olfactory receptor neurons
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The electrical activity of single olfactory receptor neurons in male soybean looper (SBL) Pseudoplusia includens(Walker) and cabbage looper (CL) Trihoplusia ni(Hübner) moths was evaluated in response to stimulation with fixed amounts of the individual components of their respective pheromone blends. In common with earlier observations in the CL, there are at least two classes of morphologically distinct pheromone sensitive sensilla on the antenna of male SBL, each of which contains two olfactory receptor neurons. In both species, one class of sensilla contains an olfactory receptor neuron sensitive to (Z)-7-dodecen-1-ol acetate (Z-7, 12:AC), the major component in each insect's blend, and a companion receptor neuron which is sensitive to (Z)-7-dodecen-1-ol (Z7,12: OH). In both species the second class of sensilla contains an olfactory receptor neuron which is sensitive to one of the minor components of the pheromone blend. (Z)-5-dodecen-1-ol acetate (Z-5,12:AC) is an effective stimulus in SBL, whereas (Z)-7-tetradecen-1-ol acetate (Z-7,14:AC) is an effective stimulus in CL. However, these two stimulatory compounds have been identified only in the female CL gland; neither has been found in the SBL gland. Thus, in contrast to the CL, which has receptor neurons which are responsive exclusively to conspecific pheromone components, the SBL has a class of receptor neurons which is responsive to a minor component of another species' pheromone blend. Field-trapping assays in which Z-5,12:AC is added to the SBL blend suggest that this single CL component is a powerful inhibitor of male SBL behavioral responses to conspecific pheromone blends. The difference observed in the specificity of the receptor neurons in this second class of sensilla are thus believed to play an integral role in the isolation processes that are maintained between these two species and may well account for the observed behavioral differences in their responses to heterospecific pheromone blends.
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