Background: The study of olfaction is key to understanding the interaction of insects with their environment and provides opportunities to develop novel tactics for control of pest species. Recent developments in transcriptomic approaches enable the molecular basis of olfaction to be studied even in species with limited genomic information. Here we use transcriptome and expression profiling analysis to characterize the antennal transcriptome of the noctuid moth and polyphagous pest Spodoptera litura. Results: We identify 74 candidate genes involved in odor detection and recognition, encoding 26 ORs, 21 OBPs, 18 CSPs and 9 IRs. We examine their expression levels in both sexes and seek evidence for their function by relating their expression with levels of EAG response in male and female antennae to 58 host and non-host plant volatiles and sex pheromone components. The majority of olfactory genes showed sex-biased expression, usually male-biased in ORs. A link between OR gene expression and antennal responses to odors was evident, a third of the compounds tested evoking a sex-biased response, in every case also male-biased. Two candidate pheromone receptors, OR14 and OR23 were especially strongly expressed and male-biased and we suggest that these may respond to the two female sex pheromone components of S. litura, Z9E11-14:OAc and Z9E12-14:OAc, which evoked strongly male-biased EAG responses. Conclusions: Our results provide the molecular basis for elucidating the olfactory profile of moths and the sexual divergence of their behavior and could enable the targeting of particular genes, and behaviors for pest management.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Feng, Bo; Lin, Xinda; Zheng, Kaidi; Qian, Kai; Chang, Yongchang; and Du, Yongjun, "Transcriptome And Expression Profiling Analysis Link Patterns Of Gene Expression To Antennal Responses In Spodoptera Litura" (2015). Neurobiology. 70.