Location: Chemistry Research Unit
Title: Novel fatty acid-related compounds from the American bird grasshopper, Schistocerca americana, elicit plant volatiles Authors
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 19, 2007
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: A new class of compounds has been isolated from the regurgitant of the grasshopper, Schistocerca americana. These compounds (named caeliferins) are comprised of unusual saturated and monounsaturated, alpha- and omega-substituted fatty acids. The regurgitant contains a series of these compounds with fatty acid chains of 15 to 20 carbons and in varying proportions. Of these, the 16-carbon analogs are predominant and also most active when applied to damaged leaves of corn seedlings. The seedlings are induced to emit blends of volatile organic compounds, qualitatively and quantitatively similar to the blends released by grasshopper- and caterpillar-damaged seedlings. Caeliferins are the first non-lepidopteran elicitors identified in insect herbivores; they have been found in grasshoppers in the suborder Caelifera, but not so far in any other species in the order Orthoptera. This new category of insect herbivore-produced elicitors of plant responses provides further evidence of the ability of plants to detect and respond to a broad range of compounds produced by insect herbivores.