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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Atlas of Central Nervous System and the first Neuropeptide from Fire Ant

Authors
item Choi, Man-Yeon
item Raina, Ashok - USDA/ARS NEW ORLEANS
item Vander Meer, Robert

Submitted to: Imported Fire Ants Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 3, 2008
Publication Date: January 4, 2010
Citation: Choi, M.Y., Raina, A., Vander Meer, R.K. 2010. Atlas of Central Nervous System and the first Neuropeptide from Fire Ant. Imported Fire Ants Conference Proceedings. 24:97-99.

Interpretive Summary: In some insects, especially lepidopteran species, regulation of pheromone biosynthesis and production is under hormonal control. The neuropeptide hormone responsible, PBAN (Pheromone Biosynthesis Activating Neuropeptide), is synthesized in the subesophageal ganglion (SG) and released into the hemolymph where it stimulates sex pheromone production in many moths. However, virtually nothing is known about how pheromone production and release is regulated in social insects depending on sophisticated pheromonal communication to maintain colony cohesiveness and sociality. In the present study, we confirmed the presence of PBAN peptides and identified PBAN cDNA for the first time in an ant species, the fire ant. Brain-Subesophageal extracts of male and female fire ant sexuals significantly stimulated sex pheromone production in the Lepidopteran moth. Three groups of cell clusters found in the SG corresponded to the mandibular, maxillary and labial neurons as in Lepidoptera. PBAN-like immunoreactive neurons in the VNC were found in thoracic (two pairs) and abdominal ganglia (three pairs). Fire ant PBAN cDNA, encoding 176 amino acids including PBAN and three additional neuropeptides was identified. The structure and pre-prohormone positions of the fire ant PBAN gene is more similar to Lepidoptera PBAN than the PBAN found in other insect groups. From these results the PBAN peptides in fire ants could function in pheromone regulation and/or similar actions as they do in Lepidoptera.

Technical Abstract: In some insects, especially lepidopteran species, regulation of pheromone biosynthesis and production is under hormonal control. The neuropeptide hormone responsible, PBAN (Pheromone Biosynthesis Activating Neuropeptide), is synthesized in the subesophageal ganglion (SG) and released into the hemolymph where it stimulates sex pheromone production in many moths. However, virtually nothing is known about how pheromone production and release is regulated in social insects depending on sophisticated pheromonal communication to maintain colony cohesiveness and sociality. In the present study, we confirmed the presence of PBAN peptides and identified PBAN cDNA for the first time in an ant species, the fire ant. Brain-Subesophageal extracts of male and female fire ant sexuals significantly stimulated sex pheromone production in the Lepidopteran moth. Three groups of cell clusters found in the SG corresponded to the mandibular, maxillary and labial neurons as in Lepidoptera. PBAN-like immunoreactive neurons in the VNC were found in thoracic (two pairs) and abdominal ganglia (three pairs). Fire ant PBAN cDNA, encoding 176 amino acids including PBAN and three additional neuropeptides was identified. The structure and pre-prohormone positions of the fire ant PBAN gene is more similar to Lepidoptera PBAN than the PBAN found in other insect groups. From these results the PBAN peptides in fire ants could function in pheromone regulation and/or similar actions as they do in Lepidoptera.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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