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Journal Articles eLife Year : 2019

A novel lineage of candidate pheromone receptors for sex communication in moths

Anne de Cian

Abstract

Sex pheromone receptors (PRs) are key players in chemical communication between mating partners in insects. In the highly diversified insect order Lepidoptera, male PRs tuned to female-emitted type I pheromones (which make up the vast majority of pheromones identified) form a dedicated subfamily of odorant receptors (ORs). Here, using a combination of heterologous expression and in vivo genome editing methods, we bring functional evidence that at least one moth PR does not belong to this subfamily but to a distantly related OR lineage. This PR, identified in the cotton leafworm Spodoptera littoralis, is highly expressed in male antennae and is specifically tuned to the major sex pheromone component emitted by females. Together with a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of moth ORs, our functional data suggest two independent apparitions of PRs tuned to type I pheromones in Lepidoptera, opening up a new path for studying the evolution of moth pheromone communication.
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hal-02531429 , version 1 (03-04-2020)

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Lucie Bastin-Héline, Arthur A. de Fouchier, Song Cao, Fotini A. Koutroumpa, Gabriela Caballero-Vidal, et al.. A novel lineage of candidate pheromone receptors for sex communication in moths. eLife, 2019, 8, ⟨10.7554/eLife.49826⟩. ⟨hal-02531429⟩
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