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Zoolog Sci. 2002 May;19(5):501-11.

Sex pheromone gland of the female European corn borer moth, Ostrinia nubilalis (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae): ultrastructural and biochemical evidences.

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  • 1Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Mississippi State University, 39762, USA.


The sex pheromone gland of the female European corn borer moth, Ostrinia nubilalis was studied using light and electron microscopy. The pheromone gland is formed by hypertrophied epidermal cells at the mid-dorsal region of the intersegmental membrane between abdominal segments 8 and 9/10. Active glandular cells contain extensive apical membrane foldings, a single nucleus, many free ribosomes, numerous mitochondria, microtubules and lipid droplets. Smooth endoplasmic reticulum is scanty. In young moths, the glandular cells are smaller in size, the microvilli at the apical membrane are poorly developed and the cytoplasm contains fewer mitochondria, microtubules, and no lipid droplets. The surrounding unmodified epidermal cells are small cuboidal or squamous cells. These cells have ill-defined apical membrane foldings and do not contain lipid droplets in the cytoplasm and the overlying cuticle. Fatty acids analyses revealed the presence of the sex pheromone components, (E)-11-tetradecenyl acetate, and their immediate precursors, methyl (E)-11- and methyl (Z)-11-tetradecenoate, only in the dorsal portion of the cylindrical intersegmental membrane. Results of the present study show that the sex pheromone gland of O. nubilalis is restricted to the dorsal aspect of the intersegmental membrane between segments 8-9/10 and is not a ring-gland.

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