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Sample records for insect olfactory environment

  1. Physical processes and real-time chemical measurement of the insect olfactory environment.

    PubMed

    Riffell, Jeffrey A; Abrell, Leif; Hildebrand, John G

    2008-07-01

    Odor-mediated insect navigation in airborne chemical plumes is vital to many ecological interactions, including mate finding, flower nectaring, and host locating (where disease transmission or herbivory may begin). After emission, volatile chemicals become rapidly mixed and diluted through physical processes that create a dynamic olfactory environment. This review examines those physical processes and some of the analytical technologies available to characterize those behavior-inducing chemical signals at temporal scales equivalent to the olfactory processing in insects. In particular, we focus on two areas of research that together may further our understanding of olfactory signal dynamics and its processing and perception by insects. First, measurement of physical atmospheric processes in the field can provide insight into the spatiotemporal dynamics of the odor signal available to insects. Field measurements in turn permit aspects of the physical environment to be simulated in the laboratory, thereby allowing careful investigation into the links between odor signal dynamics and insect behavior. Second, emerging analytical technologies with high recording frequencies and field-friendly inlet systems may offer new opportunities to characterize natural odors at spatiotemporal scales relevant to insect perception and behavior. Characterization of the chemical signal environment allows the determination of when and where olfactory-mediated behaviors may control ecological interactions. Finally, we argue that coupling of these two research areas will foster increased understanding of the physicochemical environment and enable researchers to determine how olfactory environments shape insect behaviors and sensory systems.

  2. Physical Processes and Real-Time Chemical Measurement of the Insect Olfactory Environment

    PubMed Central

    Abrell, Leif; Hildebrand, John G.

    2009-01-01

    Odor-mediated insect navigation in airborne chemical plumes is vital to many ecological interactions, including mate finding, flower nectaring, and host locating (where disease transmission or herbivory may begin). After emission, volatile chemicals become rapidly mixed and diluted through physical processes that create a dynamic olfactory environment. This review examines those physical processes and some of the analytical technologies available to characterize those behavior-inducing chemical signals at temporal scales equivalent to the olfactory processing in insects. In particular, we focus on two areas of research that together may further our understanding of olfactory signal dynamics and its processing and perception by insects. First, measurement of physical atmospheric processes in the field can provide insight into the spatiotemporal dynamics of the odor signal available to insects. Field measurements in turn permit aspects of the physical environment to be simulated in the laboratory, thereby allowing careful investigation into the links between odor signal dynamics and insect behavior. Second, emerging analytical technologies with high recording frequencies and field-friendly inlet systems may offer new opportunities to characterize natural odors at spatiotemporal scales relevant to insect perception and behavior. Characterization of the chemical signal environment allows the determination of when and where olfactory-mediated behaviors may control ecological interactions. Finally, we argue that coupling of these two research areas will foster increased understanding of the physicochemical environment and enable researchers to determine how olfactory environments shape insect behaviors and sensory systems. PMID:18548311

  3. Olfactory signaling in insects.

    PubMed

    Wicher, Dieter

    2015-01-01

    The detection of volatile chemical information in insects is performed by three types of olfactory receptors, odorant receptors (ORs), specific gustatory receptor (GR) proteins for carbon dioxide perception, and ionotropic receptors (IRs) which are related to ionotropic glutamate receptors. All receptors form heteromeric assemblies; an OR complex is composed of an odor-specific OrX protein and a coreceptor (Orco). ORs and GRs have a 7-transmembrane topology as for G protein-coupled receptors, but they are inversely inserted into the membrane. Ligand-gated ion channels (ionotropic receptors) and ORs operate as IRs activated by volatile chemical cues. ORs are evolutionarily young receptors, and they first appear in winged insects and seem to be evolved to allow an insect to follow sparse odor tracks during flight. In contrast to IRs, the ORs can be sensitized by repeated subthreshold odor stimulation. This process involves metabotropic signaling. Pheromone receptors are especially sensitive and require an accessory protein to detect the lipid-derived pheromone molecules. Signaling cascades involved in pheromone detection depend on intensity and duration of stimuli and underlie a circadian control. Taken together, detection and processing of volatile information in insects involve ionotropic as well as metabotropic mechanisms. Here, I review the cellular signaling events associated with detection of cognate ligands by the different types of odorant receptors.

  4. Peripheral olfactory signaling in insects

    PubMed Central

    Suh, Eunho; Bohbot, Jonathan; Zwiebel, Laurence J.

