Chiral methyl-branched pheromones
Covering: up to October 2014
Insect pheromones are some of the most interesting natural products because they are utilized for interspecific communication between various insects, such as beetles, moths, ants, and cockroaches. A large number of compounds of many kinds have been identified as pheromone components, reflecting the diversity of insect species. While this review deals only with chiral methyl-branched pheromones, the chemical structures of more than one hundred non-terpene compounds have been determined by applying excellent analytical techniques. Furthermore, their stereoselective syntheses have been achieved by employing trustworthy chiral sources and ingenious enantioselective reactions. The information has been reviewed here not only to make them available for new research but also to understand the characteristic chemical structures of the chiral pheromones. Since biosynthetic studies are still limited, it might be meaningful to examine whether the structures, particularly the positions and configurations of the branched methyl groups, are correlated with the taxonomy of the pheromone producers and also with the function of the pheromones in communication systems.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Chemical Ecology