A Method to Produce Large Amounts of the Fire Ant Queen Venom Protein Sol I 2Q and It's Characterization by Ligand Binding Assays




Tang, Kevin Manan

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Solenopsis invicta, also known as the red imported fire ant, communicates through pheromone. These pheromones are produced in various glands, including their venom glands. There is evidence that fire ant queens produce pheromones in their venom gland that are used to communicate the presence of an active egg laying queen in the nest and helps regulate how many egg laying queens are in the nest. A protein discovered in the queen venom sac, Sol i 2q, is similar to known pheromone-binding proteins and could transport non-volatile queen pheromones to the colony. However, not much else is known in regards to the pheromone binding proteins of egg laying fire ant queens. The goal of this research was to characterize the binding properties of Sol i 2q, using several fluorescent probes at different pH. Another experiment measuring the protein binding to fire ant queen alkaloids was also done. In addition, this research developed an optimized method to produce the Sol i 2q pheromone binding protein in large quantities.


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Red imported fire ants, Pheromones, Venom



Integrative Biology