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Sex pheromone biosynthesis in the tortricid moth, Ctenopseustis herana (Felder & Rogenhofer)

Foster, S.P., Roelofs, W.L.
Archives of insect biochemistry and physiology 1996 v.33 no.2 pp. 135-147
Ctenopseustis, sex pheromones, biosynthesis, chemical composition, fatty acids, esters, isotope labeling, myristic acid, chemical reactions, decapitation, neuropeptides, hormonal regulation, animal glands, pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide
Biosynthesis of the unusual sex pheromone component (Z)-5-tetradecenyl acetate (Z5-14:OAc) was studied in the tortricid moth, Ctenopseustis herana (Felder & Rogenhofer), by fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) analysis of the pheromone gland, and topical application of various deuterium-labelled acids to the gland. The only unusual unsaturated FAME found in base-methanolyzed glands of females was the putative precursor of the pheromone, methyl (Z)-5-tetradecenoate (Z5-14:Me). When deuterium-labelled, myristic, palmitic, stearic, lauric, and oleic acids were applied to the gland, label was incorporated into the pheromone component only from the first three acids (i.e., Z5-14:OAc could not be biosynthesized from lauric or oleic acids). Furthermore, the amount of label incorporated from the first three acids decreased in the order myristic > palmitic > stearic. Application of labelled myristic acid to the gland resulted in incorporation of label into Z5-14:Me. These data are consistent with the biosynthesis of Z5-14:OAc in C. herana resulting from delta 5-desaturation of myristic acid, a novel biosynthetic route for a moth sex pheromone component. Regulation of pheromone biosynthesis in this species was also investigated. Decapitation of female C. herana resulted in a significant decline in sex pheromone titre. Injection of female head extract or synthetic Bombyx mori pheromone biosynthesis-activating neuropeptide (PBAN) into decapitated female C. herana gave a significant increase in pheromone titre, suggesting that pheromone biosynthesis in this species is regulated by a PBAN or PBAN-like substance.