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PLoS One January 13, 2010; 5 (1): e8685.

Sex pheromone receptor specificity in the European corn borer moth, Ostrinia nubilalis.

Wanner KW , Nichols AS , Allen JE , Bunger PL , Garczynski SF , Linn CE , Robertson HM , Luetje CW .

BACKGROUND: The European corn borer (ECB), Ostrinia nubilalis (Hubner), exists as two separate sex pheromone races. ECB(Z) females produce a 97ratio3 blend of Z11- and E11-tetradecenyl acetate whereas ECB(E) females produce an opposite 1ratio99 ratio of the Z and E isomers. Males of each race respond specifically to their conspecific female''s blend. A closely related species, the Asian corn borer (ACB), O. furnacalis, uses a 3ratio2 blend of Z12- and E12-tetradecenyl acetate, and is believed to have evolved from an ECB-like ancestor. To further knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of pheromone detection and its evolution among closely related species we identified and characterized sex pheromone receptors from ECB(Z). METHODOLOGY: Homology-dependent (degenerate PCR primers designed to conserved amino acid motifs) and homology-independent (pyrophosphate sequencing of antennal cDNA) approaches were used to identify candidate sex pheromone transcripts. Expression in male and female antennae was assayed by quantitative real-time PCR. Two-electrode voltage clamp electrophysiology was used to functionally characterize candidate receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes. CONCLUSION: We characterized five sex pheromone receptors, OnOrs1 and 3-6. Their transcripts were 14-100 times more abundant in male compared to female antennae. OnOr6 was highly selective for Z11-tetradecenyl acetate (EC(50) = 0.86+/-0.27 microM) and was at least three orders of magnitude less responsive to E11-tetradecenyl acetate. Surprisingly, OnOr1, 3 and 5 responded to all four pheromones tested (Z11- and E11-tetradecenyl acetate, and Z12- and E12-tetradecenyl acetate) and to Z9-tetradecenyl acetate, a behavioral antagonist. OnOr1 was selective for E12-tetradecenyl acetate based on an efficacy that was at least 5-fold greater compared to the other four components. This combination of specifically- and broadly-responsive pheromone receptors corresponds to published results of sensory neuron activity in vivo. Receptors broadly-responsive to a class of pheromone components may provide a mechanism for variation in the male moth response that enables population level shifts in pheromone blend use.

PubMed ID: 20084285
PMC ID: PMC2801615
Article link: PLoS One
Grant support: [+]
Genes referenced: cyp26a1 tcf3

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Ando, Lepidopteran sex pheromones. 2011, Pubmed

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