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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Imported Fire Ant and Household Insects Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #387261

Research Project: Management of Fire Ants and Other Invasive Ants

Location: Imported Fire Ant and Household Insects Research

Title: Novel alkaloids from the fire ant, Solenopsis geminata

Author
item Vander Meer, Robert - Bob
item CHINTA, SATYA - Foresight Science & Technology
item JONES, TAPPEY - Virginia Military Institute

Submitted to: Naturwissenschaften
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/13/2022
Publication Date: 1/27/2022
Citation: Vander Meer, R.K., Chinta, S.P., Jones, T.H. 2022. Novel alkaloids from the fire ant, Solenopsis geminata. Naturwissenschaften. 109(15), 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00114-022-01786-w.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00114-022-01786-w

Interpretive Summary: Fire ant venom alkaloids have a long history, catalyzed by the rapid spread of the invasive fire ants, Solenopsis invicta (red form), S. richteri (black form), and their hybrid in the southern United States. Fire ant high population densities, potent sting, and propensity for disturbed habitats led to frequent interactions with the human population and reports of painful stings and allergic reactions to their venom. While venom from wasps and bees is composed primarily of protein allergens, Solenopsis species venom is dominated by alkaloids and research to identify these componds was a major research effort in the 1970's. Two native fire ant species, S. geminata and S. xyloni, found in the southern tier of the United States, benefited from the invasive fire ant research. Two venom alkaloids were isolated and intentified in 1972. Here we report the unexpected discovery of five additional alkaloids using new highly sensitive instumentation that will extend the utility of the alkaloids as species/population diagnostic tools.

Technical Abstract: Fire ant venom alkaloids have a long history, catalyzed by the rapid spread of the invasive fire ants, Solenopsis invicta (red form), S. richteri (black form), and their hybrid in the southern United States. Fire ant high population densities, potent sting, and propensity for disturbed habitats led to frequent interactions with the human population and reports of painful stings and allergic reactions to their venom. While venom from wasps and bees is composed primarily of protein allergens, Solenopsis species venom is dominated by alkaloids. Fire ant venom alkaloid research included the two most prominent native Solenopsis species, S. geminata and S. xyloni. Both are found in the southern tier of the United States. Two venom alkaloids were isloated and indentified as a mixture of cis- and trans-2-methy-6-undecyl-piperidines in 1972. Here we report the unexpected discovery of 6-undecyl-pyridine, 2-methyl-6-undecyl-pyridine, 2-methyl-6-undecyl-1, 2-piperideine, and 2-methyl-6-(1)-undecenyl pyridine as components of S. geminata venom in Gianesville, Fl., the same source location of the 1972 report.