Int J Biol Sci 2012; 8(7):1036-1050. doi:10.7150/ijbs.4469

Research Paper

Candidate chemosensory Genes in Female Antennae of the Noctuid Moth Spodoptera littoralis

Emmanuelle Jacquin-Joly1,2,✉, Fabrice Legeai3, Nicolas Montagné1,2, Christelle Monsempes1,2, Marie-Christine François1,2, Julie Poulain4, Frédéric Gavory4, William B. Walker III5, Bill S. Hansson6, Mattias C. Larsson5

1. INRA, UMR-A 1272 Physiologie de l'Insecte : Signalisation et Communication, route de Saint-Cyr, F-78026 Versailles Cedex, France.
2. UPMC-Université Paris 6, UMR-A 1272, Physiologie de l'Insecte : Signalisation et Communication, 7 quai Saint-Bernard, F-75252 Paris Cedex 05, France.
3. IRISA, équipe Symbiose, Campus universitaire de Beaulieu, F-35042 Rennes Cedex, France.
4. Genoscope, Centre National de Séquençage, 2 rue Gaston Crémieux, BP 191, F-91057 Evry Cedex, France.
5. Department of Plant Protection Biology, Division of Chemical Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp, Sweden.
6. Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Hans Knoell Strasse 8, D-07745 Jena, Germany.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
Jacquin-Joly E, Legeai F, Montagné N, Monsempes C, François MC, Poulain J, Gavory F, Walker III WB, Hansson BS, Larsson MC. Candidate chemosensory Genes in Female Antennae of the Noctuid Moth Spodoptera littoralis. Int J Biol Sci 2012; 8(7):1036-1050. doi:10.7150/ijbs.4469. Available from

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Chemical senses are crucial for all organisms to detect various environmental information. Different protein families, expressed in chemosensory organs, are involved in the detection of this information, such as odorant-binding proteins, olfactory and gustatory receptors, and ionotropic receptors. We recently reported an Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) approach on male antennae of the noctuid moth, Spodoptera littoralis, with which we could identify a large array of chemosensory genes in a species for which no genomic data are available.

Here we describe a complementary EST project on female antennae in the same species. 18,342 ESTs were sequenced and their assembly with our previous male ESTs led to a total of 13,685 unigenes, greatly improving our description of the S. littoralis antennal transcriptome. Gene ontology comparison between male and female data suggested a similar complexity of antennae of both sexes. Focusing on chemosensation, we identified 26 odorant-binding proteins, 36 olfactory and 5 gustatory receptors, expressed in the antennae of S. littoralis. One of the newly identified gustatory receptors appeared as female-enriched. Together with its atypical tissue-distribution, this suggests a role in oviposition. The compilation of male and female antennal ESTs represents a valuable resource for exploring the mechanisms of olfaction in S. littoralis.

Keywords: Olfactory receptor, Gustatory receptor, Odorant-binding protein, Expressed sequence tag, Lepidoptera, Spodoptera littoralis.