Chemical senses

Glomerular targets of Heliothis subflexa male olfactory receptor neurons housed within long trichoid sensilla.

PMID 16984959


We used single-sensillum recordings to characterize male Heliothis subflexa antennal olfactory receptor neuron physiology in response to compounds related to their sex pheromone. The recordings were then followed by cobalt staining in order to trace the neurons' axons to their glomerular destinations in the antennal lobe. Receptor neurons responding to the major pheromone component, (Z)-11-hexadecenal, in the first type of sensillum, type-A, projected axons to the cumulus of the macroglomerular complex (MGC). In approximately 40% of the type-A sensilla, a colocalized receptor neuron was stained that projected consistently to the posterior complex 1 (PCx1), a specific glomerulus in an 8-glomerulus complex that we call the Posterior Complex (PCx). We found that receptor neurons residing in type-B sensilla and responding to a secondary pheromone component, (Z)-9-hexadecenal, send their axons to the dorsal medial glomerulus of the MGC. As in the type-A sensilla, we found a cocompartmentalized neuron within type-B sensilla that sends its axon to a different glomerulus of the PCx4. One neuron in type-C sensilla tuned to a third pheromone component, (Z)-11-hexadecenol, and a colocalized neuron responding to (Z)-11-hexadecenyl acetate projected their axons to the anteromedial and ventromedial glomeruli of the MGC, respectively.

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cis-11-Hexadecenal, 95%