Roles of insect odorant binding proteins in communication and xenobiotic adaptation

James A. Abendroth, Timothy W. Moural, Hongshuang Wei, Fang Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Odorant binding proteins (OBPs) are small water-soluble proteins mainly associated with olfaction, facilitating the transport of odorant molecules to their relevant receptors in the sensillum lymph. While traditionally considered essential for olfaction, recent research has revealed that OBPs are engaged in a diverse range of physiological functions in modulating chemical communication and defense. Over the past 10 years, emerging evidence suggests that OBPs play vital roles in purifying the perireceptor space from unwanted xenobiotics including plant volatiles and pesticides, potentially facilitating xenobiotic adaptation, such as host location, adaptation, and pesticide resistance. This multifunctionality can be attributed, in part, to their structural variability and effectiveness in transporting, sequestering, and concealing numerous hydrophobic molecules. Here, we firstly overviewed the classification and structural properties of OBPs in diverse insect orders. Subsequently, we discussed the myriad of functional roles of insect OBPs in communication and their adaptation to xenobiotics. By synthesizing the current knowledge in this field, our review paper contributes to a comprehensive understanding of the significance of insect OBPs in chemical ecology, xenobiotic adaptation, paving the way for future research in this fascinating area of study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1274197
JournalFrontiers in Insect Science
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Insect Science

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