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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Molecular Genetics of Pheromone Biosynthesis in Lepidoptera

Authors
item Roelofs, Wendell - NY ST AG EXPRMNT STATION
item Rooney, Alejandro

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 29, 2003
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Acyl-CoA desaturases in moths are found not only throughout the body for basic metabolic functions, but they also play a key role in the pheromone biosynthetic pathways in the female sex-pheromone gland. The novel membrane-bound desaturases in the pheromone gland evolved with a wide range of regio- and stereospecificities. Thus, desaturases have been cloned that produce Z9, Z10, Z11, E11, E9, E11, Z14, and E14 unsaturated acid products. The functionally identified metabolic and sex-pheromone desaturases have evolved at different rates and form 4 distinct groups. Our analyses also show that this multigene family originated over 300 million years ago before the divergence of moths, flies and crickets but continues to evolve and diversify under a birth-and-death process. According to this model of multigene family evolution, new genes are created through gene duplication, and some are maintained in the genome for long periods of time while others become deleted or lose their functionality. Data will be presented to support the hypothesis that this process was involved in the evolution of the Asian corn borer, Ostrinia furnacalis, species.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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