mg) 0.1 0.5 1.0 2.0 3.0 8.0 pNPG-based beta-glucosidase activity pNPC-based exoglucanase activity D Substrate Concentration Log(mM) -1.5-1.0-0.50.00.51.01.52.0 Cellulase Specific Activity (mmol/min/mg) 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 pNPG-based beta-glucosidase activity pNPC-based exoglucanase activity A [4 mM] Substrate Concentration Log(mM) -1.5-1.0-0.50.00.51.01.52.0 Cellulase Specific Activity (mmol/min/mg) 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 pNPG-based beta-glucosidase activity pNPC-based exoglucanase activity A [4 mM] Protein Concentration (mg/ml) 0.00.51.01.52.02.53.03.5 Cellulase Activity (mmol/min) 0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 pNPG-based beta-glucosidase activity pNPC-based exoglucanase activity B Protein Concentration (mg/ml) 0.00.51.01.52.02.53.03.5 Cellulase Activity (mmol/min) 0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 pNPG-based beta-glucosidase activity pNPC-based exoglucanase activity B Figure 2-3. Optimization condition for pNPC and pNPG assays including (A) substrate concentration, (B) protein concentrati on, (C) assay time, (D) homogenization buffer. Arrows indicate the specific cond itions used in pNPC and pNPG activity assays.

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31 Table 2-1. Distribution of cellula se activity across the R. flavipes gut. Data points within row with the same letter are not significantly di fferent by the LSD t-test (n = 3; df = 2; p<0.05). All ANOVAs were significant at p<0.05. ActivityAssayData TypeForegut MidgutHindgut ProteinPierce mg / termite 19.9 1.08.4 0.620.4 0.8 Total Activity1.2 b1.0 b 2.4 a EndoglucanaseCMC nmol / min / mg 244.6 6.413.0 5.6 13.4 0.2 Ratio3.4 a1.0 b 1.0 b% of Total 339.8 2.8 b 8.5 3.6 c51.7 1.4 a ExoglucanasepNPC mmol / min / mg 20.97 0.240.30 0.010.78 0.21 Ratio3.2 a1.0 b2.6 a% of Total 321.3 5.0 b4.9 0.4 c73.8 4.7 a -glucosidasepNPG mmol / min / mg 26.2 0.72.8 0.20.6 0.1 Ratio9.8 a4.4 b 1.0 c % of Total 356.4 3.9 a18.9 1.9 b24.8 2.0 b 1. Total g of protein per termite per gut region. 2. Specific activity for each substrate by gut region. 3. Specific activity corrected fo r total gut protein by gut regi on and then converted to a percentage.

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32 Figure 2-4. I50 determination for each inhibitor tested on termite cellulases. Mean I 50 [M] log scale ENDO (CMC) EXO (pNPC) BETA (pNPG) No inhibition Weak inhibition nM M mMForegut / SG + Midgut Foregut / SG + Midgut Foregut / SG + Midgut HindgutHindgutHindgut FMGFMCB CBI1x10-91x10-81x10-71x10-61x10-51x10-41x10-31x10-21x10-11x10-0 Mean I 50 [M] log scale ENDO (CMC) EXO (pNPC) BETA (pNPG) No inhibition Weak inhibition nM M mMForegut / SG + Midgut Foregut / SG + Midgut Foregut / SG + Midgut HindgutHindgutHindgut FMGFMCB CBI1x10-91x10-81x10-71x10-61x10-51x10-41x10-31x10-21x10-11x10-01x10-91x10-81x10-71x10-61x10-51x10-41x10-31x10-21x10-11x10-0

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33 CHAPTER 3 EFFECTS OF THREE SUGAR-BASED CELL ULASE INHIBITORS ON FEEDING AND MORTALITY OF Reticulitermes flavipes WORKERS Introduction Termites are important structural pests, causi ng an estimated global impact of $20 billion annually (Su 2002). Many pest species, including the wi dely-distributed Coptotermes and Reticultermes spp ., belong to the lower termite group. Lo wer termites rely on the production of both endogenous cellulases and symbiotic cellulases to digest cellulose, a major component in wood (Cleveland 1924, Watanabe et al. 1998). In lower termites, e ndogenous cellulases are localized in the salivary/foregut or midgut regions, while symbiotic cellulases are produced by anaerobic protozoa and restricted to the hindgut (Tokuda et al. 1999, Nakashima et al. 2002, Zhou et al. 2007). Through the ac tion of cellulases, specifically endoglucanases, exoglucanases and -glucosidases, termites are able to degrade ce llulose chains into gl ucose. The collaboration of symbiotic and endogenous cellulases enables lowe r termites to efficiently digest cellulose and is the main reason why termites are consid ered important economic pests. Current control options for subterranean te rmites include soil termiticides and baiting systems (Su and Scheffrahn 2000). Soil termiticides are liquid insecticides that are applied in large volumes along foundation perimeters. Liquid in secticides are often ne urotoxins which elicit acute toxicity in insects. However, the environmental persistence of liquid termiticides has raised public health and environmental concerns. Bait systems are considered more environmentally sound and provide colony elimination through the action of chitin synthesis inhibitors or metabolic inhibitors; however, bait systems pr ovide complete colony elimination more slowly than soil termiticides. In this respect, a faster and more environmentally friendly termite control method is needed.

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34 Several studies have investig ated the potential of sugar-based compounds as termite feeding stimulants and bait additives (Walle r and Curtis 2003, Swoboda et al. 2004). Feeding stimulants could increase consumption of term iticides and provide faster colony elimination. However, compounds that act as both feeding stimulants and termiticides remain largely unidentified. Recently, Zhu et al (2005) researched the potential of cellulase inhibitors as a novel termite control method. Cellu lase inhibitors would decreas e digestion efficiencies and could potentially elicit a compen satory feeding response and cause termite mortality. Thus, the goal of this study was to ev aluate three prototype cellu lase inhibitors against R. flavipes and assess their potential as novel termite control agents, as we ll as potential termite feeding stimulants. The inhibitors used were the di saccharides cellobioimidazole (CBI) and fluoromethyl cellobiose (FMCB) and the monosaccharide fluoro-methyl glucose (FMG). The specific objectives for this study were to 1) conduct cellulase inhi bitor bioassays that assess the impact of cellulase inhibitors on the f eeding and survivorship of R. flavipes workers, 2) conduct mono-and disaccharide bioassays to further verify the feed ing and mortality results from inhibitor bioassays and 3) verify cellulase inhibiti on via cellulase activity assays. This study provides novel data indicating after 24-day feeding bioassays the disaccharide-based inhibitor CBI inhibits exoglucanase and -glucosidase activity and causes moderate termite mortality. Material and Methods Termites Termite colonies were collected from nearby field sites at the University of Florida campus. Colonies were identified as Reticulitermes flavipes using a PCR-RFLP identification key (Szalanski et al. 2003), and were held in pl astic containers provisioned with moist, brown paper towels and pine shims. Termite colonies were held in darkness at approximately 22C and

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35 70% RH. Colonies were allowed to acclimate to laboratory conditions for at least one month before including them in these experiments. Cellulase Inhibitor Bioassays Cellulase inhibitor bioassays were modeled after previous caste differentiation assays described by (Scharf et al. 2003b, Zhou et al. 2007) and consisted of sets of 15 worker termites in plastic petri dishes (10 x 15 mm, Nunc Inc., Naperville, IL) w ith treated paper disks (GeorgiaPacific). Worker termites were used because of their status as primary wood consumers and because cellulase gene and protein expression ar e highest in the worker caste (Scharf et al. 2003a, Scharf et al. 2005). One termite colony wa s used to test the effects of CBI and FMG1 and a different colony was used to repeat the FMG as say and to test the effects of FMCB. The CBI and FMG bioassays were conducted in May of 2006, while the FMG and FMCB bioassays were carried out in July of 2006. High-purity CBI, FMCB and FMG were synthesized by Carbohydrate Synthesis Ltd (Oxford, UK). Different concentrations for each inhibitor were prepared using reagent-grade methanol as a solvent. The concentrations prepared were 75, 50, 25, 10, 5, 1, 0.5, and 0.1 mM (approximately 3, 2, 1, 0.4, 0.2, 0.04, 0.02 and 0.004 % wt/wt). Paper disks were pre-weighed and then treated with 50 l of a given inhibitor concentration. Controls consisted of filter paper disks treated with 50 l of methanol. Treated paper disk s were placed in a fume hood for approximately 30 m before including them in bioa ssays. Treatments and controls were held in complete darkness at approximately 27C and 70% RH. For each inhibitor, three replicate dishes of 15 termites each were assayed per concentration. 7171717135 1 The colony replicate for CBI and FMG was done by Dr. M.E. Scharf and Dr. X. Zhou.

