Introduction

Termites (order Isoptera) comprise over 2,700 species and are of global importance as decomposers of lignocellulose material (Kambhampati and Eggleton, 2000; K├Ânig et al ., 2006) . Over 80% of the approximately 183 economically important termite species are subterranean termites, with the genus Coptotermes accounting for the largest number (28) of pest species (Su and Scheffrahn, 1998). In the United States, the need for control of the native Eastern subterranean termite (Reticulitermes flavipes) and the invasive Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus) supports a multimillion-dollar pest control industry (Su and Scheffrahn, 1998) The cost of control and repairs due to subterranean termite damage is estimated at over $2 billion per year in the United States alone (Culliney and Grace, 2000) .

Subterranean termites rely on beneficial symbioses with a diverse microbial flora in their guts to aid in digestion of lignocellulosic compounds in wood, which are their sole source of nutrition (Breznak, 2000; Brune, 2006) . Even though cellulases are produced by subterranean termites in the salivary glands, foregut, and midgut (Nakashima et al ., 2002), these endogenous cellulases alone are not sufficient to support the nutritional needs of a termite colony Studies eradicating the intestinal flora of termites through antibiotics (Eutick et al ., 1978) or oxygen (Veivers et al ., 1982) indicate that important symbionts, which are vital for the survival of the termite host species, are among the microbial community The main roles of the gut community, which consists of protozoa (Eucarya) and prokary-otes (Archaea, Eubacteria), are to supplement the termites' diet with nitrogen (nitrogen fixation and recycling), to aid in wood to digestion (cellulose degradation), and to provide energy through metabolic pathways, for example, acetogenic reduction of CO2 (Potrikus and Breznak, 1981; Breznak and Switzer, 1986; Waller, 2000; Bignell, 2000) .

Because subterranean termites harbor a vast diversity of microorganisms in their guts and termite colonies are dependent on this symbiotic network to survive, the microbial community itself could provide much needed tools and targets for termite control A novel pesticide-free approach to termite control could be derived from the use of genetically engineered gut symbionts that deliver and express toxins in the termite gut and then spread throughout a termite colony by social interactions (Husseneder et al ., 2006; Husseneder and Collier, 2007) .

Oplan Termites

Oplan Termites

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