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Article

Influence of Zwitterionic Buffer Effects with Thermal Modification Treatments of Wood on Symbiotic Protists in Reticulitermes grassei Clément

1
LEAF (Linking Landscape, Environment, Agriculture and Food) Research Centre, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa. Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal
2
LNEC, National Laboratory for Civil Engineering, Structures Department, Av. do Brasil, 101, 1700-066 Lisbon, Portugal
3
cE3c, Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes/Azorean Biodiversity Group, University of the Azores, 9700–042 Angra do Heroísmo, Portugal
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Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
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Department Wood Science and Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, Forskargatan 1, S-93197 Skellefteå, Sweden
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Department of Wood Processing and Biomaterials, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 1176, 16521 Praha 6–Suchdol, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Mark E. Mankowski and Brian T. Forschler
Insects 2021, 12(2), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12020139
Received: 7 January 2021 / Revised: 28 January 2021 / Accepted: 3 February 2021 / Published: 6 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pest Management of Termites)
Over the past thirty years, the thermal modification of wood has become a universally recognised and commercialised wood modification process. Thermal modifications may affect wood properties, either positively (dimensional stability and decay resistance) or negatively (mechanical properties). The combination of the impregnation of specific reagents with thermal modification may help to overcome the negative effects on wood properties. In this study, we evaluate the effect of a combination of two zwitterionic buffers, bicine and tricine, and thermal modification of two wood species (beech and spruce) against subterranean termites and their symbiotic fauna. Bicine and tricine treatments alone had a clear influence on wood mass loss and termite survival. The flagellate protist symbiotic community was affected by the treatments and responded differently to them, as a highly adaptable community. However, the combination of bicine with the thermal modification showed a negative effect on termites and their symbionts on both wood species. The combination of these different factors should be further investigated, as these results seem to be promising with regard to the enhancement of the termite resistance of wood.
The majority of thermal modification processes are at temperatures greater than 180 °C, resulting in a product with some properties enhanced and some diminished (e.g., mechanical properties). However, the durability of thermally modified wood to termite attack is recognised as low. Recent attempts at combining thermal modification with chemical modification, either prior to or directly after the thermal process, are promising. Buffers, although not influencing the reaction systems, may interact on exposure to certain conditions, potentially acting as promoters of biological changes. In this study, two zwitterionic buffers, bicine and tricine, chosen for their potential to form Maillard-type products with fragmented hemicelluloses/volatiles, were assessed with and without thermal modification for two wood species (spruce and beech), with subsequent evaluation of their effect against subterranean termites (Reticulitermes grassei Clément) and their symbiotic protists. The effect of the wood treatments on termites and their symbionts was visible after four weeks, especially for spruce treated with tricine and bicine and heat treatment (bicine HT), and for beech treated with bicine and bicine and heat treatment (bicine HT). The chemical behaviour of these substances should be further investigated when in contact with wood and also after heat treatment. This is the first study evaluating the effect of potential Maillard reactions with zwitterionic buffers on subterranean termite symbiotic fauna. View Full-Text
Keywords: bicine; symbionts; termite gut; thermal modification; tricine; wood; Reticulitermes grassei bicine; symbionts; termite gut; thermal modification; tricine; wood; Reticulitermes grassei
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MDPI and ACS Style

Duarte, S.; Nunes, L.; Kržišnik, D.; Humar, M.; Jones, D. Influence of Zwitterionic Buffer Effects with Thermal Modification Treatments of Wood on Symbiotic Protists in Reticulitermes grassei Clément. Insects 2021, 12, 139. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12020139

AMA Style

Duarte S, Nunes L, Kržišnik D, Humar M, Jones D. Influence of Zwitterionic Buffer Effects with Thermal Modification Treatments of Wood on Symbiotic Protists in Reticulitermes grassei Clément. Insects. 2021; 12(2):139. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12020139

Chicago/Turabian Style

Duarte, Sónia, Lina Nunes, Davor Kržišnik, Miha Humar, and Dennis Jones. 2021. "Influence of Zwitterionic Buffer Effects with Thermal Modification Treatments of Wood on Symbiotic Protists in Reticulitermes grassei Clément" Insects 12, no. 2: 139. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12020139

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