Submitted to: Experimental Biology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 22, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris, is a pest of numerous crops including apples, tomatoes, cotton and soybeans. The pest's survival on at least 400 host plants and its complex biology are practical obstacles to integrated control. Timing of insecticidal control is not simple because behavioral cues have not been identified. Insects detect odors using sensory nerve cells housed within specific organs called sensilla on the antennae. Chemical signals interact with receptor cells within the sensilla after being transported by specific proteins. We characterized a Lygus antennal protein (LAP) involved in chemical reception in the plant bug. An antibody developed by us showed that LAP occurs only in antennae of Lygus species and was not detectable in other related bugs. The antibody probe showed that LAP is only in the chemical-sensing sensilla, specifically associated with blood bathing the nerve cells. These results suggest that LAP has an important role in chemical reception and reveals pathways over which chemical signals are received. Entomologists, neurophysiologists, and molecular biologists will use this new knowledge to determine chemical signals by the plant bug for use in survey and control, and to develop novel approaches for use as components of integrated control strategies.
LAP (Lygus Antennal Protein) is an antennal protein of the tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris (Heteroptera: Miridae). A polyclonal antiserum generated against LAP N-terminal sequence was used to determine species specificity and to localize LAP expression. LAP immunoreactivity was present in the antennae of male congeners L. lineolaris and L. hesperous, but was not detectable in male antennae of other bugs. LAP expression was restricted to antennal tissue. Within the sensilla, LAP occurred throughout the extracellular lumen and was concentrated in dense granules within the cytoplasm of sensillar support cells. LAP immunoreactivity was restricted to a subset of antennal chemosensory sensilla, specifically the multi-porous olfactory sensilla. These findings suggest LAP has an important olfactory function in Lygus sp., possibly related to those of Odorant Binding Proteins found in other insect orders. If so, LAP is the first OBP-like protein characterized outside the Endopterygota. specifically the multi-porous olfactory sensilla. These findings suggest L has an important olfactory function in Lygus sp., possible related to that Odorant Binding Proteins (OBP) found in other insect orders. If so, LAP wo be the first OBP-like protein characterized outside the Endopterygota.