Friday, April 16, 2010

Microbes hosted by generations of Termites and Man!

Usually we think that microbes are harmful and that they
impair our health. But here is an example for their good beneficial work without which our Termite (Mastotermes darwinensis) cannot live at all! Protozoan (Trichonympha) and other Microbes live in the guts of these termites and aid in the digestion of Cellulose of plant materials by secreting out the enzyme, Cellulase - to release energy from it! (Note here the fact that humans are also weak to digest cellulose!).
Not only this excites one: these microbes live in termites' guts for generations - passed down from one to the descendants for millions of years! Thus the symbiotic adjustment in the lives of these termites and microbes continues both in space and in time. Are there any such microbes in human beings? Yes, we too have such microbes, Streptococcus mutans and Helicobacter pylori. But these are not beneficial and cause only diseases: Dental caries and Hyperacidity (Peptic ulcer) respectively. They are passed down from mother to child for generations together for thousands of years. Though these microbes plunder the health of humans, their transmission could be now prevented effectively by using the present day facilities.

The wonderful million years old symbiotic relationship of the beneficial microbes with the termites should be well appreciated here!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love my microbes. I actually named them! Harvey, Harold, Henry...other H names. :)

By the way...

I just wanted to let you know that I am one of your followers and have linked your blog on my blog as a way to direct more traffic to your site.

As a fellow blogger, if you happen to take a look and enjoy my blog, I would appreciate your support as well. By no means do you have to, but it's always nice if you do. :)

Thank you very much,

-Almighty Unicorn

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