Olfactory Sensory Neurons of the Asian Longhorned Beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis, Specifically Responsive to its two Aggregation-Sex Pheromone Components

Jianrong Wei, Qiong Zhou, Loyal Hall, Andrew Myrick, Kelli Hoover, Kathleen Shields, Thomas C. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We performed single-sensillum recordings from male and female antennae of the Asian longhorned beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis, that included as stimuli the two components of this species’ aggregation-sex pheromone in addition to various general odorants. We compared the aggregation-sex-pheromone-component responses of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) to those of OSNs that responded to a variety of plant-related odorants. In the smooth-tipped, tapered, trichoid sensilla on the most distal antennal flagellomeres nos. 10 or 11 of both males and females, we found OSNs with high-amplitude action potentials that were tuned to the aldehyde and alcohol pheromone components and that did not respond to various plant-related volatiles. Because this OSN type responded to both the alcohol and aldehyde components it cannot be considered to be specifically tuned to either component. These large-spiking OSNs were co-compartmentalized in these sensilla with a second, smaller-spiking OSN responding to plant-related volatiles such as geraniol, citronellal, limonene, 1-octanol, nerol and citral. The large-spiking OSNs thus appear to be a type that will be involved in aggregation-sex pheromone pathways targeting a specific glomerulus in the antennal lobe and in generating pheromone-related behavioral responses in A. glabripennis. In other sensilla located in these distal antennal flagellomeres as well as those located more proximally, i.e., mid-length along the antenna on flagellomere nos. 4–7, we found OSNs in blunt-tipped basiconic sensilla that were responsive to other plant-related volatiles, especially the terpenoids, (E,E)-alpha farnesene, (E)-β-farnesene, β-caryophyllene, and eugenol. Some of these terpenoids have been implicated in improving attraction to pheromone-baited traps. Some of these same OSNs responded additionally to either of the two sex pheromone components, but because these OSNs also responded to some of the above plant volatiles as shown by cross-adaptation experiments, these OSNs will not be the types that convey sex-pheromone-specific information to the antennal lobe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-649
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


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