Topic Editors

1. Biotechnology Research Center, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Jinan 250100, China
2. School of Bioengineering, Qilu University of Technology, Jinan 250353, China
3. Science and Technology Service Platform of Shandong Academy of Sciences (STSP) Shandong Academy of Sciences – Pioneering Park, Jinan, China
Laboratory of Functional and Evolutionary Entomology, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liege (ULiege), Passage des Déportés, 2-5030 Gembloux, Belgium
Pest Management and Biocontrol Research Unit, US Arid Land AgriculturalResearch Center, USDA Agricultural Research Services, Maricopa, AZ 85138, USA
Dr. Alejandro Rooney
Cropping Systems Research Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Lubbock, TX, USA
Faculty of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 1737 Funako, Atsugi-shi, Kanagawa 243-0034, Japan
Prof. Dr. Takeshi Fujii
Laboratory of Applied Entomology, Faculty of Agriculture, Setsunan University, Nagaotogecho 45-1, Hirakata, Osaka 573-0101, Japan
Animal Ecology I, University of Bayreuth, 95440 Bayreuth, Germany

Pheromone Production and Perception: From Genetics to Behaviors

Abstract submission deadline
closed (30 April 2023)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (30 June 2023)
Viewed by
7282

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

“Musk” is not just a pleasant wood perfume or cologne, an enjoyable powerful fragrance for the use of our nose, it is also the land pheromone of male authentic Wild Central Asian Musk/Kasturi Real Deer, i.e. whitetail deer buck. In snakes, a molecule such as Sodephrin mediates male-female interaction and sex attractiveness. In the magnificent tree frog (Litora splendida), a sex recognition pheromone (Splendipherin) is produced in the paratoid and rostral glands of the male head. In apes and mandrills, various scent-gland secretions influence sex recognition, social status and inter-individual association. Like most mammals, odorant pheromones are crucial for primate reproduction and social behavior. While the concept of “human pheromones” remains rather enigmatic, pheromones and odor chemicals largely affect insect behavior and physiology. Aggregation signals for defense and/or migration, alarm pheromones, food trail chemicals, territorial (nest) marks, oviposition site selection pheromones and sexual odors are used by most of all insect species from the honeybee to the dark sword-grass moth, black cutworm, a severe pest on corn. Accordingly, behavioral, biochemical, genetic, molecular, neurobiological and physiological aspects of pheromone communication have been and remain extensively studied in insects. The resulting data have provided critical insights into the chemical mechanisms by which biosynthetic enzymes operate and even lead to the formulation of new principles and biotechnological applications of sex odor-receptor interactions. The ecological functions of pheromone lures such as disparlure and the evolution of moth pheromones are major research topics in fields that focus on the identification of pheromone components and their use in insect pest control, in applied entomology and in chemical ecology of animals in general. Although these are considered at the organismal level, we extend our studies to cells, genes, molecules and molecular interactions. The topic title in this multi-volume collection aims at collecting the results of modern research that seek to answer all the challenges, debates and questions that are currently posed in the field of pheromone production and perception (from genetics to behaviors) across the whole Animalia kingdom. It is rather extraordinary to think that ants, cockroaches and collembolan species use fatty acids as ancient chemical signals for avoiding predation and disease, whereas the male European corn borer moth, Ostrinia nubilalis, does elaborate loops when in close proximity to a seducing female. This behavior will then give way to the extrusion of small brush-like organs (hairpencils) from the belly and terminal part of the abdomen to release specific aphrodisiacs, namely a substance that bears information about species, strain, sex, age, mating history and/or individual status, and evokes female mate choice, a primordial event to sexual selection. As the Topic Editors of this Topic Collection “Pheromone Production and Perception: from genetics to behaviors”, we are anticipating submissions from the following aspects: (1) Molecular basis of pheromone-receptor interactions (2) Pheromonogenesis (pheromone biosynthetic pathways) (3) Pheromones in insect pest management (4) Identification of insect pheromones: chemical and behavioral evidence (5) Ecological, behavioral and molecular aspects of insect hydrocarbons (6) Pheromone-mediated intraspecific interactions (alarm signaling, mating, aggregation) (7) Pheromone-mediated interspecific interactions (animal interactions and emergence of territoriality, prey-predator interactions, symbiosis, commensalism, mutualism) (8) Olfaction: molecular mechanisms of pheromone detection (9) Odorant-binding proteins (OBPs), chemosensory proteins (CSPs), NPC2, intracellular transport of fatty acids, lipids and cholesterol, regulation of cell metabolism (10) Hormonal regulation of pheromone production (11) Genetic and molecular analyses of insect-plant interactions (12) Host plant finding by arthropods and worms (13) Semiochemistry of plant-insect interactions (14) Mechanisms of plant-microbes-insects three way interactions (15) Genetic basis of chemical communication in eusocial insects (16) Nestmate recognition in social insects (17) Chemistry of building-up dominance hierarchies in animals (18) Gut microbiota modulate insect communication and reproduction (19) Climate change and insect communication and reproduction (20) Pheromones, insecticides, hormesis

