Niu, Guodong; Siegel, Joel; Schuler, Mary A; Berenbaum, May R
Mycotoxins, such as aflatoxins and ochratoxins, are widely distributed in nature and are frequently problematic crop contaminants that cause millions of dollars of annual losses in the United States. Insect infestations of crop plants significantly exacerbate mycotoxin contamination. Damage to a variety of nut species by Amyelois transitella Walker (navel orangeworm, NOW) is associated with infection by Aspergillus species and concomitant production of aflatoxins and ochratoxins. Resistance to aflatoxins in this lepidopteran is compared here with the levels of resistance in Helicoverpa zea (corn earworm, CEW), another lepidopteran that routinely encounters aflatoxins in its diet, albeit at lower levels. Measured as the developmental delay caused by aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), it is apparent that the LC(50) (defined as the concentration preventing 50% of newly hatched larvae from entering the 2nd instar within 48 h) for AFB1 is 100 times greater for A. transitella than for H. zea. Similarly, A. transitella 1st instars display substantially higher tolerance to ochratoxin A, another mycotoxin contaminant produced by Aspergillus species, than do H. zea. Our studies indicate that A. transitella, although a hostplant generalist, may well be highly specialized for mycotoxin detoxification.
Bradley S. Higbee
Full Text Available The lack of an effective pheromone lure has made it difficult to monitor and manage the navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae, in the economically important crops in which it is the primary insect pest. A series of experiments was conducted to demonstrate and characterize a practical synthetic pheromone lure for capturing navel orangeworm males. Traps baited with lures prepared with 1 or 2 mg of a three- or four-component formulation captured similar numbers of males. The fluctuation over time in the number of males captured in traps baited with the pheromone lure correlated significantly with males captured in female-baited traps. Traps baited with the pheromone lure usually did not capture as many males as traps baited with unmated females, and the ratio of males trapped with pheromone to males trapped with females varied between crops and with abundance. The pheromone lure described improves the ability of pest managers to detect and monitor navel orangeworm efficiently and may improve management and decrease insecticide treatments applied as a precaution against damage. Awareness of differences between male interaction with the pheromone lure and calling females, as shown in these data, will be important as further studies and experience determine how best to use this lure for pest management.
Walter S Leal
Full Text Available 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.
Demkovich, Mark; Dana, Catherine E; Siegel, Joel P; Berenbaum, May R
Amyelois transitella (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), the navel orangeworm, is a highly polyphagous economic pest of almond, pistachio, and walnut crops in California. Increasing demand for these crops and their rising economic value has resulted in substantial increases of insecticide applications to reduce damage to acceptable levels. The effects of piperonyl butoxide (PBO), a methylenedioxyphenyl compound that can act as a synergist by inhibiting cytochrome P450-mediated detoxification on insecticide metabolism by A. transitella, were examined in a series of feeding bioassays with first-instar A. transitella larvae from a laboratory strain. PBO, however, can have a variety of effects on metabolism, including inhibition of glutathione-S-transferases and esterases and induction of P450s. In our study, PBO synergized the toxicity of acetamiprid, λ-cyhalothrin, and spinosad, suggesting possible involvement of P450s in their detoxification. In contrast, PBO interacted antagonistically with the organophosphate insecticide chlorpyrifos, reducing its toxicity, an effect consistent with inhibition of P450-mediated bioactivation of this pesticide. The toxicity of the anthranilic diamide insecticide chlorantraniliprole was not altered by PBO, suggestive of little or no involvement of P450-mediated metabolism in its detoxification. Because a population of navel orangeworm in Kern County, CA, has already acquired resistance to the pyrethroid insecticide bifenthrin through enhanced P450 activity, determining the effect of adding a synergist such as PBO on detoxification of all insecticide classes registered for use in navel orangeworm management can help to develop rotation practices that may delay resistance acquisition or to implement alternative management practices where resistance is likely to evolve.
