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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Fang, Nianbai
item Teal, Peter
item Tumlinson Iii, James

Submitted to: Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/23/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Female moths use chemical perfumes called pheromones to attract males for mating. These pheromones are produced only during very specific periods of the night. The production of these pheromones is regulated by a chemical called pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide (PBAN) that is produced in the brain. Scientists at the Insect Attractants, Behavior and Basic Biology research Laboratory, USDA ARS in Gainesville Florida have been studying the ways in which PBAN acts to stimulate pheromone production in the tobacco hornworm moth. Their research has been shown that PBAN acts to cause the release of pheromone precursors that are stored in the pheromone gland of this moth and that the amount of precursor can be depleted by continuous stimulation with PBAN. Studies of this type are important because the production of pheromones are critical for mating by moths. By determining how these peptides control pheromone production it may be possible to develop methods to stop the action of these peptides and inhibit production of pheromones. This could lead to the development of alternative strategies for control of nest moths.

Technical Abstract: The correlation between triacylglycerols containing conjugated diene fatty acyl moieties and pheromone aldehydes in the sex pheromone glands of females of Manduca sexta was investigated. Females decapitated 15 h after adult emergence neither called nor produced pheromone during the natural period of pheromone production on the subsequent two nights. However, these females could be stimulated to produce sex pheromone for prolonged periods by repeated injection of synthetic pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide (PBAN*). Gas chromatographic analysis of methanolysis products of lipids extracted from the pheromone glands of decapitated and intact females showed no differences in the amounts of fatty acyl precursors of pheromone. High performance liquid chromatographic analysis of the triacylglycerols containing conjugated diene analogues of the pheromone components (diene TG) showed that the total amounts of these components were not affected by decapitation. The amounts of all diene TG peaks declined significantly when decapitated females were stimulated to produce pheromone during a 7 h period by repeated injection of -PBAN at 3 h intervals but recovered when pheromone production subsided. These results indicate that PBAN induces liberation of pheromone precursors from the triacylglycerols during pheromone biosynthesis but does not induce replenishment of this storage pool.

Last Modified: 06/28/2017
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