Responses of a population of antennal olfactory receptor cells in the female moth Manduca sexta to plant-associated volatile organic compounds

V. D.C. Shields, J. G. Hildebrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

108 Scopus citations

Abstract

Extracellular electrophysiological recordings were made from individual type-A trichoid sensilla on the antenna of the female sphinx moth Manduca sexta. A single annulus of the antenna bears about 1,100 of these sensilla, and each is innervated by two olfactory receptor cells. We tested the responses of these receptor cells to a panel of 102 volatile compounds, as well as three plant-derived odor mixtures, and could discern three different functional types of type-A trichoid sensilla. One subset of receptor cells exhibited an apparently narrow molecular receptive range, responding strongly to only one or two terpenoid odorants. The second subset was activated exclusively by aromatics and responded strongly to two to seven odorants. The third subset had a broad molecular receptive range and responded strongly to odorants belonging to several chemical classes. We also found receptor cells that did not respond to any of the odorants tested but were spontaneously active. Certain odorants elicited excitatory responses in some sensilla but inhibitory responses in others, and some receptor cells were strongly excited by certain odorants but inhibited by others. Impregnation of groups of receptor cells in type-A trichoid sensilla with rhodamine-dextran demonstrated that their axons project mainly to the large female glomeruli of the antennal lobe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1135-1151
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology - A Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Volume186
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2001

Keywords

  • Antenna
  • Insect
  • Olfaction
  • Olfactory sensilla
  • Trichoid sensilla

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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