Biologically relevant concentrations of petromyzonol sulfate, a component of the sea lamprey migratory pheromone, measured in stream water

Jared M. Fine, Peter W. Sorensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Adult sea lampreys locate spawning streams in the Great Lakes by using a migratory pheromone that is released by stream-resident larval conspecifics. Behavioral, electrophysiological, and biochemical analyses of larval release water have suggested that this pheromone is composed of several components, one of which is petromyzonol sulfate (PS), a known lamprey-specific bile acid. Its precursor, allocholic acid (ACA), has also been implicated. In this study, we employed high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to look for both bile acids in various stream waters, thereby testing whether they might have a role in natural pheromone function. Although PS was measured at picomolar concentrations in streams known to contain larval lampreys and attract migratory adults, ACA was not. Neither compound was measured in streams lacking larvae. This finding indicates that PS is a component of the natural pheromone, and it suggests that ACA has little relevance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2205-2210
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Volume31
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005

Keywords

  • Allocholic acid
  • Bile acid
  • Migration
  • Petromyzon marinus
  • Petromyzonol sulfate
  • Pheromone
  • Sea lamprey

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