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Type: Journal article
Title: Convergent evolution of semiochemicals across Kingdoms: bark beetles and their fungal symbionts
Author: Zhao, T.
Ganji, S.
Schiebe, C.
Bohman, B.
Weinstein, P.
Krokene, P.
Borg-Karlson, A.K.
Unelius, C.R.
Citation: The ISME Journal: multidisciplinary journal of microbial ecology, 2019; 13(6):1535-1545
Publisher: Springer Nature
Issue Date: 2019
ISSN: 1751-7362
Statement of
Tao Zhao, Suresh Ganji, Christian Schiebe, Björn Bohman, Philip Weinstein, Paal Krokene, Anna-Karin Borg-Karlson, C. Rikard Unelius
Abstract: Convergent evolution of semiochemical use in organisms from different Kingdoms is a rarely described phenomenon. Tree-killing bark beetles vector numerous symbiotic blue-stain fungi that help the beetles colonize healthy trees. Here we show for the first time that some of these fungi are able to biosynthesize bicyclic ketals that are pheromones and other semiochemicals of bark beetles. Volatile emissions of five common bark beetle symbionts were investigated by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. When grown on fresh Norway spruce bark the fungi emitted three well-known bark beetle aggregation pheromones and semiochemicals (exo-brevicomin, endo-brevicomin and trans-conophthorin) and two structurally related semiochemical candidates (exo-1,3-dimethyl-2,9-dioxabicyclo[3.3.1]nonane and endo-1,3-dimethyl-2,9-dioxabicyclo[3.3.1]nonane) that elicited electroantennogram responses in the spruce bark beetle Ips typographus. When grown on malt agar with 13C D-Glucose, the fungus Grosmannia europhioides incorporated 13C into exo-brevicomin and trans-conophthorin. The enantiomeric compositions of the fungus-produced ketals closely matched those previously reported from bark beetles. The production of structurally complex bark beetle pheromones by symbiotic fungi indicates cross-kingdom convergent evolution of signal use in this system. This signaling is susceptible to disruption, providing potential new targets for pest control in conifer forests and plantations.
Keywords: Animals
Plant Bark
Biological Evolution
Bridged Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic
Rights: © The Author(s) 2019. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
DOI: 10.1038/s41396-019-0370-7
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 4
Ecology, Evolution and Landscape Science publications

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