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Life Sciences - Ecology | Journal of Chemical Ecology - incl. option to publish open access (Press)

Journal of Chemical Ecology

Journal of Chemical Ecology

Editor-in-Chief: John T. Romeo

ISSN: 0098-0331 (print version)
ISSN: 1573-1561 (electronic version)

Journal no. 10886

Journal of Chemical Ecology - Cover Gallery

September 2014 

Geographic and floral bouquet variability of three Lithophragma species in California and the North Western United States. Upper left – Key to pie diagrams. Middle right – A female Greya politella moth approaching a flowering Lithophragma bolanderi plant in Sequoia National Park, one of three study sites. (Photo - Robert Raguso).

August 2014 

(Left) The Australian cycad Macrozamia miquelii. This is a female plant and the cone is disintegrating as seed dispersal commences. The "fruit" (technically a sarcotesta) is produced in great abundance and is vividly colored. The seed inside is highly toxic, but the toxins are absent from the sarcotesta. The differential toxicity of seed and sarcotesta, is documented for the first time in both Macrozamia miquelii and Cycas ophiolitica, which grow sympatrically in Australia. (Top Right) Fruits of Cycas ophiolitica, showing their large size. The coin is 28mm across. (Bottom Right) Seeds of Cycas ophiloitica. In this case, probably rodents or brush tailed possums, have stripped the fruit but left behind the toxic seed intact. In view of the very large size of cycad propagules, Hall and Walter explore the idea that they are adapted for dispersal for megafauna. (Photos: J.A. Hall)

July 2014 

Recently, a renewed interest for cytokinins has allowed the characterization of these phytohormones as key regulatory molecules in plant biotic interactions. They have been proved to be instrumental in microbe- and insect-mediated plant phenotypes that can be either beneficial or detrimental for the host-plant. In parallel, insect endosymbiotic bacteria have emerged as key players in plantinsect interactions mediating directly or indirectly fundamental aspects of insect nutrition such as insect feeding efficiency or their ability to manipulate the plant physiology to overcome food nutritional imbalances. The phytophagous leaf-mining moth Phyllonorycter blancardella (Lepidoptera) relies on bacterial endosymbionts to manipulate the physiology of its host-plant resulting in a ‘greenisland’ (insect feeding area). This phenotype is characterized by a photosynthetically active green patch while the remaining leaf tissues undergo leaf senescence. Through cytokinin production by their endosymbiotic partners, insects create an enhanced nutritional microenvironment in an otherwise degenerating context and maintain a nutritional homeostasis even under distinct leaf environments. See paper by Giron and Glevarec, this issue. (Photo: Mélanie Body/ David Giron)

June 2014 

Pictured is a fully blood-fed male, common bedbug, Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) superimposed on a scanning electronic micrograph of the terminal flagellum of a bedbug antenna. Like other haematophagous insects, bedbugs use olfactory sensilla located on the flagella to detect semiochemicals. Liu et al. have shown that different types of sensilla show highly distinctive response profiles and are more sensitive to terpene-derived chemicals than to non-terpene-derived repellents. (Photo: Feng Liu)

May 2014 

A portion of an overwintering aggregation comprised of several thousand convergent ladybird beetles, Hippodamia convergens, in the San Jacinto Mountains near Idyllwild, California (elev. 1,650 m) on September 15, 2009. In the late summer and early autumn, a facultative migration carries H. convergens from lowland foraging grounds to montane habitat where migrants pass the winter season in a non-feeding developmental stage. These diapausing beetles form quiescent aggregations in the same protected hibernacula frequented by previous generations of conspecific migrants. Wheeler and Cardé show that diapausing H. convergens orient to a combination of a pyrazine (2-isobutyl-3-methoxypyrazine) and an alkane (n-tricosane) pheromone when selecting hibernacula and forming aggregations. n-Tricosane, and at least 20 other hydrocarbons, cover the cuticle of the beetle and are deposited on their walking surfaces, thus potentially marking microsites as hibernacula for subsequently arriving conspecifics. Depending on the environmental conditions and physiological state of the receiver, n-tricosane also can induce a repellent effect, providing supporting evidence of its supplementary function as an oviposition deterrent. Additionally, 2-isobutyl-3-methoxypyrazine has a supplementary function as a warning odor in the aposematic display of the beetle, of which aggregations themselves are a part. (Photo: Christopher Wheeler).

