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  • A moth odorant receptor highly expressed in the ovipositor is involved in detecting host-plant volatiles.

A moth odorant receptor highly expressed in the ovipositor is involved in detecting host-plant volatiles.

eLife (2020-05-22)
Rui-Ting Li, Ling-Qiao Huang, Jun-Feng Dong, Chen-Zhu Wang
ABSTRACT

Antennae are often considered to be the nostrils of insects. Here, we sequenced the transcriptome of the pheromone gland-ovipositor complex of Helicoverpa assulta and discovered that an odorant receptor (OR) gene, HassOR31, had much higher expression in the ovipositor than in antennae or other tissues. To determine whether the ovipositor was involved in odorant detection, we co-expressed HassOR31 and its co-receptor, HassORco, in a Xenopus oocyte model system, and demonstrated that the OR was responsive to 12 plant odorants, especially Z-3-hexenyl butyrate. These odorants elicited electrophysiological responses of some sensilla in the ovipositor, and HassOR31 and HassORco were co-expressed within ovipositor sensilla. Two oviposition preference experiments showed that female moths lacking antennae still preferentially selected oviposition sites containing plant volatiles. We suggest that the expression of HassOR31 in the ovipositor of H. assulta helps females to determine precise egg-laying sites in host plants.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Roche
SP6/T7 Transcription Kit, sufficient for 2 x 20 assays (stadard transcription), kit of 1 (12 components), suitable for DNA sequencing, suitable for hybridization