Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 639–652

Interspecific Variation in Terpenoid Composition of Defensive Secretions of European Reticulitermes Termites

  • Alexandre Quintana
  • Judith Reinhard
  • Robert Faure
  • Paolo Uva
  • Anne-Geneviève Bagnères
  • Georges Massiot
  • Jean-Luc Clément
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1022868603108

Cite this article as:
Quintana, A., Reinhard, J., Faure, R. et al. J Chem Ecol (2003) 29: 639. doi:10.1023/A:1022868603108

Abstract

Sixteen terpene compounds were isolated from the soldier defensive secretions of seven European termite taxa of the genus Reticulitermes (Isoptera, Rhinotermitidae). We describe species-specific mixtures of monoterpenes (α-pinene, β-pinene, limonene), sesquiterpenes (germacrene C, germacrene A, germacrene B, β-selinene, δ-selinene, γ-selinene, (E)-β-farnesene, γ-cadinene, nerolidol), diterpenes (geranyl linalool, geranyl geraniol, geranyl geranial), and one sesterterpene (geranyl farnesol). Compounds were purified by HPLC and their structures determined by means of MS spectrometry, or 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy. Comparison of two different analytical approaches, GC-MS and HPLC with subsequent NMR spectroscopy, revealed Cope rearrangement of germacrene A, germacrene B, and germacrene C to the respective β-elemene, γ-elemene, and δ-elemene under GC conditions, thus demonstrating the limits for this analytical approach. The species-specific compound composition provides insight into taxonomy and species origin of European Reticulitermes. The biological significance of the species-specific composition of Reticulitermes defensive secretions is briefly discussed.

Reticulitermes Isoptera Rhinotermitidae subterranean termites soldier defensive secretions terpenes HPLC NMR GC-MS Cope rearrangement 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandre Quintana
    • 1
    • 2
  • Judith Reinhard
    • 1
  • Robert Faure
    • 3
  • Paolo Uva
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  • Anne-Geneviève Bagnères
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  • Georges Massiot
    • 2
  • Jean-Luc Clément
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.CNRS, Laboratoire de Neurobiologie–UPR 9024Marseille Cedex 20France
  2. 2.Institut de Recherche Pierre Fabre, Centre de Recherche sur les Substances Naturelles, CNRS–UMR 1973RamonvilleFrance
  3. 3.Université Aix-Marseille III Laboratoire de Valorisation de la Chimie Fine, CNRS–UMR 6009Marseille Cedex 20France
  4. 4.Institut de Recherche sur la Biologie de l'Insecte, UMR 6035, CNRS–Université F. RabelaisFrance
  5. 5.Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Parc de GrandmontToursFrance

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