    2014-01-01

    Olfactory signaling is a crucial component in the life history of insects. The development of precise and parallel mechanisms to analyze the tremendous amount of chemical information from the environment and other sources has been essential to their evolutionary success. Considerable progress has been made in the study of insect olfaction fueled by bioinformatics- based utilization of genomics along with rapid advances in functional analyses. Here we review recent progress in our rapidly emerging understanding of insect peripheral sensory reception and signal transduction. These studies reveal that the nearly unlimited chemical space insects encounter is covered by distinct chemosensory receptor repertoires that are generally derived by species-specific, rapid gene gain and loss, reflecting the evolutionary consequences of adaptation to meet their specific biological needs. While diverse molecular mechanisms have been put forth, often in the context of controversial models, the characterization of the ubiquitous, highly conserved and insect-specific Orco odorant receptor co-receptor has opened the door to the design and development of novel insect control methods to target agricultural pests, disease vectors and even nuisance insects. PMID:25584200

  5. Evolution of insect olfactory receptors

    PubMed Central

    Missbach, Christine; Dweck, Hany KM; Vogel, Heiko; Vilcinskas, Andreas; Stensmyr, Marcus C; Hansson, Bill S; Grosse-Wilde, Ewald

    2014-01-01

    The olfactory sense detects a plethora of behaviorally relevant odor molecules; gene families involved in olfaction exhibit high diversity in different animal phyla. Insects detect volatile molecules using olfactory (OR) or ionotropic receptors (IR) and in some cases gustatory receptors (GRs). While IRs are expressed in olfactory organs across Protostomia, ORs have been hypothesized to be an adaptation to a terrestrial insect lifestyle. We investigated the olfactory system of the primary wingless bristletail Lepismachilis y-signata (Archaeognatha), the firebrat Thermobia domestica (Zygentoma) and the neopteran leaf insect Phyllium siccifolium (Phasmatodea). ORs and the olfactory coreceptor (Orco) are with very high probability lacking in Lepismachilis; in Thermobia we have identified three Orco candidates, and in Phyllium a fully developed OR/Orco-based system. We suggest that ORs did not arise as an adaptation to a terrestrial lifestyle, but evolved later in insect evolution, with Orco being present before the appearance of ORs. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02115.001 PMID:24670956

  6. Antennal olfactory sensilla responses to insect chemical repellents in the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius.

    PubMed

    Liu, Feng; Haynes, Kenneth F; Appel, Arthur G; Liu, Nannan

    2014-06-01

    Populations of the common bed bug Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera; Cimicidae), a temporary ectoparasite on both humans and animals, have surged in many developed countries. Similar to other haematophagous arthropods, C. lectularius relies on its olfactory system to detect semiochemicals in the environment, including both attractants and repellents. To elucidate the olfactory responses of the common bed bug to commonly used insect chemical repellents, particularly haematophagous repellents, we investigated the neuronal responses of individual olfactory sensilla in C. lectularius' antennae to 52 insect chemical repellents, both synthetic and botanic. Different types of sensilla displayed highly distinctive response profiles. While C sensilla did not respond to any of the insect chemical repellents, Dγ sensilla proved to be the most sensitive in response to terpene-derived insect chemical repellents. Different chemical repellents elicited neuronal responses with differing temporal characteristics, and the responses of the olfactory sensilla to the insect chemical repellents were dose-dependent, with an olfactory response to the terpene-derived chemical repellent, but not to the non-terpene-derived chemical repellents. Overall, this study furnishes a comprehensive map of the olfactory response of bed bugs to commonly used insect chemical repellents, providing useful information for those developing new agents (attractants or repellents) for bed bug control. PMID:24817385

  7. Using Insect Electroantennogram Sensors on Autonomous Robots for Olfactory Searches

    PubMed Central

    Martinez, Dominique; Arhidi, Lotfi; Demondion, Elodie; Masson, Jean-Baptiste; Lucas, Philippe

