Characterizing the scent and chemical composition of Panthera leo marking fluid using solid-phase microextraction and multidimensional gas chromatography–mass spectrometry-olfactometry

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2017-01-01
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Soso, Simone
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Koziel, Jacek
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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

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In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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1905–present

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Lions (Panthera leo) use chemical signaling to indicate health, reproductive status, and territorial ownership. To date, no study has reported on both scent and composition of marking fluid (MF) from P. leo. The objectives of this study were to: 1) develop a novel method for simultaneous chemical and scent identification of lion MF in its totality (urine + MF), 2) identify characteristic odorants responsible for the overall scent of MF as perceived by human panelists, and 3) compare the existing library of known odorous compounds characterized as eliciting behaviors in animals in order to understand potential functionality in lion behavior. Solid-phase microextraction and simultaneous chemical-sensory analyses with multidimensional gas-chromatography-mass spectrometry-olfactometry improved separating, isolating, and identifying mixed (MF, urine) compounds versus solvent-based extraction and chemical analyses. 2,5-Dimethylpyrazine, 4-methylphenol, and 3-methylcyclopentanone were isolated and identified as the compounds responsible for the characteristic odor of lion MF. Twenty-eight volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from MF were identified, adding a new list of compounds previously unidentified in lion urine. New chemicals were identified in nine compound groups: ketones, aldehydes, amines, alcohols, aromatics, sulfur-containing compounds, phenyls, phenols, and volatile fatty acids. Twenty-three VOCs are known semiochemicals that are implicated in attraction, reproduction, and alarm-signaling behaviors in other species.

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This article is from Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 5137(2017), doi:10.1038/s41598-017-04973-2.

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Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2017
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