Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ancient olfaction protein is shared by many bugs, offering new pest control target

22.02.2005


In the battle against insect pests, new research indicates that it may all come down to the sense of smell. A group of Rockefeller University scientists who had previously identified a key gene essential for the sense of smell in fruit flies now shows that this gene’s function appears to be evolutionarily conserved across very different insect species.



Research by Leslie Vosshall’s laboratory had previously shown that of 62 odorant-receptor proteins expressed by fruit flies, 61 are exclusively expressed in non-overlapping sub-populations of neurons, indicating that these proteins participate in sensing particular types of odors. However, one odorant receptor protein, Or83b, is found in almost all olfactory neurons and serves a general function in detecting odors. When the gene for Or83b is deleted, the flies can’t smell.

In the new study, Vosshall, in collaboration with researchers from Sentigen Biosciences, showed that the function of Or83b is preserved in different insects. Although many odorant-receptor proteins appear to be species specific, there is a high degree of evolutionary conservation of the Or83b coding sequence among the fruit fly, the medfly (a citrus pest), the corn earworm moth (which damages corn and tobacco), and Anopheles gambiae, the malaria mosquito. When the medfly, moth, and mosquito versions (or "orthologues") of Or83b were expressed in fruit flies that were missing their own version of the gene, the flies’ sense of smell was restored, arguing not only that the gene’s sequence has been conserved over 250 million years of evolution but that the gene’s function in olfaction has also been conserved. Future designs of pesticides and disease-controlling insect repellents may be able to utilize this commonality to "blind" the insects to the smell of their prey.


Walton D. Jones, Thuy-Ai T. Nguyen, Brian Kloss, Kevin J. Lee, and Leslie B. Vosshall: "Functional conservation of an insect odorant receptor gene across 250 million years of evolution"

Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cell.com
http://www.current-biology.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>