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Olfactory proteins mediating chemical communication in the Navel Orangeworm Moth, Amyelois transitella

Leal, W.S., Ishida, Y., Pelletier, J., Xu, W., Rayo, J., Xu, X. and Ames, J.B. (2009) Olfactory proteins mediating chemical communication in the Navel Orangeworm Moth, Amyelois transitella. PLoS ONE, 4 (9).

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Abstract

Background

The navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella Walker (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), is the most serious insect pest of almonds and pistachios in California for which environmentally friendly alternative methods of control — like pheromone-based approaches — are highly desirable. Some constituents of the sex pheromone are unstable and could be replaced with parapheromones, which may be designed on the basis of molecular interaction of pheromones and pheromone-detecting olfactory proteins.

Methodology

By analyzing extracts from olfactory and non-olfactory tissues, we identified putative olfactory proteins, obtained their N-terminal amino acid sequences by Edman degradation, and used degenerate primers to clone the corresponding cDNAs by SMART RACE. Additionally, we used degenerate primers based on conserved sequences of known proteins to fish out other candidate olfactory genes. We expressed the gene encoding a newly identified pheromone-binding protein, which was analyzed by circular dichroism, fluorescence, and nuclear magnetic resonance, and used in a binding assay to assess affinity to pheromone components.

Conclusion

We have cloned nine cDNAs encoding olfactory proteins from the navel orangeworm, including two pheromone-binding proteins, two general odorant-binding proteins, one chemosensory protein, one glutathione S-transferase, one antennal binding protein X, one sensory neuron membrane protein, and one odorant receptor. Of these, AtraPBP1 is highly enriched in male antennae. Fluorescence, CD and NMR studies suggest a dramatic pH-dependent conformational change, with high affinity to pheromone constituents at neutral pH and no binding at low pH.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Copyright: © 2009 Leal et al.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/37541
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