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36 All assays were carried out for a total of 24 days. Termite mortality and filter paper moisture were monitored every 4th day. Every 8th day, paper disks were replaced with a new, treated disk. To estimate paper consumption, pa per disks were dried and re-weighed. After 24day feeding bioassays surviving termites were fr ozen at -20C for postinhibition studies. Validative Bioassays with Monoand Disaccharides Monoand disaccharide bioassays were conduc ted to further validate the results from feeding bioassays. Three different sugars were ch osen based on structur al similarity to the cellulase inhibitors used in feed ing bioassays including glucose (Fis her Scientific), D(+) -maltose monohydrate (90%) and D(+)-cellobi ose (98%) (Acros Organics). Glucose is a monosaccharide similar in structure to FMG, while maltose and cellobiose are alpha and beta-linked disaccharides, respectively, similar to both CBI and FMCB. Monoand disaccharide bioassays were completed in a similar manner as feeding a ssays; however due to differences in solubility, mono-and disaccharides sugars were dissolved in dH2O instead of methanol. Sugar bioassays consisted of three replicate dishes per concentr ation and were replicated across two different termite colonies. The first colony replicate was carried out in August of 2006 and the second in October of 2006. Post-feeding Inhibition Cellulase activity assays tested for cellulase inhibition in termites surviving the 24-day feeding bioassays. Cellulase activ ity assays were adapted from Han et al. (1995) and optimized for a 96-well microplate format. Whole-body homoge nates were used as an enzyme source and were prepared using a motorized Teflon-glass tissue homogenizer. Homogenization was carried out by using 10 termites/ml of homogenization bu ffer. After homogenization, preparations were centrifuged at 14,000 rpm at 4C for 15 min and then filtered with glass wool to remove excess

PAGE 37

37 lipids. The protein concentration in each sample was determined using a commercially available bicinchoninic acid assay (Pierce; Rockford, IL ) with bovine serum albumin as a standard. The model substrates used to estim ate endoglucanases, exoglucanases and -glucosidase activity were carboxy-methyl ce llulose (CMC), p-nitrophenol cellobioside (pNPC), and pnitrophenol glucopyranoside (pNPG), respectivel y. All three substrates were diluted in homogenization buffer (0.1 M sodium acetate, pH of 5.8). The substrate concentration for CMC assays was 0.5 %. A 4mM substrate concentrat ion was used for pNPC and pNPG assays. CMC assays were carried out as endpoint assays and were incubated at 32C, for 30 minutes. After incubation, the reaction te rminated with the addition of 100 l of 1% 3, 5dinitrosalicylic acid (DNSA), 30% sodium pota ssium tartrate, and 0.4 M NaOH to each sample. The reaction was then fixed by placing the microtit er plate in a 100C water bath for 10 minutes. To achieve color formation microtiter plates were placed on ice for 15 minutes. Absorbance was measured at 520 nm and compared to a glucose standard curve. In pNPC and pNPG assays, enzyme and subs trate reacted for 20 minutes at 32C, before being read kinetically at 420 nm at room temperatur e. pNPG assays were read for at total of 1 h, while pNPC assays were read for 1 h and 30 m. An absorbance reading for each sample was read every 2 m and mean velocity result s were used as activity data. Data Analysis At the end of each assay, the data were summarized as cumulative feeding and cumulative termite mortality. The cumulative feeding and mortality for each concentration were converted into a percentage of feeding relative to that of untreated (MeOH) controls. The FMG data for both termite colonies was compiled and averaged into a single data set, as well as analyzed separately to obser ve colony variation. Data for cellulase inhibitor bioassays, post-feeding inhibition and mono/disaccharide assays were an alyzed using SAS (SAS Institute; Cary, NC)

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38 (p<0.05). A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to analyze cellulase inhibitor bioassays and post-feedi ng inhibition data. The exoglucanase (pNPC) and -glucosidase (pNPG) assays were analyzed on ranked data because un transformed data did not meet the assumptions of ANOVA. A two-wa y ANOVA was used for mono/disaccha ride data. Mean separation was carried out using Tukey-Kramer HSD a nd Student-Newman-Keuls (SNK) methods. Results Cellulase Inhibitor Bioassays This research investigated the effect three pot ential cellulase inhibitors had on termite filter paper consumption and termite mortality. The monosaccharide FMG did not stimulate filter paper consumption at any concentration and had significant inhibitory e ffects throughout the 2575 mM concentration range ( F = 7.14, df= 8, 51, P < 0.0001) (Fig.3-1). However, the disaccharide CBI had both inhibitory and s timulatory feeding effects ( F = 6.48, df =8, 24, P = 0.0002). The inhibitory effect occurred at the lowest and th e highest concentrations, with significant inhibition at the 75 mM concentration. A stimulatory eff ect for CBI occurred at midrange inhibitor concentrations and was significant at the 5 mM concentration. A si milar inhibitory and stimulatory feeding effect occu rred in FMCB bioassays; however th e results were not significant at any inhibitor concentration. Overall, FMCB caused greater cumulative termite mortality than CBI and FMG (Fig. 3-1). The highest FMCB-induced mortality was associat ed with the highest co ncentrations, with 75 mM causing a mortality rate greater than 40% Similarly, the mortality observed in FMG replicates was concentration-dependent. Howe ver, the highest FMG concentration reached a maximum of approximately 20% mortality (combine d colony results) and was not significantly different from methanol-treated controls. Alt hough not significant, CBI-induced mortality was

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39 the highest throughout the same midrange concentr ations that were associated with feeding induction. Validative Bioassays with Monoand Disaccharides Monoand disaccharide bioassays were carried ou t to further define the effects of cellulase inhibitor bioassays on termite feeding and mort ality. No significant feeding stimulation was observed in any of the sugar bioassays (Fig. 32). However, a significant inhibitory effect occurred in the 10 mM treatment in the maltose bioassay ( F = 3.64, df= 8, 41, P = 0.0028). No significant termite mortality was observed in glucose ( F =1.54, df= 8, 44, P =0.1711), cellobiose ( F =1.41, df=8, 43, P =0.2206) or maltose ( F =1.06, df=8, 41, P =0.4120) bioassays. Post-feeding Inhibition The most pronounced inhibition occurred for exoglucanase and -glucosidase activities after exposure to CBI ( F = 18.64, df= 8, 30, P <.0001) (Fig. 3-3). Inhibiti on by CBI occurred in a dose-dependent manner with the highest concentr ations causing the greatest inhibition (7090%). By comparison, FMG and FMCB did not str ongly inhibit cellulase activity after feeding. FMG showed the greatest impact on termites treated with 10 mM concentration. At this concentration, only the endoglu canase activity was significant ly affected. FMCB showed a significant -glucosidase inhibition at the 0.1 and 75 mM concentrations. Discussion The eastern subterranean termite, R. flavipes, is a major pest species within the United States (Su and Scheffrahn 1990). The R. flavipes cellulase system is comprised of both endogenous and symbiotic cellulases (Zhou et al. 2007) This system is considered a potential target site for novel termite cont rol agents including cellulase inhibitors (Zhu et al. 2005). The main objective of this study was to test the effect s of three prototype cellulase inhibitors against R. flavipes workers. The results from cellulase inhib itor bioassays indicate that CBI, and to a

