Mahesh S Desai

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'Endomicrobia', a distinct and diverse group of uncultivated bacteria in the candidate phylum Termite Group I (TG-1), have been found exclusively in the gut of lower termites and wood-feeding cockroaches. In a previous study, we had demonstrated that the 'Endomicrobia' clones retrieved from Reticulitermes santonensis represent intracellular symbionts of the(More)
Although it is well documented that the lack of nitrogen in the diet of wood-feeding termites is compensated by the nitrogen-fixing capacity of their gut microbiota, the bacteria responsible for this activity are largely unknown. Here, we analyzed the diversity and expression of nitrogenase genes (homologs of nifH) in four species of dry-wood termites(More)
The surface of many termite gut flagellates is colonized with a dense layer of bacteria, yet little is known about the evolutionary relationships of such ectosymbionts and their hosts. Here we investigated the molecular phylogenies of devescovinid flagellates (Devescovina spp.) and their symbionts from a wide range of dry-wood termites (Kalotermitidae).(More)
The hindgut of wood-feeding lower termites is densely colonized by a multitude of symbiotic micro-organisms. While it is well established that the eukaryotic flagellates play a major role in the degradation of lignocellulose, much less is known about the identity and function of the prokaryotic symbionts associated with the flagellates. Our ultrastructural(More)
Microbial sulfur and carbon cycles in ecosystems driven by chemoautotrophy-present at deep-sea hydrothermal vents, cold seeps and sulfidic caves-have been studied to some extent, yet little is known about nitrogen fixation in these systems. Using a comprehensive approach comprising of (15)N2 isotope labeling, acetylene reduction assay and nitrogenase gene(More)
More than 40 years ago, ten species of devescovinid flagellates were described to occur in the gut content of the termite Incisitermes marginipennis. Based on light microscopic examinations, the flagellates were then classified into the two genera Devescovina and Metadevescovina. Here, we combined molecular phylogenetic analysis of the small subunit rRNA(More)
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