Responses of the olfactory receptor neurons of the corn stalk borer Sesamia nonagrioides to components of the pheromone blend and their inhibition by a trifluoromethyl ketone analogue of the main component

Carmen Quero, Josep Bau, Angel Guerrero, Michel Renou
Pest Management Science 2004, 60 (7): 719-26
Two types of olfactory hairs and three types of olfactory receptor neurons (ORN) have been characterized on the antennae of male Sesamia nonagrioides Lef for the first time. Type A sensilla housed a cell which fired large spikes in response to (Z)-11-hexadecenyl acetate (Z11-16:Ac), the major component of the sex pheromone, and a second cell firing smaller spikes in response to (Z)-11-hexadecenal (Z11-16:Ald), a minor component of the pheromone blend. Type B sensilla housed one cell firing large spikes to Z11-16:Ac and a cell firing smaller spikes to another minor component of the pheromone blend, (Z)-11-hexadecenyl alcohol (Z11-16:OH). No cell responding to dodecyl acetate, another minor component of the natural extract, was found. Fluorinated ketones were tested as inhibitors of the cell responses to pheromone compounds. The fluorinated derivatives tested, (Z)-11-hexadecenyl trifluoromethyl ketone (Z11-16:TFMK), n-hexadecyl trifluoromethyl ketone (16:TFMK), (Z,E)-9,11-tetradecadienyl trifluoromethyl ketone (Z9,E11-14:TFMK), 3-octylthio-1,1,1-trifluoropropan-2-one (OTFP), (Z)-11-tetradecenyl trifluoromethyl ketone (Z11-11:TFMK) and 1,1-difluoro-(Z)-11-hexadecenyl methyl ketone (Z11-16:DFMK), had no or only weak excitatory effects. However, the neuron responses to the pheromone compounds were significantly decreased in the presence of a constant stimulation with Z11-16:TFMK and the effect was reversible. The latencies of the responses to the acetate and aldehyde cells were significantly increased. The effects were not specific, since Z11-16:TFMK also inhibited the responses of the ORNs of Spodoptera littoralis Boisd. Correspondingly, Z9,E11-14:TFMK, an analogue of the main component of the pheromone of this latter insect, inhibited responses of S nonagrioides ORNs. Implications of these results on the utilization of Z11-16:TFMK as a communication disruptant are discussed.

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