Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

Wood-feeding insects have intrigued scientists for decades because of their unique capability to disassociate the lignocellulose matrix of cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin in plant cell walls. Similar to the lower termites, a wood-feeding cockroach, Cryptocercus punctulatus, and their obligate gut symbionts have co-evolved into an efficient mini bioreactor in which a suite of specialized enzymes synergistically break down woods, the most abundant and sustainable solar batteries on earth. Despite a recent influx of metagenomic/transcriptomic information on termites, the overall understanding of the lignocellulose digestion/assimilation processes in wood-feeding Dictyoptera is substantially lacking. To leverage the existing efforts on termites, to harness the power of readily available comparative genomics toolsets, and most importantly, to gain a better understanding of the lignocellulose degradation process in the wood-feeding Dictyoptera, we trace back to the evolutionary root of the modern termites, the wood-feeding Cryptocercus. Rather than picking and choosing few representatives from nearly 3,000 termite species, dissecting the genomic information from their evolutionary ancestor will provide a critical reference point for the comparative analysis of the elusive lignocellulose digestion machinery, a suite of lignocellulolytic enzymes that are fundamentally important for the degradation of woody materials in these insects.

You do not currently have access to this chapter, but see below options to check access via your institution or sign in to purchase.
Don't already have an account? Register
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal