What is it about?

We describe how a racemic mixture of fire ant pyridine and piperidine alkaloids can be obtained by synthesis using a compound readily available from Sigma-Aldrich, named 2,6-Lutidine. Next, we describe a method using a chiral column to assess their isomeric proportions, and illustrate their variation among fire ant castes in two populations in Brazil.

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Why is it important?

The described method for the synthesis of the fire ant alkaloids is fairly simple for a chemistry facility. The described method opens the doors to a number of developments in this field of research. This is exampled in the present paper by a direct application to assess isomeric proportions as to understand the natural biochemical synthesis of fire ant alkaloids and their taxonomic utility.


Designing cheaper synthesis of fire ant venom alkaloids is an urgent need, given the numerous biomedical and biotech applications proposed for these compounds. We are thrilled to see colleagues applying our synthesis methods in new, groundbreaking studies.

Dr Eduardo G P Fox

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This page is a summary of: Rapid configuration analysis of the solenopsins, Tetrahedron Asymmetry, May 2012, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.tetasy.2012.05.005.
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