COMPARISON OF CHITIN STRUCTURES DERIVED FROM THREE COMMON WASP SPECIES (Vespa crabro LINNAEUS, 1758, Vespa orientalis LINNAEUS, 1771 and Vespula germanica (FABRICIUS, 1793))
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There has been no study on the chitin structure of wasp species. Here, we selected the three most common wasp species belonging to the family Vespidae for chitin extraction and characterization. Chitin was isolated from each wasp species and characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray diffractometry (XRD), elemental analysis (EA), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The chitin contents of Vespa crabro, Vespa orientalis, and Vespula germanica were 8.3, 6.4, and 11.9%, respectively. The crystalline index (CrI) values for the chitin extracted from each species were 69.88, 53.92, and 50%, respectively. The most important finding of the study is that although the same method was used to extract chitin from each of the three wasp species, the degree of acetylation was different: for V. crabro and V. orientalis it was 96.85 and 99.82% ( the chitin was extremely pure), respectively, whereas that for V. germanica the chitin was 79.83%. (C) 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.