Use of the proteomic tool MALDI-TOF MS in termite identification - Aix-Marseille Université Access content directly
Journal Articles Scientific Reports Year : 2022

Use of the proteomic tool MALDI-TOF MS in termite identification


Abstract Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has proved effective for the identification of many arthropods. A total of 432 termite specimens were collected in Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, Senegal, Switzerland and France. Morphologically, 22 species were identified, including Ancistrotermes cavithorax, Amitermes evuncifer , Cryptotermes brevis , Cubitermes orthognathus , Kalotermes flavicollis , Macrotermes bellicosus , Macrotermes herus , Macrotermes ivorensis , Macrotermes subhyalinus , Microcerotermes parvus , Microtermes sp., Odontotermes latericius , Procubitermes sjostedti , Promirotermes holmgreni , Reticulitermes grassei , Reticulitermes lucifugus , Reticulitermes santonensis , Trinervitermes geminatus , Trinervitermes occidentali s, Trinervitermes togoensis , Trinervitermes sp., Trinervitermes trinervoides and Trinervitermes trinervius . Analysis of MALDI-TOF MS spectra profiles from termites revealed that all were of high quality, with intra-species reproducibility and inter-species specificity. Blind testing of the spectra of 389 termites against our updated database with the spectra of 43 specimens of different termite species revealed that all were correctly identified with log score values (LSVs) ranging from 1.65 to 2.851, mean 2.290 ± 0.225, median 2.299, and 98.4% (383) had LSVs > 1.8. This study is the first on the use of MALDI-TOF for termite identification and shows its importance as a tool for arthropod taxonomy and reinforces the idea that MALDI-TOF MS is a promising tool in the field of entomology.

Dates and versions

hal-03663410 , version 1 (10-05-2022)



Bouthaina Hasnaoui, Adama Zan Diarra, Jean-Michel Berenger, Hacène Medkour, Ahmed Benakhla, et al.. Use of the proteomic tool MALDI-TOF MS in termite identification. Scientific Reports, 2022, 12 (1), pp.718. ⟨10.1038/s41598-021-04574-0⟩. ⟨hal-03663410⟩
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