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

    57 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    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
    Volume72
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1992

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