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  • 1. Bichao, H.
    et al.
    Borg-Karlson, Anna-Karin
    KTH, Superseded Departments (pre-2005), Chemistry.
    Araujo, J.
    Mustaparta, H.
    Identification of plant odours activating receptor neurones in the weevil Pissodes notatus F. (Coleoptera, Curculionidae)2003In: Journal of Comparative Physiology A. Sensory, neural, and behavioral physiology, ISSN 0340-7594, E-ISSN 1432-1351, Vol. 189, no 3, p. 203-212Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Plants release complex mixtures of volatiles important in the interaction with insects and other organisms. In the search for compounds that contribute to the perception of odour quality in the weevil Pissodes notatus, single olfactory receptor neurones on the antennae were screened for sensitivity to naturally produced plant volatiles by the use of gas chromatography linked to single cell recordings. We here present 60 olfactory neurones responding to 25 of the numerous compounds released by host and non-host plants. All the neurones show high selectivity and are classified into 12 distinct types. The two most abundant types respond to alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, and 3-carene (n = 17), and to isopinocamphone and pinocamphone (n = 17), respectively. Other neurone types respond to limonene (n = 9), beta-phellandrene (n = 3), and fenchone (n = 4). Responses to beta-caryophyllene (n = 1) and to ethanol (n = 4) are also shown. Except for two pairs, the neurone types do not show overlap of the molecular receptive range. The active compounds are present in the host, Pinus pinaster, as well as in non-hosts, supporting the idea that plant odour quality is mediated by the ratio of the compounds rather than specific odorants.

  • 2. Rostelien, T.
    et al.
    Borg-Karlson, Anna-Karin
    KTH, Superseded Departments, Chemistry.
    Mustaparta, H.
    Selective receptor neurone responses to E-beta-ocimene, beta-myrcene, E,E-alpha-farnesene and homo-farnesene in the moth Heliothis virescens, identified by gas chromatography linked to electrophysiology2000In: Journal of Comparative Physiology A. Sensory, neural, and behavioral physiology, ISSN 0340-7594, E-ISSN 1432-1351, Vol. 186, no 9, p. 833-847Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An important question in olfaction is for which odorants receptor neurones have evolved. In the present study, olfactory receptor neurones on the antennae of the tobacco budworm moth Heliothis virescens were screened for sensitivity to naturally occurring plant-produced volatiles by the use of gas chromatography linked to electrophysiology. Volatiles of host as well as non-host: plants collected by headspace techniques were used for stimulating the neurones, sequentially via two columns, one polar and one nonpolar installed in parallel in the gas chromatograph. Three types of neurones presented in this paper responded to one, two or three compounds for which the retention times were determined ill both column types. The chemical structures of the active components were determined on the basis of mass spectrometry linked to gas chromatography, indicating E-beta -ocimene and beta -myrcene as stimulants for neurone type 1, E,E,alpha -farnesene for neurone type 2 and homo-farnesene for neurone type 3. Re-testing authentic materials verified the identifications for the type I neurones. The results demonstrate a high specificity for the three types of neurones by strong responses to one or two structurally similar compounds out of hundreds present in a large variety of plants. The study exemplifies plant odour detection by narrowly tuned receptor neurones in a polyphagous moth species.

  • 3. Stranden, M.
    et al.
    Liblikas, I.
    Konig, W. A.
    Almaas, T. J.
    Borg-Karlson, Anna-Karin
    KTH, Superseded Departments, Chemistry.
    Mustaparta, H.
    (-)-germacrene D receptor neurones in three species of heliothine moths: structure-activity relationships2003In: Journal of Comparative Physiology A. Sensory, neural, and behavioral physiology, ISSN 0340-7594, E-ISSN 1432-1351, Vol. 189, no 7, p. 563-577Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Specificity of olfactory receptor neurones plays an important role in food and host preferences of a species, and may have become conserved or changed in the evolution of polyphagy and oligophagy. We have identified a major type of plant odour receptor neurones responding to the sesquiterpene germacrene D in three species of heliothine moths, the polyphagous Heliothis virescens and Helicoverpa armigera and the oligophagous Helicoverpa assulta. The neurones respond with high sensitivity and selectivity to (-)-germacrene D, as demonstrated by screening via gas chromatography with numerous mixtures of plant volatiles. Germacrene D was present in both host and non-host plants, but only in half of the tested species. The specificity of the neurones was similar in the three species, as shown by the 'secondary' responses to a few other sesquiterpenes. The effect of (-)-germacrene D was about ten times stronger than that of the (+)-enantiomer, which again was about ten times stronger than that of (-)-alpha-ylangene. Weaker effects were obtained for (+)-beta-ylangene, (+)-alpha-copaene, beta-copaene and two unidentified sesquiterpenes. The structure-activity relationship shows that the important properties of (-)-germacrene D in activating the neurones are the ten-membered ring system and the three double bonds acting as electron-rich centres, in addition to the direction of the isopropyl-group responsible for the different effects of the germacrene D enantiomers.

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