The search result changed since you submitted your search request. Documents might be displayed in a different sort order.
  • search hit 4 of 10
Back to Result List

Crematoenones - a novel substance class exhibited by ants functions as appeasement signal

Please always quote using this URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-122595
  • Background: Parasitic, commensalistic, and mutualistic guests in social insect colonies often circumvent their hosts' nestmate recognition system to be accepted. These tolerance strategies include chemical mimicry and chemical insignificance. While tolerance strategies have been studied intensively in social parasites, little is known about these mechanisms in non-parasitic interactions. Here, we describe a strategy used in a parabiotic association, i.e. two mutualistic ant species that regularly share a common nest although they haveBackground: Parasitic, commensalistic, and mutualistic guests in social insect colonies often circumvent their hosts' nestmate recognition system to be accepted. These tolerance strategies include chemical mimicry and chemical insignificance. While tolerance strategies have been studied intensively in social parasites, little is known about these mechanisms in non-parasitic interactions. Here, we describe a strategy used in a parabiotic association, i.e. two mutualistic ant species that regularly share a common nest although they have overlapping food niches. One of them, Crematogaster modiglianii, produces an array of cuticular compounds which represent a substance class undescribed in nature so far. They occur in high abundances, which suggests an important function in the ant's association with its partner Camponotus rufifemur. Results: We elucidated the structure of one of the main compounds from cuticular extracts using gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, chemical derivatizations and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). The compound consists of two fused six-membered rings with two alkyl groups, one of which carries a keto functionality. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the identification of this substance class in nature. We suggest naming the compound crematoenone. In behavioural assays, crematoenones reduced interspecific aggression. Camponotus showed less aggression to allospecific cuticular hydrocarbons when combined with crematoenones. Thus, they function as appeasement substances. However, although the crematoenone composition was highly colony-specific, interspecific recognition was mediated by cuticular hydrocarbons, and not by crematoenones. Conclusions: Crematenones enable Crematogaster to evade Camponotus aggression, and thus reduce potential costs from competition with Camponotus. Hence, they seem to be a key factor in the parabiosis, and help Crematogaster to gain a net benefit from the association and thus maintain a mutualistic association over evolutionary time. To our knowledge, putative appeasement substances have been reported only once so far, and never between non-parasitic species. Since most organisms associated with social insects need to overcome their nestmate recognition system, we hypothesize that appeasement substances might play an important role in the evolution and maintenance of other mutualistic associations as well, by allowing organisms to reduce costs from antagonistic behaviour of other species.show moreshow less

Download full text files

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar Statistics
Metadaten
Author: Florian Menzel, Nico Blüthgen, Till Tolasch, Jürgen Conrad, Uwe Beifuss, Till Beuerle, Thomas Schmitt
URN:urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-122595
Document Type:Journal article
Faculties:Fakultät für Biologie / Theodor-Boveri-Institut für Biowissenschaften
Language:English
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in Zoology
ISSN:1742-9994
Year of Completion:2013
Volume:10
Issue:32
Source:Frontiers in Zoology 2013, 10:32. doi:10.1186/1742-9994-10-32
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/1742-9994-10-32
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 59 Tiere (Zoologie) / 595 Arthropoden (Gliederfüßer)
Tag:Dufours gland; alkyloctahydronaphthalene; appeasement substance; bees; crematogaster; cuticular hydrocarbons; ecology; formicidae; interspecific aggression; nestmate recognition cues; parabiotic ants; parabiotic association; parasitism; pheromone; polyergus rufescens; usurpation; venom
Release Date:2016/02/26
Licence (German):License LogoCC BY: Creative-Commons-Lizenz: Namensnennung