Dendrobaena veneta avoids ethyl pentanoate and ethyl hexanoate, two compounds produced by the soil fungus Geotrichum candidum.

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From: PeerJ(Vol. 9)
Publisher: PeerJ. Ltd.
Document Type: Article
Length: 5,028 words
Lexile Measure: 1480L

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Abstract :

Earthworms shape the biological and physicochemical qualities of the soil they choose to reside in, but our understanding of the specific chemicals that attract or repel a particular species of earthworm remains incomplete. Current research indicates that some species feed on and are attracted to fungi, such as Geotrichum candidum. In the present study, as part of our continuing effort to characterize mechanisms of earthworm chemosensation, we tested whether ethyl hexanoate and ethyl pentanoate, two compounds produced by G. candidum, are appetitive to the European nightcrawler (Dendrobaena veneta). In a soil T-maze, both of these compounds significantly repelled individual earthworms in a dosage-dependent manner, this result ran counter to our initial hypothesis. D. veneta also avoided ethyl hexanoate and ethyl pentanoate in an assay we specifically developed to test an earthworms aversion to chemical stimuli in soil. In both of these assays, ethyl hexanoate was aversive at lower concentrations than ethyl pentanoate. These findings further clarify our understanding of the chemical cues that trigger the decision of D. veneta to select a particular soil-environment, and emphasize that different earthworm species may react very differently to commonly encountered chemical stimuli.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A674669687