Termite fungus crops as human food


Fungus-farming termites cultivate Termitomyces fungi as their main food source, and both termites and fungi obligately depend on each other. This fungus is the most protein-rich fungus known - around twice as much as in chicken - and it is important as a food supplement for locals in Africa and  expensive delicacy at markets in China. Recent work suggests that one of the more than 40 Termitomyces species  can be grown to produce mushrooms in the lab, but these methods have not been optimised for other species despite the potential the fungus has for human consumption.

This project will focus on optimizing growth conditions for several Termitomyces species from the Ivory Coast, spanning the phylogeny of the genus, to evaluate which species can be grown in the lab, what it takes for fruiting bodies to be produced, and the nutritional value of the mushrooms produced.

Anvendte metoder:Microbiological methods, nutrient analyses, can be coupled with gene expression studies of mushrooms
Keywords:Termitomyces, Fungi, Sustainable food, Plant biomass decomposition, Symbiosis
Projekthjemmeside: http://www.socialsymbioticevolution.com
Vejleder(e): Michael Poulsen, PhD student Suzanne Schmidt, Postdoc Nick Bos