Submitted to: Formosan Entomologist
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/23/2011
Publication Date: 5/7/2011
Citation: Vander Meer, R.K., Choi, M.Y. 2011. Pheromone Biosynthesis Activating Neuropeptide (PBAN)/Pyrokinin Family of Peptides and Fire Ants, Solenopsis spp. Formosan Entomologist. 31:133-147.
Interpretive Summary: N/A
Technical Abstract: The fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, is an economically important invasive pest ant, causing over 6 billion dollars in control and repair costs each year in the United States. The fire ant is becoming a global problem increasing its importance and the need for the development of biologically-based control methods. The PBAN/pyrokinin gene is ubiquitous to insects and produces 4-5 neuropeptides that play critical roles in insect development and in reproduction. The most well studied function is regulation of moth pheromone biosynthesis through the Pheromone Biosynthesis Activating Neuropeptide, PBAN. The fire ant is one of the most studied social insects and over the last 50 years a great deal has been learned about the behaviors and chemistry of pheromone communication in this ant. However, virtually nothing is known about the regulation of these pheromone systems. We review here our research to date on the PBAN/pyrokinin gene and the fire ant in preparation for determining the function of the product neuropeptides in brood development and in adults. We discuss the following: a) PBAN/Pyrokinin peptides in fire ants; b) PBAN immunocytochemistry and the fire ant central nervous system (CNS); c) Identification of PBAN/pyrokinin neuropeptides from S. invicta and other Solenopsis species; and d) PBAN/Pyrokinin gene expression in the head, thorax and abdomen of S. invicta. These studies help lay the ground-work for the utilization of the PBAN/pyrokinin gene/peptide product system for novel biologically-based fire ant control.