A broadly tuned odorant receptor in neurons of trichoid sensilla in locust, Locusta migratoria

Yinwei You, Dean P. Smith, Mingyue Lv, Long Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Insects have evolved sophisticated olfactory reception systems to sense exogenous chemical signals. Odorant receptors (ORs) on the membrane of chemosensory neurons are believed to be key molecules in sensing exogenous chemical cues. ORs in different species of insects are diverse and should tune a species to its own specific semiochemicals relevant to their survival. The orthopteran insect, locust (Locusta migratoria), is a model hemimetabolous insect. There is very limited knowledge on the functions of locust ORs although many locust OR genes have been identified in genomic sequencing experiments. In this paper, a locust OR, LmigOR3 was localized to neurons housed in trichoid sensilla by in situ hybridization. LmigOR3 was expressed as a transgene in Drosophila trichoid olfactory neurons (aT1) lacking the endogenous receptor Or67d and the olfactory tuning curve and dose-response curves were established for this locust receptor. The results show that LmigOR3 sensitizes neurons to ketones, esters and heterocyclic compounds, indicating that LmigOR3 is a broadly tuned receptor. LmigOR3 is the first odorant receptor from Orthoptera that has been functionally analyzed in the Drosophila aT1 system. This work demonstrates the utility of the Drosophila aT1 system for functional analysis of locust odorant receptors and suggests that LmigOR3 may be involved in detecting food odorants, or perhaps locust body volatiles that may help us to develop new control methods for locusts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-72
Number of pages7
JournalInsect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Localization
  • Locust
  • Odorant receptor
  • Odorants tuning
  • Transgenic Drosophila aT1 system
  • Trichoid sensilla

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


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