DOI: 10.1111/1744-7917.13248 ISSN:

Identification of an odorant receptor responding to sex pheromones in Spodoptera frugiperda extends the novel type‐I PR lineage in moths

Sai Zhang, Emmanuelle Jacquin‐Joly, Nicolas Montagné, Fang Liu, Yang Liu, Guirong Wang
  • Insect Science
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


In moths, pheromone receptors (PRs) are crucial for intraspecific sexual communication between males and females. Moth PRs are considered as an ideal model for studying the evolution of insect PRs, and a large number of PRs have been identified and functionally characterized in different moth species. Moth PRs were initially thought to fall into a single monophyletic clade in the odorant receptor (OR) family, but recent studies have shown that ORs in another lineage also bind type‐I sex pheromones, which indicates that type‐I PRs have multiple independent origins in the Lepidoptera. In this study, we investigated whether ORs of the pest moth Spodoptera frugiperda belonging to clades closely related to this novel PR lineage may also have the capacity to bind type‐I pheromones and serve as male PRs. Among the 7 ORs tested, only 1 (SfruOR23) exhibited a male‐biased expression pattern. Importantly, in vitro functional characterization showed that SfruOR23 could bind several type‐I sex pheromone compounds with Z‐9‐tetradecenal (Z9‐14:Ald), a minor component found in female sex pheromone glands, as the optimal ligand. In addition, SfruOR23 also showed weak responses to plant volatile organic compounds. Altogether, we characterized an S. frugiperda PR positioned in a lineage closely related to the novel PR clade, indicating that the type‐I PR lineage can be extended in moths.

More from our Archive