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Journal of Chemical Ecology

Gherardo Bogo, Laura Bortolotti, Simona Sagona, Antonio Felicioli, Marta Galloni, Marta Barberis, Massimo Nepi
Nectar mediates complex interactions between plants and animals. Recent research has focused on nectar secondary compounds that may play a role in regulating some of these interactions. These compounds may affect the behavior of nectar feeders by interacting with their neurobiology. Non-protein amino acids (NPAAs) can constitute a large portion of the amino acid content of floral nectar, but their ecological function has, to date, not been investigated. In this study, we tested the effects of diets with low and high concentrations of γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) and β-alanine on the survival and behavior of Bombus terrestris and Apis mellifera...
January 6, 2019: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Elvira S De Lange, Jordano Salamanca, James Polashock, Cesar Rodriguez-Saona
Herbivorous insects are important problems in cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) production. The use of chemical pesticides is common practice, but beneficial insects such as natural enemies of herbivores (e.g. predators and parasitoids) could be affected as well. Therefore, we studied the defensive mechanisms that cranberry plants use to combat pests, focusing on herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs), which can be used to recruit predators and parasitoids foraging for prey or hosts. Then, we used synthetic HIPVs to test the attraction of natural enemies...
January 3, 2019: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Cesar Rodriguez-Saona, Kevin R Cloonan, Fernando Sanchez-Pedraza, Yucheng Zhou, M Monica Giusti, Betty Benrey
Highbush blueberry is a crop native to the northeast USA that has been domesticated for about 100 years. This study compared the susceptibility of wild and domesticated/cultivated highbush blueberries to an invasive frugivorous pest, the spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii). We hypothesized that: 1) cultivated fruits are preferred by D. suzukii for oviposition and better hosts for its offspring than wild fruits; and, 2) wild and cultivated fruits differ in physico-chemical traits. Fruits from wild and cultivated blueberries were collected from June through August of 2015 and 2016 from 10 to 12 sites in New Jersey (USA); with each site having wild and cultivated blueberries growing in close proximity...
December 15, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Hong-Lei Wang, Mario Baldessari, Gianfranco Anfora, Erik J van Nieukerken, Christer Löfstedt
Two heliozelid species, Antispila oinophylla van Nieukerken & Wagner and Holocacista rivillei (Stainton) severely infest Italian grapevines. The volatile pheromones from calling females were collected by solid phase micro extraction (SPME) and analyzed by gas chromatography with electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD). Two compounds from A. oinophylla females eliciting electrophysiological activity from the conspecific male antenna were identified as (Z)-5-tetradecenal and (Z)-7-tetradecenal by coupled gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis...
December 14, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Armin Tröger, Glenn P Svensson, David M Althoff, Kari A Segraves, Robert A Raguso, Wittko Francke
The hydrocarbon pattern in the floral scent of Yucca species was found to comprise a group of unbranched, mid-chain alkanes, alkenes, and an alkadiene. In Y. reverchonii, highly dominant (Z)-8-heptadecene is accompanied by (6Z,9Z)-6,9-heptadecadiene and heptadecane as minor components and by traces of other saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons with similar chain length. Some of these volatiles proved to be perceived by the antennae of Tegeticula cassandra (pollinating seed-eater of Yucca) and Prodoxus decipiens (herbivore on Yucca)...
December 10, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Tobias Züst, Georg Petschenka, Amy P Hastings, Anurag A Agrawal
Cardenolides are classically studied steroidal defenses in chemical ecology and plant-herbivore coevolution. Although milkweed plants (Asclepias spp.) produce up to 200 structurally different cardenolides, all compounds seemingly share the same well-characterized mode of action, inhibition of the ubiquitous Na+ /K+ ATPase in animal cells. Over their evolutionary radiation, milkweeds show a quantitative decline of cardenolide production and diversity. This reduction is contrary to coevolutionary predictions and could represent a cost-saving strategy, i...
December 7, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Alba Lázaro-González, José A Hódar, Regino Zamora
Stress caused by parasitic plants, e.g. mistletoes, alters certain host-plant traits as a response. While several physical implications of the parasite-host relation have been well studied, shifts in the host chemical profile remain poorly understood. Here we compare the chemical profiles of mistletoe (Viscum album subsp. austriacum) leaves and host pine (Pinus nigra subsp. salzmannii) needles and we investigate chemical changes in host needles of trees with different parasite loads (control, low, medium, and high)...