    2014-01-01

    Robots designed to track chemical leaks in hazardous industrial facilities1 or explosive traces in landmine fields2 face the same problem as insects foraging for food or searching for mates3: the olfactory search is constrained by the physics of turbulent transport4. The concentration landscape of wind borne odors is discontinuous and consists of sporadically located patches. A pre-requisite to olfactory search is that intermittent odor patches are detected. Because of its high speed and sensitivity5-6, the olfactory organ of insects provides a unique opportunity for detection. Insect antennae have been used in the past to detect not only sex pheromones7 but also chemicals that are relevant to humans, e.g., volatile compounds emanating from cancer cells8 or toxic and illicit substances9-11. We describe here a protocol for using insect antennae on autonomous robots and present a proof of concept for tracking odor plumes to their source. The global response of olfactory neurons is recorded in situ in the form of electroantennograms (EAGs). Our experimental design, based on a whole insect preparation, allows stable recordings within a working day. In comparison, EAGs on excised antennae have a lifetime of 2 hr. A custom hardware/software interface was developed between the EAG electrodes and a robot. The measurement system resolves individual odor patches up to 10 Hz, which exceeds the time scale of artificial chemical sensors12. The efficiency of EAG sensors for olfactory searches is further demonstrated in driving the robot toward a source of pheromone. By using identical olfactory stimuli and sensors as in real animals, our robotic platform provides a direct means for testing biological hypotheses about olfactory coding and search strategies13. It may also prove beneficial for detecting other odorants of interests by combining EAGs from different insect species in a bioelectronic nose configuration14 or using nanostructured gas sensors that mimic insect antennae15

  8. Using insect electroantennogram sensors on autonomous robots for olfactory searches.

    PubMed

    Martinez, Dominique; Arhidi, Lotfi; Demondion, Elodie; Masson, Jean-Baptiste; Lucas, Philippe

    2014-08-04

    Robots designed to track chemical leaks in hazardous industrial facilities or explosive traces in landmine fields face the same problem as insects foraging for food or searching for mates: the olfactory search is constrained by the physics of turbulent transport. The concentration landscape of wind borne odors is discontinuous and consists of sporadically located patches. A pre-requisite to olfactory search is that intermittent odor patches are detected. Because of its high speed and sensitivity, the olfactory organ of insects provides a unique opportunity for detection. Insect antennae have been used in the past to detect not only sex pheromones but also chemicals that are relevant to humans, e.g., volatile compounds emanating from cancer cells or toxic and illicit substances. We describe here a protocol for using insect antennae on autonomous robots and present a proof of concept for tracking odor plumes to their source. The global response of olfactory neurons is recorded in situ in the form of electroantennograms (EAGs). Our experimental design, based on a whole insect preparation, allows stable recordings within a working day. In comparison, EAGs on excised antennae have a lifetime of 2 hr. A custom hardware/software interface was developed between the EAG electrodes and a robot. The measurement system resolves individual odor patches up to 10 Hz, which exceeds the time scale of artificial chemical sensors. The efficiency of EAG sensors for olfactory searches is further demonstrated in driving the robot toward a source of pheromone. By using identical olfactory stimuli and sensors as in real animals, our robotic platform provides a direct means for testing biological hypotheses about olfactory coding and search strategies. It may also prove beneficial for detecting other odorants of interests by combining EAGs from different insect species in a bioelectronic nose configuration or using nanostructured gas sensors that mimic insect antennae.

  9. Using insect electroantennogram sensors on autonomous robots for olfactory searches.

    PubMed

    Martinez, Dominique; Arhidi, Lotfi; Demondion, Elodie; Masson, Jean-Baptiste; Lucas, Philippe

    2014-01-01

    Robots designed to track chemical leaks in hazardous industrial facilities or explosive traces in landmine fields face the same problem as insects foraging for food or searching for mates: the olfactory search is constrained by the physics of turbulent transport. The concentration landscape of wind borne odors is discontinuous and consists of sporadically located patches. A pre-requisite to olfactory search is that intermittent odor patches are detected. Because of its high speed and sensitivity, the olfactory organ of insects provides a unique opportunity for detection. Insect antennae have been used in the past to detect not only sex pheromones but also chemicals that are relevant to humans, e.g., volatile compounds emanating from cancer cells or toxic and illicit substances. We describe here a protocol for using insect antennae on autonomous robots and present a proof of concept for tracking odor plumes to their source. The global response of olfactory neurons is recorded in situ in the form of electroantennograms (EAGs). Our experimental design, based on a whole insect preparation, allows stable recordings within a working day. In comparison, EAGs on excised antennae have a lifetime of 2 hr. A custom hardware/software interface was developed between the EAG electrodes and a robot. The measurement system resolves individual odor patches up to 10 Hz, which exceeds the time scale of artificial chemical sensors. The efficiency of EAG sensors for olfactory searches is further demonstrated in driving the robot toward a source of pheromone. By using identical olfactory stimuli and sensors as in real animals, our robotic platform provides a direct means for testing biological hypotheses about olfactory coding and search strategies. It may also prove beneficial for detecting other odorants of interests by combining EAGs from different insect species in a bioelectronic nose configuration or using nanostructured gas sensors that mimic insect antennae. PMID:25145980

