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Journal of Chemical Ecology

Patrick Lhomme, Heather M Hines
In eusocial insects, the high cost of altruistic cooperation between colony members has favoured the evolution of cheaters that exploit social services of other species. In the most extreme forms of insect social parasitism, which has evolved multiple times across most social lineages, obligately parasitic species invade the nests of social species and manipulate the workforce of their hosts to rear their own reproductive offspring. As alien species that have lost their own sociality, these social parasites still face social challenges to infiltrate and control their hosts, thus providing independent replicates for understanding the mechanisms essential to social dominance...
May 22, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Jie Wang, Mingyu Yang, Yuanyuan Song, Flor E Acevedo, Kelli Hoover, Rensen Zeng, Gary W Felton
Insect-associated microbes can contribute to the physiological and ecological functions of insects. Despite a few examples in beetles and piercing-sucking insects, the varied mechanisms of how insect-associated bacteria mediate plant-insect interactions are still not fully understood. The polyphagous herbivore Helicoverpa zea is a major agricultural pest that harbors certain microbes in their digestive systems. Enterobacter ludwigii is one of the gut-associated bacteria identified from field-collected caterpillars, and it has been shown to indirectly induce defenses in the dicot plant tomato by triggering the biosynthesis of salivary elicitors, but there are no clear mechanisms to show how gut microbes alter these salivary cues and how a different host plant responds to these inducible elicitors...
May 22, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Francesca Romana Dani, Stefano Turillazzi
Social wasps encompass species displaying diverse social organization regarding colony cycle, nest foundation, caste differences (from none to significant dimorphism) and number of reproductive queens. Current phylogenetic data suggests that sociality occured independently in the subfamily Stenogastrinae and in the Polistinae+Vespinae clade. In most species, including those with the simplest social organization, colony reproduction is monopolised by a single or few females. Since their nest mates can also develop ovaries and lay eggs, dominant females must somehow inhibit them from reproducing...
May 22, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Les Greenberg, Christine A Johnson, James C Trager, J Steven McElfresh, Joshua Rodstein, Jocelyn G Millar
Species of the ant genus Polyergus are social parasites that steal brood from colonies of their hosts in the closely related genus Formica. Upon emergence as adults in a mixed population, host Formica workers carry out all the normal worker functions within the Polyergus colony, including foraging, feeding, grooming, and rearing brood of the parasitic Polyergus ants. Some unmated Polyergus gynes (queens) run in the raiding columns of their colonies and attract males by releasing a pheromone from their mandibular glands...
May 22, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Alexandra G Duffy, Gabriel P Hughes, Matthew D Ginzel, Douglas S Richmond
Beetles in the genus Sphenophorus Schönherr, or billbugs, potentially utilize both volatile and non-volatile behavior-modifying chemical signals. These insects are widely distributed across North America, often occurring in multi-species assemblages in grasses. However, details about their host- and mate-finding behavior are poorly understood. This study tested the hypothesis that volatile organic compounds from host-plants and conspecifics direct the dispersal behavior of hunting billbug S. venatus Say. Further, we characterized the cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of two widespread pest species, S...
May 17, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Klára Dolejšová, Jan Křivánek, Blanka Kalinová, Romana Hadravová, Pavlína Kyjaková, Robert Hanus
Termite colonies are almost always founded by a pair of winged dispersers, in spite of the high costs and low success rates inherent in independent colony foundation. The dispersal flights of imagoes from natal colonies are followed by mate search, mediated by sex-pairing pheromones. Here, we studied the chemistry of sex-pairing pheromones and the related aspects of mate search in winged imagoes of two facultatively parthenogenetic species, Embiratermes neotenicus and Silvestritermes minutus, and an additional species from the same subfamily, Silvestritermes heyeri...
May 12, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Stephen P Foster, Karin G Anderson, Jérôme Casas
Moths are exemplars of chemical communication, especially with regard to specificity and the minute amounts they use. Yet, little is known about how females manage synthesis and storage of pheromone to maintain release rates attractive to conspecific males and why such small amounts are used. We developed, for the first time, a quantitative model, based on an extensive empirical data set, describing the dynamical relationship among synthesis, storage (titer) and release of pheromone over time in a moth (Heliothis virescens)...
