, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 287-294
Date: 09 Mar 2012

Knockdown of Microplitis mediator Odorant Receptor Involved in the Sensitive Detection of Two Chemicals

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Odorant receptors are thought to play critical roles in the perception of chemosensory stimuli by insects. The primary method to address the functions of odorant receptors in insects is to use in vitro binding assays between the receptors and potential chemical stimuli. We injected MmedOrco dsRNA into the abdominal cavity of a braconid wasp, Microplitis mediator, and assayed for expression of this gene 72 h after treatment (RNAi). Quantitative real-time PCR demonstrated that the level of mRNA expression in MmedOrco dsRNA-treated M. mediator was significantly reduced (>90%) when compared with water-treated controls. Furthermore, electroantennogram (EAG) responses of M. mediator to two chemical attractants, nonanal and farnesene, were also reduced significantly (~70%) in RNAi-treated M. mediator when compared to controls. RNAi-treated M. mediator also responded by walking/flying at a lower rate to both chemicals when compared with controls in a Y-tube olfactometer bioassay, which provides direct evidence that MmedOrco plays an important role in perception of nonanal and farnesene in M. mediator.