Comparative Amino Acid Content of Pseudocanthotermes grandiceps, Macrotermis jeanelli and Allodontermes tenax (Isoptera: Termitidea)

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Biological Sciences, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology P. O. Box 190-50100-Kakamega, Kenya


The main objective of this study was to compare the amino acid profiles of P.grandiceps, M. jeanelli and A. tenax. The study was carried out in Trans-Nzoia at an altitude of 1,900 meters, with a latitude of 1°1'8.72"N, and longitude of 35°0'8.3"E. Termite alates was collected when swarming and placed in 500grams collection jars and taken to the laboratory for amino acid analysis. Some of the alates and a number of small or large soldiers and workers were preserved in 80% ethanol for identification at the National Museums of Kenya. The collected termite alates were analyzed for composition of amino acids using standard methods detailed in AOAC (2000). From the results, there was no significant difference in amino acid content, amino acid classes, amino acid groups and total essential amino acids and total non-essential amino acids of the three termite species. Glutamic acid was the most abundant of the three species. It ranged between 8.43g/100g - 15.5g/100g. The lowest concentrated amino acid was cysteine ranging between 0.60g/100g- 3.92g/100g. Leucine was found to be the most highly concentrated essential amino acid (eaa); 7.72g/100g crude protein in P. grandiceps, 7.48g/100g in M. jeanelli and 5.51g/100g in A. tenax. Methionine was the lowest eaa in P. grandiceps at 0.88g/100g crude protein while Histidine was the lowest eaa in both M. jeanelli and A. tenax at 2.15g/100g and 2.09g/100g respectively.