Chemical defence in a millipede: Evaluation and characterization of antimicrobial activity of the defensive secretion from Pachyiulus hungaricus (Karsch, 1881) (Diplopoda, Julida, Julidae)

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Abstract

The chemical defence of the millipede Pachyiulus hungaricus is reported in the present paper, in which a chemical characterization is given and antimicrobial activity is determined. In total, independently of sex, 44 compounds were identified. All compounds belong to two groups: quinones and pentyl and hexyl esters of long-chain fatty acids. The relative abundances of quinones and non-quinones were 94.7% vs. 5.3% (males) and 87.3% vs. 12.7% (females), respectively. The two dominant quinones in both sexes were 2-methyl-1,4,-benzoquinone and 2-methoxy-3-methyl-1,4-benzoquinone. Antibacterial and antifungal activity of the defensive secretion was evaluated in vitro against seven bacterial strains and eight fungal species. With the aid of a dilution technique, the antimicrobial potential of the secretion and high sensitivity of all tested strains were confirmed. The lowest minimum concentrations of these compounds (0.20-0.25 mg/mL) were sufficient for inhibition of Aeromonas hydrophila, Listeria monocytogenes and Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The growth of eight tested fungal species was inhibited by slightly lower concentrations of the secretion, with Fusarium equiseti as the most sensitive fungus and Aspergillus flavus as the most resistant. Values of MIC and MFC in the employed microdilution assay ranged from 0.10 to above 0.35 mg/mL. The given extract contains antimicrobial components potentially useful as therapeutic agents in the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries.

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Stanković, S., Dimkić, I., Vujisić, L., Pavković-Lučić, S., Jovanović, Z., Stević, T., … Tomić, V. (2016). Chemical defence in a millipede: Evaluation and characterization of antimicrobial activity of the defensive secretion from Pachyiulus hungaricus (Karsch, 1881) (Diplopoda, Julida, Julidae). PLoS ONE, 11(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0167249

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