April 2014 

Nest with begging chicks of the carrion crow (Corvus corone corone) alongside a chick of the great spotted cuckoo (Clamator glandarius). When they are harassed, the cuckoo chicks excrete a strong smelly substance. In this issue, Röder et al. confirm that the volatiles emitted from this substance excretion are highly repellent to predators. (Photo credit: Vittorio Baglione).

March 2014 

Journal of Chemical Ecology
The eastern red bat (Lasiurus borealis) is one of the most common and widespread bats in North America. It is referred to as a “tree bat” due to its solitary roosting behavior in foliage of trees or leaf litter. The fur of male eastern red bats has higher red chroma reflectance than females, causing an unusual sexual dichromatism in a vespertilionid species. Eastern red bats are also known to migrate long distances, with several hundred bats migrating as colonies between August and September. Mammalian surface lipids are comprised from sebaceous gland secretions and epidermal cells. Surface lipids may play important ecological roles in maintaining host microbiota in foliage roosting bats or reducing surface tension during migration. For the first time we have analyzed the glycerophospholipids, an input to surface lipid largely ignored, of eastern red bat fur (See paper by Pannkuk et al. this issue). (Photo credit: Liam P. McGuire)

February 2014 

Artemisia annua (left) produces the antimalarial drug artemisinin (structure) in glandular trichomes (upper right) that are located on its epidermis of its leaves (lower right), flowers and stems. In this issue, Jessing and coauthors review the literature regarding the ecological role of artemisinin. (Photograph of leaf: J’Lynn Howell; scanning electron micrograph of leaf surface: Lynn Libous-Bailey; light micrograph of trichome reproduced with permission from Ferreira JFS, Janick J. (1995) Floral Morphology of Artemisia annua with special reference to trichomes. Int. J. Plant Sci. 156: 807-815).

January 2014 

Journal of Chemical Ecology
A bark beetle attempting to establish a gallery. Its likelihood of success is largely mediated by terpenes, which interact with a broad range of lower- and higher-scale inputs. See review by Raffa. (Photo credit Erinn Powell).

November/December 2013 

November/December 2013
Chelostoma rapunculi female bee gathering pollen on a flower of Campanula trachelium. This oligolectic bee species collects pollen exclusively on flowers of Campanula, but the exact mechanism involved in host-plant recognition has been so far unknown. In this issue, Milet-Pinheiro and coauthors show that C. rapunculi bees rely on highly specific volatiles, i.e., spiroacetals, to recognize their host plants. Spiroacetals are emitted by flowers of Campanula spp., but are rarely encountered as floral scents constituents in other species. This gives Campanula species a singular identity that allows unambiguous recognition by this pollen-specialist bee. (Photo: Paulo Milet-Pinheiro).

October 2013 

October 2013
An adult female of the wolf spider Tigrosa helluo consuming a smaller syntopic wolf spider, Pardosa milvina. Pardosa milvina uses chemical cues from the larger predator to evaluate predation risk and grade antipredator responses proportional to the level of risk. Pardosa milvina can determine how recently T. helluo was in the area, its hunger level, diet, and the size of the spider using predator chemical cues alone. In this issue, herbicides have been shown to influence the predator-prey interactions between these species and their foraging behavior on crickets. See paper by Rittman et al. this issue. (Photo: Matt Persons)

September 2013 

September 2013
Visualization of the dispersion of an odor plume in a Californian almond orchard. The image depicts how a pheromone plume would disperse from a "calling" moth perched within the orchard canopy. The plume eddies and swirls create strands of higher odor concentration, while all the time moving gradually upward. The "smoke" plume shown here was created by loading titanium tetrachloride onto a 1-cm-long cotton wick (lower left), which was mounted on a horizontal 2-cm diameter pipe. This apparatus was placed in the interior canopy of an almond tree in an orchard near Shafter, CA. The image was taken on August 4, 2009 at 22:30. (Photo: R. Cardé)

