Host plant volatiles synergize responses of sex pheromone-specific olfactory receptor neurons in male Helicoverpa zea

S. A. Ochieng, K. C. Park, T. C. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

127 Scopus citations

Abstract

Single-cell electrophysiological recordings were obtained from olfactory receptor neurons in antennal trichoid sensilla of male corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea. Spontaneous activity of the neuron specific for the major component (Z)-11-hexadecenal, the conspecific female-emitted sex pheromone, was not affected by exposure to host plant volatiles. However, stimulations with binary mixtures of a threshold dosage of the pheromone component and increasing dosages of either linalool or (Z)-3-hexenol significantly synergized the pheromone-specific neuron's firing rates compared with responses to the major pheromone component alone. Cross-adaptation studies confirmed that the enhanced impulses originated from the pheromone-component-tuned neuron. Because plant volatiles do not stimulate the pheromone-specific neuron when presented alone, the pheromone plus host odor blend would be interpreted as containing more pheromone than it actually does when processed by the pheromone-processing portion of the antennal lobe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-333
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Volume188
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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