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40 lesser extent FMCB, caused both stimulatory and i nhibitory feeding effects, while FMG largely elicited an inhibitory effect. Feeding stimul ation in the inhibitor bioassays may be a compensatory feeding response, where termites incr ease feeding to compensa te for a decrease in cellulose-digesting efficiency and subsequent nutritional deprivati on. This contention was supported by disaccharide bioassays and post-feed ing inhibition assays (for CBI only). Although many sugars are considered termite phagostimul ants (Waller and Curtis 2003), validative mono/disaccharide bioassays suggest that stimul atory feeding is not a generalized response to disaccharides and is instead a specific re sponse induced by CBI and FMCB. Swoboda et al. (2004) described a similar result, where sugars including several disaccharides did not elicit a stimulatory response throughout nonchoice feeding bioassays. Post-feeding bioassays showed that for CBI cellulase inhibition occurred throughout concentrations that caused s timulatory feeding. However, there was no correlation between concentrations that elicited feeding stimula tion and those which had the highest inhibition percentage. Therefore the highest CBI concentrations, may act as feeding deterrents, while at midrange concentrations of CBI may act as a feeding stimulants, indicating an interaction between inhibitor palatability and concentrati on. Additionally, CBI inhibitor bioassays indicate that termite mortality was highest at midrange concentrations suggesting a correlation between feeding stimulation and termite mortality. Overall the highest percentage of termite mortality was observed for FMCB. However, post-feeding inhibition assays and previous in vitro studies (Chapter 2) show CBI as being the most potent cellulase inhibitor. This discrepancy is likely the result of colony variation. FMCB and CBI were tested using two different term ite colonies: a field colony was collected and acclimated to laboratory conditions for 1 month a nd a laboratory colony which had acclimated to

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41 laboratory condition for > 1 year (respectively) Consequently, FMCB and CBI mortality results may not be directly comparable, since termite co lonies are known to vary in their physiological status and thus may respond diffe rently to treatment. This oc currence was noted by Zhu et al. (2005), and in the present study was supported by FMG mortality results, in which the field colony showed significantly higher mortality than the laboratory colony (Fig. 3-4). Therefore, CBI may have shown mortality comparable to th at of FMCB if assayed using the same field colony. Unfortunately, the cost and limited availability of each i nhibitor played a major role in bioassay succession and colony replication. In summary, this study shows that the disaccha ride-based inhibitor CBI caused significant stimulatory feeding in termites at midrange inhi bitor concentrations. Th is feeding stimulation resulted in greater inhibitor intake and caused moderate termite mortality (~20%). Bioassays involving monoand disaccharides confirmed that stimulatory feeding is a specific response elicited by CBI. These observations suggest that stimulatory feeding may be the result of a decrease in cellulose digestion efficiency. Howe ver, cellulase inhibition in termites may occur because of enzyme inhibition, in which there is a direct interaction between inhibitor and enzyme, or due to cellulolytic symbiont death. Thus, future studies should also clarify how enzyme inhibition is achieved: through either symbiont death or en zymatic inhibition. In addition, subsequent bioassays that focus on midrange CBI and FMCB concentrations are necessary to confirm feeding and mortality results, as well as an assessment of colony to colony variation.

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42 Figure 3-1. Effects on feeding (TOP) and mo rtality (BOTTOM) by three pr ototype cellulase inhibitors FMG (A, B), CBI (C, D) and FMCB (E, F). Results are shown as pe rcentage relative to methanol-treated controls, (*) indicates a significant difference between treatments and controls. FMG Mortality % Mortality0 10 20 30 40 50 Inhibitor Conc. [mM] MeOH Control .1.51510255075 FMCB Mortality Inhibitor Conc. [mM] MeOH Control .1.51510255075 50 40 30 20 10 0 CBI Mortality Inhibitor Conc. [mM] MeOH Control .1.51510255075 50 40 30 20 10 0% of MeOHControls Inhibitor Conc. [mM] 00.10.51510255075 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 FMCB Feeding Inhibitor Conc. [mM] MeOH Control .1.51510255075 140 120 100 80 60 CBI Feeding Inhibitor Conc. [mM] MeOH Control .1.51510255075 140 120 100 80 60 FMG Mortality % Mortality0 10 20 30 40 50 Inhibitor Conc. [mM] MeOH Control .1.51510255075 FMG Mortality % Mortality0 10 20 30 40 50 0 10 20 30 40 50 Inhibitor Conc. [mM] MeOH Control .1.51510255075 Inhibitor Conc. [mM] MeOH Control .1.51510255075 FMCB Mortality Inhibitor Conc. [mM] MeOH Control .1.51510255075 50 40 30 20 10 0 FMCB Mortality Inhibitor Conc. [mM] MeOH Control .1.51510255075 FMCB Mortality Inhibitor Conc. [mM] MeOH Control .1.51510255075 Inhibitor Conc. [mM] MeOH Control .1.51510255075 50 40 30 20 10 0 50 40 30 20 10 0 CBI Mortality Inhibitor Conc. [mM] MeOH Control .1.51510255075 50 40 30 20 10 0 CBI Mortality Inhibitor Conc. [mM] MeOH Control .1.51510255075 Inhibitor Conc. [mM] MeOH Control .1.51510255075 50 40 30 20 10 0 50 40 30 20 10 0% of MeOHControls Inhibitor Conc. [mM] 00.10.51510255075 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 FMCB Feeding Inhibitor Conc. [mM] MeOH Control .1.51510255075 140 120 100 80 60 FMCB Feeding Inhibitor Conc. [mM] MeOH Control .1.51510255075 FMCB Feeding Inhibitor Conc. [mM] MeOH Control .1.51510255075 Inhibitor Conc. [mM] MeOH Control .1.51510255075 140 120 100 80 60 CBI Feeding Inhibitor Conc. [mM] MeOH Control .1.51510255075 140 120 100 80 60 CBI Feeding Inhibitor Conc. [mM] MeOH Control .1.51510255075 CBI Feeding Inhibitor Conc. [mM] MeOH Control .1.51510255075 Inhibitor Conc. [mM] MeOH Control .1.51510255075 140 120 100 80 60 FMG Feeding

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43 Figure 3-2. Results from mono-and disacch aride bioassays. (A) Shows cumulative feed ing results after 24 days for glucose, maltose and cellobiose, while (B) shows cumulative morta lity for the three sugars. Cumulative feeding and mortality results are shown as a percentage of water-treated controls, (*) indicates a significant difference between treatments and water-treated controls. Maltose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % of Control 70 80 90 100 110 Cellobiose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % of Control 70 80 90 100 110 Glucose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % of Control 70 80 90 100 110 Maltose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % Mortality 0 5 10 15 20 25 Cellobiose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % Mortality 0 5 10 15 20 25 Glucose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % Mortality 0 5 10 15 20 25 *(mM)(mM)(mM) (mM)(mM)(mM)* Maltose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % of Control 70 80 90 100 110 Cellobiose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % of Control 70 80 90 100 110 Glucose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % of Control 70 80 90 100 110 Maltose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % Mortality 0 5 10 15 20 25 Cellobiose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % Mortality 0 5 10 15 20 25 Glucose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % Mortality 0 5 10 15 20 25 ** Maltose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % of Control 70 80 90 100 110 Cellobiose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % of Control 70 80 90 100 110 Glucose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % of Control 70 80 90 100 110 Cellobiose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % of Control 70 80 90 100 110 Glucose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % of Control 70 80 90 100 110 Maltose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % Mortality 0 5 10 15 20 25 Cellobiose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % Mortality 0 5 10 15 20 25 Glucose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % Mortality 0 5 10 15 20 25 Maltose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % Mortality 0 5 10 15 20 25 Cellobiose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % Mortality 0 5 10 15 20 25 Glucose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % Mortality 0 5 10 15 20 25 Cellobiose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % Mortality 0 5 10 15 20 25 Glucose Concentration Control0.10.51510255075 % Mortality 0 5 10 15 20 25 *(mM)(mM)(mM) (mM)(mM)(mM)

