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Leaf cutting ants control, integrated studies

Grant number: 06/58043-3
Support type:Research Projects - Thematic Grants
Duration: April 01, 2008 - August 31, 2012
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Organic Chemistry
Principal researcher:João Batista Fernandes
Grantee:João Batista Fernandes
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Pesquisadores principais:
Maria Fátima das Graças Fernandes da Silva ; Odair Correa Bueno ; Quezia Bezerra Cass
Associated scholarship(s):11/06367-8 - Transcriptomics and Speciation in Ants of the Genus Atta (Formicidae: Attini), BP.PD
10/18832-4 - Biomonitored studies of Spondia dulcis (Anacardiaceae), Annona montana and Rollinia mucosa (Annonaceae) against Atta sexdens rubropilosa, Leucoagaricus gongylophorus and Sitophilus zeamais and development of nanoencapsulation processes., BP.DR
10/18935-8 - Application of High Speed Counter Current Chromatography (HSCCC) and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) in the study of bioactive extract of Myracrodruon urundeuva., BP.IC
+ associated scholarships 10/02838-3 - Chemical and histochemical study of the metapleural and labial glands of leaf-cutter ants and the influence in the symbiotic relationships present in the fungus gardens ., BP.DR
09/17793-8 - Semiochemical and acoustical communication in leaf-cutting ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), BP.DR
09/03696-0 - Phytochemical studies of Astronium graveolens, Pilocarpus giganteus and P. ridelianus and the action of its constituints on tingling., BP.MS
09/01847-1 - Attainment of insecticide, fungicide against leaf cutting ants and their symbiotic fungi from Myracrodruon urundeuva and of coordination complex of metals with bioactive compounds for the control of this plague, BP.DD
08/10860-9 - Study of chemical interactions involved in the ecological relationship found in ants garden of Attini tribe, BP.PD
08/08204-6 - Assessment of microfungal diversity near leaf-cutting ant nests using culture independent methods, BP.PD
08/08170-4 - STUDY OF Schinus terebinthifolius, Anacardium humile AND Macairea urundeuva IN THE LEAF-CUTTING ANTS CONTROL, BP.DR
08/02064-8 - Toxicity of Rauia sp. (Rutaceae) extracts to leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), BP.MS
08/00522-9 - Waste of leaf-cutting ants: microbiota, impact in the colony, disposition and management behavior, BP.PD
08/03135-6 - HSCC application in obtaining insecticide and/or fungicide against leaf-cutting ants and their symbiotic fungi from Myroxylon peruiferum and Dimorphandra mollis, BP.IC
07/07196-7 - Biomonitored phytochemical study of Picramnia bahiensis and Thyrsodium schomburgkianum: obtaining insecticide, fungicide against leaf-cutting ants and their symbiotic fungi and micro-encapsulation of active compounds, BP.DD
07/06393-3 - Obtention of insecticide, fungitoxic against leaf-cutting ants and its simbiont fungus in Astronium juglandifolium and search for organometallic complexes of active compounds to leaf-cutting ants control, BP.MS - associated scholarships


Ants are classified as: insect class, Hymenoptera order, Formicidae family, Myrmicinae sub-family, Attini tribe. The ants of the Atta (popularly knowing as "saúvas") and Acromyrmex (popularly knowing as "quenquéns") genus are considered leaf-cutting ants. The leaf-cutting ants are know by their strong power of to pull down several vegetable crops and to cause economic lost to the agriculture. They are distributed from south of United State of America to central region of Argentine. They do not occur in trans-Andes regions of South America and in some Antilles island. Brazil is the country that has highest number of leaf-cutting ant species in the South America, followed by Argentine and Paraguay. In the Brazilian agriculture and silviculture, the species Atta and Acromyrmex have caused several economic problems and the main attacked plant are Eucalyptus and Pinus. However, practically all plants are attacked and injured by ants that cut their young leafs and twigs and they can to destroy completely the plant. In tropical systems they can consume 17% of the forest. Hence, the control of leaf-cutting ants is very important, mainly without to attack the ambient, since the actual control is done with synthetic insecticides that have action in all king of insect. Leaf-cutting ants have a symbiotic life with the fungi Leucoagaricus gongylophorus and the control of the ant nests can be done through this fungi. Leaf-cutting ants feed the fungi culture with some vegetable substrates that are constituted by complex polymers (polysaccharides) and they represent 70 to 90 % of the fungi dry weigh. Pectin represent one third of vegetable tissue of dicotyledonous and some monocotyledonous. Enzymes that make the degradation of these vegetable polysaccharides in reducer sugar were detected in these fungi, as well as in the A. colombica and A. sexdens fecal liquid. Leaf-cutting ants use the symbiotic fungi to degrade the polysaccharides, since they are not able to do pectin degradation and the inhibition of pectinase enzymes are a target to control leaf-cutting ant nests. The control of leaf-cutting ant's behavior in the nests through sound emitted by ant queen and others members is very few know, as well as by natural products attractively and repellence. The main aim of this project is making studies that can be applied to control the leaf-cutting ant's action in the agriculture and silviculture. ln order to reach this subject, studies will be done to obtain and to apply natural products, synthetic derivatives based in them and natural products-metals complex with insecticides and/or fungicides actions and/or enzyme inhibitors for leaf-cutting ants control. Control using granulated bait with natural products microencapsulated will be studied. ln order to identify the active natural products and became more quickly the studies, some assay using enzyme immobilized in chromatographic columns and electrode will be done. Studies of communication by sound, by attractively or repellence induced by natural products in the nests will be done during the development of the project. (AU)

