Methanogens

The flagellate Pentatrichomonoides scroa from the gut of the termite Mas-totermes darwiniensis (Fröhlich and König 1999) and certain Dinenympha and Microjoenia species in Reticulitermes speratus and Hodotermopsis sjoestedti (Tokura et al. 2000) are associated with methanogens that seemingly exist within the cell. As in the case of the epibiotic methanogens, the 16S rRNA gene sequences indicate that they belong to the genus Methanobrevibacter. The guts of each termite species usually harbor more than one genotype of methanogens, and there is evidence that the methanogens associated with the flagellates are different from those attached to the gut wall (Tokura et al. 2000). Although methanoarchaea are usually not encountered in the larger gut flagellates (Lee et al. 1987), they probably participate in the consumption of H2 accumulating within the gut (see Sect. (8.)5).

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