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- Installation of a new piece of hardware: MALDI-TOF autoflex maX de Bruker.

 

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- Publication of the article: "Factors triggering queen executions in the Argentine ant” (Scientific Reports, 2019,  doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-46972-5) by the UdG researchers Sílvia April and Crisanto Gómez. Part of the study was carried out using the Research Technical Services’ chromatographic techniques. More specifically, thestudy of the cuticular hydrocarbons (CHC) profile of queen Argentine ants through GC-FID/GC-MS: Example of the CHC profile of a queen that has survived (to) and a queen that was executed (b). The arrows indicate 5,11-diMeC29 and 5,11-diMeC33, respectively.Chemical communication plays an important role in reproduction and social cohesion in colonies of social insects.  Many studies indicate that cuticular hydrocarbons are the main chemical compounds coding for the reproductive state of its individuals. The Argentine ant is catalogued as one of the 100 worst invading species in the world. There are numerous queens inside the nests of these species, and curiously the workers execute approximately 90% of them each spring. In this case, one of the factors that has been studied is the difference between the CHC profile of queen Argentine ants who were eliminated by the workers and the profile of surviving queens in artificial laboratory nests, through GC-FID and GC-MS. These techniques have lead to the first identification and quantification of the compounds present in the CHC profile of eliminated queen Argentine ants, establishing that the CHC profile of these queens has a lower presence of certain hydrocarbons related to their productivity. These results suggest that the workers select the queens to be eliminated by their CHC profile.

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