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The plant sesquiterpene germacrene D specifically activates a major type of antennal receptor neuron of the tobacco budworm moth Heliothis virescens
KTH, Superseded Departments, Chemistry.
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2000 (English)In: Chemical Senses, ISSN 0379-864X, E-ISSN 1464-3553, Vol. 25, no 2, 141-148 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Plants release hundreds of volatiles that are important in interactions with insects or other organisms. However, knowledge is scarce as to which of the compounds are detected by the organism's olfactory receptor neurons. In the present study, single receptor neurons on the antennae of the tobacco budworm moth, Heliothis virescens, were screened far their sensitivities to naturally produced plant volatiles by the use of gas chromatography linked to electrophysiological recordings from single cells (GC-SCR). Plant volatiles, collected by aeration of host and non-host plants, were tested on each receptor neuron via parallel GC-columns. Thus, simultaneous recordings of the gas chromatogram and the neuron responses to each component were obtained. One type of receptor neuron, appearing in 80% of all experiments, responded with high sensitivity and selectivity to one particular component, present in host as well as non-host mixtures. The component, identified as a sesquiterpene hydrocarbon by linked gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, was isolated from a sesquiterpene fraction of cubebe oil and identified by NMR as germacrene D. The purified compound was then re-tested via gas chromatography on the same receptor neuron type, verifying the identification. A weaker response to another sesquiterpene hydrocarbon was also recorded.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. Vol. 25, no 2, 141-148 p.
Keyword [en]
macroglomerular complex, chemical communication, odorant receptors, olfactory-bulb, flight tunnel, volatiles, host, information, coleoptera, responses
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-19714ISI: 000086682300004OAI: diva2:338406
QC 20100525Available from: 2010-08-10 Created: 2010-08-10Bibliographically approved

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Borg-Karlson, Anna-Karin
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