August 2013 

August 2013
Carcass decomposition is responsible for nutrient recycling of animal organic matter. Rapid changes in resources during such a process support a large and dynamic arthropod community. Among the decomposing associated arthropod community, there are beetles belonging to the family Silphidae. These species are known as carrion beetles for being commonly encountered in vertebrate carcasses. Species of the genus Oxelytrum seem strictly necrophagous during larval stages, and are already being used in forensic studies to estimate post mortem interval. The picture shows carrion beetles of the species O. discicolle feeding on a rat carcass. Male beetles are attracted by volatiles from the food source and then release the pheronomal compounds, (Z)-1,8-heptadecadiene (major compound, above structure) and 1-heptadecene (minor compound, below structure). Females of species are attracted by the combination of the food volatiles plus the pheromones released by males. See article by Fockink et al. (Photo: Kleber M. Mise)

July 2013 

July 2013
The surrounding waters of Galeta Point (background image), located on the Caribbean side of Panama, are home to a unique and diverse collection of marine organisms including many octacorals. It has been proposed that microbiota that inhabit corals play a critical role in the defense of their host against pathogens by secretion of specialized metabolites. A Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain with strong antifungal properties was found to be associated with the coral Muriceopsis bayeriana collected at Galeta Point. MALDI-imaging mass spectrometry was used to study the microbial interaction of this Bacillus (bottom colony on left and right images) with fungi such as Aspergillus fumigatus (top colony on left and right images) at the molecular level. This technique was applied directly to the microbes grown on agar with minimal sample manipulation. The distribution of the antifungal metabolites secreted by the Bacillus (example in green; right image), and fungal metabolites secreted by A. fumigatus (example in pink; right image) were visualized using false colors and transposed on the image of this interkingdom interaction. In conjunction with MS/MS network analysis, the antifungal factors were identified as iturin molecules (general structure shown on right).

June 2013 

Journal of Chemical Ecology 06. 2013
Secondary metabolites produced by mangroves, seagrasses, and salt marsh angiosperms function as chemical defenses against herbivores, pathogens, and fouling organisms, act as directional cues for settling larvae, and can influence ecosystem processes at multiple spatial scales. Thus, marine angiosperms provide a tractable system to explore new avenues in chemical ecology research.
(Top panel): The foundation salt marsh grass Spartina alterniflora produces multiple phenolic compounds including orientin (pictured) to deter grazing snails, as well as fatty acid derivatives that inhibit fungi commonly farmed by snails on plant tissues.
(Middle panel): Sulfated compounds such as luteolin 7-O-β-Dglucopyranosyl-2” sulfate (pictured) from Thalassia testudinum defend seagrasses against microbial pathogens and fouling organisms.
(Bottom panel): Mangroves provide a treasure trove for new natural products like the macrocyclic polydisulfide gymnorrhizol (pictured) isolated from Bruguiera gymnorrhiza. However, ecological function(s) are known for very few of these natural products.
(All photos courtesy of R. Drew Sieg).

May 2013 

Field collection of human skin volatiles on young children volunteers affected by malaria, Burkina Faso. Odors emitted by feet have been proved to strongly influence the behavior of several blood-sucking mosquitoes, such as for the main human malaria vectors in Africa, Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles arabiensis. The picture shows the test of a new method, “contact SPME”, for the sampling of skin volatiles under field conditions: SPME fibers are lightly stroked over the skin of the foot for a few minutes, instead of being exposed a longer time in close proximity to the skin, as in classical “headspace” SPME.

April 2013 

The cover image displays a vertical confocal section of the olfactory epithelium of the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), immunolabeled with antibodies against glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP, red) and acetylated α-tubulin (green), and counterstained with DAPI (blue) to show the cell nuclei. GFAP marked an olfactory crypt cell soma and its axon, while the olfactory cilia of this cell and other, presumed ciliated olfactory receptor neurons are acetylated α-tubulin-positive. (Photo courtesy of Oliver Schmachtenberg).

