Exploring the effects of pheromone pre-exposure on pheromone production in the female tobacco budworm Heliothis virescens
LE3 .A278 2022
Bachelor of Science
Pheromone autodetection is the process in which female moths detect and respond to chemicals within their own sex pheromone blends. Detecting conspecific female sex pheromones could be advantageous in improving mating success through modifications of mating behaviour such as calling and spacing, or impact physiological changes such as pheromone production. The objective of this study was to determine if the expression of pheromone receptors and pheromone chemistry may be altered in the pheromone gland of female Heliothis virescens following pheromone pre-exposure. In an effort to examine the effects of pre-exposure, individual female H. virescens were subjected to their major pheromone component, (Z)11-16:Ald or the minor pheromone component (Z)9-14:Ald or to hexane as a control for the duration of 18-hours. Levels of both pheromone components (Z)9-14:Ald or (Z)11-16:Ald were decreased following pre-exposure to both compounds where the moths exposed to (Z)11-16:Ald had a significantly decreased amount of (Z)11-16:Ald compared to ones exposed to hexane. The percent decrease were 42 % of (Z)9-14:Ald and 52 % of (Z)11-16:Ald when exposed to (Z)9-14:Ald and 0.2 % of (Z)9-14:Ald and 55 % of (Z)11-16:Ald when exposed to (Z)11-16:Ald compared to hexane exposed individuals. The amount of sex pheromones produced were seen to go back to control levels with time passing after pre-exposure.
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