Cellulose digestion in Monochamus marmorator Kby. (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae): role of acquired fungal enzymes

TitleCellulose digestion in Monochamus marmorator Kby. (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae): role of acquired fungal enzymes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1986
AuthorsKukor JJulius, Martin MM
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Volume12
Issue5
Pagination1057-1070
KeywordsMONOCHAMUS
Abstract

Larvae of the balsam fir sawyer, Monochamus marmorator Kby. (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae), contain midgut digestive enzymes active against hemicellulose and cellulose. Cellulases from larvae fed on balsam fir wood infected with the fungus, Trichoderma harzianum Rifai (Deuteromycetes, Moniliales, Moniliaceae), were found to be identical to those of the cellulase complex produced by this fungus when compared using chromatography, electrophoresis, and isofocusing. When larvae are maintained on a fungus-free diet, their midgut fluids lack cellulolytic activity, and they are unable to digest cellulose. Cellulolytic capacity can be restored by feeding the larvae wood permeated by fungi. We conclude that the enzymes which enable M. marmorator larvae to digest cellulose are not produced by the larvae. Instead, the larvae acquire the capacity to digest cellulose by ingesting active fungal cellulases while feeding in fungus-infected wood.