Sex pheromone in a marine polychaete: Determination of the chemical structure



A sex pheromone of the marine polychaete Platynereis dumerilii is chemically characterized as 5-methyl-3-heptanone. There exist two optical isomers, the S(+)-isomer produced by males and acting on females, the R(−)-isomer produced by females and acting on males. The basic structure shows a close relationship to insect pheromones and is of interest with regard to the evolution of pheromones.