Disulfooxy fatty acids from the American bird grasshopper Schistocerca americana, elicitors of plant volatiles

Hans T. Alborn, Trond V. Hansen, Tappey H. Jones, Derrick C. Bennett, James H. Tumlinson, Eric A. Schmelz, Peter E.A. Teal

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A previously unidentified class of compounds has been isolated from the regurgitant of the grasshopper species Schistocerca americana. These compounds (named here "caeliferins") are composed of saturated and monounsaturated sulfated α-hydroxy fatty acids in which the ω-carbon is functionalized with either a sulfated hydroxyl or a carboxyl conjugated to glycine via an amide bond. The regurgitant contains a series of these compounds with fatty acid chains of 15-20 carbons and in varying proportions. Of these, the 16-carbon analogs are predominant and are also most active in inducing release of volatile organic compounds when applied to damaged leaves of corn seedlings. Caeliferins are nonlepidopteran elicitors identified in insect herbivores. This adds a category of insect herbivore-produced elicitors of plant responses, providing further evidence of the ability of plants to detect and respond to a broad range of insect herbivore-produced compounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12976-12981
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - Aug 7 2007


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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