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J Comp Physiol A. 2001 Sep;187(7):509-19.

Detection of fruit- and flower-emitted volatiles by olfactory receptor neurons in the polyphagous fruit chafer Pachnoda marginata (Coleoptera: Cetoniinae).

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Department of Ecology, Lund University, Sweden.


Olfactory receptor neurons on the antennae of the African fruit chafer species Pachnoda marginata (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) were examined through extensive use of gas chromatography linked with electrophysiological recordings from single olfactory receptor neurons. Contacted neurons were stimulated with a large number of extracted volatiles from 22 different fruits and with 64 synthetic plant compounds. Extracted fruit volatiles were identified using linked gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. In total, 48 different odor compounds were found to elicit responses. Analysis of the response spectra of the contacted neurons (n = 232) revealed the presence of 28 classes of receptor neurons. The neurons exhibited strong selectivity as well as high sensitivity. Eleven of the identified classes were selectively activated by single compounds, while the remaining were activated by 2-6 compounds. Several receptor neurons that were activated by more than one compound responded to compounds sharing basic structural similarities. The results support the growing hypothesis that a significant proportion of plant-odor receptor neurons in insects are highly sensitive and selective for single odors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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