Gut Chitinase Activity from Reticulitermes virginicus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

Timothy J. Arquette, Jose M. Rodriguez

Abstract


Chitinase activity was measured from nonmolting workers of a subterranean termite, Reticulitermes virginicus Banks. The specific activity of cellulase was 6-fold greater than that of chitinase. An ability of R. virginicus to digest chitin would allow utilization of additional food resources that contain dietary nitrogen lacking in wood.

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