Sodefrin (SIPSKDALLK) is a female-attracting pheromone that is secreted by the abdominal gland of the male red-bellied newt. We found that mRNA encoding a sodefrin variant, [Val8] sodefrin, is expressed exclusively in specimens captured in the Nara area of Japan. The synthetic peptide was tested for its activity. It attracted females from Nara, but not those from other regions, suggesting that there is a geographic variation in the pheromone molecule and in the responsiveness to the pheromone. Employing an abdominal gland extract and synthetic substrates, the possibility of generation of the putative pheromone, [Val8] sodefrin, from the precursor molecule was demonstrated.
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