Ampt, Eline A; Bush, Daniel S; Siegel, Joel P; Berenbaum, May R
The navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Walker), is a polyphagous pest of California nut crops and is responsible for extensive losses in the United States. It directly damages crops by feeding and contaminating nuts with frass and webbing and vectors saprophytic fungi that infect crops. The navel orangeworm is commonly associated with Aspergillus species, including the toxigenic Aspergillus flavus, which causes crop loss by producing carcinogens, including aflatoxin B1. This lepidopteran-fungus association is the most economically serious pest complex in Central Valley orchards, and evidence indicates that this relationship is mutualistic. We assessed preference and performance of navel orangeworm larvae associated with A. flavus in behavioral bioassays in which neonates were allowed to orient within arenas to media with or without fungal tissue, and performance bioassays in which larvae were reared with and without A. flavus on potato dextrose agar (PDA) and a semidefined almond PDA diet to evaluate effects on development and pupal weight. Navel orangeworm larvae were attracted to A. flavus and developed faster in its presence, indicating a nutritional benefit to the caterpillars. Larvae reached pupation ∼33% faster on diet containing A. flavus, and pupal weights were ∼18% higher for males and ∼13% higher for females on this diet. Our findings indicate that A. flavus plays an important role in larval orientation and development on infected hosts. The preference-performance relationship between navel orangeworms and Aspergillus flavus is consistent with a facultative mutualism that has broad implications for pest management efforts and basic understanding of Lepidoptera-plant interactions.
The polyphagous navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), is a major insect pest of California tree nuts. The larvae of A. transitella feed on kernels inflicting damage and lowering nut kernel quality. Moreover, larvae vector aflatoxigenic aspergilli resulting in internationa...
For some polyphagous insects adaptation to phytochemically novel plants confers enhanced resistance to insecticides, but whether insecticide resistance enhances tolerance to novel phytochemicals has not been assessed. We used Amyelois transitella Walker (navel orangeworm), an economically important ...
Bagchi, Vikram A; Siegel, Joel P; Demkovich, Mark R; Zehr, Luke N; Berenbaum, May R
For some polyphagous insects, adaptation to phytochemically novel plants can enhance resistance to certain pesticides, but whether pesticide resistance expands tolerance to phytochemicals has not been examined. Amyelois transitella Walker (navel orangeworm) is an important polyphagous pest of nut and fruit tree crops in California. Bifenthrin resistance, partially attributable to enhanced cytochrome P450 (P450)-mediated detoxification, has been reported in an almond-infesting population exposed to intense pesticide selection. We compared the toxicity of bifenthrin and three phytochemicals-chlorogenic acid, and the furanocoumarins xanthotoxin and bergapten-to three strains of A. transitella: pyrethroid-resistant R347 (maintained in the laboratory for ∼10 generations), fig-derived FIG (in the laboratory for ∼25 generations), and CPQ-a laboratory strain derived from almonds ∼40 years ago). Whereas both Ficus carica (fig) and Prunus dulcis (almond) contain chlorogenic acid, furanocoumarins occur only in figs. Both R347 and FIG exhibited 2-fold greater resistance to the three phytochemicals compared with CPQ; surprisingly, bifenthrin resistance was highest in FIG. Piperonyl butoxide, a P450 synergist, increased toxicity of all three phytochemicals only in CPQ, implicating alternate tolerance mechanisms in R347 and FIG. To test the ability of the strains to utilize novel hostplants directly, we compared survival on diets containing seeds of Wisteria sinensis and Prosopis pallida, two non-host Fabaceae species; survival of FIG was highest and survival of R347 was lowest. Our results suggest that, while P450-mediated pesticide resistance enhances tolerance of certain phytochemicals in this species, it is only one of multiple biochemical adaptations associated with acquiring novel hostplants.
The navel orange worm (NOW), Amyelois transitella, is a cosmopolitan pest in California that is a concern to countries that import inshell nuts, particularly walnuts. Sulfuryl fluoride is currently being used to control NOW populations on walnuts, however, the conditions required to achieve requisit...
Aerosol mating disruption is used for management of navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), in an increasing portion of California almonds and pistachios. This formulation suppresses pheromone monitoring traps far beyond the treatment block, potentially complicating...
The navel orangeworm (Amyelois transitella) has been a major insect pest of California tree nut orchards for the past five decades. In particular, almond and pistachio orchards suffer major annual economic damage due to both physical and associated fungal damage caused by navel orangeworm larvae. Un...
