Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 2:47 PM

Biosynthesis of mandibular gland components in social insects

Shigeru Matsuyama,, University of Tsukuba, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences and Bioengineering, 1-1-1 Ten nou dai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan and Hiromi Sasagawa,, Foundation for Advancement of International Science (FAIS), 586-9, Akatsuka Aza, Ushigafuchi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

2-Heptanol, 2-alkanones (C7 and C9) and 3-hydroxyalkanoic acids (C8 and C10) were identified in worker mandibular glands, or in worker head extract of stingless bees, bumble bees and honey bees. 2-Heptanol is reported to be an alarm pheromone in stingless bees. 2-Heptanone is regarded as one of alarm pheromones in Apis species. Application of deuterated 3-hydroxyalkanoic acids onto mandibular glands of honey bees and bumble bees resulted in detection of deuterated 2-alkanones. Thus, 2-alkanones are biosynthesized through oxidative decarboxylation from corresponding 3-hydroxyalkanoic acids in the mandibular glands. Distribution of 2-alkanol, 2-alkanone, 3-hydroxyalkanoic acid in social hymenopterans and structural relations in these chemicals will be presented.

Species 1: Hymenoptera Apidae Apis cerana japonica (Japanese honey bee)
Species 2: Hymenoptera Apidae Apis mellifera (European honey bee)
Species 3: Hymenoptera Apidae Bombus diversus (bumble bee)