May 10, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Olga S Kostromytska, Cesar Rodriguez-Saona, Hans T Alborn, Albrecht M Koppenhöfer
The annual bluegrass weevil (ABW), Listronotus maculicollis Kirby, is an economically important pest of short cut turfgrass. Annual bluegrass, Poa annua L., is the most preferred and suitable host for ABW oviposition, larval survival and development. We investigated the involvement of grass volatiles in ABW host plant preference under laboratory and field conditions. First, ovipositional and feeding preferences of ABW adults were studied in a sensory deprivation experiment. Clear evidence of involvement of olfaction in host recognition by ABW was demonstrated...
May 9, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Shinnosuke Mori, Hiroshi Fukui, Masanori Oishi, Masayuki Sakuma, Mari Kawakami, Junko Tsukioka, Katsumi Goto, Nobuhiro Hirai
Flowering plants attract pollinators via various stimuli such as odor, color, and shape. Factors determining the foraging behavior of pollinators remain a major theme in ecological and evolutionary research, although the floral traits and cognitive ability of pollinators have been investigated for centuries. Here we show that the autofluorescence emitted from pollen and anthers under UV irradiation may act as another attractant for flower-visiting insects. We have identified fluorescent compounds from pollen and anthers of five plant species as hydroxycinnamoyl derivatives...
May 2, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Ivan Hiltpold, W Gregory Shriver
It has long been thought that most birds do not use volatile cues to perceive their environment. Aside from some scavenging birds, this large group of vertebrates was believed to mostly rely on highly developed vision while foraging and there are relatively few studies exploring bird response to volatile organic compounds. In response to insect herbivory, plants release volatile organic compounds to attract parasitoids and predators of the pests. To test if insectivorous birds use herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPV), dispensers emitting a synthetic blend of HIPV typically emitted after insect herbivory were deployed in a maize field along with imitation clay caterpillars...
April 21, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Thomas Seth Davis, Fiona B Horne, Jens C Yetter, Jane E Stewart
Conifer secondary metabolites play a key role in mechanisms of resistance to biotic disturbance, especially by bark beetles and beetle-associated microorganisms. Here, we describe variation in constitutive monoterpenes isolated from Engelmann spruce, Picea engelmannii, phloem across fourteen high-elevation populations in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, and test interactions between phloem monoterpenes and an endophloedic symbiotic fungus, Leptographium abietinum, associated with the North American spruce beetle, Dendroctonus rufipennis...
April 20, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
John A Byers, Yonatan Maoz, David Wakarchuk, Daniela Fefer, Anat Levi Zada
The Euwallacea fornicatus (Eichhoff) species complex includes the polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB), an ambrosia beetle infesting avocado limbs, Persea americana Mill. Synthetic quercivorol, a monoterpene alcohol, is known to attract females (males are flightless) over a range of release rates spanning three orders of magnitude. The upper release dose was extended 10-fold using sticky traps baited with quercivorol released at 1× (0.126 mg/day), 10×, and 108× relative rates to obtain a dose-response curve fitting a kinetic formation function...
April 17, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Analú C Reis, Palmira L S Neta, Jéssica P Jordão, José Inácio L Moura, Diogo M Vidal, Paulo H G Zarbin, Carla F Fávaro
The bearded weevil, Rhinostomus barbirostris (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Dryophthorinae), attacks coconut trees, oil palms and other species of Arecaceae. Besides direct damage, R. barbirostris may be a vector of diseases in coconut and oil palms, such as stem bleeding (resinosis) and red ring disease. Currently, the only method to control this weevil is by visual observation of damage and removal of infected plants. Semiochemical-based trapping could improve the effectiveness of monitoring and management of R...