Eric di Luccio
Full Text Available The navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella is a major agricultural pest causing large losses in a variety of tree crops. Control of this insect pest may be achieved by interfering with olfactory pathways to block detection of female-produced sex pheromones and consequently, disrupt mating. The first component of this pathway is the pheromone-binding protein AtraPBP1, which recognizes the pheromone and presents it to the odorant receptor housed in a sensory neuron of the male antennae. Release of the ligand depends on a pH-induced conformational change associated with the acidity of the membrane surface. To characterize this conformational change and to understand how pheromones bind, we have determined the high resolution crystal structures of AtraPBP1 in complex with two main constituents of the sex pheromone, i.e., (11Z,13Z-hexadecadienal and (11Z,13Z-hexadecadienol. Comparison with the structure of the unliganded form demonstrates a large ∼90° movement of the C-terminal helix which is observed in other pheromone- or odorant-binding proteins accompanied by an unpredicted 37° displacement of the N-terminal helix. Molecular dynamic trajectories suggest that the conformational change of the α1 helix facilitates the movement of the C-terminal helix.
The recent availability of sex pheromone lures for the navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), improves options for monitoring this key pest in conventionally-managed almonds. These lures are, however, minimally effective in the presence of mating disruption. Experi...
Experiments during the flight of the overwintering generation of navel orangeworm revealed that Suterra NOW Biolure pheromone lures held in storage at -20°C increased significantly in field effectiveness with time in storage over a period of 0-2 years. This increase in field effectiveness coincided ...
Niu, Guodong; Pollock, Henry S; Lawrance, Allen; Siegel, Joel P; Berenbaum, May R
The navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), is the most destructive lepidopteran pest of almonds [Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A.Webb] and pistachios (Pistacia vera L.) in California and is a serious problem in figs (Ficus carica L.) and walnuts (Juglans spp.). In addition to direct damage, larval feeding leaves nuts vulnerable to infection by Aspergillus spp., fungi that produce toxic aflatoxins. A potentially safe and sustainable approach for managing navel orangeworm in orchards may be to use natural essential oil synergists to interfere with this insect's ability to detoxify insecticides and phytochemicals. We tested the effects of a naturally occurring plant-derived chemical, myristicin, and a synthetic inhibitor of cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s), piperonyl butoxide, on the toxicity of three insecticides (alpha-cypermethrin, tau-fluvalinate, and methoxyfenozide [Intrepid]) and a phytochemical (xanthotoxin) to A. transitella. Piperonyl butoxide significantly synergized alpha-cypermethrin and tau-fluvalinate, whereas myristicin synergized only alpha-cypermethrin. Piperonyl butoxide synergized the toxicity of xanthotoxin as early as 72 h after exposure, whereas myristicin synergized xanthotoxin after 120 h. In view of these findings and the limited availability of environmentally safe synthetic insecticides for sustainable management, particularly in organic orchards, myristicin is a potential field treatment in combination with insecticides to reduce both navel orangeworm survival and aflatoxin contamination of nuts. In addition, this study demonstrates that in A. transitella the insect growth regulator methoxyfenozide is not detoxified by P450s.
Nay, Justin E; Peterson, Elonce M; Boyd, Elizabeth A
Experiments conducted in three almond, Prunus dulcis (Rosales: Rosaceae), orchards and three pistachio, Pistacia vera (Sapindales: Anicardiaceae), orchards in 2009 and 2010, and determined that sticky bottom wing traps baited with ground pistachio mummies, or a combination of ground pistachio plus ground almond mummies, trapped more adult female navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), than did traps baited with ground almond mummies alone. During both years of this study, 2.9 and 1.8 more moths were caught in traps baited with pistachio mummies compared with traps baited with almond mummies in almond orchards and pistachio orchards, respectively. Also, traps located in pistachio orchards caught 5.9 and 8.3 times more navel orangeworm than were trapped from almond orchards in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Implications for use of this novel baited trap in almond and pistachio orchard integrated pest management programs are discussed.