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44 Figure 3-3. Post-feeding inhibition results for FMCB, FMG and CBI. (*) indicates a significant difference between treatment and controls. See Appendix A for averaged results. CBI concentration (mM) 00.10.51510255075 % of Control 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 Endoglucanase Exoglucanase -glucosidase ** * * FMG concentration (mM) 00.10.51510255075 % of Control 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 Endoglucanase Exoglucanase -glucosidase FMCB concentration (mM) 00.10.51510255075 % of Control 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 Endoglucanase Exoglucanase glucosidase CBI concentration (mM) 00.10.51510255075 % of Control 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 Endoglucanase Exoglucanase -glucosidase ** * * CBI concentration (mM) 00.10.51510255075 % of Control 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 Endoglucanase Exoglucanase -glucosidase ** * * FMG concentration (mM) 00.10.51510255075 % of Control 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 Endoglucanase Exoglucanase -glucosidase FMCB concentration (mM) 00.10.51510255075 % of Control 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 Endoglucanase Exoglucanase glucosidase *

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45 Figure 3-4. Comparison of field and laboratory colonies used to test FMG. The lab colony was kept under laboratory conditions for > 1 year and the field colony was held under laboratory conditi ons for < 1 month. FMG Concentration (mM) 00.10.51510255075 % Mortality 0 10 20 30 40 50 Lab Field

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46 CHAPTER 4 MOLECULAR AND BIOCHEMICAL MARKERS FOR MONITORING DYNAMIC SHIFTS OF CELLULOLYTIC PROTOZOA IN Reticulitermes flavipes Introduction The mutualism between lower termite species and a variety of sy mbiotic protozoa has been of interest to termite researchers sin ce early studies done by Cleveland (1924). Symbiotic protozoa have long been known to be important to the process of termite cellulose digestion. Namely, protozoan species produce cellulases, which are enzymes capable of cleaving the 1,4 D-glucosidic linkages in cellulo se (a major component of wood) In recent year s, additional advances have been made in characterizing the cellulase system of many lower termite species, including Reticulitermes flavipes Kollar, R. speratus Kolbe and Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Inoue et al. 1997, Nakashima et al. 2002, Zhou et al. 2007). The cellulase system in lower termites is known to involve both endogenous and symbiotic cellulases (Watanabe et al. 1998, Na kashima et al. 2002, Tokuda et al. 2005, Zhou et al. 2007). Unlike symbiotic cellulases which are confined to the hindgu t, endogenous cellulases are produced and found in the salivary glands or the midgut, depending on termite family (Tokuda et al. 1999, Zhou et al. 2007). This study i nvestigated the cellulase system of the lower termite R. flavipes, which is one of the most destructive termite species in the United States. The R. flavipes cellulase system, like that of all other lower termite speci es, is known to be comprised of three main types of enzymes incl uding endoglucanases, exoglucanases and -glucosidases. These enzymes degrade cellulose by cleaving different linka ges along the cellulose chain. Endoglucanases internally hydrolyz e glucosidic linkages while exoglucanases terminally cleave cellulose units from the ends of cellulose chains. -glucosidases release glucose by hydrolyzing -Dglucose residues from cellobiose and ce llotriose units (Breznak and Brune 1994).

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47 Thus far, the full-length prot ein coding regions of four cellula se genes have been isolated from R. flavipes including an endogenous ( Cell-1 ) and three symbiotic cellulases ( Cell-2, Cell-3 and Cell-4 ). The endogenous Cell-1 and the symbiotic Cell-2 are classified as endoglucanases, while Cell-3 and Cell-4 are exoglucanases. In R. flavipes, endogenous endoglu canase activity is mainly localized in the salivary glands and symbio tic cellulase activity is localized in the hindgut (Zhou et al. 2007). The process of cellulose degradation can sustain nearly 100 % of lower termite metabolism (Breznak and Brune 1994). Thus, gi ven the dependence of lower termites on wood, the lower termite cellulase system is considered a potential target for termite control agents (Zhu et al. 2005, Zhou et al. 2007). Howe ver despite the major role of protozoa in the lower termite cellulase system, to date there are few tec hniques beyond actual protozoan counts available to monitor the effects that novel termite control agents could have on cellulolytic protozoan populations. Although protozoan coun ts provide a quantitative and direct measure of protozoan populations, they are also time-consuming and labor intensive. Therefore, the main goal of this investigation was to develop an effective, al ternative method to monitor fluctuations of cellulolytic termite protozoa. Sp ecifically, the objectives of this study were to (1) use UV irradiation to remove hindgut protozoa from R. flavipes workers and to test whether (2) quantitative real time-PCR (qRT-P CR) and/or cellulase enzyme assays can be used to monitor changes in termite cellulolytic protozoan populations In addition, an estimate of endoglucanase, exoglucanase and -glucosidase stability in vitro was also included. Our results suggest that qRT-PCR is a viable method to monitor shifts in cellulolytic protozoa populations and verify specifically that the R. flavipes genes Cell-2 Cell-3 and Cell-4 are symbiont-derived.

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48 Materials and Methods Termites Termite colonies were collected from the Un iversity of Florida campus (Gainesville, FL, USA). Each colony was placed in a sealed plas tic container and supplied with moist, brown paper towels and wooden shims (pine) as food. Th e termite colonies were held in complete darkness at approximately 22C and 70 % RH for at least a month before including them in these experiments. Ultraviolet Irradiation UV irradiation was successfully used as a defaunation method in R. speratus by Inoue et al. (1997). Their irradiation protoc ol was applied to this study w ith minor modifications. Prior to UV irradiation, termites were fed moistened cellulose powder (Sigma Aldrich) for 48 h, in order to make hindgut contents more accessible to UV li ght. Thirty worker termites were irradiated (375.5nm, Gelman Sciences Inc., Model No. 51438) for 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 hours. The UV light was placed at a distance of approximately 9 cm away fro m the dishes. In order to ensure that termites would be evenly exposed to the UV light, the 30 termites were divided into 3 Petri dishes (10x15mm, Nunc) and were lined up under the UV light, exposed, then tr ansferred to Petri dishes provisioned with moistened filter pape r disks for 24 h. After the 24 h period elapsed, termites that were exposed for the same time in terval were recombined (n=30). Five termites were used immediately for protoz oan counts while the remaining 25 were divided roughly in half and stored at either -80C for quantitative real-time PCR analys is or at -20C for cellulase enzyme assays. Treatments were replicated across 3 different R. flavipes colonies. Protozoan Counts In order to estimate the number of protoz oa in each termite hi ndgut, a total of five termites for each time interval were dissected per replicate. Dissecti ons were carried out by

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49 immobilizing each termite on ice, gently holding the head and then extracting the hindgut by pulling on the last abdominal segments. The prot ocol used for protozoa n counts was described by Lewis and Forschler (2004) with minor modifi cations. Protozoan counts were conducted by placing each hindgut into a microcentrifuge tube containing 100 l of ice-cold 1x phosphate buffered saline (PBS). The gut was homogenized for approximately 15 s with a sterile toothpick, then 10 l of the hindgut homogenate were load ed onto a hemacyto meter (Bright-line Hemacytometer, Fisher Scientific, Pittsburgh, PA ) and the number of protozoa was examined by counting 0.4 l under 400 X magnification using a Leitz Laborlux S microscope. Quantitative Real time-PCR In order to test for change s in cellulase gene expression, total RNA from whole termites was extracted using the SV total RNA isolation kit (Promega; Madison, WI). The quantity of total RNA was determined thr ough spectrophotometry and then converted to cDNA using the iScriptTM cDNA synthesis kit (Bio-R ad; Hercules, CA). Quantit ative real time-PCR was performed using an iCycler iQ real time detection system (Bio-Rad) with SYBR Green Supermix (Bio-Rad). qRT-PCR was used to in vestigate gene (mRNA) expression of four cellulase genes ( Cell 1, Cell 2, Cell 3, and Cell 4 ), as well as -actin which was included as a reference gene. Validation of these target and reference genes, including comparisons of PCR amplification efficiencies, was described in a pr evious report (Zhou et al. 2007). Cellulase gene transcript abundance was chosen to specifically monitor changes in cellulolytic protozoan populations, rather than as-yet undefined ge nomic DNA sequence markers. The forward and reverse primer seque nces used were: Cell 1 RT (5-TCACAAGCAAGCAGGCATAC-3 and 5ATGAGAGCAGAATTGGCAGC-3), Cell-2 RT (5-CCAATGGGGATGTTACAAGG-3 and 5CAACTCATCCCATCGGAATC-3), Cell-3 RT (5-GCTGGAAACCACAGGACAAT-3 and 5ACTGTGTACGCCTGGGAAAC-3), Cell-4 RT (5-GCTGGGGGTGTTATTCATTCCTA-3 and 5-

