Altered olfactory receptor neuron responsiveness in rare Ostrinia nubilalis males attracted to the O. furnacalis pheromone blend

Michael J. Domingue, Callie J. Musto, Charles E. Linn, Wendell L. Roelofs, Thomas C. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Three percent of E-strain Ostrinia nubilalis males fly upwind in response to the Ostrinia furnacalis pheromone blend [a 40:60 ratio of (E)-12-tetradecenyl acetate to (Z)-12-tetradecenyl acetate (E12-14:OAc to Z12-14:OAc)], in addition to their own pheromone blend [a 99:1 ratio of (E)-11-tetradecenyl acetate to (Z)-11-tetradecenyl acetate) (E11-14:OAc to Z11-14:OAc)]. We assessed the olfactory receptor neuron (ORN) responses of these behaviorally "rare" males versus those of normal males. For the three ORNs housed within each sensillum, we tested responsiveness to Z12-14:OAc, E12-14:OAc, Z11-14:OAc, E11-14:OAc, and the behavioral antagonist (Z)-9-tetradecenyl acetate (Z9-14:OAc). Z11-14:OAc, E11-14:OAc, and Z9-14:OAc stimulated ORNs exhibiting distinct small, large, and medium spike sizes, respectively. For rare and normal males, both Z12-14:OAc and E12-14:OAc usually elicited responses from the largest-spiking ORN. In many ORNs of normal males, Z12-14:OAc or E12-14:OAc stimulated the smaller-spiking ORN that is responsive to Z11-14:OAc. In rare males, detectable ORN responses from the smaller-spiking ORN in response to Z12- and E12-14:OAc were virtually non-existent. These differences in ORN tuning in rare males will tend to create an ORN firing ratio between the large- and small-spiking ORNs in response to the O. furnacalis blend that is similar to that elicited by the O. nubilalis blend.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1063-1071
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Insect Science

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