In one experiment, scientists injected fire ant workers with their specific PBAN to see if this process influenced the biosynthesis of the trail pheromone.
Having determined the sequence of the genes, Vander Meer and Choi used the relatively new technique of RNA interference (RNAi) to provide another test of the role PBAN plays in fire ant trail pheromone production.
These results confirmed that PBAN is involved in trail pheromone biosynthesis in the fire ant; therefore this function is not restricted to moths, he says.
While the above research was not directed at controlling fire ants, prevention of trail pheromone production could limit the ant's survival in terms of collecting resources, migration, and other activities, Vander Meer says.
Even though both the natural trail pheromone (dodecatrienol) and PE are primary alcohols, PE is not particularly structurally similar to dodecatrienol.
Behavioral evidence for multicomponent trail pheromone in the termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).
The trail pheromone of the termite, Trinervitermes trinervoides.