The flight-tunnel response of male Z-strain European corn borer moths (ECB), Ostrinia nubilalis, from a population in New York State (USA), was significantly antagonized by addition of 1% (Z)-11-hexadecanal (Z11-16:Ald) to their sex pheromone (a 97:3 mix of (Z)- and (E)-11-tetradecenyl acetate [Z/E11-14:OAc]). The level of antagonism was equivalent to that observed for the previously identified ECB antagonist, (Z)-9-tetradecenyl acetate (Z9-14:OAc), and supports a recent report showing that Z11-16:Ald, a minor pheromone component of the Noctuid moth, Sesamia nonagrioides, caused antagonism of ECB pheromone communication in sympatric populations in the Iberian Peninsula. Single-sensillum recordings from ECB antennae, which included cross-adaptation experiments, showed that the same olfactory receptor neuron processing Z9-14:OAc inputs was responsible for detecting Z11-16:Ald, and that this neuron was not responsive to two other aldehydes, (Z)-9-tetradecanal (Z9-14:Ald) and (Z)-9-hexadecanal (Z9-16:Ald), found in other moth sex pheromones. Our results show that the antagonism is not confined to one geographic region, is specific for Z11-16:Ald, and that antagonist pathways might have the potential for processing a number of structurally similar compounds.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics