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Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 192, Issue 2, pp 199–219 | Cite as

Physiology and glomerular projections of olfactory receptor neurons on the antenna of female Heliothis virescens (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) responsive to behaviorally relevant odors

  • N. K. Hillier
  • C. Kleineidam
  • N. J. Vickers
Original Paper

Abstract

The neurophysiology and antennal lobe projections of olfactory receptor neurons housed within short trichoid sensilla of female Heliothis virescens F. (Noctuidae: Lepidoptera) were investigated using a combination of cut-sensillum recording and cobalt-lysine staining techniques. Behaviorally relevant odorants, including intra- and inter-sexual pheromonal compounds, plant and floral volatiles were selected for testing sensillar responses. A total of 184 sensilla were categorized into 25 possible sensillar types based on odor responses and sensitivity. Sensilla exhibited both narrow (responding to few odors) and broad (responding to many odors) response spectra. Sixty-six percent of the sensilla identified were stimulated by conspecific odors; in particular, major components of the male H. virescens hairpencil pheromone (hexadecanyl acetate and octadecanyl acetate) and a minor component of the female sex pheromone, (Z)-9-tetradecenal. Following characterization of the responses, olfactory receptor neurons within individual sensilla were stained with cobalt lysine (N=39) and traced to individual glomeruli in the antennal lobe. Olfactory receptor neurons with specific responses to (Z)-9-tetradecenal, a female H. virescens sex pheromone component, projected to the female-specific central large female glomerulus (cLFG) and other glomeruli. Terminal arborizations from sensillar types containing olfactory receptor neurons sensitive to male hairpencil components and plant volatiles were also localized to distinct glomerular locations. This information provides insight into the representation of behaviorally relevant odorants in the female moth olfactory system.

Keywords

Olfaction Cobalt–lysine staining Sensillum Antennal lobe Receptor neuron 

Abbreviations

Z11-16:Ald

(Z)-11-hexadecenal

Z9-14:Ald

(Z)-9-tetradecenal

Z9-16:Ald

(Z)-9-hexadecenal

Z11-16:OAc

(Z)-11-hexadecenyl acetate

Z11-16:OH

(Z)-11-hexadecen-1-ol

14:OOH

tetradecanoic acid

16:OH

hexadecanol

18:OH

octadecanol

16:OAc

hexadecanyl acetate

18:OAc

octadecanyl acetate

16:OOH

hexadecanoic acid

18:OOH

octadecanoic acid

Z3-6:OH

(Z)-3-hexen-1-ol

Z3-6:OAc

(Z)-3-hexenyl acetate

E2-6:Ald

(E)-2-hexenal

ORN

olfactory receptor neuron

PN

projection neuron

AL

antennal lobe

MGC

macroglomerular complex

LFG

large female glomeruli

cLFG

central large female glomerulus

mLFG

medial large female glomerulus

EAG

electroantennogram

SSR

single sensillum recording

Notes

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to J. Celestino, K. Iceman and D. Kelly for colony maintenance and to C. Fogarty for valuable comments on the manuscript. We are also grateful to Dr. R. Raguso and Dr. J. Tumlinson for kindly providing volatile stock solutions. We also thank S.G. Lee and Dr. T.C. Baker for advice with the cobalt-lysine staining technique. This research was funded by USDA NRICGP no. 1999-03541 and NSF-IBN 9905683 to NJV.

Supplementary material

359_2005_61_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (4.7 mb)
Supplementary material

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© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Behavioral Physiology and SociobiologyZoologie II, BiozentrumAm HublandGermany

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