  10. Insect olfactory coding and memory at multiple timescales

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Nitin; Stopfer, Mark

    2011-01-01

    Insects can learn, allowing them great flexibility for locating seasonal food sources and avoiding wily predators. Because insects are relatively simple and accessible to manipulation, they provide good experimental preparations for exploring mechanisms underlying sensory coding and memory. Here we review how the intertwining of memory with computation enables the coding, decoding, and storage of sensory experience at various stages of the insect olfactory system. Individual parts of this system are capable of multiplexing memories at different timescales, and conversely, memory on a given timescale can be distributed across different parts of the circuit. Our sampling of the olfactory system emphasizes the diversity of memories, and the importance of understanding these memories in the context of computations performed by different parts of a sensory system. PMID:21632235

  11. Neuroethology of Olfactory-Guided Behavior and Its Potential Application in the Control of Harmful Insects.

    PubMed

    Reisenman, Carolina E; Lei, Hong; Guerenstein, Pablo G

    2016-01-01

    Harmful insects include pests of crops and storage goods, and vectors of human and animal diseases. Throughout their history, humans have been fighting them using diverse methods. The fairly recent development of synthetic chemical insecticides promised efficient crop and health protection at a relatively low cost. However, the negative effects of those insecticides on human health and the environment, as well as the development of insect resistance, have been fueling the search for alternative control tools. New and promising alternative methods to fight harmful insects include the manipulation of their behavior using synthetic versions of "semiochemicals", which are natural volatile and non-volatile substances involved in the intra- and/or inter-specific communication between organisms. Synthetic semiochemicals can be used as trap baits to monitor the presence of insects, so that insecticide spraying can be planned rationally (i.e., only when and where insects are actually present). Other methods that use semiochemicals include insect annihilation by mass trapping, attract-and- kill techniques, behavioral disruption, and the use of repellents. In the last decades many investigations focused on the neural bases of insect's responses to semiochemicals. Those studies help understand how the olfactory system detects and processes information about odors, which could lead to the design of efficient control tools, including odor baits, repellents or ways to confound insects. Here we review our current knowledge about the neural mechanisms controlling olfactory responses to semiochemicals in harmful insects. We also discuss how this neuroethology approach can be used to design or improve pest/vector management strategies. PMID:27445858

  12. Neuroethology of Olfactory-Guided Behavior and Its Potential Application in the Control of Harmful Insects

    PubMed Central

    Reisenman, Carolina E.; Lei, Hong; Guerenstein, Pablo G.

    2016-01-01

    Harmful insects include pests of crops and storage goods, and vectors of human and animal diseases. Throughout their history, humans have been fighting them using diverse methods. The fairly recent development of synthetic chemical insecticides promised efficient crop and health protection at a relatively low cost. However, the negative effects of those insecticides on human health and the environment, as well as the development of insect resistance, have been fueling the search for alternative control tools. New and promising alternative methods to fight harmful insects include the manipulation of their behavior using synthetic versions of “semiochemicals”, which are natural volatile and non-volatile substances involved in the intra- and/or inter-specific communication between organisms. Synthetic semiochemicals can be used as trap baits to monitor the presence of insects, so that insecticide spraying can be planned rationally (i.e., only when and where insects are actually present). Other methods that use semiochemicals include insect annihilation by mass trapping, attract-and- kill techniques, behavioral disruption, and the use of repellents. In the last decades many investigations focused on the neural bases of insect's responses to semiochemicals. Those studies help understand how the olfactory system detects and processes information about odors, which could lead to the design of efficient control tools, including odor baits, repellents or ways to confound insects. Here we review our current knowledge about the neural mechanisms controlling olfactory responses to semiochemicals in harmful insects. We also discuss how this neuroethology approach can be used to design or improve pest/vector management strategies. PMID:27445858

  13. Comparison of research methods for functional characterization of insect olfactory receptors

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Bing; Liu, Yang; He, Kang; Wang, Guirong

