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Journal of insect physiology

Mass spectral determination of phenylacetonitrile (PAN) levels in body tissues of adult desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria.


PMID 22609420

Abstract

Wings and legs of the gregarious desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria have been shown to be release sites of phenylacetonitrile (PAN), the major adult male-produced pheromone. However, there is limited information on the distribution of PAN within the locust. Here we show, using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), that PAN occurs in nearly all body parts of both adult males and females of the locust in varying amounts. PAN was 20-fold more concentrated in males than in females. In females, PAN was concentrated more in the tarsal segments. The greatest amounts of PAN were in 2- and 3-week old female and male body parts, respectively. No trace of PAN was found in similar ages and sexes of the solitarious phase desert locust. Our results show that PAN is distributed in the body matrix of both sexes of gregarious phase locusts and suggest that no specific tissue is responsible for biosynthesis of the pheromone.

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