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Int J Biol Sci 2012; 8(2):159-170. doi:10.7150/ijbs.8.159

Research Paper

The Olfactory Co-receptor Orco from the Migratory Locust (Locusta migratoria) and the Desert Locust (Schistocerca gregaria): Identification and Expression pattern

Ying Yang1, Jürgen Krieger2, Long Zhang1✉, Heinz Breer2✉

1. China Agricultural University, Key Lab for Biological Control of the Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing 100193, China.
2. University of Hohenheim, Institute of Physiology, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany.

Abstract

In locusts, olfaction plays a crucial role for initiating and controlling behaviours, including food seeking and aggregation with conspecifics, which underlie the agricultural pest capacity of the animals. In this context, the molecular basis of olfaction in these insects is of particular interest. Here, we have identified genes of two orthopteran species, Locusta migratoria and Schistocera gregaria, which encode the olfactory receptor co-receptor (Orco). It was found that the sequences of LmigOrco and SgreOrco share a high degree of identity to each other and also to Orco proteins from different insect orders. The Orco-expressing cells in the antenna of S. gregaria and L. migratoria were visualized by in situ hybridization. Orco expression could be assigned to clusters of cells in sensilla basiconica and few cells in sensilla trichodea, most likely representing olfactory sensory neurons. No Orco-positive cells were detected in sensilla coeloconica and sensilla chaetica. Orco expression was found already in all nymphal stages and was verified in some other tissues which are equipped with chemosensory hairs (mouthparts, tarsi, wings). Together, the results support the notion for a decisive role of Orco in locust olfaction.

Keywords: locust, olfaction, Orco, gene expression, in situ hybridization.

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How to cite this article:
Yang Y, Krieger J, Zhang L, Breer H. The Olfactory Co-receptor Orco from the Migratory Locust (Locusta migratoria) and the Desert Locust (Schistocerca gregaria): Identification and Expression pattern. Int J Biol Sci 2012; 8(2):159-170. doi:10.7150/ijbs.8.159. Available from http://www.ijbs.com/v08p0159.htm