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Functional characterization of pheromone receptors in the moth Athetis dissimilis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

Liu, Xiao-Long, Sun, Si-Jie, Khuhro, Sajjad Ali, Elzaki, Mohammed Esmail Abdalla, Yan, Qi, Dong, Shuang-Lin
Pesticide biochemistry and physiology 2019 v.158 pp. 69-76
Athetis, Xenopus, antennae, bioinformatics, chemoreceptors, complementary DNA, females, genes, males, moths, oocytes, pest control, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, sex pheromones, transcriptomics
Sex pheromones are crucial for communication between females and males in moths, and pheromone receptors (PRs) play a key role in peripheral coding of sex pheromones. During the last decade, many PR candidates have been identified based on transcriptome sequencing and bioinformatic analysis, but their detailed functions remain mostly unknown. Here, focusing on four PR candidates of Athetis dissimilis (AdisOR1, AdisOR6, AdisOR11 and AdisOR14) identified in a previous study, we first cloned the full-length cDNAs and determined the tissue expression profiles by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). The results revealed that expression of three of these genes were male antennae-specific, while AdisOR11 was similar in expression between male and female antennae. Furthermore, the expression level of AdisOR1 was much higher than those of the other three genes. Then, functional analysis was conducted using Xenopus oocyte system. AdisOR1 responded strongly to the sex pheromone component Z9–14:OH and the potential pheromone component Z9,E12–14:OH, suggesting its important role in the sex pheromone perception; AdisOR14 showed specificity for Z9,E12–14:OH; while AdisOR6 and AdisOR11 did not respond to any of the pheromone components and analogs tested. Taken together, this study contributes to elucidate the molecular mechanism of sex pheromone reception and provides potential targets for development of OR based pest control techniques in A. dissimilis.