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Open AccessArticle

Venom Function of a New Species of Megalomyrmex Forel, 1885 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology at The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Coordenação de Ciências da Terra e Ecologia, Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi 66077-830, PA, Brazil
Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, Indiana, IN 47907, USA
Department of Chemistry, Virginia Military Institute, Virgina, VA 24450, USA
Department of Entomology, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC 20560, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 679;
Received: 8 October 2020 / Revised: 20 October 2020 / Accepted: 23 October 2020 / Published: 29 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ant Venom)
Alkaloids are important metabolites found across a variety of organisms with diverse ecological functions. Of particular interest are alkaloids found in ants, organisms well known for dominating the ecosystems they dwell in. Within ants, alkaloids are found in venom and function as potent weapons against heterospecific species. However, research is often limited to pest species or species with parasitic lifestyles and thus fails to address the broader ecological function of ant venom alkaloids. Here we describe a new species of free-living Megalomyrmex ant: Megalomyrmex peetersi sp. n. In addition, we identify its singular venom alkaloid (trans-2-butyl-5-heptylpyrrolidine) and elucidate the antibiotic and insecticidal functions of its venom. Our results show that Megalomyrmex peetersi sp. n. venom is an effective antibiotic and insecticide. These results are comparable to venom alkaloids found in other ant species, such as Solenopsis invicta. This research provides great insight into venom alkaloid function, and it is the first study to explore these ideas in the Megalomyrmex system. View Full-Text
Keywords: venom; alkaloid; Megalomyrmex peetersi; insecticide; antibiotic venom; alkaloid; Megalomyrmex peetersi; insecticide; antibiotic
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sozanski, K.; Prado, L.P.d.; Mularo, A.J.; Sadowski, V.A.; Jones, T.H.; Adams, R.M.M. Venom Function of a New Species of Megalomyrmex Forel, 1885 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Toxins 2020, 12, 679.

AMA Style

Sozanski K, Prado LPd, Mularo AJ, Sadowski VA, Jones TH, Adams RMM. Venom Function of a New Species of Megalomyrmex Forel, 1885 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Toxins. 2020; 12(11):679.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sozanski, Kyle; Prado, Lívia P.d.; Mularo, Andrew J.; Sadowski, Victoria A.; Jones, Tappey H.; Adams, Rachelle M.M. 2020. "Venom Function of a New Species of Megalomyrmex Forel, 1885 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)" Toxins 12, no. 11: 679.

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