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50 CTTCGAGCAAGCATGAACTG-3), and -actin (5-AGAGGGAAATCGTGCGTGAC-3 and 5CAATAGTGATGACCTGGCCGT-3). The relative expression levels for Cell-1, Cell-2, Cell-3 and Cell-4 in relation to the reference gene, -actin were determine by the 2 CT method (Livak and Schmittgen 2001). For each gene, three PCR reactions were performed per treatment per colony. Cellulase Activity Assays Tissue preparation To test whether UV defaunation had an imp act on cellulase enzyme activity, termites stored at -20C were first homogenized using a motorized Teflon-glass tissue homogenizer. The homogenization buffer was 0.1 M sodium acetate (pH 5.8). This buffer was used in tissue preparations and cellulase enzyme assays. Whole-body homogenates were centrifuged at 14,000 rpm at 4C for 15 min. In order to remove excess lipids, the clear supernatant from each sample was removed carefully, avoiding th e lipid layer and placed into ne w microcentrifuge tubes. This product was used as an enzyme source in the cellu lase assays described below. To estimate the protein concentration for each sample a bicinchoni nic acid assay (Pierce, Rockford, IL) was used with bovine serum albumin as a standard. Substrate preparation To measure endoglucanase, exoglucanase, and -glucosidase activity, the model substrates used included carboxy-methyl cellulose (CMC), p -nitrophenol cellobioside (pNPC), and p nitrophenol glucopyranoside (pNPG), respectivel y. Stock solutions of each material were prepared in methanol. All three substrate stocks were diluted in homogenization buffer immediately before assays. The final substr ate concentration used for the CMC-based endoglucanase assays was 0.5% (w/v), while a 4 mM substrate concentration was used for the pNPC and pNPG assays.

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51 Cellulase a ctivity assays The protocol for endoglucanase, exoglucanase, and -glucosidase assays was modified from Han et al. (1995) and optimized for a CO Star 96-well microtiter plate (Corning Inc.; Corning, NY) and a microplate spectrophotomete r. Other conditions such as protein and substrate concentration, assay time, and buffer pH were previously (Chapter 2). All three assays were carried out by placing 10 l of enzyme extract and 90 l of buffer+substrate in each sample well. CMC-endoglucanase assays ar e endpoint assays in which the microtiter plate was placed in an incubator at 32C for a total assay time of 30 minutes. The reaction was stopped by adding 100 l of 1% 3, 5-dinitrosalicylic acid (DNSA), 30% sodium potassium tartrate, and 0.4 M sodium hydroxide to each sample well. To stop any remaining enzymatic activity, the microtiter plate was placed in a 95C water bath for 10 mi nutes and then cooled on ice for 15 minutes to allow color formation. The plate was read at 520 nm using the endpoint setting. The absorbance readings, relative to a glucose standard curve, were used to calculate the specific activity. pNPC and pNPG assays are kinetic a ssays which measure the release of pnitrophenol. These assays were carried out by allowing the en zyme and buffer + substrate mixtures to react for 20 minutes at 32C before being read at 420 nm, at room temperature. pNPC assays were read every 2 min for a total of 1 h and 30 min, wh ile pNPG assays were read every 2 min for 1 h. The mean velocity results from pNPC exoglucanase and pNPG -glucosidase assays were used to estimate specific activity. For each cellulase assay, activity was estimated from three reactions per treatment per colony. In vitro Cellulase Stability Estimate Cellulase protein stability was determined in vitro using three separate preparations of whole-body homogenates from the same termite colony. Whole-body homogenates were held at 27C for a total of 16 days. At 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 16 days, 130 l of each preparation were removed

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52 and frozen at -20C. Endoglucanase, exoglucanase, and -glucosidase activity for each time interval were tested using CMC, pNPC and pNPG assays, which were carried out as described in the previous section. In each cel lulase activity assay, each prepar ation was assayed in triplicate per time interval. Statistical Analyses Statistical analyses were carried out using SAS (SAS Institute; Cary, NC). Protozoan counts, qRT-PCR results and cellulase activity as say data did not meet the assumptions for an analysis of variance (ANOVA). Thus, the data were ranked and a two-way ANOVA (Conover and Iman 1981) was used to analyze gene expr ession and enzyme activit y results (with blocking on colony, and UV-treatment-time as the main factor). A one-way ANOVA on raw cellulase activity data was used to analyze cellulase stabil ity results. Means for all three data sets were separated using the Student-Newman -Keuls procedure. Linear regression analysis was used to test for correlations of protozoa n count results with qRT-PCR ce llulase gene expression data. Linear regression analyses were performe d using the PROC REG procedure in SAS. Results Protozoan Counts A photomicrograph displaying several protoz oa species observed during gut dissection are shown in Figure 4-1. The results for the pr otozoan counts are summar ized in Figure 4-2. UV irradiation significantly reduced the number of protozoa in a time/dose-dependent manner ( F = 14.55, df = 4,68, P <0.0001). Numbers of protozoa recovered after 0 and 1 h of irradiation were significantly greater than number s of protozoa recovered after 2, 3, and 4 h of irradiation. The smallest decrease was observed after 1 h of UV exposure, wh ere protozoan populations were reduced by an average of 24%. After 2, 3, and 4 h of UV irradiation 42, 87 and 93 % reductions were observed, respectively.

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53 Quantitative real-time PCR In addition to reducing symbiont populations UV irradiation signifi cantly reduced the expression of symbiotic cellulases, Cell-2 ( F= 43.12, df=4,37, P <0.0001) Cell-3 ( F =72.16, df=4,35, P <0.0001) and Cell-4 ( F =161.06, df=4,38, P <0.0001) (Fig. 4-3B-D) but did not cause a decrease in the endogenous cellulase, Cell-1 ( F = 2.96, df=4,38, P = 0.03 )(Figure 4-3A). None of the symbiotic cellulase genes showed significa nt reductions in gene expression after 1 h of UV treatment. However, all three symbiotic ce llulase genes showed a sharp decrease in expression after 2 h of UV exposure (Fig. 4-3B-D). The greatest decline in cellulase expression was observed in Cell-4 (Fig. 4-3D) which showed a reduction of approximately 95 % after 4 h of irradiation. Interestingly, a slight increase of Cell-1 expression was observed for all four UV treatments, but only the 2 h treatm ent was significantly different from untreated controls (Fig 43A). The results for qRT-PCR data were conf irmed by viewing PCR products by electrophoresis on 2% agarose gels (Figure 4-3E). Regression analysis Linear regression models comparing pr otozoan count results and qRT-PCR/gene expression data were significant for Cell-2 ( P =0.0036), Cell-3 ( P =0.0086), and Cell-4 ( P =0.0070) but were not significant for Cell-1 ( P =0.20). R2 values for Cell-2 Cell-3 and Cell-4 were 0.490, 0.450, and 0.440, respectively; while the r2 value for the endogenous Cell-1 was 0.118 (Fig. 4-4). Cellulase Activity Assays Overall, the results for CMC ( F =1.61, df=4,38, P = 0.19), pNPG ( F =0.31, df=4,37, P = 0.87) and pNPC ( F =2.52, df=4,38, P = 0.56) assays did not show significant differences in cellulase enzyme activity across the 0-4 h UV trea tment times. These results are consistent for both whole-body homogenates, as well as CMC a nd pNPG assays on termite foregut + midgut and hindgut dissections. Howeve r, hindgut dissections showed a significant decrease in