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Scientific publications (5)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
MEIRELLES, LUCAS A.; MENDES, THAIS D.; SOLOMON, SCOTT E.; BUENO, ODAIR C.; PAGNOCCA, FERNANDO C.; RODRIGUES, ANDRE. Broad Escovopsis-inhibition activity of Pseudonocardia associated with Trachymyrmex ants. ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY REPORTS, v. 6, n. 4, SI, p. 339-345, . (06/58043-3)
FRANCESCHINI SARRIA, ANDRE LUCIO; SILVA, TAYNARA LOPES; DE OLIVEIRA, JULIANA MAGALHAES; RODRIGUES DE OLIVEIRA, MILENE APARECIDA; FERNANDES, JOAO BATISTA; DAS GRACAS FERNANDES DA SILVA, MARIA FATIMA; VIEIRA, PAULO CEZAR; VENANCIO, TIAGO; ALVES FILHO, ELENILSON DE GODOY; BATISTA, JR., JOAO M.; et al. Dimeric chalcones derivatives from Myracrodruon urundeuva act as cathepsin V inhibitors. Phytochemistry, v. 154, p. 31-38, . (06/58043-3, 09/01847-1, 14/25222-9, 13/07600-3, 15/07089-2)
VERZA, SANDRA S.; DINIZ, EDUARDO A.; CHIARELLI, MARA F.; MUSSURY, ROSILDA M.; BUENO, ODAIR C.. Waste of leaf-cutting ants: disposal, nest structure, and abiotic soil factors around internal waste chambers. ACTA ETHOLOGICA, v. 20, n. 2, p. 119-126, . (06/58043-3, 08/00522-9)
ADRIANA F. L. VILELA; BÁRBARA M. FRUGERI; ANDRÉ L. F. SARRIA; RODRIGO O. S. KITAMURA; JOÃO B. FERNANDES; MARIA F. G. F. SILVA; QUEZIA B. CASS; CARMEN L. CARDOSO. Aminonaphthoquinone Mannich Bases Derived from Lawsone and Their Copper(II) Complex Derivatives: Synthesis and Potential Cholinesterase Inhibitors as Identified by On-flow Assay. Journal of the Brazilian Chemical Society, v. 27, n. 3, p. 534-545, . (07/07196-7, 07/06393-3, 06/58043-3, 13/01710-1)
FRANCESCHINI SARRIA, ANDRE LUCIO; LOPES VILELA, ADRIANA FERREIRA; FRUGERI, BARBARA MAMMANA; FERNANDES, JOAO BATISTA; CARLOS, ROSE MARIA; DAS GRACAS FERNANDES DA SILVA, MARIA FATIMA; CASS, QUEZIA BEZERRA; CARDOSO, CARMEN LUCIA. Copper (II) and zinc (II) complexes with flavanone derivatives: Identification of potential cholinesterase inhibitors by on-flow assays. Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, v. 164, p. 141-149, . (09/01847-1, 06/58043-3, 13/07600-3)

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Filed patent(s) as a result of this research project

PROCESSO DE PREPARAÇÃO DE COMPLEXOS METÁLICOS DE HESPERIDINA E HESPERITINA, COMPLEXOS METÁLICOS E COMPOSIÇÕES INCETICIDAS PARA O CONTROLE DE INSETOS PRAGAS URBANOS, DA AGRICULTURA E DA SILVICULTURA BR1020120313804 - Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho (UNESP) ; Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR) ; Universidade Federal do Paraná (UFPR) . João Batista Fernandes; Maria Fátima das Graças Fernandes da Silva; Paulo Cesar Vieira; Rose Maria Carlos; Arlene Gonçalves Correa; Odair Correa Bueno; Fernando Carlos Pagnocca; Regina Maria Mendes Oliveira; André Lucio Francesschini Serria; Liliane Nebo; Andréia Pereira Matos; Ana Paula Terezan; Francisco De Assis Marques; Mario Antonio Navarro Da Silva; Eduardo Novaes Ramires; Vinicius Annies; Lígia Moraes Barizon De Souza; Moacir Rossi Formim - December 2012, 05

COMPLEXOS METÁLICOS E NARINGINA E NARINGENINA E COMPOSIÇÕES INSETICIDAS PARA O CONTROLE DE INSETOS PRAGAS URBANOS, DA AGRICULTURA E DA SILVICULTURA BR1020130271624 - Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho (UNESP) ; Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR) . Odair Corrêa Bueno; Fernando Carlos Pagnocca; André Lúcio Franceschini Sarria; Regina Maria Mendes de Oliveira; Liliane Nebo; Andréia Pereira Matos; Ana Paula Terezan; João Batista Fernandes; Maria Fátima das Graças Fernandes da Silva; Paulo Cesar Vieira; Rose Maria Carlos; Moacir Rossi Forim; Arlene Gonçalves Correa - August 2013, 30

PROCESSO DE OBTENÇÃO DO EXTRATO ETANÓLICO DAS SEMENTES COM ENDOCARPO DE ABACATE, COMPOSIÇÕES INSETICIDAS E USO DAS MESMAS BR1020140325506 - Universidade de São Paulo (USP) ; Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho (UNESP) ; Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR) . Maria Fátima das Graças Fernandes da Silva; João Batista Fernandes; José Djair Vendramim; Paulo Cezar Vieira; Moacir Rossi Forim; Vanessa de Cássia Domingues; Keylla Utherdyany Bicalho; Angelina Maria Marcomini Giongo; Mônica Silva Santos; Sheila Salles de Carvalho; Leandro do Prado Ribeiro; Marcela Ceccato; Odair Corrêa Bueno - December 2014, 23