Chemical signals among organisms form "a vast communicative interplay, fundamental to the fabric of life," in the words of one expert. Chemical ecology is the the discipline that seeks to understand these interactions-to use biology in the search for new substances of potential benefit to humankind.
This book highlights selected research areas of medicinal and agricultural importance. Leading experts review the chemistry of
- Insect defense and its applications to pest control.
- Phyletic dominance--the survival success of insects.
- Social regulation, with ant societies as a model of multicomponent signaling systems.
- Eavesdropping, alarm, and deceit--the array of strategies used by insects to find and lure prey.
- Reproduction--from the gamete attraction to courtship nd sexual selection.
- The chemistry of intracellular immunosuppression.
Topics also include the appropriation of dietary factors for defense and communication; the use of chemical signals in the marine environment; the role of the olfactory system in chemical analysis; and the interaction of polydnaviruses, endoparasites, and the immune system of the host.