Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering, Vol.128, No.3, 316-322, 2019
Guaiacol oxidation activity of herbivorous land crabs, Chiromantes haematocheir and Chiromantes dehaani
The land crabs, Chiromantes haematocheir (Akate-gani) and Chiromantes dehaani (Kurobenkei-gani) inhabit seaside forests in Japan. The crabs mainly consume plant material and its detritus. Therefore, they are expected to possess the ability to degrade the major components of biomass, cellulose and lignin in order to digest plant materials. In this study, we analyzed biomass-degrading activities of the land crabs, especially guaiacol oxidation activity, which seems to be related to lignin degradation. Cellulase activity was detected from almost all gut samples including the stomach, midgut gland and intestine of all dissected crabs. Conversely, high guaiacol oxidation activity was detected in the midgut gland of all C. dehaani and several female C. haematocheir crabs. This is consistent with a previous study showing that female crabs were more herbivorous than male crabs were and observation that C. dehaani crabs are more herbivorous than C. haematocheir. Guaiacol oxidation activity might play an important role in the herbivorous behavior of land crabs. (C) 2019, The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. All rights reserved.