Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 335–344

Evidence for diglycerides as attractants in an ant-seed interaction

  • D. L. Marshall
  • A. J. Beattie
  • W. E. Bollenbacher
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF00987919

Cite this article as:
Marshall, D.L., Beattie, A.J. & Bollenbacher, W.E. J Chem Ecol (1979) 5: 335. doi:10.1007/BF00987919

Abstract

The chemical basis of an ant-seed interaction was investigated for the antAphaenogaster rudis and the ant-dispersed violetViola odorata. A laboratory behavioral bioassay was developed to chemically identify the attractant responsible for the interaction. The ant attractant, localized in the elaiosome, was classified as a lipid by both field and laboratory bioassays. Assays of partially purified lipid extracts revealed that the principal attractant may be a diglyceride. Gas-liquid chromatography analysis of the hydrolyzed diglyceride fraction revealed oleic acid as the major fatty acid present, suggesting that either 1,2- or 1,3-diolein may be the attractant. Structure-activity correlations for lipid standards demonstrated a clear preference for the diglyceride 1,2-diolein. The data also suggest that ricinoleic acid is not the lipid eliciting the ant response toViola odorata, as had been previously suggested.

Key words

HymenopteraFormicidaeAphaenogaster rudisantbehaviordiglycerideelaiosomemyrmecochoryViola odorata

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. L. Marshall
    • 2
  • A. J. Beattie
    • 2
  • W. E. Bollenbacher
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of TexasAustin
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesNorthwestern UniversityEvanston