Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Reproductive behavior of the silkmoth is determined by a single pheromone receptor protein

Date:
June 30, 2011
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Pheromone preference, and the initiation of a complex programmed sexual behavior, is determined by the specificity of a single sex pheromone receptor protein expressed in a population of olfactory receptor neurons in the silkmoth. The study provides the first direct proof of the long-held belief that the control of sexual behavior in male moths originates in the chemical specificity of the pheromone receptor proteins expressed in pheromone receptor neurons.

Silkmoth (Bombyx mori).
Credit: MIMOHE / Fotolia

Pheromone preference, and the initiation of a complex programmed sexual behavior, is determined by the specificity of a single sex pheromone receptor protein expressed in a population of olfactory receptor neurons in the silkmoth (Bombyx mori). The study, which will be published on June 30th in the open-access journal PLoS Genetics, provides the first direct proof of the long-held belief that the control of sexual behavior in male moths originates in the chemical specificity of the pheromone receptor proteins expressed in pheromone receptor neurons.

Sex pheromones are chemical signals found in a wide range of organisms. They serve as stimuli inducing behavioral responses in conspecifics (especially opposite-sex members of the same species). In most moth species, male moths depend on sex pheromones emitted by conspecific females to recognize and locate appropriate mating partners. Thus, behavioral preference of male moths for conspecific pheromones is a critical factor for successful reproduction. Although sex pheromone receptor proteins reportedly play a central role in sex pheromone detection and discrimination, the causal relationship between sex pheromone receptor specificity and behavioral preference remained to be proven.

The researchers, from The University of Tokyo, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Fukuoka University, and Keio University, address this question using the silkmoth, which displays the simplest possible pheromone system, in which a single pheromone substance, bombykol, elicits full sexual behavior. They generated transgenic silkmoths which express a different sex pheromone receptor: PxOR1, of the diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella). Ectopic expression of PxOR1 elicited the same physiological and behavioral responses in the silkmoth when it was exposed to its specific ligand, which is a major sex pheromone component of the diamondback moth.

These results demonstrate not only that it is the specificity of the pheromone receptor proteins which controls the sexual behavior of male silkmoth, but that manipulation of the sex pheromone receptor neurons can turn silkmoths into detectors for essentially any odor for which a specific receptor can be made, due to the conspicuous orientation behavior and extremely high behavioral sensitivity of male silkmoths. The researchers note that it will now be necessary to ascertain the general validity of the results in more complex systems.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Takeshi Sakurai, Hidefumi Mitsuno, Stephan Shuichi Haupt, Keiro Uchino, Fumio Yokohari, Takaaki Nishioka, Isao Kobayashi, Hideki Sezutsu, Toshiki Tamura, Ryohei Kanzaki. A Single Sex Pheromone Receptor Determines Chemical Response Specificity of Sexual Behavior in the Silkmoth Bombyx mori. PLoS Genetics, 2011; 7 (6): e1002115 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002115

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Reproductive behavior of the silkmoth is determined by a single pheromone receptor protein." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110630171711.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2011, June 30). Reproductive behavior of the silkmoth is determined by a single pheromone receptor protein. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110630171711.htm
Public Library of Science. "Reproductive behavior of the silkmoth is determined by a single pheromone receptor protein." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110630171711.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

AP (July 30, 2014) River otters were hitting the water slides to beat the summer heatwave on Wednesday at Ichikawa City's Zoological and Botanical Garden. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins