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Synthetic amides toxic to the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa L. and its symbiotic fungus

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• Nine synthetic amides similar to natural N-piperidine-3-(4,5-methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-(E)-propenamide and N-pyrrolidine-3-(4,5-methylenedyoxiphenyl)-2-(E)-propenamide were synthesized and identified by their spectroscopic data.

• The toxicity of these synthetic amides to the Atta sexdens rubropilosa workers and the antifungal activity against Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, the symbiotic fungus of the leaf-cutting ants, were determined.

• Workers ants that were fed daily on an artificial diet to which these compounds were added had a higher mortality rate than the controls for N-pyrrolidine-3-(3′,4′-methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-(E)-propenamide and N-benzyl-3-(3′,4′-methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-(E)-propenamide at a concentration of 100 µg/mL.

• The completely inhibition (100%) of the fungal growth was observed with N-piperidine-3-(3′,4′-methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-(E)-propenamide and N,N-diethyl-3-(3′,4′-methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-(E)-propenamide at concentrations of 50 and 100 µg/mL and N-pirrolidine-3-(3′,4′-methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-(E)-propenamide at a concentration of 100 µg/mL.

• The possibility of controlling these insects in the future using synthetic piperamides that can simultaneously target both organisms is discussed.

Keywords: Antifungal activity; Atta sexdens rubropilosa; Leucoagaricus gongylophorus; insecticidal activity; leaf-cutting ants; piperamides

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2006-01-01

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