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Methyl salicylate, identified as primary odorant of a specific receptor neuron type, inhibits oviposition by the moth Mamestra brassicae L. (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae)
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2008 (English)In: CHEMICAL SENSES, ISSN 0379-864X, Vol. 33, no 1, 35-46 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The cabbage moth, Mamestra brassicae L. (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae), is a polyphagous species that is often choosing plants of Brassica as hosts for oviposition. In the search for biologically relevant odorants used by these moths, gas chromatography linked to electrophysiological recordings from single receptor neurons (RNs) has been employed, resulting in classification of distinct types of neurons. This study presents specific olfactory RNs responding to methyl salicylate (MeS) as primary odorant and showing a weak response to methyl benzoate, the 2 aromatic compounds occurring together in several plant species. In 2 cases, the neuron was colocated with another RN type responding to 6 green leaf volatiles: 1-hexanol, (3Z)-hexen-1-ol, (2E)-hexen-1-ol, (3Z)-hexenyl acetate, (2Z)-hexen-1-ol, and an unidentified compound. Whereas the specific RNs detected the minor amounts of MeS in some plants, the compound was not found by gas chromatography linked to mass spectrometry in intact plants, but it was found after herbivore attack. The behavioral effect of MeS was studied in outdoor test arenas with Brassica napus and artificial plants. These experiments indicated that mated M. brassicae females avoid plants with dispensers emitting MeS. As it is induced by caterpillar feeding, this compound may mediate a message to mated M. brassicae females that the plant is already occupied.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 33, no 1, 35-46 p.
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Biological Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-139488DOI: 10.1093/chemse/bjm061OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-139488DiVA: diva2:1072315
Available from: 2017-02-07 Created: 2017-02-07 Last updated: 2017-02-07

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