Cuticular hydrocarbons control behavioural phase transition in Schistocerca gregaria nymphs and elicit biochemical responses in antennae

Y. Heifetz*, I. Boekhoff, H. Breer, S. W. Applebaum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cuticular lipid extracts have been shown to induce gregarious phase- related behaviour in Schistocerca gregaria solitarious nymphs. Analysis of various fractions of the cuticular lipids reveals that the behavioural response is specific to the hydrocarbon fraction. On exposure to cuticular hydocarbons, antennal preparations from crowded S. gregaria nymphs and adults generate a rapid and transient increase in the concentration of inositol trisphosphate (IP3), whereas the level of cAMP is not affected. Antennal preparations from locust nymphs are more responsive to the hydrocarbon fraction than are preparations from adults. IP3 generation is dose-dependent and species-specific. The notion that the cuticular hydrocarbons may interact with membrane receptors of antennal sensory cells is supported by the observation that hydrocarbon-induced IP3 formation is significantly impaired in the presence of GDP-βS, an inhibitor of trimeric G-protein function. These findings confirm the view that components of cuticular hydrocarbons function in locusts as contact pheromones, specifically inducing gregarious phase behaviour, and that they initially act via induction of IP3.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)563-568
Number of pages6
JournalInsect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Volume27
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1997

Keywords

  • Antennal preparation
  • Behavioural phase transition
  • Cuticular hydrocarbons
  • Locust
  • Second messenger

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