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Effects of Multi-Component Backgrounds of Volatile Plant Compounds on Moth Pheromone Perception

Abstract : The volatile plant compounds (VPC) alter pheromone perception by insects but mixture effects inside insect olfactory landscapes are poorly understood. We measured the activity of receptor neurons tuned to Z7-12Ac (Z7-ORN), a pheromone component, in the antenna and central neurons in male Agrotis ipsilon while exposed to simple or composite backgrounds of a panel of VPCs representative of the odorant variety encountered by a moth. Maps of activities were built using calcium imaging to visualize which areas in antennal lobes (AL) were affected by VPCs. We compared the VPC activity and their impact as backgrounds at antenna and AL levels, individually or in blends. At periphery, VPCs showed differences in their capacity to elicit Z7-ORN firing response that cannot be explained by differences in stimulus intensities because we adjusted concentrations according to vapor pressures. The AL neuronal network, which reformats the ORN input, did not improve pheromone salience. We postulate that the AL network evolved to increase sensitivity and to encode for fast changes of pheromone at some cost for signal extraction. Comparing blends to single compounds indicated that a blend shows the activity of its most active component. VPC salience seems to be more important than background complexity.
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Contributor : Philippe Lucas <>
Submitted on : Sunday, May 2, 2021 - 3:09:48 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 2, 2021 - 4:26:13 PM

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Lucie Conchou, Philippe Lucas, Nina Deisig, Elodie Demondion, Michel Renou. Effects of Multi-Component Backgrounds of Volatile Plant Compounds on Moth Pheromone Perception. Insects, MDPI, 2021, 12 (5), pp.409. ⟨10.3390/insects12050409⟩. ⟨hal-03214677⟩



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