Nitrogen Fixation in Termites

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Science  13 Jul 1973:
Vol. 181, Issue 4095, pp. 164-165
DOI: 10.1126/science.181.4095.164


Nitrogen fixation, measured by the reduction of acetylene to ethylene, was found in workers of the dry-wood termite Kalotermes minor. The soldiers and reproductive castes fixed little or no nitrogen. The fixation rates ranged between 24 and 566 micrograms of nitrogen fixed per month per gram (wet weight) of termite. Nitrogen fixation can be a significant source of nitrogen for these termites.