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J Chem Ecol. 2012 Dec;38(12):1513-20. doi: 10.1007/s10886-012-0221-8. Epub 2012 Dec 6.

A sugar gustatory receptor identified from the foregut of cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera.

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CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, Black Mountain, Australian Capital Territory, 2601, Australia.


Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) is one of the most polyphagous and cosmopolitan pest species, the larvae of which feed on numerous important crops. The gustatory system is critical in guiding insect feeding behavior. Here, we identified a gustatory receptor from H. armigera, HaGR9, which shows high levels of identity to DmGR43a from Drosophila melanogaster and BmGR9 from Bombyx mori. Reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) revealed HaGR9 is highly expressed in larval foregut, with little or no expression in other chemosensory tissues. Membrane topology studies indicated that, like two previously studied B. mori GRs, BmGR8 and BmGR53, HaGR9 has an inverted topology relative to G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), an intracellular N-terminus and an extracellular C-terminus. Calcium imaging studies confirmed HaGR9 is a sugar receptor showing dose-dependent responses to D-galactose, D-maltose, and D-fructose. This highly-expressed foregut-specific gustatory receptor may contribute to the regulation of larval feeding behavior.

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