The olfactory receptor neuron (ORN) and behavioral responses of hybrids between the Asian corn borer (ACB), Ostrinia furnacalis, and the E-strain European corn borer (ECB(E)), Ostrinia nubilalis were examined and compared to the parental populations. In hybrids and both parents, the large-spike-size ORN was capable of responding to all four pheromone components of ACB and ECB, despite differences in which compounds elicited the greatest spike frequency in each population. There was a small-spiking ORN more narrowly tuned to the minor pheromone components in both ACB and ECB(E). In hybrids the homologous small-spiking ORN was tuned primarily to the ECB(E) minor pheromone component, with some responsiveness to the ACB minor component. Both species and all the hybrids had an intermediate spike-size ORN tuned primarily to their common behavioral antagonist. Dominance of responsiveness to the ECB(E) versus the ACB minor pheromone component on the small-spiking ORN may explain the greater tendency of hybrids to fly upwind to the ECB(E) pheromone blend than the ACB blend. This finding points toward a distinct evolutionary role for this ORN in allowing a pheromone shift.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science