December 7, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Daniel N Anstett, Iris Cheval, Caitlyn D'Souza, Juha-Pekka Salminen, Marc T J Johnson
Phenolics have a role in defenses against herbivores, but the defensive functions of specific groups of phenolics are still poorly understood. For example, ellagitannins (a type of hydrolyzable tannin) are predicted to decrease insect herbivore performance, but the effect of different types of ellagitannins on generalist and specialist herbivores has rarely been assessed. Here, we test the effects of the dominant oligomeric ellagitannins of Oenothera biennis and other Onagraceae on herbivore performance. We fed artificial diets containing between 1 and 100 mg/g of polyphenol fractions comprised of varying amounts and compositions of dimeric oenothein B, the trimeric oenothein A and larger oligomers, to one generalist (Spodoptera exigua) and one specialist (Schinia florida) insect herbivore species...
December 4, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Stephen P Foster, Karin G Anderson
Aldehydes are components of many moth sex pheromones, and are thought to be produced from analogous alcohols by oxidase(s) in the cell membrane or the gland cuticle. This implies that the two types of components are produced and/or stored in different parts of the gland: alcohols in cells and aldehydes in cuticle. Few studies have investigated the distribution of components in moth pheromone glands. Using rinse/extract sampling, stable isotope tracer/tracee methods, and decapitation/ pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide stimulation, we studied production and distribution of (Z)-11-hexadecenal (Z11-16:Ald) and (Z)-hexadecenol (Z11-16:OH) in the gland of Chloridea virescens (formerly Heliothis virescens)...
December 1, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Linus Gog, May R Berenbaum, Evan H DeLucia
Elevated CO2 alters C3 plant tolerance to insect herbivory, as well as the induction kinetics of defense hormones salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA), but the underlying physiological mechanism causing this response is not well understood. In principle, SA could be induced under elevated CO2 by reactive oxygen signals generated in photosynthesis, ultimately influencing chemical defense. To test whether the effects of elevated CO2 on C3 plant chemical defense against herbivorous insects are modulated by photosynthesis, Arabidopsis thaliana var...
November 22, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Leanne A Grieves, Mark A Bernards, Elizabeth A MacDougall-Shackleton
Chemical signaling has been well studied in invertebrates and mammals but less so in birds, due to the longstanding misconception that olfaction is unimportant or even non-existent in this taxon. However, recent findings suggest that olfaction plays an important role in avian mate choice and reproductive behavior, similar to other taxa. The leading candidate source for compounds involved in avian chemical communication is preen oil, a complex mixture secreted from the uropygial gland. Preen oil contains volatile compounds and their potential wax ester precursors, and may act as a reproductive chemosignal...
November 20, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Mikael A Molander, Jimmy Helgesson, Inis B Winde, Jocelyn G Millar, Mattias C Larsson
The number of longhorn beetles with confirmed aggregation-sex pheromones has increased rapidly in recent years. However, the species that have been studied most intensively are pests, whereas much less is known about the pheromones of longhorn beetles that are rare or threatened. We studied the cerambycid beetle Plagionotus detritus ssp. detritus with the goal of confirming the presence and composition of an aggregation-sex pheromone. This species has suffered widespread population decline due to habitat loss in Western Europe, and it is now considered threatened and near extinction in several countries...
November 9, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Elana Varner, Regine Gries, Stephen Takács, Stephanie Fan, Gerhard Gries
Recently, it was reported (i) that the sex pheromone blend of male house mice, Mus musculus, comprises not only volatile components (3,4-dehydro-exo-brevicomin; 2-sec-butyl-4,5-dihydrothiazole) but also a component of low volatility (the sex steroid testosterone), and (ii) that the sex steroids progesterone and estradiol are sex pheromone components of female house mice. Here we tested the hypothesis that the sex attractant pheromone blend of female mice, analogous to that of male mice, also comprises volatile pheromone components...
November 9, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Jordan D Nobler, Meghan J Camp, Miranda M Crowell, Lisa A Shipley, Carolyn Dadabay, Janet L Rachlow, Lauren James, Jennifer S Forbey
Herbivores that forage on chemically defended plants consume complex mixtures of plant secondary metabolites (PSMs). However, the mechanisms by which herbivores tolerate mixtures of PSMs are relatively poorly understood. As such, it remains difficult to predict how PSMs, singly or as complex mixtures, influence diet selection by herbivores. Although relative rates of detoxification of PSMs have been used to explain tolerance of PSMs by dietary specialist herbivores, few studies have used the rate of detoxification of individual PSMs to understand dietary preferences of individual herbivores for individual versus mixtures of PSMs...
