News Column

Studies from University of Ulm in the Area of Entomology Described

June 24, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Life Science Weekly -- Current study results on Life Science Research have been published. According to news originating from Ulm, Germany, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, "Burying beetles reproduce on small vertebrate carcasses by exhibiting elaborate biparental brood care. Partner recognition in breeding Nicrophorus species (Coleoptera: Silphidae) relies substantially on information encoded in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from the University of Ulm, "Until recently, it was unknown whether breeding burying beetles also produce volatile low molecular weight substances and, if so, which functions can be attributed to such volatiles. The present study reports a survey of the volatiles released by males and females of Nicrophorus vespilloidesHerbst in nonbreeding status and at different stages of breeding. Headspace analyses are performed by using solid phase micro-extraction fibres and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The volatiles released by nonbreeding males and females include phenolic compounds, alcohols, aldehydes and ketones and are quite similar in both sexes. With the onset of breeding, the volatile profiles of males and females become distinct, with a number of female-specific compounds occurring. An analysis of the anal secretions reveals the presence of some of the compounds previously detected in the headspace analysis. The specific chemical properties suggest that some of the volatiles may function against competitors and parasites, such as bacteria, fungi, nematodes and arthropods at the carcass breeding resource. By contrast, the emission of 4-methyl branched esters by the females closely parallels the emission of the terpenoid methyl geranate and they may function together as a complex signal by the females."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "Signalling traits associated with biparental care and specific constraints associated with the ephemeral nature of the breeding resource may explain the occurrence of both groups of compounds in the volatile profiles."

For more information on this research see: Dynamic changes in volatile emissions of breeding burying beetles. Physiological Entomology, 2014;39(2):153-164. Physiological Entomology can be contacted at: Wiley-Blackwell, 111 River St, Hoboken 07030-5774, NJ, USA. (Wiley-Blackwell -; Physiological Entomology -

The news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained from W. Haberer, Univ Ulm, Fac Biol, Inst Expt Ecol, D-89069 Ulm, Germany. Additional authors for this research include S. Steiger and J.K. Muller (see also Life Science Research).

Keywords for this news article include: Ulm, Europe, Germany, Life Science Research

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Source: Life Science Weekly

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