Prof. Dr. Jean-François Picimbon
Prof. Dr. François Verheggen
Dr. J.Joe Hull
Dr. Alejandro Rooney
Prof. Dr. Takeshi Sakurai
Prof. Dr. Takeshi Fujii
Prof. Dr. Klaus H. Hoffmann
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • animalia
  • insecta
  • olfaction
  • pheromones
  • identification
  • production
  • perception
  • regulation

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Cells
cells
6.0 9.0 2012 16.6 Days CHF 2700
Genes
genes
3.5 5.1 2010 16.5 Days CHF 2600
Insects
insects
3.0 4.2 2010 17 Days CHF 2600
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
ijms
5.6 7.8 2000 16.3 Days CHF 2900
Molecules
molecules
4.6 6.7 1996 14.6 Days CHF 2700

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Published Papers (5 papers)

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13 pages, 2449 KiB  
Article
Unraveling the Significance of Draglines: Female Sexual Signalization in the Nursery-Web Spider, Pisaura mirabilis
by Zuzana Ježová, Pavol Prokop, Martina Zvaríková and Milan Zvarík
Insects 2023, 14(9), 765; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14090765 - 13 Sep 2023
Viewed by 783
Abstract
Chemical signals used by animals to attract the opposite sex are well known in insects, but heavily understudied in spiders. We investigated the role of chemical signals in female draglines in a gift-giving spider, Pisaura mirabilis, using combined data from behavioral tests [...] Read more.
Chemical signals used by animals to attract the opposite sex are well known in insects, but heavily understudied in spiders. We investigated the role of chemical signals in female draglines in a gift-giving spider, Pisaura mirabilis, using combined data from behavioral tests and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). We also investigated whether the quality of sexual signalization is influenced by crucial factors, such as female spider ontogeny, nutritional status, and mating status. We found that draglines of adult (versus subadult) and hungry (versus fed) females stimulated male motivation to produce nuptial gift, and highly sexually excited males invested more silk in gift production than less sexually excited males. Unexpectedly, chemical signals of eggsac-carrying females were similarly sexually attractive to draglines of adult females not carrying eggsac. HPLC identified significant chemical differences in female draglines, but these differences did not always correspond to male behavior. The integration of behavioral and chemical approaches is required to better understand animal behavior in future research. Full article
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13 pages, 1497 KiB  
Article
Chemical Components of Dufour’s and Venom Glands in Camponotus japonicus (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)
by Wenjing Xu, Mengqin Zhao, Lingxiao Tang, Ruoqing Ma and Hong He
Insects 2023, 14(7), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14070664 - 24 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1030
Abstract
The Dufour’s and venom glands are the most developed glands connected to the female reproductive organs, playing important roles in defense, foraging, information exchange, and reproduction in ants. The main chemical secretions of these glands vary among species and even among castes of [...] Read more.
The Dufour’s and venom glands are the most developed glands connected to the female reproductive organs, playing important roles in defense, foraging, information exchange, and reproduction in ants. The main chemical secretions of these glands vary among species and even among castes of the same species. In this study, we analyzed the chemical components of the Dufour’s and venom glands in different castes of Camponotus japonicus (original worker, minor worker, major worker, gyne, and queen) using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) with two sample processing methods (hexane solution and solid-phase microextraction). The secretion of the Dufour’s gland is characterized by a high ratio of alkanes, with n-undecane being the dominant secretion in all castes except the original workers. The venom gland’s secretion mainly includes alkanes, acids, ketones, and alcohols, with formic acid and n-undecane being the dominant components. Additionally, the chemical composition and proportion of the main components vary significantly among castes, which may be closely related to the division of labor in their social life. This study provides basic information to further understand the function of these two glands in the social life of ants. Full article
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12 pages, 1517 KiB  
Article
Kairomonal Effect of Aphid Alarm Pheromones and Analogs on the Parasitoid Diaeretiella rapae
by Yaoguo Qin, Shangyang Zhang and Zhengxi Li
Insects 2022, 13(11), 1055; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13111055 - 15 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1295
Abstract
Aphid alarm pheromones, as important semiochemicals, not only mediate behavioral response of aphids, but can also act as kairomones to attract their natural enemies. The sesquiterpene (E)-β-farnesene (EβF), the major alarm pheromone component of most aphid species, has been shown to have a [...] Read more.