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54 exoglucanase activity after 3 a nd 4 h of UV irradiation. The re sults for whole-body homogenates are shown in Fig. 4-4 and indicate no statisti cally significant differen ces in endoglucanase, glucosidase, or exoglucanase activity followi ng UV treatment and a 24 h post-treatment period. Cellulase Stability Estimate A cellulase stability estimate was included to clarify cellulase activity results and investigate the length of time at whic h cellulase enzymes remain active, in vitro This experiment indicates that all thr ee types of cellulases were significan tly impacted (~ 20%) after whole-body preparations were incubated at 27 C for 2 d (Fig. 4-6)( P <0.0001). The half-life for all three cellulases occurred after 4 d of incubation. The most pronounced effect was observed for exoglucanases which showed a sharp decline in activity after 4 d and ha d close to 0% activity remaining after 16 days. -glucosidases and endoglucanases showed a similar decline after 4 days but still retained over 20% of activity af ter 16 d. Therefore, these results may partially explain why a significant decline in cellulase activity was not observed after UV treatment since a considerable portion of cellu lase activity remained after 24 h of incubation at 27 C. Discussion The lower termite R. flavipes is one of the most destructive termite species within the continental United States. Through recent efforts, significant progress has been made to begin to characterize the cellulase system in this species. Several protozoan species are known to play a central role in the R. flavipes digestive system, contributi ng endoglucanase and exoglucanase cellulase enzymes (Zhou et al. 2007). In this study, UV irradi ation was used as a defaunation method to remove protozoan symbionts from R. flavipes hindguts. This method was previously described as an effective defaunation method for R. speratus (Inoue et al. 1997). The current study indicates that UV irradiat ion is indeed capable of re moving hindgut protozoa from R. flavipes but only at longer exposure times than re ported by Inoue et al. (1997). In the present

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55 study a wavelength of 375.5 nm, which is just outs ide the visible light spectrum, was used to minimize the impact of UV irradiation on termites. At this wavelength, protozoa were removed in a time/dose-dependent manner, with 4 h of irradiation being most effective. However, UV irradiation apparently did not adversely impact termite hosts. The expression profile of two endogenous termite genes, Cell-1 and -actin corroborates the minima l visible impact of UV irradiation on R. flavipes workers. The effect of UV irradiation on bacterial communities was not investigated, primarily because the contribution of bacteria to cellulose digestion in lower termites is thought to be insi gnificant (Breznak and Brune 1994) and because this was not a research objective in this study. The main objective of this research was to determine whether qRTPCR and/or cellulase enzyme assays could be useful tools in mon itoring dynamic shifts in the cellulolytic hindgut protozoa of R. flavipes For qRT-PCR work, cellula se genes were chosen to specifically monitor declines in cellulolytic protozoa. However, it is likely other genes, such as small subunit ribosomal genes, would be better suited to monitor protozoan populations in general. Nevertheless, this report shows that, after UV treatment, mRNA expression of the symbiotic cellulase genes Cell2, Cell-3 and Cell-4 correlates with decreases in protozoan populations. Thus, symbiotic cellulase gene (mRNA) expres sion and qRT-PCR can be used to effectively monitor dynamic shifts in ce llulolytic protozoan populations. Not surprisingly, no correlation was observed between protozoan counts and expression of Cell-1 which is not symbiotic in origin (Zhou et al. 2007). In terestingly, the results for Cell-1 instead show a slight increase in Cell-1 expression particularly for th e 2-hr UV treatment (Fig 4-3A). This determination suggests that endogenous cellulases may possibly compen sate for a decline in protozoan populations; however, more research is needed to confirm this possibility.

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56 No correlation was observed between cellulase enzyme activity and shifts in protozoan populations. In particular, in enzyme assays, no significant decrease in ac tivity was observed despite significant UV-induced reductions in symbiont popul ations. These results were consistent in endoglucanase and -glucosidase assays on both di ssected termite guts and wholebody homogenates. However, termite hindgut homoge nates did show a significant decrease in exoglucanase activity after 3 and 4 h of UV irradiation. This exogl ucanase activity result is in agreement with gene expression data, as well as our determination that exoglucanase activity is mostly derived from hindgut symbionts. Thus, on e possible explanation fo r the stable activity observed after UV defaunation is that endogenous activities mask those that are symbiontderived. Protein stabil ity may also at least par tially explain the lack of decline in enzyme activity after UV defaunation. Two observations support such a protein stability hypothesis. First, despite there being some agreement with ge ne expression and defa unation counts, hindgutspecific exoglucanase activity only showed a ~30% decrease after UV defaunation. Second, in vitro cellulase stability estimates indicate only a sli ght decline in enzyme ac tivity of ~20% after a 2-day incubation period at 27 C. Thus, due to (i) masking effects by endogenous enzymes and (ii) cellulase protein stability, cellulase activity assays are apparently not the best-suited method for monitoring dynamic shifts in hindgut protozoan populations in R. flavipes For this purpose, quantitative real-time PCR may be th e better-suited monitoring tool. Exoglucanases genes and proteins would lik ely be the most accurate indicators of changes in cellulolytic protozoan populati ons. Exoglucanase activity showed the most pronounced decline after defaunation, and as stat ed previously, the majority of exoglucanase activity is thought to be symbiotic (Zhou et al. 2 007). Inoue et al. (1997) did observe a decrease in cellulase activity after 24 h in UVtreated R. speratus workers. However, in the case of Inoue

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57 et al. a different UV wavelength, ir radiation time, and termite species were used relative to the current study. It is possible that, in the pres ent study, a greater decreas e in cellulase activity could have been observed if a different defauna tion methodology were used, such as a different UV wavelength, different irradia tion times, or a different met hod of defaunation altogether. Other alternative defaunation methods incl ude temperature (Cle veland 1924, Yokoe 1964), starvation (Cleveland 1925, Inoue et al. 1997) and oxygenation (Cleveland 1925) In summary, this study establishes (1) that UV irradiation can be used as a defaunation method for R. flavipes workers (2) that qRT-PCR is a reliable monitoring technique for cellulolytic symbiont populations and (3) that cellulases in whole-body homogenates are stable for up to 2 days at 27 C. This research also corroborates previous st udies characterizing the cellulase system of R. flavipes by verifying that previously identified Cell-2, Cell-3 and Cell-4 genes are indeed symbiont-derived (Zhou et al. 2007). The findings of this research can be applied in future high-throughput screens of nove l termite control agents such as cellulase inhibitors, and in investigating whether inhib itor modes action include eradication or reduction of cellulolytic protozoa. qRT-PCR can also be used to quickly de fine the effects that different diets, starvation, or other exte rnal factors such as temper ature might have on protozoan populations. Future research will use both qRT-PCR and cellulase activity assays to investigate the refaunation process in the R. flavipes hindgut post-UV treatment, as well as the impacts of novel cellulase inhibitors on gut fauna.

