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Two single-point mutations shift the ligand selectivity of a pheromone receptor between two closely related moth species

  1. Ke Yang
  2. Ling-Qiao Huang
  3. Chao Ning
  4. Chen-Zhu Wang  Is a corresponding author
  1. Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Research Article
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Cite this article as: eLife 2017;6:e29100 doi: 10.7554/eLife.29100

Abstract

Male moths possess highly sensitive and selective olfactory systems that detect sex pheromones produced by their females. Pheromone receptors (PRs) play a key role in this process. The PR HassOr14b is found to be tuned to (Z)-9-hexadecenal, the major sex-pheromone component, in Helicoverpa assulta. HassOr14b is co-localized with HassOr6 or HassOr16 in two olfactory sensory neurons within the same sensilla. As HarmOr14b, the ortholog of HassOr14b in the closely related species Helicoverpa armigera, is tuned to another chemical (Z)-9-tetradecenal, we study the amino acid residues that determine their ligand selectivity. Two amino acids located in the intracellular domains F232I and T355I together determine the functional difference between the two orthologs. We conclude that species-specific changes in the tuning specificity of the PRs in the two Helicoverpa moth species could be achieved with just a few amino acid substitutions, which provides new insights into the evolution of closely related moth species.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Ke Yang

    State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Ling-Qiao Huang

    State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Chao Ning

    State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Chen-Zhu Wang

    State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    For correspondence
    czwang@ioz.ac.cn
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-0418-8621

Funding

Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant number XDB11010300)

  • Chen-Zhu Wang

National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant number 31130050)

  • Chen-Zhu Wang

National Key R&D Program of China (Grant number 2017YFD0200400)

  • Chen-Zhu Wang

National Basic Research Program of China (Grant number 2013CB127600)

  • Chen-Zhu Wang

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: All procedures in this study were approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee of the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences for the care and use of laboratory animals (protocol number IOZ17090-A). The surgery was performed following the protocols reported by Nakagawa and Touhara, 2013 (Methods in Molecular Biology 1068, 107-119). The Xenopus laevis was anesthetized by bathed in the mixture of ice and water in 30 min, the wounds were carefully treated to avoid infection. Every effort was made to minimize suffering.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Marcel Dicke, Wageningen University, Netherlands

Publication history

  1. Received: May 30, 2017
  2. Accepted: October 22, 2017
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: October 24, 2017 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: November 6, 2017 (version 2)
  5. Version of Record updated: October 10, 2018 (version 3)

Copyright

© 2017, Yang et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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