Effect of diets on digestive enzymes from worker termites of Odontotermes brunneus (Termitidae)

  • Muthusamy R. 
  • Gayathri R. 
  • Suresh K. 
  • Chethan Kumar T. 
Original Article


The digestive system of termites may have several biotechnological applications. The enzyme activity of α-amylase, cellulase and protease in Odontotermes brunneus workers were tested against three different diets. Additionally, the effects of temperature (30–80 °C) and pH (2.0–10.0) on enzyme activities were evaluated. All enzymes investigated were detected in the gut extracts of worker termites. Odontotermes brunneus worker gut α-amylase and cellulase activity was high in wood diet 25 U and 1700 mU/mg and the protease activity was high in filter paper 130 U/mg. α-amylase in termites consisted of 15–25 U/mg protein when the pH was about 4.0–6.0. Cellulase in termites consisted of 1000 U/mg protein when the pH was about 4.0–6.0. Protease in termites consisted of 125 U/mg protein when the pH was about 6.0–8.0. Also the enzyme activity on temperature was influenced by different diet in O. brunneus. Over all study revealed that the diet of O. brunneus from different source may influence the enzyme production and its stability, which can be used as individual resources. The influence of mixed diet and the involvement of enzymes producing micro bacteria need to be further analyzed.


Worker Enzymes Odontotermes brunneus Protease Amylase Cellulase 



The authors thank our department of PG and Research Centre in Biotechnology for providing infrastructure facility and we thank Dr. P. Balaji Head of the department for his support to carry out this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared that we have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Wood Science 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muthusamy R. 
    • 1
  • Gayathri R. 
    • 1
  • Suresh K. 
    • 1
  • Chethan Kumar T. 
    • 1
  1. 1.PG and Research Centre in BiotechnologyMGR CollegeHosurIndia

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