Location: Biological Control of Pests ResearchTitle: Volatile terpenes and terpenoids from workers and queens of Monomorium chinense (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
|ZHAO, RUI - South China Agricultural University|
|LU, LIHUA - Guangdong Academy Of Agricultural Sciences|
|HE, YURONG - South China Agricultural University|
Submitted to: Molecules
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/27/2018
Publication Date: 11/1/2018
Citation: Zhao, R., Lu, L., Chen, J., He, Y. 2018. Volatile terpenes and terpenoids from workers and queens of Monomorium chinense (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Molecules. 23:1-14.
Interpretive Summary: Terpenes and terpenoids have great significance in pharmacy, agriculture, biofuel, food and perfumery industry. We found that a native Chinese ant, Monomorium (M.) chinense Santschi is an exceptional terpene producing ant. Twenty-one volatile terpenes and terpenoids were found in this ant. Among 21 terpenes, 13 were new to ants, which makes this species the unquestioned champion of ants in terpene diversity. Worker ants reared on terpene-free diet showed the same terpenes and terpenoids as ants collected in the field, indicating that these ants are themselves capable of terpene and terpenoid biosynthesis. This ant may be a new source of genes for engineered terpene biosynthesis pathway of renewable terpene production.
Technical Abstract: We report an exceptional terpene producer, a native Chinese ant, Monomorium (M.) chinense Santschi (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Twenty-one volatile terpenes and terpenoids were found in M. chinense by using headspace solid-phase micro-extraction (HS-SPME) coupled with gas-phase chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS), which makes M. chinense the champion of ants in terpene diversity. A sesquiterpene with unknown structure (terpene 1) was the main terpene in workers and neocembrene was the main terpene in queens. Terpenes and terpenoids were detected in poison, Dufour’s and mandibular glands of both workers and queens. Worker ants raised on terpene-free diet showed the same terpene profile as ants collected in the field, indicating that de novo terpene and terpenoid synthesis occurs in M. chinense. These results indicate that M. chinense may serve as a model insect for the study of terpene functions and biosynthesis in ants.