Title page for ETD etd-11082011-160845

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Veillon, Lucas James
Author's Email Address lucasveillon@gmail.com
URN etd-11082011-160845
Title The Biological Activity of Rare Carbohydrates and Cyclitols in Coptotermes Formosanus
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Biochemistry (Biological Sciences)
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Laine, Roger A. Committee Chair
Grove, Anne Committee Member
Henderson, Gregg Committee Member
Waldrop, Grover L. Committee Member
La Peyre, Jerome F. Dean's Representative
  • sugars
  • carbohydrates
  • cyclitols
  • termiticides
  • termite
  • pesticides
Date of Defense 2011-10-27
Availability unrestricted
In the interest of developing environmentally friendly interventions to infestations by Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, a number of carbohydrates were tested for effects on termites and symbionts. Among these, the D-galactose analog, 2-deoxy-D-galactose, myo-inositol and its fully phosphorylated derivative, phytate, showed promise as potential control chemicals. Feeding bioassays with 20 termite workers, where compounds were applied (concentrations ranged from 160.2-1281.7 µg/mm3) to 5 cm filter paper in water, indicated all three compounds significantly impact termite mortality in a dose dependent fashion over a 2 wk period. Interestingly, when myo-inositol was administered to termites in agar (40 mg/mL), in the absence of a paper food source, its toxic effect was abolished, while 2-deoxy-D-galactose toxicity remained, suggesting myo-inositol’s mechanism of toxicity may involve disruption of cellulose digestion and 2-deoxy-D-galactose may poison the termite directly. Myo-inositol feeding bioassays were also conducted with red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, who appeared immune to the toxic effect. Radiotracer feeding studies involving myo-inositol-[2-3H] and worker termites indicated myo-inositol is not chemically changed following its ingestion. When the hindgut protozoa of termites feeding on myo-inositol and 2-deoxy-D-galactose were quantified decreased populations were observed. Myo-inositol, phytate and 2-deoxy-D-galactose all take approximately one week to induce mortality, indicating that they may have promise as a delayed action toxins, which, if added to baits, could allow time after bait discovery for an entire colony to be affected.
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