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Annu Rev Entomol. 2010;55:609-32. doi: 10.1146/annurev-ento-112408-085319.

Cellulolytic systems in insects.

Author information

1
National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, 1-2 Owashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan. hinabe@affrc.go.jp

Abstract

Despite the presence of many carbohydrolytic activities in insects, their cellulolytic mechanisms are poorly understood. Whereas cellulase genes are absent from the genomes of Drosophila melanogaster or Bombyx mori, other insects such as termites produce their own cellulases. Recent studies using molecular biological techniques have brought new insights into the mechanisms by which the insects and their microbial symbionts digest cellulose in the small intestine. DNA sequences of cellulase and associated genes, as well as physiological and morphological information about the digestive systems of cellulase-producing insects, may allow the efficient use of cellulosic biomass as a sustainable energy source.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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