Full Text Available Trapping is an essential tool used to decide the need for and/or timing of an insecticide application. The assumption is that the information is accurate, but accuracy is dependent on trap reliability and efficacy. One factor that affects reliability is trap saturation, defined as the measurable decrease in trap capture due to reduced trapping effectiveness caused by the accumulation of insects already in a trap. In this study, we used unmated female navel orangeworm (NOW, Amyelois transitella (Walker as sex pheromone baits in wing traps that varied by color and glue/trapping surface in order to evaluate saturation thresholds and quantify trap effectiveness. Effectiveness decreased in each type of sticky trap as the number of insects caught increased, because of the accumulation of scales and insect bodies on the glue surface. The continued accumulation of insects further reduced trap capture, and this decrease in capture could be described by a regression using a power transformation. The resulting saturation equations that we calculated will help pest control advisers and growers interpret their trap data by better estimating the relationship between the number of males trapped versus those that visited the trap.
Xu, Wei; Xu, Xianzhong; Leal, Walter S; Ames, James B
The navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Walker), is an agricultural insect pest that can be controlled by disrupting male-female communication with sex pheromones, a technique known as mating disruption. Insect pheromone-binding proteins (PBPs) provide fast transport of hydrophobic pheromones through aqueous sensillar lymph and promote sensitive delivery of pheromones to receptors. Here we present a mutational analysis on a PBP from A. transitella (AtraPBP1) to evaluate how the C-terminal helix in this protein controls pheromone binding as a function of pH. Pheromone binds tightly to AtraPBP1 at neutral pH, but the binding is much weaker at pH below 5. Deletion of the entire C-terminal helix (residues 129-142) causes more than 100-fold increase in pheromone-binding affinity at pH 5 and only a 1.5-fold increase at pH 7. A similar pH-dependent increase in pheromone binding is also seen for the H80A/H95A double mutant that promotes extrusion of the C-terminal helix by disabling salt bridges at each end of the helix. The single mutants (H80A and H95A) also exhibit pheromone binding at pH below 5, but with ∼2-fold weaker affinity. NMR and circular dichroism data demonstrate a large overall structural change in each of these mutants at pH 4.5, indicating an extrusion of the C-terminal helix that profoundly affects the overall structure of the low pH form. Our results confirm that sequestration of the C-terminal helix at low pH as seen in the recent NMR structure may serve to block pheromone binding. We propose that extrusion of these C-terminal residues at neutral pH (or by the mutations in this study) exposes a hydrophobic cleft that promotes high affinity pheromone binding.
Full Text Available Antennae-specific odorant-degrading enzymes (ODEs are postulated to inactivate odorant molecules after they convey their signal. Different classes of insect ODEs are specific to esters, alcohols, and aldehydes--the major functional groups of female-produced, hydrophobic sex pheromones from moth species. Esterases that rapidly inactive acetate and other esters have been well-studied, but less is known about aldehyde oxidases (AOXs. Here we report cloning of an aldehyde oxidase, AtraAOX2, from the antennae of the navel orangeworm (NOW, Amyelois transitella, and the first activity characterization of a recombinant insect AOX. AtraAOX2 gene spans 3,813 bp and encodes a protein with 1,270 amino acid residues. AtraAOX2 cDNA was expressed in baculovirus-infected insect Sf21 cells as a ≈280 kDa homodimer with 140 kDa subunits. Recombinant AtraAOX2 degraded Z11Z13-16Ald and plant volatile aldehydes as substrates. However, as expected for aldehyde oxidases, recombinant AtraAOX2 did not show specificity for Z11Z13-16Ald, the main constituent of the sex pheromone, but showed high activity for plant volatile aldehydes. Our data suggest AtraAOX2 might be involved in degradation of a diversity of aldehydes including sex pheromones, plant-derived semiochemicals, and chemical cues for oviposition sites. Additionally, AtraAOX2 could protect the insect's olfactory system from xenobiotics, including pesticides that might reach the sensillar lymph surrounding the olfactory receptor neurons.
The spiroketal conophthorin has recently been implicated as an important semiochemical of the navel orangeworm moth (Amyelois transitella), which is a major insect pest to California tree nuts. Additionally, new evidence demonstrates conophthorin is produced by fungal spores when placed in the prese...
In order to evaluate saturation thresholds as well as differences among wing-trap types, we used unmated female navel orangeworm (NOW) as sex pheromone baits in wing-traps that varied by color and glue/trapping surface. These results were compared to male capture in red delta and simple water cup tr...
