Identification and characterisation of novel wasp mastoparans and chemotactic peptides from the venom of social wasp Polistes stigma (Hymenoptera: Vespidae: Polistinae)

Research Report

J Venom Res 
(2021), Vol 11, 16-20

Published online: 20 May 2021

Full Text (Rajesh ~361kb) | (Rajesh Supplementary Data ~1112kb)

Rajaian Pushpabai Rajesh1, R Arun1, M Masilamani Selvam2, Carlton Ranjith Wilson  Alphonse1, M Rajasekar1, Jayaseelan Benjamin Franklin3*

1Molecular & Nanomedicine Research Unit, Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai 600119, India

2Department of Biotechnology, Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai 600119, India

3Marine Conservation, Bombay Natural History Society, Hornbill House, SBS Road, Mumbai 400001, Maharashtra, India

*Correspondence to: Jayaseelan Benjamin Franklin, Email:, Tel: +91 80729 68170

Received: 29 October 2020 | Revised: 20 May 2021 | Accepted: 20 May 2021

© Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article, published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( This license permits non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction of this article, provided the original work is appropriately acknowledged, with correct citation details.


Polistes stigma is a common social wasp found in continental Southeast Asia. Despite its wide distribution and abundance, hitherto, there are no studies on small or medium molecular weight components of the venom. For the first time, this study has described the amino acid sequences and its post-translation modifications (PTM’s) of four wasp-mastoparans (Ps 1524, Ps 1540, Ps 1556 and Ps 1630), three chemotactic peptides (Ps1417, Ps1434 and Ps1474) and one more (Ps1549) lysine rich peptide from the venom of P. stigma. There were 27 mass traces obtained from the crude natural venom, in which the complete amino acid sequences of  8 peptides were solved. Further, single disulphide bonded peptides uncommon in wasp venoms were identified. The mastoparan peptides were rich in hydrophobic residues. In addition, the peptides Ps1549, Ps1630, Ps1434 and Ps1417 were found to have unusual PTM’s of C-terminal amidation. This preliminary study comprehends the untapped compounds present in wasp venom that are equally valuable to widely studied venoms of snakes, spiders and cone snails.

KEYWORDS: Polistes stigma, social wasp, venom, mastoparans, chemotactic peptides, peptide sequencing, mass spectrometry


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