Planta Med
DOI: 10.1055/a-1229-9435
Reviews

Chemical Ecology in Insect-microbe Interactions in the Neotropics

Departamento de Ciências Farmacêuticas, Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
,
Departamento de Ciências Farmacêuticas, Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
,
Departamento de Ciências Farmacêuticas, Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
› Author Affiliations
Supported by: Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior Finance Code 001
Supported by: Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo 2013/07600-3
Supported by: Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo 2013/50954-0
Supported by: Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo 2015/26349-5
Supported by: Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo 2016/15576-3
Supported by: Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico 303792/2018-2

Abstract

Small molecules frequently mediate symbiotic interactions between microorganisms and their hosts. Brazil harbors the highest diversity of insects in the world; however, just recently, efforts have been directed to deciphering the chemical signals involved in the symbioses of microorganisms and social insects. The current scenario of natural products research guided by chemical ecology is discussed in this review. Two groups of social insects have been prioritized in the studies, fungus-farming ants and stingless bees, leading to the identification of natural products involved in defensive and nutritional symbioses. Some of the compounds also present potential pharmaceutical applications as antimicrobials, and this is likely related to their ecological roles. Microbial symbioses in termites and wasps are suggested promising sources of biologically active small molecules. Aspects related to public policies for insect biodiversity preservation are also highlighted.



Publication History

Received: 29 May 2020

Accepted after revision: 29 July 2020

Publication Date:
27 August 2020 (online)

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