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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #272656

Title: Alternative splicing produces two transcripts encoding putative female-biased odorant receptors in the navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella

item Garczynski, Stephen
item LEAL, WALTER - University Of California

Submitted to: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/21/2015
Publication Date: 10/6/2015
Citation: Garczynski, S.F., Leal, W. 2015. Alternative splicing produces two transcripts encoding putative female-biased odorant receptors in the navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella. FRONTIERS IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION. 3:115.

Interpretive Summary: Control of temperate tree fruit pests is mainly achieved using a series of chemical insecticide applications, and this form of control presents hazards to the environment, workers and consumers. To reduce chemical insecticide use in the orchard, many orchardists are using mating disruption (permeation of sex pheromones throughout the orchard which prevents males from locating females) as part of an integrated pest management strategy for control of moth pests. Researchers at the USDA-ARS Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory (Wapato, WA) and the University of California, Davis (Davis, CA) used the navel orangeworm as a model moth species to identify pheromone receptors that are expressed mainly in females. These receptors are thought to be important for female location of host plants and oviposition sites, and provide future targets for the development of new attractants or repellents to prevent females from finding their host plants. These findings assist efforts to identify pheromone receptors in female pest moths and to pursue novel forms of control of temperate tree fruit pests.

Technical Abstract: Insect odorant receptors are key sensors of environmental odors, and members of the lepidopteran pheromone receptor subfamily are thought to play important roles in mate finding, and oviposition site location. Much research has been done to identify putative pheromone receptors in lepidopteran males, but little attention has been given to female counterparts. In this study, degenerate oligonucleotide primers designed against a conserved amino acid region in the C-terminus of lepidopteran pheromone receptors were used in 3’ RACE reactions to identify candidate pheromone receptors expressed in the antennae of female navel orangeworm. Two near full-length transcripts of 1469 nt and 1302 nt encoding for proteins of 446 and 425 amino acids, respectively, were identified. Based on BLAST homology, the putative proteins are members of the lepidopteran pheromone receptor subfamily. Characterization of these transcripts indicates that they are alternatively spliced products of a single gene. Tissue expression studies indicate that the transcripts are female-biased with detection mainly in female antennae. To the best of our knowledge, these transcripts represent the first detection of female-biased members of the lepidopteran pheromone receptor subfamily.