Beck, John J; Higbee, Bradley S; Light, Douglas M; Gee, Wai S; Merrill, Glory B; Hayashi, Jennifer M
A blend of volatiles derived from the emissions of almonds at hull split and mechanically damaged almonds was compared to almond meal, the current monitoring standard for the insect pest navel orangeworm (NOW). Field trapping studies were performed to determine the blend's ability to attract adult NOW. The blend comprised racemic 1-octen-3-ol, ethyl benzoate, methyl salicylate, acetophenone, and racemic (E)-conophthorin. Ethyl acetate was used as a solvent with a blend component concentration of 100 mg/mL. The blend attracted both sexes of NOW when tested in five 2-week intervals spanning the first three flights of NOW in commercial almond orchards in the southern Central Valley of California. The blend demonstrated consistently higher capture rates for female NOW throughout the evaluation period, but unlike almond meal it significantly attracted males. Reported is a survey of the major and minor volatiles emitted from almonds at hull split, the key period of vulnerability to NOW infestation. Also reported is the attractancy of a formulated test blend based on the host plant volatile emissions, electroantennographic screening experiments, and field trapping studies. The results of this test blend highlight progress toward a host-plant-based attractant for NOW, a major insect pest of California tree nuts that presently lacks an adequate monitoring tool.
Over the years various tissues of almond and pistachios have been evaluated for their ability to attract the navel orangeworm moth, a major insect pest to almond and pistachio orchards in California. Almond meal, which typically consists of ground almond kernels, is the current monitoring tool for n...
Bayes, Stephen K; Hellerstein, Marc K; Fitch, Mark; Mills, Nicholas J; Welter, Stephen C
Tracking the movement of small organisms is of tremendous importance to understanding the ecology of populations, communities, and ecosystems. However, it remains one of the most difficult challenges facing the field of movement ecology. We developed an intrinsic marking technique for tracking small organisms using dietary fatty acid profiles as a biomarker as well as for clarifying source-sink dynamics between populations on a landscape level. Navel orangeworm moths (NOW), Amyelois transitella (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), raised on two different host plants with significantly different fatty acid profiles, were used to develop a model that distinguishes NOW based on their larval host plant. Wild NOW from both known and unknown host plants were used to validate the model. NOW fatty acid profiles showed striking similarities to the fatty acid profile of their host plant demonstrating that fatty acids can act as an intrinsic marking technique for quantifying the movement of small organisms. We anticipate that given sufficient spatial variation in dietary fatty acids, this technique will be useful in studying the movement of arthropods and other invertebrates particularly when addressing questions of source-sink dynamics.
In recent field trapping studies ground pistachio and almond mummies were reported to attract adult navel orangeworm moths, which showed a slight preference for the dry pistachio mummy matrix depending on the year evaluated. Recent work in these laboratories has demonstrated that the water activity ...
The spiroketal (E)-conophthorin has recently been reported as a semiochemical of the navel orangeworm moth, a major insect pest of California pistachios and almonds. Conophthorin and the isomeric spiroketal chalcogran are most commonly known as semiochemicals of several scolytid beetles. Conophthori...
Trap saturation, the decrease in traps’ efficiency due to accumulation of trapped insects and debris, is a problem in all insect traps but especially in sticky traps. During field tests to trap navel orangeworm males (ca. 1.5 cm wing span) delta and wing traps whose liners (sticky surface ca. 465 c...
The multi-billion dollar US tree nut industries rely heavily on methyl bromide fumigation for postharvest insect control and are facing a major challenge with the mandated cessation by 2005 of its use for most applications. There is an urgent need to develop effective and economically viable alternative treatments to replace current phytosanitary and quarantine practices in order to maintain the competitiveness of US agriculture in domestic and international markets. With the reliable heating block system, the thermal death kinetics for fifth-instar codling moth, lndianmeal moth, and navel orangeworm were determined at a heating rate of 18℃/min. A practical process protocol was developed to control the most heat resistant insect pest, fifth-instar navel orangeworm, in in-shell walnuts using a 27MHz pilot scale radio frequency (RF) system. RF heating to 55℃ and holding in hot air for at least 5min resulted in 100% mortality of the fifth-instar navel orangeworm. Rancidity, sensory qualities and shell characteristics were not affected by the treatments. If this method can be economically integrated into the handling process, it should have excellent potential as a disinfestation method for in-shell walnuts.
