Enzyme-catalyzed pheromone synthesis by Heliothis moths

Peter E.A. Teal, James Homer Tumlinson, III, A. Oostendorp

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The specificity of blends of compounds used for pheromone communication by Lepidoptera species is the result of essentially two distinct sets of biosynthetic enzymes which regulate the production of specific olefinic bonds and synthesis of the oxygenated functional moiety, respectively. In Heliothis moths the regulatory systems that are responsible for production of the functional group during the final stages of peromone biosynthesis consist of cellular acetate esterases and extracellular alcohol oxidases. Evidence indicates that the relative activities of these enzymes differ for each species of Heliothis. Thus, pheromone mediated reproductive isolation between closely related species of Heliothis is probably the result, in large measure, of the fact that some species require only aldehydes for communication while others use acetates, alcohols and aldehydes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-343
Number of pages12
JournalACS Symposium Series
Issue number389
StatePublished - Dec 1 1989
EventThird Chemical Congress of North America (195th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society) - Biocatalysis in Agricultural Biotechnology - Toronto, Ont, Can
Duration: Jun 5 1988Jun 11 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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