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Effects of flavor enhancers on the survival and behavior of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Abstract

To understand whether flavor enhancers pose potential risks to the environment, it is important to assess its effects on insects. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the toxicity of flavor enhancers on the survival and behaviors of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. In this study, we found that the mortality of S. invicta workers that were fed glutamic acid monosodium salt hydrate, glycine, L-alanine, succinic acid, succinic acid disodium, inosinate 5′-monophosphate disodium salt hydrate, and GMP were significantly higher than the mortality rates of workers fed sucrose. Moreover, glycine and GMP exhibited the strongest toxicities and caused 100% mortality in workers after 84 h. LC50 values were 0.004 g/ml and 0.02 g/ml for GMP and glycine, respectively. Additionally, at sublethal doses, both GMP and glycine solutions decreased foraging and digging behaviors. Our results suggest that flavor enhancers are toxic to insects and also likely to have a negative impact at sublethal concentrations.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Jian Chen at USDA-ARS for their constructive comments regarding this manuscript. We thank EGP Fox at South China Agricultural University for his help with language editing.

Funding

This study was supported by Guangdong Key Laboratory of Animal Conservation and Resource Utilization (GIABR-KF201702) and the National Key Research and Development Project (2016YFC201200). The funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript

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Correspondence to Zhiqiang Li, Lei Wang or Yijuan Xu.

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Responsible editor: Giovanni Benelli

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Huang, Y., Chen, S., Li, Z. et al. Effects of flavor enhancers on the survival and behavior of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 21879–21886 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-018-2276-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-018-2276-8

Keywords

  • Red imported fire ant
  • Food additive
  • Fire ant management
  • Insect behavior