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Identification of a queen and king recognition pheromone in the subterranean termite Reticulitermes flavipes

Overview of attention for article published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, March 2018
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (95th percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (76th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
7 news outlets
blogs
1 blog
twitter
22 tweeters
facebook
1 Facebook page

Citations

dimensions_citation
37 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
72 Mendeley
Title
Identification of a queen and king recognition pheromone in the subterranean termite Reticulitermes flavipes
Published in
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, March 2018
DOI 10.1073/pnas.1721419115
Pubmed ID
Authors

Colin F. Funaro, Katalin Böröczky, Edward L. Vargo, Coby Schal

Abstract

Chemical communication is fundamental to success in social insect colonies. Species-, colony-, and caste-specific blends of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) and other chemicals have been well documented as pheromones, mediating important behavioral and physiological aspects of social insects. More specifically, royal pheromones used by queens (and kings in termites) enable workers to recognize and care for these vital individuals and maintain the reproductive division of labor. In termites, however, no royal-recognition pheromones have been identified to date. In the current study, solvent extracts of the subterranean termiteReticulitermes flavipeswere analyzed to assess differences in cuticular compounds among castes. We identified a royal-specific hydrocarbon-heneicosane-and several previously unreported and highly royal enriched long-chain alkanes. When applied to glass dummies, heneicosane elicited worker behavioral responses identical to those elicited by live termite queens, including increased vibratory shaking and antennation. Further, the behavioral effects of heneicosane were amplified when presented with nestmate termite workers' cuticular extracts, underscoring the importance of chemical context in termite royal recognition. Thus, heneicosane is a royal-recognition pheromone that is active in both queens and kings ofR. flavipesThe use of heneicosane as a queen and king recognition pheromone by termites suggests that CHCs evolved as royal pheromones ∼150 million years ago, ∼50 million years before their first use as queen-recognition pheromones in social Hymenoptera. We therefore infer that termites and social Hymenoptera convergently evolved the use of these ubiquitous compounds in royal recognition.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 22 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 72 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 72 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 16 22%
Researcher 14 19%
Student > Bachelor 8 11%
Student > Master 7 10%
Student > Doctoral Student 5 7%
Other 10 14%
Unknown 12 17%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 40 56%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 8 11%
Environmental Science 3 4%
Arts and Humanities 1 1%
Chemical Engineering 1 1%
Other 5 7%
Unknown 14 19%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 69. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 04 April 2020.
All research outputs
#371,159
of 17,366,233 outputs
Outputs from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#7,576
of 89,306 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#11,882
of 284,591 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#246
of 1,035 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 17,366,233 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 97th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 89,306 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 30.7. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 91% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 284,591 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 95% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1,035 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 76% of its contemporaries.