In genetic studies on the sex pheromone communication system of two races of European corn borer, which use opposite pheromone blends of the E and Z compounds, it was found that antennal olfactory cell response amplitudes to the two compounds were controlled by an autosomal factor, whereas behavioral responses to the blends were controlled by a sex-linked locus. Because of the difference in genetic controls, it was postulated that some unusual males would be produced in F2 crosses between these two races. These unusual males would have antennal olfactory cells that respond as the Z-race males, but would respond behaviorally to the E blend. The present studies combined behavioral studies in a flight tunnel and single cell electrophysiological studies to show that these unusual males do indeed exist. These findings show that the spike amplitude of peripheral olfactory cells is not important in regulating species- or race-specific pheromone responses, as compared to some central nervous system factor assesses the spike frequencies from different pheromone-component-specific cells on the antenna. This factor seems to be essential in governing the pheromone-blend specific behavioral responses of male moths.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)