The symbiotic digestion of lignocellulose by termites is a complex series of events involving both the host and its intestinal microbiota (Brune 2003, 2005). While the digestive activities in the foregut and midgut seem to be mainly caused by the host, the processes in the hindgut are largely controlled by the symbionts. The recalcitrance of the lignocellulosic diet and the dynamics of physicochemical gut conditions contribute to the heterogeneity of ecological niches and are reflected in a diverse community of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms.
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