April 16, 2021

Pheromone binding protein shapes olfactory temporal resolution

Male moths are capable of orienting towards conspecific females using sex pheromones. Since pheromones are distributed as discontinuous plumes owing to air turbulence, tracking intermittent stimuli with high temporal resolution is suggested to be important for efficient localisation. Here, using a pheromone binding protein (BmPBP1) knockout silkmoth, we revealed that the loss of functional pheromone binding protein altered antennal response kinetics resulting in reduced temporal resolution to intermittent pheromone stimuli on the antennae. Behavioural analysis revealed that BmPBP1-knockout males exhibited significantly less straight walking, which occurs when detecting pheromone stimuli, especially to high frequency stimuli. Accordingly, BmPBP1-knockout males took a significantly longer time to locate pheromone sources and females than did wild-type males. Together, BmPBP1 plays a critical role in determining temporal antennal response kinetics and that an appropriate range of temporal sensory and behavioural resolutions is essential for tracking pheromone plumes for efficient pheromone source localisation in the silkmoth

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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