November 6, 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Jan Buellesbach, Brian A Whyte, Elizabeth Cash, Joshua D Gibson, Kelsey J Scheckel, Rebecca Sandidge, Neil D Tsutsui
Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs), the dominant fraction of the insects' epicuticle and the primary barrier to desiccation, form the basis for a wide range of chemical signaling systems. In eusocial insects, CHCs are key mediators of nestmate recognition, and colony identity appears to be maintained through a uniform CHC profile. In the unicolonial Argentine ant Linepithema humile, an unparalleled invasive expansion has led to vast supercolonies whose nestmates can still recognize each other across thousands of miles...
December 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Elina Mäntylä, Sven Kleier, Carita Lindstedt, Silke Kipper, Monika Hilker
Insectivorous birds feed upon all developmental stages of herbivorous insects, including insect eggs if larvae and adults are unavailable. Insect egg deposition on plants can induce plant traits that are subsequently exploited by egg parasitoids searching for hosts. However, it is unknown whether avian predators can also use egg-induced plant changes for prey localization. Here, we studied whether great tits (Parus major) and blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) are attracted by traits of the Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) induced by pine sawfly (Diprion pini) egg deposition...
December 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Daniel S Bush, Joel P Siegel, May R Berenbaum
The navel orangeworm (Amyelois transitella) and the fungus Aspergillus flavus constitute a facultative mutualism and pest complex in tree nut and fruit orchards in California. The possibility exists that the broad detoxification capabilities of A. flavus benefit its insect associate by metabolizing toxicants, including hostplant phytochemicals and pesticides. We examined this hypothesis by conducting laboratory bioassays to assess growth rates and survivorship of pyrethroid-resistant (R347) and susceptible (CPQ) larval strains on potato dextrose agar diet containing almond meal with and without two furanocoumarins, xanthotoxin and bergapten, found in several hostplants, and with and without two insecticides, bifenthrin and spinetoram, used in almond and pistachio orchards...
December 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Carla Menegatti, Weilan Gomes Da Paixão Melo, Daniel Blascke Carrão, Anderson Rodrigo Moraes De Oliveira, Fabio Santos Do Nascimento, Norberto Peporine Lopes, Mônica Tallarico Pupo
Social insects are frequently observed in symbiotic association with bacteria that produce antimicrobial natural products as a defense mechanism. There is a lack of studies on the microbiota associated with stingless bees and their antimicrobial compounds. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to report the isolation of Paenibacillus polymyxa ALLI-03-01 from the larval food of the stingless bee Melipona scutellaris. The bacterial strain was cultured under different conditions and produced (L)-(-)-3-phenyllactic acid and fusaricidins, which were active against entomopathogenic fungi and Paenibacillus larvae...
December 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Weliton D Silva, José Maurício S Bento, Lawrence M Hanks, Jocelyn G Millar
We describe the identification, synthesis, and field bioassays of a novel aggregation-sex pheromone produced by males of Susuacanga octoguttata (Germar), a South American cerambycid beetle. Analyses of extracts of headspace volatiles produced by adult beetles revealed a sex-specific compound emitted by males which was identified as (Z)-7-hexadecene by microchemical and spectroscopic analyses. The synthesized pheromone was attractive to beetles of both sexes in field trials. This unsaturated hydrocarbon motif is unprecedented among cerambycid pheromones identified to date...
December 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Geneviève Chiapusio, Vincent E J Jassey, Floriant Bellvert, Gilles Comte, Leslie A Weston, Frederic Delarue, Alexandre Buttler, Marie Laure Toussaint, Philippe Binet
Sphagnum mosses mediate long-term carbon accumulation in peatlands. Given their functional role as keystone species, it is important to consider their responses to ecological gradients and environmental changes through the production of phenolics. We compared the extent to which Sphagnum phenolic production was dependent on species, microhabitats and season, and how surrounding dwarf shrubs responded to Sphagnum phenolics. We evaluated the phenolic profiles of aqueous extracts of Sphagnum fallax and Sphagnum magellanicum over a 6-month period in two microhabitats (wet lawns versus dry hummocks) in a French peatland...
December 2018: Journal of Chemical Ecology
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