Chemical Ecology: Studies from East Africa

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Science  17 Mar 1978:
Vol. 199, Issue 4334, pp. 1167-1173
DOI: 10.1126/science.199.4334.1167


The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), in Nairobi, provides a laboratory at which a multinational group of scientists pursues interdisciplinary research. In collaboration with their colleagues in biology, ICIPE chemists have characterized the sex pheromones of the tick which serves as a vector of East Coast fever and have identified a termite queen-cell-building pheromone. The structure of many anthropod defensive chemicals have been determined; most interesting of these are the trinervitenes, structurally novel diterpenoids from nasute termites. Several highly active insect antifeedants were discovered using a simple bioassay to screen selected East African plants. These antifeedants may provide leads for the development of new insect-control techniques.