Inhibition of termite feeding by fungal siderophores
J K Grace, B Goodell, W E Jones, V Chandhoke, J Jellison
Siderophores are iron-chelating extracellular fungal metabolites which may be involved in initiating wood decay. A purified siderophore extract isolated from the brown-rot decay fungus Gloeophyllum trabeum (Pers. ex Fr.) Murr. (Basidiomycetes: Polyporaceae) was found to deter feeding by Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). This fungus has previously been associated with preferential feeding on decayed wood by subterranean termites, and solvent extracts have been reported to induce termite trail-following, arrestment, and/or aggregation. This is the first report of Gloephyllum trabeum metabolites or fungal siderophores having a negative behavioral effect on subterranean termites.