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Morganella morganii bacteria produces phenol as the sex pheromone of the New Zealand grass grub from tyrosine in the colleterial gland
AgResearch Ltd, New Zealand.
AgResearch Ltd, New Zealand.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences. New Zealand Inst Plant & Food Res Ltd, New Zealand.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7158-6393
New Zealand Inst Plant & Food Res Ltd, New Zealand ; Univ Kebangsaan Malaysia, Malaysia.
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2016 (English)In: Die Naturwissenschaften, ISSN 0028-1042, E-ISSN 1432-1904, Vol. 103, no 7-8, 59Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Costelytra zealandica (Coleoptera: Scarabeidae) is a univoltine endemic species that has colonised and become a major pest of introduced clover and ryegrass pastures that form about half of the land area of New Zealand. Female beetles were previously shown to use phenol as their sex pheromone produced by symbiotic bacteria in the accessory or colleterial gland. In this study, production of phenol was confirmed from the female beetles, while bacteria were isolated from the gland and tested for attractiveness towards grass grub males in traps in the field. The phenol-producing bacterial taxon was identified by partial sequencing of the 16SrRNA gene, as Morganella morganii. We then tested the hypothesis that the phenol sex pheromone is biosynthesized from the amino acid tyrosine by the bacteria. This was shown to be correct, by addition of isotopically labelled tyrosine (C-13) to the bacterial broth, followed by detection of the labelled phenol by SPME-GCMS. Elucidation of this pathway provides specific evidence how the phenol is produced as an insect sex pheromone by a mutualistic bacteria.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 103, no 7-8, 59
Keyword [en]
Pheromone, Bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, Scarab, Mutualism, Phenol
National Category
Organic Chemistry Ecology
Research subject
Natural Science, Ecological chemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-57049DOI: 10.1007/s00114-016-1380-1ISI: 000382121200010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-57049DiVA: diva2:1033394
Available from: 2016-10-06 Created: 2016-10-04 Last updated: 2017-01-11Bibliographically approved

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Unelius, C. Rikard
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CiteExportLink to record
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