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58 AB CD AB CD AB CDFigure 4-1. Different protozoa species in the R. flavipes hindgut. Photographs were taken using differential interference micr oscopy. Tentative species iden tification for each photograph is (A) Dinenympha gracilis (B) Dinenympha fimbriata, (C) Pyrsonympha vertens and (D) Trichonympha agilis

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59 Figure 4-2. The impact of UV irradiati on on protozoan populati ons. (A) Micrographs showing decreases in protozoan popu lations, post-UV treatment. (B) Table showing protozoan counts results with a ssociated standard errors, as well as results summarized as a percentage rela tive to untreated controls. Means with different letters are significantly diff erent based on the Student-Newman-Keuls test (p < 0.05). 7.4 2.4 % 5.8 1.9d 4 12.7 3.8 % 10.0 3.0cd 3 58.3 30.2 % 45.9 23.7bc 2 75.6 18.1 % 59.5 14.2ab 1 100 78.6 17.6a 0 % of Time 0 h Protozoan Counts UV exposure time (h) A 0 h 1 h 3 h 4 h 2 h B

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60 Figure 4-3. The effect of UV irradiation on cellulase gene expre ssion. (A) Results for endogenous Cell-1; and (B-D) results for sy mbiotic Cell-2, Cell-3 and Cell-4. The error bars represent the standard error of the mean. (E) Visual confirmation of qRT-PCR results, after 29 PCR cycles are shown on a 2% agarose gel (9 l of sample and 2 l of loading buffer). E 0 1 2 3 4UV EXPOSURE TIME (h)Gene Cell-1-actin Cell-2 Cell-3 Cell-4 1 2 3 4 5 Source Endogenous Symbiotic Reference E 0 1 2 3 4UV EXPOSURE TIME (h)Gene Cell-1-actin Cell-2 Cell-3 Cell-4 1 2 3 4 5 Source Endogenous Symbiotic Reference UV Exposure Time (h) 01234 mRNA Expression (% of time zero) 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 Cell-3 UV Exposure Time (h) 01234 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 Cell-4 01234 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 Cell-2 01234 mRNA Expression (% of time zero) 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 Cell-1 B D C A * ** ** UV Exposure Time (h) 01234 mRNA Expression (% of time zero) 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 Cell-3 UV Exposure Time (h) 01234 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 Cell-4 01234 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 Cell-2 01234 mRNA Expression (% of time zero) 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 Cell-1 B D C A * ** ** UV Exposure Time (h) 01234 mRNA Expression (% of time zero) 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 Cell-3 UV Exposure Time (h) 01234 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 Cell-4 01234 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 Cell-2 01234 mRNA Expression (% of time zero) 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 Cell-1 B D C A * ** **

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61 Figure 4-4. A regression model showing th e correlation between protozoan counts and cellulase gene expression. (A) Shows th e results for endogenous Cell-1 and (B-D) show results for symbiotic Cell-2, Cell-3 and Cell-4 Protozoan Counts 020406080100120 mRNA Expression 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 Cell-1 Protozoan Counts 020406080100120 mRNA Expression 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 Cell-2 Protozoan Counts 020406080100120 mRNA Expression 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 Cell-4 r2=0.118 p > 0.1 r2=0.490 p < 0.01 r2=0.440 p < 0.01 Protozoan Counts 020406080100120 mRNA Expression 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 Cell-3 r2=0.450 p < 0.01 Protozoan Counts 020406080100120 mRNA Expression 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 Cell-1 Protozoan Counts 020406080100120 mRNA Expression 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 Cell-1 Protozoan Counts 020406080100120 mRNA Expression 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 Cell-2 Protozoan Counts 020406080100120 mRNA Expression 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 Cell-4 Protozoan Counts 020406080100120 mRNA Expression 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 Cell-4 r2=0.118 p > 0.1 r2=0.490 p < 0.01 r2=0.440 p < 0.01 Protozoan Counts 020406080100120 mRNA Expression 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 Cell-3 Protozoan Counts 020406080100120 mRNA Expression 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 Cell-3 r2=0.450 p < 0.01

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62 Figure 4-5. Impact of UV irradiation on cellulase enzyme activity. (A-C) show the results for endoglucanase, exoglucanase and -glucosidase activity, respectively. UV Exposure Time (h) 01234 Cellulase Activity (% of time zero) 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 CMC-based Endoglucanase Activity 01234 Cellulase Activity (% of time zero) 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 pNPC-based Exoglucanase Activity UV Exposure Time (h) 01234 Cellulase Activity (% of time zero) 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 pNPG-based glucosidase Activity B C A UV Exposure Time (h) 01234 Cellulase Activity (% of time zero) 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 CMC-based Endoglucanase Activity 01234 Cellulase Activity (% of time zero) 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 pNPC-based Exoglucanase Activity UV Exposure Time (h) 01234 Cellulase Activity (% of time zero) 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 pNPG-based glucosidase Activity UV Exposure Time (h) 01234 Cellulase Activity (% of time zero) 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 CMC-based Endoglucanase Activity 01234 Cellulase Activity (% of time zero) 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 pNPC-based Exoglucanase Activity UV Exposure Time (h) 01234 Cellulase Activity (% of time zero) 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 pNPG-based glucosidase Activity B C A

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63 Figure 4-6. An estimate of exoglucanase, endoglucanase and -glucosidase stability in worker termite whole-body homogenates after incuba tion at 27 C for a total of 16 days. Assay Days 0246810121416 Cellulase Activity (% of Day 0) 0 20 40 60 80 100 Exoglucanase * Assay Days 0246810121416 Cellulase Activity (% of Day-0) 0 20 40 60 80 100 Endoglucanase * Assay Days 0246810121416 Cellulase Activity (% of Day 0) 0 20 40 60 80 100 glucosidase * Exoglucanase Endoglucanase -glucosidase Assay Days 0246810121416 Cellulase Activity (% of Day 0) 0 20 40 60 80 100 Exoglucanase * Assay Days 0246810121416 Cellulase Activity (% of Day 0) 0 20 40 60 80 100 Exoglucanase * * Assay Days 0246810121416 Cellulase Activity (% of Day-0) 0 20 40 60 80 100 Endoglucanase * Assay Days 0246810121416 Cellulase Activity (% of Day-0) 0 20 40 60 80 100 Endoglucanase * Assay Days 0246810121416 Cellulase Activity (% of Day 0) 0 20 40 60 80 100 glucosidase * Assay Days 0246810121416 Cellulase Activity (% of Day 0) 0 20 40 60 80 100 glucosidase * Exoglucanase Endoglucanase -glucosidase

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64 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION The main objective of this research was to assess the potential of three carbohydrate-based compounds as novel inhibitors of termite cellu lases. The three compounds tested were the monosaccharide fluoro-methyl glucose (FMG) and the disaccharides fluoro-methyl cellobiose (FMCB) and cellobioimidazole (CBI). The efficacy of each compound was tested using in vitro, cellulase activity assays, feeding bioassays, as well as post-feeding cellulase activity assays. In vitro inhibition results indicated that the di saccharides CBI and FMCB were strong (nM range) to moderate inhibitors of exoglucanase and -glucosidase activities. In contrast, FMG was not an effective inhibitor of any cellulase activ ities tested. Similarly in post-feeding cellulase activity assays, CBI showed str ong inhibition of exoglucanase and -glucosidase activities. FMCB and FMG on the other hand, caused modera te but largely non-significant cellulase inhibition after 24-day bioassays. In general, prototype cellulase inhibitors did not induce significant termite mortality. These results may reflect a colony effect, particularly for CBI bioassays which were performed on a single la boratory colony. However, the additional inhibition of endoglucanase enzymes may be re quired to obtain grea ter termite mortality. Therefore, subsequent research should fo cus on possible endoglu canase inhibitors. In termites, attenuated cellulase activity could be achieved through enzymatic inhibition and/or through symbiont death. The former could have caused CBI-induced inhibition of exoglucanase and -glucosidase enzymes wh ich was observed during in vitro cellulase activity assays; however, the latter may have caused th e moderate endoglucanase inhibition observed after 24-day bioassays, but not in in vitro studies. Thus, as part of th is investigation, a technique to monitor shifts in cellulolytic protozoan popula tions was developed. Speci fically, the results of

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65 this study indicated that quantit ative real time-PCR (qRT-PCR) can be used as a reliable technique to monito r cellulolytic protozoan populations. In conclusion, this research is an important step forward in investig ating the potential of cellulase inhibitors as a novel termite control met hod. The results from this research indicate that CBI is an effective inhibitor of two functiona l types of cellulases. In addition, CBI elicited promising biological effects including feedi ng stimulation and moderate termite mortality. Although additional research is necessary to cont inue to define the potential of cellulase inhibitors as termite control ag ents, this study provides novel inform ation regarding the effects of cellulase inhibition in termites. Both inhibitor study result s, as well as the methodology developed during this investiga tion provide essential information for future characterization studies.

