Chemistry of the Secondary Metabolites of Termites

  • Edda GössingerEmail author
Part of the Progress in the Chemistry of Organic Natural Products book series (POGRCHEM, volume 109)


Isolation, structure determination, synthesis, and biochemistry of the low-molecular-weight compounds of the secretion of exocrine glands of termites are described, with an emphasis on pheromones and defensive compounds.


Termites Pheromones Trail-following pheromones Sex-pairing pheromones Alarm pheromones Primer pheromones Cuticular hydrocarbons Defense Long-chain vinyl ketones Keto aldehydes Nitroalkenes Macrolactones Monoterpenes Sesquiterpenes Diterpenes Polycyclic neocembrene derivatives Isolation Structure determination Syntheses Biosynthesis 


% ee

Enantiomeric excess


Optical rotation at λ = 589 nm







Two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance


















Acetonyltriphenylphosphonium bromide






Based on recovered starting material






Cerium ammonium nitrate




Circular dichroism


Cuticular hydrocarbon


Correlation spectrometry of long-range coupling


Correlation spectrometry




Camphorsulfonic acid










Dibenzylidene acetone










Diethyl azodicarboxylate


Diethyl tartrate






Diisopropyl azodicarboxylate


Diisobutylaluminum hydride


Bis(2-methoxyethyl) ether




4-(Dimethylamino)pyridine oxide








Dimethyl sulfoxide




Ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid


Enantiomerically pure compound




Electronspray ionization mass spectrum




Diethyl ether




Fast-atom bombardment


Gas-liquid chromatography


1,2-Dimethoxyethane (=dimethylglycol)










Heteronuclear multiple quantum coherence


High-performance liquid chromatography


High-resolution mass spectrum


High-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrum


Heteronuclear single-quantum correlation

Irradiation with light


2-Iodoxybenzoic acid


Intramolecular Diels-Alder reaction




Infrared (spectroscopy)


Acidic ion exchange beads


Potassium hexamethyldisilazide


Lithium aluminum hydride


Lithium diisopropylamide


Lithium hexamethyldisilazide


Lanthanide induced shift


Methylaluminum bis-(2,6-di-t-butyl-4-methylphenoxide)


m-Chloroperbenzoic acid








Oxodiperoxymolybdenum-(pyridine)-(hexamethylphosphoric triamide)


Melting point


(+)-α-Methoxy-α-(trifluormethyl)-phenylacetylchlorid (Mosher’s reagent)


Mass spectrum




Molecular sieve


Nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate






Morpholine N-oxide


Nuclear magnetic resonance (spectrometry)


Nuclear Overhauser effect


Nuclear Overhauser and exchange spectroscopy


Optical rotation dispersion (spectroscopy)


Pyridinium chlorochromate


Pyridinium dichromate
















Pyridinium p-toluenesulfonate




Ring-closing metathesis


Sodium bis(2-methoxyethoxy)aluminum hydride




Room temperature


3-Methylbut-2-yl (=siamyl)


Transannular Diels-Alder reaction


Tetrabutylammonium fluoride






2,2,6,6-Tetramethylpiperidine N-oxide





Tf (OTf)



Trifluoroacetic acid


Trifluoroacetic anhydride




Tetrahydrofuran, tetrahydrofuranyl




Thin-layer chromatography




Tetrapropyl perruthenate




Trityl = triphenylmethyl




Tosyl = p-toluenesulfonyl


Ultraviolet (spectroscopy)






High temperature



The author thanks the editors, especially Prof. Falk for his help and patience and Prof. Kinghorn for trying to improve my meager English. Many thanks to Dr. F. Wuggenig for reading through the manuscript. Last but not least I have to thank the team of the Fernleihe of OEZBPH; without their help in providing copies of hard to attain publications, this work could never have been done.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of ChemistryUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.MistelbachAustria

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