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Apidologie

pp 1–11 | Cite as

(S)-2-Heptanol, the alarm pheromone of the stingless bee Melipona solani (Hymenoptera, Meliponini)

  • David Alavez-Rosas
  • Daniel Sánchez-Guillén
  • Edi A. Malo
  • Leopoldo Cruz-LópezEmail author
Original article
  • 20 Downloads

Abstract

Timely defence response is critical in any highly social bee species. Chemical signalling is closely linked to this behaviour, and several pheromones have been discovered. In this work, we identified the pheromone of the stingless bee Melipona solani and evaluated the electrophysiological and behavioural response of the bee to the identified compound. We determined that the mandibular glands serve as the reservoir of the alarm pheromone. Because enantiomeric recognition has been scarcely examined, we performed bioassays and electroantennographic (EAG) studies to determine the role of chirality in pheromone recognition. We found that (S)-2-heptanol was the active compound involved in the alarm response of this species. Although we did not find (R)-2-heptanol in the mandibular gland extracts, bees responded to it in a similar way to the (S)-isomer and to a racemic mixture. The behavioural response of M. solani was flight, different from other Melipona species behaviour. We discuss these findings in an evolutionary and ecological framework.

Keywords

Alarm pheromone Defence Stingless bees Optical isomerism CG-MS EAG 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Rodrigo López and Bryan Gómez for assistance in the bioassays work.

Funding information

Thanks are given to the National Council of Science and Technology CONACYT for scholarship to D. A. R. (CV/grant number 387462/255265). This study was supported by CONACYT INFR-2014-01(224846).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© INRA, DIB and Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.El Colegio de la Frontera SurTapachulaMexico
  2. 2.Instituto de BiocienciasUniversidad Autónoma de ChiapasTapachulaMexico

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