De novo biosynthesis of the aggregation pheromone components ipsenol and ipsdienol by the pine bark beetles Ips paraconfusus Lanier and Ips pini (Say) (Coleoptera: Scolytidae)

S J Seybold, D R Quilici, J A Tillman, D Vanderwel, D L Wood, G J Blomquist
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1995 August 29, 92 (18): 8393-7
The California five-spined ips, Ips paraconfusus Lanier, produces the myrcene-derived acyclic monoterpene alcohols ipsenol (2-methyl-6-methylene-7-octen-4-ol) and ipsdienol (2-methyl-6-methylene-2,7-octadien-4-ol) as components of its aggregation pheromone. The pine engraver beetle, Ips pini (Say), produces only ipsdienol. Previous studies have shown that myrcene, a monoterpene in the pines colonized by these beetles, is a direct precursor to these pheromone components. In vivo radiolabeling studies reported here showed that male I. paraconfusus incorporated [1-14C]acetate into ipsenol, ipsdienol, and amitinol (trans-2-methyl-6-methylene-3,7-octadien-2-ol), while male I. pini incorporated [1-14C]acetate into ipsdienol and amitinol. Females of these species produced neither labeled nor unlabeled pheromone components. The purified radiolabeled monoterpene alcohols from-males were identified by comparison of their HPLC and GC retention times with those of unlabeled standards. HPLC-purified fractions containing the individual radiolabeled components were analyzed by GC-MS and were shown to include only the pure alcohols. To further confirm that ipsdienol and ipsenol were radiolabeled, diastereomeric ester derivatives of the isolated alcohols were synthesized and analyzed by HPLC and GC-MS. After derivatization of the radiolabeled alcohols, the HPLC analysis demonstrated expected shifts in retention times with conservation of naturally occurring stereochemistry. The results provide direct evidence for de novo biosynthesis of ipsenol, ipsdienol, and amitinol by bark beetles.

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