Higher termites are a promising source of enzymes for lignocellulosic biofuel production because their bacterial microbiota have evolved to efficiently degrade cellulose synergistically. I first recommended the use of a standardised method for 16S rRNA gene amplification and developed a method for accurately estimating core community size. I then characterised the gut . communities of Western Australian termites Tumulitermes westraliensis, Amitermes obeuntis and Coptotermes acinaciformis raffrayi and showed that they can be manipulated in the field, laying the foundation for future biofuel initiatives. I finally tested binding of cellulase-specific probes as a first step to isolate them for further testing.