March 2013 

The oriental moth, Monema flavescens Walker (Lepidoptera: Limacodidae) (upper left) is well-known for its cocoon, which looks like a small bird egg with a hard shell (upper right). The shell, which is composed of proteins, calcium oxalate and uric acid, can withstand up to 6-7 kg weight. The adult appears after skillful cutting around the top of the cocoon (lower left). This univoltine defoliator of many kinds of trees, such as Chinese plum and persimmon, inhabits Japan, China, and Korea. Since the larvae (lower right) have spines containing a peptide poison that causes serious irritation and inflammation in humans, fruit growers need assistance to deal with the larvae. (Photo: H. Naka. See paper by Shibasaki et al. this issue).

February 2013 

Upper left: Banana plants intercropped with chive, a method used to control Panama disease (Fusarium wilt) in South China. Volatiles from growing chive roots inhibit spore germination of the fungus. See article by Zhang et al. (Photo courtesy of Rensen Zeng)
Upper right: Tomato plants with rye mulch on the soil surface, showing good suppressive ability, mainly due to phytotoxic benzoxazinones. Untreated plots on left side of photo show weeds overgrowing. See article by Schulz et al. (Photo courtesy of Margot Schulz).
Lower Left: Pinus halepensis invading abandoned agricultural land. During colonization, open habitats of diverse plant communities are rapidly replaced by Aleppo pine forest (developed in background). Both allelochemicals and microorganisms play key roles. See article by Fernandez et al. (Photo courtesy of Catherine Fernandez).
Lower right: Cogongrass-invaded pine savannah in Florida. The problematic invasive cogongrass, spreads rapidly from open grassland/unimproved pastures into pine ecosystems. Allelochemicals differ both qualitatively and quantitatively from native grasses. See article by Hagan et al. (Picture courtesy of Shibu Jose).

January 2013 

The photo shows a female Australian redback spider, Latrodectus hasselti (Theridiidae), in her web. In the lower right a male is seen courting, while another one did not survive his attempts (upper left). The females releases a pheromone, N-3-methylbutyryl-O-(S)-2-methylbutyryl- L-serine, present on the silk, that elicits courtship of the males. This unique pheromone is not known from other natural sources and one of the very few amino acid derived pheromones of arthropods. Latrodectus hasselti is a widow spider potentially harmful to humans because of its toxins. Although the larger females are usually restricted to their web, bites occur in Australia and may require treatment with antiserum.

December 2012 

December 10886_038_012
Oplostomus haroldi (Witte) (Coleoptera:Scarabaeidae), an Afro-tropical scarab pest of honey bee colonies with a few mating pairs of the beetle on a honey bee comb. Despite the complexity of the volatile chemistry of the hive environment, opposite sexes of the beetle are able to find each other for mating, suggesting the involvement of contact chemical communication in mate recognition in this social nest invader. (Photo: A. T. Fombong/B. Torto).

November 2012 

Nov 10886_038_011
Top left: Tetrodotoxin-resistant larval caddisflies (Limnephilus flavastellus) prey upon newt eggs and sequester the toxin. Top right: Two tetrodotoxin laden eggs deposited by a female rough-skinned newt (Taricha granulosa). Photos: Brian Gall. Bottom left: Tetrodotoxin-containing Pleurobranchaea maculata on sub-tidal sand-flat, Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo: D Taylor, Cawthron. Bottom right: 3D model of the tetrodotoxin molecule).

October 2012 

Oct 10886_038_010
Chemical investigation of natural surfaces, especially in aquatic systems, has been technologically limited until recently. With advancements in mass spectrometry under ambient conditions this has become not only possible but readily available. Here, we present a chemical image of a red alga, Phacelocarpus neurymenioides, using desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (DESI-MS). The power of such chemical images lies in not only the ability to map the spatial distribution of specific chemicals on the surface, but also in the ability to identify and localize specific compounds using their mass spectral information. (Photo: R. Mitchell Parry).

September 2012 

Sept 10886_038_009
Scarab beetle pollinators of the genus Cyclocephala (Scarabaeidae) are attracted to 4-methyl-5vinylthiazole, a floral scent compound isolated in Neotropical Araceae, (Monocotyledonae) and Annonaceae (Dicotyledonae). Above, Caladium bicolor (Araceae). Below, Annona dioica (Annonaceae). (Photo: Artur Campos, D. Maia, and Gerhard Gottsberger).