WANG Shao-jin; TANG Ju-ming
The multi-billion dollar US tree nut industries rely heavily on methyl bromide fumigation for postharvest insect control and are facing a major challenge with the mandated cessation by 2005 of its use for most applications. There is an urgent need to develop effective and economically viable alternative treatments to replace current phytosanitary and quarantine practices in order to maintain the competitiveness of US agriculture in domestic and international markets. With the reliable heating block system, the thermal death kinetics for fifth-instar codling moth, Indianmeal moth, and navel orangeworm were determined at a heating rate of 18℃/min. A practical process protocol was developed to control the most heat resistant insect pest, fifth-instar navel orangeworm, in in-shell walnuts using a 27 MHz pilot scale radio frequency (RF)system. RF heating to 55℃ and holding in hot air for at least 5 min resulted in 100% mortality of the fifth-instar navel orangeworm. Rancidity, sensory qualities and shell characteristics were not affected by the treatments. If this method can be economically integrated into the handling process, it should have excellent potential as a disinfestation method for in-shell walnuts.
Full Text Available The insect's olfactory system is so selective that male moths, for example, can discriminate female-produced sex pheromones from compounds with minimal structural modifications. Yet, there is an exception for this "lock-and-key" tight selectivity. Formate analogs can be used as replacement for less chemically stable, long-chain aldehyde pheromones, because male moths respond physiologically and behaviorally to these parapheromones. However, it remained hitherto unknown how formate analogs interact with aldehyde-sensitive odorant receptors (ORs. Neuronal responses to semiochemicals were investigated with single sensillum recordings. Odorant receptors (ORs were cloned using degenerate primers, and tested with the Xenopus oocyte expression system. Quality, relative quantity, and purity of samples were evaluated by gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. We identified olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs housed in trichoid sensilla on the antennae of male navel orangeworm that responded equally to the main constituent of the sex pheromone, (11Z,13Z-hexadecadienal (Z11Z13-16Ald, and its formate analog, (9Z,11Z-tetradecen-1-yl formate (Z9Z11-14OFor. We cloned an odorant receptor co-receptor (Orco and aldehyde-sensitive ORs from the navel orangeworm, one of which (AtraOR1 was expressed specifically in male antennae. AtraOR1•AtraOrco-expressing oocytes responded mainly to Z11Z13-16Ald, with moderate sensitivity to another component of the sex pheromone, (11Z,13Z-hexadecadien-1-ol. Surprisingly, this receptor was more sensitive to the related formate than to the natural sex pheromone. A pheromone receptor from Heliothis virescens, HR13 ( = HvirOR13 showed a similar profile, with stronger responses elicited by a formate analog than to the natural sex pheromone, (11Z-hexadecenal thus suggesting this might be a common feature of moth pheromone receptors.
Beck, John J; Mahoney, Noreen E; Cook, Daniel; Gee, Wai S
The spiroketal (E)-conophthorin has recently been reported as a semiochemical of the navel orangeworm moth, a major insect pest of California pistachios and almonds. Conophthorin and the isomeric spiroketal chalcogran are most commonly known as semiochemicals of several scolytid beetles. Conophthorin is both an insect- and plant-produced semiochemical widely recognized as a nonhost plant volatile from the bark of several angiosperm species. Chalcogran is the principal aggregation pheromone component of the six-spined spruce bark beetle. Recent research has shown conophthorin is produced by almonds undergoing hull-split, and both spiroketals are produced by mechanically damaged almonds. To better understand the origin of these spiroketals, the volatile emissions of orchard fungal spores on fatty acids common to both pistachios and almonds were evaluated. The volatile emission for the first 13 days of spores placed on a fatty acid was monitored. The spores investigated were Aspergillus flavus (atoxigenic), A. flavus (toxigenic), Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus parasiticus, Penicillium glabrum, and Rhizopus stolonifer. The fatty acids used as growth media were palmitic, oleic, linoleic, and linolenic. Spores on linoleic acid produced both spiroketals, those on linolenic acid produced only chalcogran, and those on palmitic and oleic acid did not produce either spiroketal. This is the first report of the spiroketals conophthorin and chalcogran from a fungal source.