Location

Schewel Hall Room 232

Access Type

Event

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Event Website

http://www.lynchburg.edu/academics/red-letter-day/student-scholar-showcase/

Start Date

6-4-2016 1:30 PM

End Date

6-4-2016 1:45 PM

Abstract

Termites are detritivores that have a major impact on their ecosystem. Termites eat cellulose in its various forms in wood. This research aims to determine what chemical compounds in wood invoke a behavioral response from the Reticulitermes flavipes, Eastern subterranean termite. Organic solvents, either hexane or acetone, were used to extract the chemicals from Picea glauca wood chips (white spruce, soxkhlet extration). Thin layer chromatography (TLC) with cellulose as stationary phase was used to separate the chemicals in these extracts. After separation the TLC plates were utilized as the floor of a test arena. One termite was released into each arena and its behavior recorded for 10 minutes (Canon vixia HF R600 HD camcorder). The paths the termites took were analyzed, including whether they showed certain behaviors in certain areas. Cellulose from the areas of the TLC plate that had the strongest impact on the termites’ behavior were scraped off, the chemicals re-suspended in solvent, and then analyzed with a Gas chromatography-mass spectrometer in order to identify the exact substances in the behavior inducing area of the TLC plate. In future experiments, the identified chemicals then can be synthesized and tested to determine if they elicit a clear behavioral response.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Jurgen Ziesmann

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Apr 6th, 1:30 PM Apr 6th, 1:45 PM

Isolation and Identification of Chemicals in Picea glauca Triggering Behavioral Variations in Reticulitermes flavipes

Schewel Hall Room 232

Termites are detritivores that have a major impact on their ecosystem. Termites eat cellulose in its various forms in wood. This research aims to determine what chemical compounds in wood invoke a behavioral response from the Reticulitermes flavipes, Eastern subterranean termite. Organic solvents, either hexane or acetone, were used to extract the chemicals from Picea glauca wood chips (white spruce, soxkhlet extration). Thin layer chromatography (TLC) with cellulose as stationary phase was used to separate the chemicals in these extracts. After separation the TLC plates were utilized as the floor of a test arena. One termite was released into each arena and its behavior recorded for 10 minutes (Canon vixia HF R600 HD camcorder). The paths the termites took were analyzed, including whether they showed certain behaviors in certain areas. Cellulose from the areas of the TLC plate that had the strongest impact on the termites’ behavior were scraped off, the chemicals re-suspended in solvent, and then analyzed with a Gas chromatography-mass spectrometer in order to identify the exact substances in the behavior inducing area of the TLC plate. In future experiments, the identified chemicals then can be synthesized and tested to determine if they elicit a clear behavioral response.

https://digitalshowcase.lynchburg.edu/studentshowcase/2016/Presentations/24