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Comparative chemical analysis of army ant mandibular gland volatiles (Formicidae: Dorylinae)

Brückner, Adrian and Hoenle, Philipp O. and von Beeren, Christoph (2018) Comparative chemical analysis of army ant mandibular gland volatiles (Formicidae: Dorylinae). PeerJ, 6 . Art. No. e5319. ISSN 2167-8359. PMCID PMC6052855. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20180730-114153667

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Abstract

Army ants are keystone species in many tropical ecosystems. Yet, little is known about the chemical compounds involved in army ant communication. In the present study, we analyzed the volatile mandibular gland secretions—triggers of ant alarm responses—of six Neotropical army ant species of the genus Eciton (outgroup: Nomamyrmex esenbeckii). Using solid-phase microextraction, we identified 12 chemical compounds, primarily ketones with associated alcohols, one ester and skatole. Most compounds were shared among species, but their relative composition was significantly different. By comparing chemical distances of mandibular gland secretions to species divergence times, we showed that the secretions’ compositions are not strictly determined by phylogeny. By identifying chemical bouquets of seven army ant species, our study provides a valuable comparative resource for future studies aiming to unveil the chemicals’ precise role in army ant alarm communication.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.5319DOIArticle
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6052855/PubMed CentralArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Brückner, Adrian0000-0002-9184-8562
von Beeren, Christoph0000-0002-0072-5795
Additional Information:© 2018 Brückner et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited. Received 2018-05-22. Accepted 2018-07-03. Published 2018-07-16. We thank Bryan Ospina for his assistance in the field, Adrian Pinto, Carlos de la Rosa, Bernal Matarrita Carranza, and the entire staff of La Selva Biological Station for their generous support. We are also grateful to Günther Raspotnig for his advice on compound identification, Stefan Schulz for providing authentic standards, as well as two anonymous reviewers for valuable comments. Adrian Brückner was supported by the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes) and Christoph von Beeren by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft; No. BE 5177/1-1 and BE 5177/3-1). This work was also supported by the German Research Foundation and the Open Access Publishing Fund of Technische Universität Darmstadt. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Data Availability: The following information was supplied regarding data availability: The raw data and references to code are provided in the Supplemental files. Author Contributions: Adrian Brückner conceived and designed the experiments, performed the experiments, analyzed the data, contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools, prepared figures and/or tables, authored or reviewed drafts of the paper, approved the final draft. Philipp O. Hoenle performed the experiments, contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools, approved the final draft. Christoph von Beeren conceived and designed the experiments, performed the experiments, analyzed the data, contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools, authored or reviewed drafts of the paper, approved the final draft. The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Studienstiftung des deutschen VolkesUNSPECIFIED
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)BE 5177/1-1
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)BE 5177/3-1
Technische Universität DarmstadtUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Neotropics, Biochemical systematics, Chemical ecology, Ecitonini, Volatile organic compounds, Pheromones, Eciton burchellii, Alarm response, Chemical communication
PubMed Central ID:PMC6052855
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180730-114153667
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20180730-114153667
Official Citation:Brückner A, Hoenle PO, von Beeren C. (2018) Comparative chemical analysis of army ant mandibular gland volatiles (Formicidae: Dorylinae) PeerJ 6:e5319 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.5319
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:88355
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:30 Jul 2018 20:24
Last Modified:25 Jun 2020 17:20

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