Expressional and functional interactions of two Apis cerana cerana olfactory receptors.
Apis cerana cerana relies on its sensitive olfactory system to perform foraging activities in the surrounding environment. Olfactory receptors (ORs) are a primary requirement for odorant recognition and coding. However, the molecular recognition of volatile compounds with ORs in A. cerana cerana is still not clear. Hence, in the present study, we achieved transient transfection and cell surface expression of A. cerana cerana ORs (AcerOr1 and AcerOr2; AcerOr2 is orthologous to the co-receptor) in Spodoptera frugiperda (Sf9) cells. AcerOr2 narrowly responded to N-(4-ethylphenyl)-2-((4-ethyl-5-(3-pyridinyl)-4H-1,2,4-triazol-3-yl) thio) acetamide (VUAA1), whereas AcerOr1 was sensitive to eugenol, lauric acid, ocimene, 1-nonanol, linolenic acid, hexyl acetate, undecanoic acid, 1-octyl alcohol, and nerol. Of the compounds tested, AcerOr1 showed the highest sensitivity to these odorants with EC50 values of 10-7 and 10-8 M, and AcerOr2 recognized VUAA1 with higher sensitivity [EC50=(6.621±0.26) × 10-8]. These results indicate that AcerOr2 is an essential gene for olfactory signaling, and AcerOr1 is a broadly tuned receptor. We discovered ligands that were useful for probing receptor activity during odor stimulation and validated three of them by electroantennography. The response increased with concentration of the odorant. The present study provides insight into the mechanism of olfactory discrimination in A. cerana cerana.