HomePh.D. Study at IOCBArchive - 2009Analytical Chemistry

Analytical Chemistry

Tutor Doc. RNDr. Irena Valterová, CSc.
Team Irena Valterová
Topic Chromatographic methods in biosynthetic studies of insect pheromones
Faculty PřF UK

Communication in social insects is to high extent based on chemical signals produced by individuals of each cast. In bumblebees, the premating behaviour and the chemical nature of the signals involved - the males' marking pheromones - have been studied extensively. Marking pheromone is produced by the cephalic part of the male’s labial gland. Each bumblebee species produces a specific blend of compounds that attracts conspecific females for mating. The gland secretion contains mostly two types of compounds. First are straight chain saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons, alcohols, aldehydes, and esters. The second class represent terpenoids.

The work will focus on questions connected to the biosynthesis of the male marking pheromones. To understand the biochemistry of their formation, deuterium-labelled precursors of pheromones will be applied and metabolites of the applied compounds will be analyzed in the labial gland and in the body lipids where we expect them to be incorporated, too. Main techniques used for this study will be GC-MS, 2D-GC-MS, isolation microtechniques, and small-scale derivatizations. A small part of this work will also include molecular biology.