Functional characterization of sex pheromone receptors in the fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda).
Pheromone receptors (PRs) found in the antennae of male moths play a vital role in the recognition of sex pheromones released by females. The fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, is a notorious invasive pest, but its PRs have not been reported. In this report, six candidate PRs (SfruOR6, 11, 13, 16, 56 and 62) suggested by phylogenetic analysis were cloned, and their tissue-sex expression profiles were determined by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). All six genes except for SfruOR6 were highly and specifically expressed in the antennae, with SfruOR6, 13 and 62 being male-specific, while the other three (SfruOR11, 16 and 56) were male biased, suggesting their roles in sex pheromone perception. A functional analysis by the Xenopus oocyte system further demonstrated that SfruOR13 was highly sensitive to the major sex pheromone component Z9-14:OAc and the pheromone analog Z9,E12-14:OAc, but less sensitive to the minor pheromone component Z9-12:OAc; SfruOR16 responded weakly to pheromone component Z9-14:OAc, but strongly to pheromone analog Z9-14:OH; the other four candidate PRs did not respond to any of the four pheromone components and four pheromone analogs. This study contributes to clarifying the pheromone perception in the FAW, and provides potential gene targets for developing OR-based pest control techniques.