Aphid alarm pheromones, as important semiochemicals, not only mediate behavioral response of aphids, but can also act as kairomones to attract their natural enemies. The sesquiterpene (E)-β-farnesene (EβF), the major alarm pheromone component of most aphid species, has been shown to have a kairomonal effect on the predators of aphids, but other alarm pheromone components, especially the monoterpenes and analogs, are rarely investigated. Here, two EβF analogs were successfully synthesized via the nucleophilic substitution reaction, and we then examined the kairomonal effects of four alarm pheromone components and two EβF analogs on the aphid parasitoid, Diaeretiella rapae. In olfactory bioassays, D. rapae females generally showed no significant behavioral response to these alarm pheromone components and analogs under low concentrations (0.1 μg/μL). Nevertheless, their olfactory response to these compounds gradually enhanced with increasing concentrations. Among the four pheromone components, EβF showed the highest attractive activity, but the parasitoid preferred blends over single compounds. Moreover, the response time decreased as the concentration increased. We confirmed the kairomonal effect of monoterpene alarm pheromone components and their blends, in addition to EβF, on the natural enemies of aphids. This is the first report that the blend of alarm pheromone components and their analogs has a stronger kairomonal effect than do the single components on the natural enemies of aphids. This study contributes to our understanding of the mechanisms involved in the regulation of parasitoid behaviors by kairomones and provides a promising opportunity for designing kairomones for the aphid parasitoid to mediate aphid populations in the field. Full article
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20 pages, 6510 KiB  
Article
Comparison and Functional Analysis of Odorant-Binding Proteins and Chemosensory Proteins in Two Closely Related Thrips Species, Frankliniella occidentalis and Frankliniella intonsa (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) Based on Antennal Transcriptome Analysis
by Xiaowei Li, Jianghui Cheng, Limin Chen, Jun Huang, Zhijun Zhang, Jinming Zhang, Xiaoyun Ren, Muhammad Hafeez, Shuxing Zhou, Wanying Dong and Yaobin Lu
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(22), 13900; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232213900 - 11 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1373
Abstract
Two closely related thrips species, Frankliniella occidentalis and Frankliniella intonsa, are important pests on agricultural and horticultural crops. They have several similarities, including occurrence patterns, host range, and aggregation pheromone compounds. However, there are very few reports about the chemosensory genes and [...] Read more.
Two closely related thrips species, Frankliniella occidentalis and Frankliniella intonsa, are important pests on agricultural and horticultural crops. They have several similarities, including occurrence patterns, host range, and aggregation pheromone compounds. However, there are very few reports about the chemosensory genes and olfactory mechanisms in these two species. To expand our knowledge of the thrips chemosensory system, we conducted antennal transcriptome analysis of two thrips species, and identified seven odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) and eight chemosensory proteins (CSPs) in F. occidentalis, as well as six OBPs and six CSPs in F. intonsa. OBPs and CSPs showed high sequence identity between the two thrips species. The RT-qPCR results showed that the orthologous genes FoccOBP1/3/4/5/6, FintOBP1/3/4/6, FoccCSP1/2/3, and FintCSP1/2 were highly expressed in male adults. Molecular docking results suggested that orthologous pairs FoccOBP4/FintOBP4, FoccOBP6/FintOBP6, and FoccCSP2/FintCSP2 might be involved in transporting the major aggregation pheromone compound neryl (S)-2-methylbutanoate, while orthologous pairs FoccOBP6/FintOBP6, FoccCSP2/FintCSP2, and FoccCSP3/FintCSP3 might be involved in transporting the minor aggregation pheromone compound (R)-lavandulyl acetate. These results will provide a fundamental basis for understanding the molecular mechanisms of pheromone reception in the two thrips species. Full article
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12 pages, 2424 KiB  
Article
Sex-Biased Expression of Olfaction-Related Genes in the Antennae of Apis cerana (Hymenoptera: Apidae)
by Hanchao Du, Wenting Su, Jiaxing Huang and Guiling Ding
Genes 2022, 13(10), 1771; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13101771 - 30 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1510
Abstract
The olfactory system is essential for honeybees to adapt to complex and ever-changing environments and maintain cohesiveness. The Eastern honeybee Apis cerana is native to Asia and has a long history of managed beekeeping in China. In this study, we analysed the antennal [...] Read more.
The olfactory system is essential for honeybees to adapt to complex and ever-changing environments and maintain cohesiveness. The Eastern honeybee Apis cerana is native to Asia and has a long history of managed beekeeping in China. In this study, we analysed the antennal transcriptomes of A. cerana workers and drones using Illumina sequencing. A total of 5262 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) (fold change > 2) were identified between these two castes, with 2359 upregulated and 2903 downregulated in drones compared with workers. We identified 242 candidate olfaction-related genes, including 15 odourant-binding proteins (OBPs), 5 chemosensory proteins (CSPs), 110 odourant receptors (ORs), 9 gustatory receptors (GRs), 8 ionotropic receptors (IRs), 2 sensory neuron membrane proteins (SNMPs) and 93 putative odourant-degrading enzymes (ODEs). More olfaction-related genes have worker-biased expression than drone-biased expression, with 26 genes being highly expressed in workers’ antennae and only 8 genes being highly expressed in drones’ antennae (FPKM > 30). Using real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR), we verified the reliability of differential genes inferred by transcriptomics and compared the expression profiles of 6 ORs (AcOR10, AcOR11, AcOR13, AcOR18, AcOR79 and AcOR170) between workers and drones. These ORs were expressed at significantly higher levels in the antennae than in other tissues (p < 0.01). There were clear variations in the expression levels of all 6 ORs between differently aged workers and drones. The relative expression levels of AcOR10, AcOR11, AcOR13, AcOR18 and AcOR79 reached a high peak in 15-day-old drones. These results will contribute to future research on the olfaction mechanism of A. cerana and will help to better reveal the odourant reception variations between different biological castes of honeybees. Full article
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