April 16, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Joseph J Karchesy, Rick G Kelsey, M P González-Hernández
Yellow-cedar, Callitropsis nootkatensis, is prevalent in coastal forests of southeast Alaska, western Canada, and inland forests along the Cascades to northern California, USA. These trees have few microbial or animal pests, attributable in part to the distinct groups of biologically active secondary metabolites their tissues store for chemical defense. Here we summarize the new yellow-cedar compounds identified and their biological activities, plus new or expanded activities for tissues, extracts, essential oils and previously known compounds since the last review more than 40 years ago...
April 14, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Jorma Kim, Maija Pälijärvi, Maarit Karonen, Juha-Pekka Salminen
We developed a combination of methods to estimate the alkaline oxidative conditions of the midgut of insect larvae and to reveal the alkaline and enzymatic oxidative activities for individual phenolic compounds present in the larval host plants. First, we monitored the in vitro isomerization of 5-O-caffeoylquinic acid (5-CQA) into 3-CQA, 4-CQA and 5-CQA at pH 9.0-11.0. Then we calculated the isomer ratios of 3-CQA, 4-CQA and 5-CQA from the frass of eight species of insect herbivores fed on foliage containing 5-CQA...
April 11, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Masao Miyazaki, Tamako Miyazaki, Takashi Nishimura, Wataru Hojo, Tetsuro Yamashita
Scents emitted from excretions provide important information about the owner. Volatile compounds with higher levels in a species and/or sex, or that vary among individuals could be odor cues for species and/or sex, or individual recognition. However, such compounds have been identified in only a few vertebrate species. In domestic cats (Felis silvestris catus), it is known that unburied cat feces are territorial markers asserting the border of their home range, but little was known which fecal compounds are scent cues for species, sex, and individual recognition in cats...
April 10, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Patrick Abbot, John Tooker, Sarah P Lawson
Aphids have long been recognized as good phytochemists. They are small sap-feeding plant herbivores with complex life cycles that can involve cyclical parthenogenesis and seasonal host plant alternation, and most are plant specialists. Aphids have distinctive traits for identifying and exploiting their host plants, including the expression of polyphenisms, a form of discrete phenotypic plasticity characteristic of insects, but taken to extreme in aphids. In a relatively small number of species, a social polyphenism occurs, involving sub-adult "soldiers" that are behaviorally or morphologically specialized to defend their nestmates from predators...
April 10, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Judith Korb
Termites evolved eusociality independently from social Hymenoptera. As a common trait, reproductive monopoly is maintained through chemical communication. The queen (and in termites also a king) prevents workers from reproduction by conveying their reproductive status. In termites all soldiers are sterile, but workers' potential to reproduce differs between species. It ranges from totipotency in wood-dwelling lower termites where workers are a transient stage from which all other castes develop, to sterile workers in some higher termites...
April 4, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Alice Gadea, Anne-Cécile Le Lamer, Sophie Le Gall, Catherine Jonard, Solenn Ferron, Daniel Catheline, Damien Ertz, Pierre Le Pogam, Joël Boustie, Françoise Lohézic-Le Devehat, Maryvonne Charrier
Lichen-gastropod interactions generally focus on the potential deterrent or toxic role of secondary metabolites. To better understand lichen-gastropod interactions, a controlled feeding experiment was designed to identify the parts of the lichen Argopsis friesiana consumed by the Subantarctic land snail Notodiscus hookeri. Besides profiling secondary metabolites in various lichen parts (apothecia, cephalodia, phyllocladia and fungal axis of the pseudopodetium), we investigated potentially beneficial resources that snails can utilize from the lichen (carbohydrates, amino acids, fatty acids, polysaccharides and total nitrogen)...
April 3, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Paul G Becher, Sebastien Lebreton, Erika A Wallin, Erik Hedenström, Felipe Borrero, Marie Bengtsson, Volker Joerger, Peter Witzgall
(Z)-4-undecenal (Z4-11Al) is the volatile pheromone produced by females of the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster. Female flies emit Z4-11Al for species-specific communication and mate-finding. A sensory panel finds that synthetic Z4-11Al has a characteristic flavour, which can be perceived even at the small amounts produced by a single female fly. Since only females produce Z4-11Al, and not males, we can reliably distinguish between single D. melanogaster males and females, according to their scent. Females release Z4-11Al at 2...
April 3, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
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