Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 178–186 | Cite as

Cytochromes P450 Preferentially Expressed in Antennae of the Mountain Pine Beetle

  • Christine C. Chiu
  • Christopher I. Keeling
  • Joerg BohlmannEmail author


The mountain pine beetle (MPB, Dendroctonus ponderosae) is a forest insect pest endemic to western North America. During dispersal and host colonization, MPB identify suitable host trees by olfaction of monoterpene volatiles, contend with host terpene defenses, and communicate with conspecifics using terpenoid and other pheromones. Cytochromes P450 (P450s) have been proposed to function in MPB olfaction, terpene detoxification, and pheromone biosynthesis. Here, we identified P450s that were abundant in the antennae transcriptome. Analysis of transcript levels across different life stages and tissues in females and males showed additional expression of most of these P450s in the midgut or fat body. These expression profiles suggest specific or overlapping functions in olfaction, detoxification, and pheromone biosynthesis.


Cytochromes P450 Bark beetles Olfaction Detoxification Pheromone biosynthesis Mountain pine beetle 



We thank Mr. Stirling Angus (JCH Forestry Ltd.), Mr. Peter Ackhurst (Cheakamus Community Forest), Mr. David Ehrhardt (Wedgewoods Estates) for technical and logistic assistance, including access and help with beetle collections and bioassays; Dr. Erika Plettner (Simon Fraser University), Dr. Murray Isman (University of British Columbia; UBC) and Dr. Allan Carroll (UBC) for advice and discussion.


The research was supported with funds to J.B. from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada through the TRIA Net Project and a Discovery Grant. J.B. is a Distinguished University Scholar.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Michael Smith LaboratoriesUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of BotanyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Laurentian Forestry Centre, Canadian Forest ServiceNatural Resources CanadaQCCanada
  4. 4.Department of Forest and Conservation SciencesUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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