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Real-time measurement of pheromone release from individual female moths and synthetic dispensers in a wind tunnel by recording of single receptor-neurone responses

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Valeur, P., Hansson, B., & Löfstedt, C. (1999). Real-time measurement of pheromone release from individual female moths and synthetic dispensers in a wind tunnel by recording of single receptor-neurone responses. Physiological Entomology, 24(3), 240-250. doi:10.1046/j.1365-3032.1999.00138.x.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-5C23-F
Abstract
Measurements of single neurone activity in the peripheral pheromone receptors of male Agrotis segetum (Denis & Schiffermuller) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) were performed in a wind tunnel using a portable electrophysiological recording unit. Filter paper and rubber septa loaded with synthetic sex pheromone, as well as individual conspecific female glands, were used as pheromone sources. Recordings, up to 3 h long, were analysed for temporal variation in spiking activity. The recordings were performed 2 m downwind of the source, where the pheromone plume had a width of approximately 12 cm, as could be measured with the single cell preparations. The system allowed reliable measurements of relative pheromone concentration with a 20-s time resolution. The release rate from rubber septa loaded with pheromone was more or less constant over time, whereas the release rate from filter paper loaded with pheromone decreased to one tenth of the initial value within 6 min from the application of the pheromone. The release of pheromone from female pheromone glands was pulsed with an interval of 2-10 min between bursts. This pulsing was not caused by retraction of the gland, as the glands were forcibly extruded during the entire experiment, but should reflect variation in transport of pheromone to the gland surface and subsequent release. The demonstrated stability of the preparations using tungsten electrodes, the reliable monitoring of female-produced pheromone plumes at several metres distance, and the time resolution obtained are important steps towards field monitoring of natural pheromone plumes, as well as pheromone concentration and distribution in applications for mating disruption.