Antimicrobial properties of secretions from the metapleural glands of Myrmecia gulosa (the Australian bull ant)

D. A. Veal*, Jane E. Trimble, A. J. Beattie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Myrmecia gulose (Australian bull ant) produce secretions from their metapleural exocrine glands which have broad spectrum antimicrobial properties. Such secretions are probably of importance in disease control in bull ant communities. These antimicrobial secretions are stable at 100°C, resistant to proteolytic enzymes and are active over a wide pH range. Of the organisms tested only endospores of Bacillus cereus were found to be resistant. The antimicrobial agent(s) are absorbed by cells and result in cell lysis. The secretions do not interfere with any growth‐related processes. These observations demonstrate that insects may be a source of novel antimicrobial agent(s).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-194
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Bacteriology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1992

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