Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 23781142
Link to DOI – 10.7150/ijbs.6109
Int J Biol Sci 2013 ; 9(5): 481-95
The stemborer Sesamia nonagrioides is an important pest of maize in the Mediterranean Basin. Like other moths, this noctuid uses its chemosensory system to efficiently interact with its environment. However, very little is known on the molecular mechanisms that underlie chemosensation in this species. Here, we used next-generation sequencing (454 and Illumina) on different tissues from adult and larvae, including chemosensory organs and female ovipositors, to describe the chemosensory transcriptome of S. nonagrioides and identify key molecular components of the pheromone production and detection systems. We identified a total of 68 candidate chemosensory genes in this species, including 31 candidate binding-proteins and 23 chemosensory receptors. In particular, we retrieved the three co-receptors Orco, IR25a and IR8a necessary for chemosensory receptor functioning. Focusing on the pheromonal communication system, we identified a new pheromone-binding protein in this species, four candidate pheromone receptors and 12 carboxylesterases as candidate acetate degrading enzymes. In addition, we identified enzymes putatively involved in S. nonagrioides pheromone biosynthesis, including a ∆11-desaturase and different acetyltransferases and reductases. RNAseq analyses and RT-PCR were combined to profile gene expression in different tissues. This study constitutes the first large scale description of chemosensory genes in S. nonagrioides.