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66 APPENDIX POSTINHIBITION AVERAGED RESULTS Table A-1. Inhibition of termite cellulases afte r 24-day inhibitor bioassay s. Averaged data for each inhibitor are derived from three repl icates per inhibitor concentration. (*) denotes data which were significantly different from controls (p<0.05). Inhibitor Inhibitor concentration (mM) Endoglucanase nmol / min / mg Exoglucanase mmol / min / mg -glucosidase mmol / min / mg Control 0.0630.3490.732 0.1 0.0590.3350.695 0.5 0.0630.3230.645 1 0.0590.3030.625 FMG 5 0.0540.2310.560 10 0.050 *0.2310.536 25 0.0540.3100.737 50 0.0590.3200.767 75 0.0610.2650.680 Control0.0780.3940.884 0.10.0630.291 0.655 0.50.0650.3120.701 10.0720.3490.733 FMCB 50.0630.2940.720 100.0650.3330.786 250.0710.3770.810 500.0670.3810.839 750.0630.2390.635 Control0.0590.3280.639 0.10.0540.2550.466 0.50.0590.1950.345 10.0510.1590.304 CBI 50.0480.081 *0.183 100.0500.072 *0.151 250.0530.077 *0.065 500.0550.091 *0.04 750.0540.069 *0.045

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68 Martin, M. M. 1991., Evolution of cellulose digesti on in insects. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B Sciences 33, 281-288. Miller, E. M., 1969., Caste differentia tion in the lower termites. In: Biology of Termites Academic Press, New York. Nakashima, K., H., Watanabe, H. Saitoh, G. T okuda, and J. I. Azuma., 2002. Dual cellulosedigesting system of th e wood-feeding termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. 32, 777-84. Ohkuma, M. 2003.. Termite symbiotic systems: effi cient bio-recycling of lignocellulose. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 61: 1-9. Ohtoko, K., M., Ohkuma, and S. Moriya., 2000. Di verse genes of cellulase homologues of glycosyl hydrolase family 45 from the symbio tic protists in the hindgut of the termite Reticulitermes speratus Extremophiles 4, 343-349. Scharf, M. E., D. W. Wu-Scharf, B. R. P ittendrigh, and G. W. Bennett., 2003a. Casteand development-associated gene expression in a lower te rmite. Genome Biol. 4, R62. Scharf, M. E., C. R. Ratliff, H. J.T., B. R. Pittendrigh, and G. W. Bennett., 2003b. Caste differentiation responses of two sympatric Reticulitermes termite species to juvenile hormone homologs and synthetic juvenoids in two laboratory assays Insectes Soc. 50, 346-354. Scharf, M. E., D. Wu-Scharf, X. Zhou, B. R. Pittendrigh, and G. W. Bennett. 2005., Gene expression profiles among immature and adu lt reproductive castes of the termite Reticulitermes flavipes. In sect Mol. Biol. 14, 31-44. Snyder, T. E., 1926. The biology of term ite castes. Q. Rev. Biol. 1, 522-552. Su, N. Y., 2002. Novel technologies for subter ranean termite control. Sociobiology 40, 95-101. Su, N. Y., and R. H. Scheffrahn., 1990. Economically important termite in the United states and their control. Sociobiology 17, 77-94. Su, N. Y., and R. H. Scheffrahn., 2000. Termites as pests of buildings. In Termites: Evolution, Sociality, Symbioses, Ecology. Kluwer, Boston. Swoboda, L. E., D. M. Miller, R. J. Fell, and M. D. E., 2004. The effect of nutrient compounds (sugar and amino acids) on bait consumption by Reticulitermes spp. (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Sociobiology 44, 547-563. Szalanski, A. L., J. W. Austin, a nd C. B. Owens., 2003. Identification of Reticultermes spp. (Isoptera: Reticulitermatidae) from South Ce ntral United States by PCR-RFLP. J. Econ. Entomol. 96(5), 1514-1519.

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69 Thorne, B. L. 1997., Evolution of eusociality in termites. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 28, 27-54. Thorne, B. L., N. L. Breisch, and M. L. Musc edere., 2003. Evolution of eusociality and the soldier caste in termites: influence of intraspecific competition and accelerated inheritance. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 100, 12808-13. Tokuda, G., H. Saito, and H. Watanabe., 2002. A di gestive beta-glucosida se from the salivary glands of the termite, Neotermes koshunensis (Shiraki): distributi on, characterization and isolation of its precursor cDNA by 5'and 3'-RACE amplifications with degenerate primers. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. 32, 1681-9. Tokuda, G., N. Lo, and H. Watanabe., 2005. Marked va riations in patterns of cellulase activity against crystalline-vs. carboxym ethyl-cellulose in the diges tive systems, of diverse woodfeeding termites. Physiol. Entomol. 30, 372-380. Tokuda, G., H. Watanabe, T. Matsumoto, and H. Noda. 1997., Cellulose digestion in the woodeating termite, Nasutitermes takasagoensis (Shiraki): distribu tion of cellulase and properties of endoglucanase. Zoolog. Sci. 14, 83-93. Tokuda, G., N. Lo, H. Watanabe, M. Slaytor, T. Matsumoto, and H. Noda., 1999. Metazoan cellulase genes from termites: intron/exon st ructures and sites of expression. Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 1447, 146-59. Tokuda, G., N. Lo, H. Watanabe, G. Arakawa, T. Matsumoto, and H. Noda., 2004. Major alteration of the expression site of endogenous cellulases in me mbers of an apical termite lineage. Mol. Ecol. 13, 3219-28. Ubhayasekera, W. K., G. Munoz, A. Vasella, J. Stahlberg, and S. L. Mowbray., 2005. Structures of Phanerochaete chrysosporium Cel7D in complex with product and inhibitors. FEBS J. 272: 1952-1964. Vonhoff, S., K. Piens, M. Pipelier, C. Braet, M. Claeyssens, and A. Vasella. 1999., Inhibition of cellobiohydrolases from Trichoderma reesei : synthesis and evaluation of some glucose-, cellobiose-, and cellotriose-derived hydr oximolactams and imidazoles. Helvetica Chimica Acta 82, 963-980. Waller, D. A., and J. P. La Fage. 1987., Nutritional ecology of termites, pp. 487-432. In F. Slansky and J. G. Rodriguez [eds.], Nutriti onal Ecology of Insects, Mites, and Spiders. Waller, D. A., and A. D. Curtis., 2003. Effects of sugar treated foods on preference and nitrogen fixation in Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) and Reticulitermes virginicus (Banks) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 96, 81-85. Watanabe, H., H. Noda, G. Tokuda, and N. Lo., 1998. A cellulase gene of termite origin. Nature 394, 330-331.

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70 Wilson, E. O., 1971. The Insect Societies. Belk nap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass. Yamin, M. A., 1981. Cellulose metabolism by the flagellate Trichonympha from a termite is independent of endosymbiotic bacteria. Science 211, 58-59. Yokoe, Y., 1964. Cellulase activity in the termite, Leucotermes speratus, with new evidence in support of a cellulase produced by termite itself. Scientific papers of the College of General Education, University of Tokyo (Biological Section) 14, 115-120. Zhou, X., F. M. Oi, and M. E. Scharf., 2006. Social exploitation of hexame rin: RNAi reveals a major caste-regulatory factor in termites. Proc. Natl. Aca d. Sci. USA 103, 4499-4504. Zhou, X., J. A. Smith, P. G. Koehler, F. M. Oi and M. E. Scharf., 2007. Correlation of cellulase gene expression and cellul olytic activity throughout the gut of the termite Reticulitermes flavipes Gene 395, 29-39. Zhu, B. C. R., G. Henderson, and R. L. Lain ., 2005. Screening method fo r inhibitors against Formosan subterranean termite -glucosidases in vivo. J. Econ. Entomol. 98, 41-46.

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71 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Marsha Wheeler was born in Tegucigalpa Honduras. When she was 18 years old she moved to Richmond IN, where she attended Earl ham College. In May of 2003, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Earlham College, with a major in Biology. In August of 2005, she moved to Gainesville, FL to pursue a Mast er of Science degree in entomology.