Physiology and antennal lobe projections of olfactory receptor neurons from sexually isomorphic sensilla on male Heliothis virescens

N K Hillier, N J Vickers
Journal of Comparative Physiology. A, Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology 2007, 193 (6): 649-63
The neurophysiology and antennal lobe projections of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) within sexually isomorphic short trichoid sensilla of male Heliothis virescens (Noctuidae: Lepidoptera) were investigated using cut-sensillum recording and cobalt-lysine staining. A total of 202 sensilla were sorted into 14 possible sensillar categories based on odor responses and physiology of ORNs within. Seventy-two percent of the sensilla identified contained ORNs stimulated by conspecific odors. In addition, a large number of ORNs were specifically sensitive to ss-caryophyllene, a plant-derived volatile (N = 41). Axons originating from ORNs associated with individual sensilla were stained with cobalt lysine (N = 67) and traced to individual glomeruli in the antennal lobe. ORNs with responses to female sex pheromone components exhibited similar axonal projections as those previously described from ORNs in long sensilla trichodea in male H. virescens. Antennal lobe axonal arborizations of ORNs sensitive to hairpencil components were also located in glomeruli near the base of the antennal nerve, whilst those sensitive to plant odorants projected to more medial glomeruli. Comparisons with ORNs described from female H. virescens supports the notion that glomeruli at the base of the antennal nerve are associated with conspecific and interspecific odorants, whereas those located medially are associated with plant volatiles.

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