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

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

Hymenoptera Formicidae Aphaenogaster rudis ant behavior diglyceride elaiosome myrmecochory Viola odorata 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ast, H.J. 1963. Inadvertent isomerization of polyunsaturated acids during ester preparation.Anal. Chem. 35:1539–1540.Google Scholar
  2. Beattie, A.J. 1978. Plant-animal interactions affecting gene flow inViola. Pp. 151–164in The pollination of flowers by insects. A.J. Richards (ed.), Academic Press, London.Google Scholar
  3. Beattie, A.J., andLyons, N. 1975. Seed dispersal inViola (Violaceae): adaptations and strategies.Am. J. Bot. 62:714–722.Google Scholar
  4. Berg, R.Y. 1966. Seed dispersal ofDendromecon: Its ecologic, evolutionary, and taxonomic significance.Am. J. Bot. 53:61–73.Google Scholar
  5. Borgström, B. 1952. Investigation on lipid separation methods, separation of phospholipids from neutral fats and fatty acids.Acta Physiol. Scand. 25:100–110.Google Scholar
  6. Bresinsky, A. 1963. Bau, Entwicklungsgeschichte und Inhaltsstoffe der Elaiosomen.Bibl. Bot. No. 126.Google Scholar
  7. Carthy, J.D. 1951. The orientation of two allied species of British ant. 1. Visual direction finding inAcanthomyops (Lasius)niger.Behaviour 3:275–303.Google Scholar
  8. Crozier, R.H. 1977. Genetic differences between populations of the antAphaenogaster rudis in the Southeastern United States.Genetica 47:17–36.Google Scholar
  9. Culver, D.C., andBeattie, A.J. 1978. Myrmecochory in Viola: Dynamics of seed-ant interactions in some West Virginia species.J. Ecol. 66:53–72.Google Scholar
  10. Dadd, R.H. 1973. Insect nutrition: Current developments and metabolic implications.Annu. Rev. Entomol. 18:381–429.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Dethier, V.G. 1947. Chemical insect attractants and repellants. Blakiston, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  12. Folch, I., Lees, M., andSloane-Stanley, G.H. 1957. A simple method for the isolation and purification of total lipids from animal tissues.J. Biol. Chem. 226:497–509.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Gilbert, L.I. 1967. Lipid metabolism and function in insects.Adv. Insect Physiol. 4:69–211.Google Scholar
  14. Gilbert, L.I., andChino, H. 1974. Transport of lipids in insects.J. Lipid Res. 15:439–456.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Roth, I. 1977. Fruits of angiosperms. Gabrüder Borntraeger, Berlin.Google Scholar
  16. Sernander, R. 1906. Entwurf einer Monographie der europaischen Myrmecochoren.Konigl. Svenska Vetenskaps Akad. Handl. 41:1–410.Google Scholar
  17. Starratt, A.N., andOsgood, C.E. 1972. An oviposition pheromone of the mosquitoCulex tarsalis: Diglyceride composition of the active fraction.Biochem. Biophys. Acta 280:187–193.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Vinson, S.B., Thompson, J.L., andGreen, H.B. 1967. Phagostimulants for the imported fire antSolenopsis saevissima richerti.J. Insect Physiol. 13:1729–1736.Google Scholar
  19. Wilson, E.O., Durlach, N.I., andRoth, L.M. 1958. Chemical releasers of necrophoric behavior in ants.Psyche 65:108–114.Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations