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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Worker Defensive Behavior Associated with Toxins in the Neotropical Termite Neocapritermes braziliensis (Blattaria, Isoptera, Termitidae, Termitinae)

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Costa-Leonardo, Ana Maria [1, 2] ; da Silva, Iago Bueno [1] ; Janei, Vanelize [1] ; Esteves, Franciele Grego [2] ; Aparecido dos Santos-Pinto, Jose Roberto [2] ; Palma, Mario Sergio [2]
Total Authors: 6
[1] Univ Estadual Paulista, UNESP, Inst Biociencias, Lab Cupins, Dept Biol, Campus Rio Claro, Ave 24A, 1515 Bela Vista, BR-13506900 Rio Claro, SP - Brazil
[2] Univ Estadual Paulista, UNESP, Inst Biociencias, CEIS, Campus Rio Claro, Ave 24A, 1515 Bela Vista, BR-13506900 Rio Claro, SP - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 2
Document type: Journal article
Source: Journal of Chemical Ecology; v. 45, n. 9, p. 755-767, SEP 2019.
Web of Science Citations: 1

Termite societies are abundant in the tropics, and are therefore exposed to multiple enemies and predators, especially during foraging activity. Soldiers constitute a specialized defensive caste, although workers also participate in this process, and even display suicidal behavior, which is the case with the species Neocapritermes braziliensis. Here we describe the morphology, mechanisms of action, and proteomics of the salivary weapon in workers of this species, which due to the autothysis of the salivary glands causes their body rupture, in turn releasing a defensive secretion, observed during aggressiveness bioassays. Salivary glands are paired, composed of two translucent reservoirs, ducts and a set of multicellular acini. Histological and ultrastructural techniques showed that acini are composed of two types of central cells, and small parietal cells located in the acinar periphery. Type I central cells were abundant and filled with a large amount of secretion, while type II central cells were scarce and presented smaller secretion. Parietal cells were often paired and devoid of secretion. The gel-free proteomic approach (shotgun) followed by mass spectrometry revealed 235 proteins in the defensive secretion, which were classified into functional groups: (i) toxins and defensins, (ii) folding/conformation and post-translational modifications, (iii) salivary gland detoxification, (iv) housekeeping proteins and (v) uncharacterized and hypothetical proteins. We highlight the occurrence of neurotoxins previously identified in arachnid venoms, which are novelties for termite biology, and contribute to the knowledge regarding the defense strategies developed by termite species from the Neotropical region. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 17/10373-0 - Profiling the peptidomic and structural-functional characterization of lipid vesicles present in the Nephila clavipes web spider
Grantee:Franciele Grego Esteves
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
FAPESP's process: 13/26451-9 - Bioprospecting and Structural Analysis of the Silk Proteins of Arthropods by a Proteomics Approach Using nanoLC-ESI-CID/ETD System
Grantee:José Roberto Aparecido dos Santos-Pinto
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
FAPESP's process: 16/16212-5 - Natural proteopeptides from the Brazilian fauna, flora and microbiota as potential models for the rational development of new drugs of therapeutic use: isolation, structure elucidation, chemical synthesis and functional activity assays
Grantee:Mario Sergio Palma
Support type: BIOTA-FAPESP Program - Thematic Grants