Transformation of presumptive precursors to frontalin and exo-brevicomin by bark beetles and the West Indian sugarcane weevil (Coleoptera)
Pérez Sánchez, Alice Lorena
Oehlschlager, Allan Cameron
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(Z)-6-Nonen-2-one (1) has recently been shown to be the biosynthetic precursor for the aggregation pheromone exo-brevicomin (2) in mountain pine beetle (MPB) males, Dendroctonus ponderosae (Hopkins). We tested the hypotheses that (1) 6-methyl-6-hepten-2-one (3) is the biosynthetic precursor for the aggregation pheromone frontalin (4) in the spruce beetle (SB), Dendroctonus rufipennis (Kirby), and (2) that frontalin and exo-brevicomin are produced from 3 and 1, respectively, only by beetles that utilize them as aggregation pheromones. Exposure of scolytids MPB, SB, pine engraver (PE), Ips pini (Say) and Ips tridens (Mannerheim) and West Indian sugar cane weevil (WISW), Metamasius hemipterus sericeus (Olivier) to deuterio- or protio-3 invariably resulted in the production of deuterio- or protio-4. Similarly, exposure of SB, WISW and I. tridens to 1 resulted in the production of 2. We were unable to demonstrate the presence of 3 in SB volatiles, nor were we able to demonstrate the conversion of 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one to 3 by SB. Production of enantiomerically enriched frontalin and exo-brevicomin by all the beetles exposed to respective precursors reveals widespread occurrence of nonspecific polysubstrate monooxidases in the Coleoptera. Production of enantiomerically enriched frontalin and exo-brevicomin by all the beetles exposed to respective precursors represent nonspecific and nonselective biotransformations, and demonstrate widespread occurence of nonspecific polysubstrate monooxidases in the Coleoptera.
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