Submitted to: Insect Pheromones International Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 8, 2003
Publication Date: June 25, 2003
Citation: 3rd International Insect Pheromone Symposium. Abstract p.54.
The reliance of insects on chemical signals such as host volatiles and pheromones for locating food and mates is well-known. Substantial research has revealed biochemical and neural mechanisms used by insects to synthesize and release these signals for detection by conspecifics (1,2). In Coleoptera, pheromones released directly or volatilized from frass may aggregate both sexes for feeding and mating. Thus, males and females have specific receptor neurons tuned to components of the aggregation pheromone (3). A problem arises when signals intended for conspecifics are overheard by would-be predators or parasitoids. In some instances, predators have even evolved receptor neurons for key components of prey signals (4). How does the signal-producing insect govern quantities of pheromone released in order to regulate the 'volume' of intraspecific messages? We proposed a negative feedback loop regulating pheromone release based on our work with two families of beetles, the cotton boll weevil (Curculionidae)(5) and the Colorado potato beetle (Chrysomelidae)(6). This mechanism involved stimulation of pheromone synthesis and modulation of antennal sensitivity by juvenile hormone (JH)(directly or indirectly), and pheromonal stimulation of antennal receptors leading to decreased pheromone release (Figure 1). Now we provide further evidence for involvement of JH in stimulation of pheromone synthesis and additional support for the role of the antennal feedback loop in regulating release.