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Volatile organic compounds as signals in a plant-herbivore system: Electrophysiological responses in olfactory sensilla of the moth Cactoblastis cactorum

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Pophof,  Blanka
Verhaltensphysiologie, Seewiesen, Max Planck Institut für Ornithologie, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Pophof, B., Stange, G., & Abrell, L. (2005). Volatile organic compounds as signals in a plant-herbivore system: Electrophysiological responses in olfactory sensilla of the moth Cactoblastis cactorum. Chemical Senses, 30(1), 51-68. doi:10.1093/chemse/bji001.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-EA2D-A
Abstract
The morphological sensillum types on the antennae of male and female Cactoblastis cactorum were visualized by scanning electron microscopy. Electrophysiological recordings were performed for the first time on single olfactory sensilla of C. cactorum. The male sensilla trichodea house a receptor cell responding to the putative pheromone component (9Z,12E)-tetradecadienyl acetate. The sensilla trichodea of the females were much shorter than those of the males and contained specialized receptor cells responding to certain terpenoids, the most frequent being the nerolidol-sensitive cell. The sensilla auricillica and sensilla basiconica of both sexes contained cells responding less specifically to terpenoid compounds as well as to green leaf volatiles. Cells of the sensilla coeloconica responded to aliphatic aldehydes and acids. Eight volatile organic compounds emitted by Opuntia stricta, a host plant of C. cactorum, were identified using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, beta-caryophyllene being the major compound. Five compounds identified by gas chromatography in the headspace of O. stricta elicited responses in olfactory receptor cells of C. cactorum, nonanal being the most active compound and therefore a candidate attractant of C. cactorum.