August 2012 

The larva of codling moth Cydia pomonella (Tortricidae, Lepidoptera) is known as the worm in the apple, mining the fruit for food. This cross-section of an apple shows two galleries, one that is deserted (left) and one with a last-instar larva (right). Larvae do not range the entire apple, but build voluminous galleries that contain Metschnikowia yeasts. Yeast is essential for larval nutrition and strongly reduces the incidence of fungal infestations. Larval feeding, on the other hand, enables yeast proliferation on unripe fruit. Chemical, physiological, and behavioral analysis demonstrates that codling moth senses and responds to yeast aroma. It is therefore important to study the impact of microorganisms on host plant ecology and their contribution to the signals that mediate host plant finding and recognition. (Photo: Peter Witzgall).

July 2012 

Like many other mammalian species, horses use olfactory communication to coordinate their reproductive activities. Stallions spent significantly more time sniffing synthetic p-cresol and showed the highest extent of erection to a sample comprised of the diestrous urine of a mare containing synthetic p-cresol at a level that is equivalent to half the amount of p-cresol found in the estrous urine samples. Thus, p-cresol functions as the sex pheromone component in horses, providing one more linkage to the intriguing similarities between insect and mammal pheromones. In this photo, a stallion Žakas of Lithuanian Heavy Draught breed enjoys exercise in a winter stockyard at the Vilnius stud farm. (Photo courtesy of Raimondas Mozuraitis).

June 2012 

Depicted are some of the key players in the rhizosphere that determine the performance of plants, in this case a maize seedling. The chemically mediated interactions among these and other soil organisms are the topic of this special issue. When properly understood, these interactions can be exploited to protect crops and to increase yield. The corn rootworm (center) is a devastating root pest of maize in the USA and Europe that can be controlled by entomopathogenic nematodes (right) if the maize roots the right chemical attractants (photographs: Matthias Held, Christelle Robert, and Ivan Hiltpold, University of Neuchâtel). Plant performance can be further enhanced with growth promoting bacteria such as Pseudomonas fluorescens (left), which may induce plant resistance to pests, and in some cases kill insects directly (Photo: Christoph Keel, University of Lausanne).

May 2012 

Healthy Delisea pulchra in its natural environment (Botany Bay, Sydney). Environmental stress interferes with the production of halogenated furanones, causing downstream processes that ultimately result in disease of the algal holobiont (Photo: Alexandra Campbell).

April 2012 

The picture shows a female of the parasitoid wasp Leptopilina heterotoma on the surface of an apple, a common breeding substrate of its host Drosophilia melanogaster. The upper left corner shows the chemical structure of (-)-iridomyrmecin, a novel natural compound that is used as a defensive compound by the wasps. It is synthesized in the wasp’s head and released upon encounter of ants. Ants are, besides spiders, the top predators of small parasitoid wasps and strongly avoid (-)-iridomyrmecin. The repellant effect is much weaker for the other enantiomer, (+)-iridomyrmecin, or other stereoisomers like isoiridomyrmecin. (Photo courtesy of Johannes Stökl).

March 2012 

Smallholder farmers growing their own open pollinated maize (corn) variety Nyamula with “smart” signaling properties. (Photo courtesy of Professor Zeyaur Khan, ICIPE, Kenya).

February 2012 

Photograph of two adult male common carp pursuing an ovulated female attempting to spawn in aquatic vegetation in a Minnesota lake. Males recognize females by a prostaglandin based pheromone complex which they release when ovulated. Females (and males) can be stimulated to release this pheromone for extended periods of time by inserting osmotic pumps that contain an F-prostaglandin into their body cavities. This technique may be useful to attract and control this and other species of invasive fish. (Photo: David Florenzano).



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    Journal of Chemical Ecology is devoted to promoting an ecological understanding of the origin, function, and significance of natural chemicals that mediate interactions within and between organisms. Such relationships, often adaptively important, comprise the oldest of communication systems in terrestrial and aquatic environments. With recent advances in methodology for elucidating structures of the chemical compounds involved, a strong interdisciplinary association has developed between chemists and biologists which should accelerate understanding of these interactions in nature.

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