    2016-01-01

    Insect olfactory receptors (ORs) in the peripheral olfactory system play an important role detecting elements of information from the environment. At present, various approaches are used for deorphanizing of ORs in insect. In this study, we compared methods for functional analysis of ORs in vitro and in vivo taking the candidate pheromone receptor OR13 of Helicoverpa assulta (HassOR13) as the object of our experiments. We found that the natural system was more sensitive than those utilizing transgenic Drosophila. The two-electrode voltage-clamp recording is more suitable for functional screening of large numbers of ORs, while the in vivo transgenic Drosophila system could prove more accurate to further validate the function of a specific OR. We also found that, among the different solvents used to dissolve pheromones and odorants, hexane offered good reproducibility and high sensitivity. Finally, the function of ORs was indirectly confirmed in transgenic Drosophila, showing that odor-activation of ORs-expressing olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) can mediate behavioral choices. In summary, our results compare advantages and drawbacks of different approaches, thus helping in the choice of the method most suitable, in each specific situation, for deorphanizing insect ORs. PMID:27633402

  14. Comparison of research methods for functional characterization of insect olfactory receptors.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bing; Liu, Yang; He, Kang; Wang, Guirong

    2016-01-01

    Insect olfactory receptors (ORs) in the peripheral olfactory system play an important role detecting elements of information from the environment. At present, various approaches are used for deorphanizing of ORs in insect. In this study, we compared methods for functional analysis of ORs in vitro and in vivo taking the candidate pheromone receptor OR13 of Helicoverpa assulta (HassOR13) as the object of our experiments. We found that the natural system was more sensitive than those utilizing transgenic Drosophila. The two-electrode voltage-clamp recording is more suitable for functional screening of large numbers of ORs, while the in vivo transgenic Drosophila system could prove more accurate to further validate the function of a specific OR. We also found that, among the different solvents used to dissolve pheromones and odorants, hexane offered good reproducibility and high sensitivity. Finally, the function of ORs was indirectly confirmed in transgenic Drosophila, showing that odor-activation of ORs-expressing olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) can mediate behavioral choices. In summary, our results compare advantages and drawbacks of different approaches, thus helping in the choice of the method most suitable, in each specific situation, for deorphanizing insect ORs. PMID:27633402

  15. Olfactory Environment Design for Human Spaceflight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welch, C. S.; Holland, F. J.

    2002-01-01

    Smell is usually deemed the least important of the five senses. To contradict this assertion, however, there is no shortage of scientific literature which concludes that olfaction is of very great significance to humans. Odours have been shown to have a variety of effects on humans, and are capable of changing both behaviour and cognitive processing in ways that we are frequently completely unconscious of. Examples of this include alertness, alteration of mood, capacity for ideation and intellectual performance. To date, the design of human spacecraft has concentrated on making their olfactory environments, where possible, `odour neutral' - that is ensuring that all unpleasant and/or offensive odours are removed. Here it suggested that spacecraft (and other extraterrestrial facilities for human inhabitation) might benefit from having their olfactory environments designed to be `odour positive', that is to use odours and olfaction for the positive benefit of their residents. This paper presents a summary of current olfactory research and considers both its positive and negative implications for humans in space. It then discusses `odour positive' design of spacecraft olfactory environments and the possible benefits accruing from this approach before examining its implications for the architecture of spacecraft environmental control systems.

  16. Insects groom their antennae to enhance olfactory acuity

    PubMed Central

    Böröczky, Katalin; Wada-Katsumata, Ayako; Batchelor, Dale; Zhukovskaya, Marianna; Schal, Coby

    2013-01-01

    Grooming, a common behavior in animals, serves the important function of removing foreign materials from body surfaces. When antennal grooming was prevented in the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, field emission gun scanning electron microscopy images revealed that an unstructured substance accumulated on nongroomed antennae, covering sensillar pores, but not on groomed antennae of the same individuals. Gas chromatography analysis of antennal extracts showed that over a 24-h period nongroomed antennae accumulated three to four times more cuticular hydrocarbons than groomed antennae. Moreover, nongroomed antennae accumulated significantly more environmental contaminants from surfaces (stearic acid) and from air (geranyl acetate) than groomed antennae. We hypothesized that the accumulation of excess native cuticular hydrocarbons on the antennae would impair olfactory reception. Electroantennogram experiments and single-sensillum recordings supported this hypothesis: antennae that were prevented from being groomed were significantly less responsive than groomed antennae to the sex pheromone component periplanone-B, as well as to the general odorants geranyl acetate and hexanol. We therefore conclude that antennal grooming removes excess native cuticular lipids and foreign chemicals that physically and/or chemically interfere with olfaction, and thus maintains the olfactory acuity of the antennae. Similar experimental manipulations of the German cockroach (Blattella germanica), carpenter ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus), and the housefly (Musca domestica), which use different modes of antennal grooming, support the hypothesis that antennal grooming serves a similar function in a wide range of insect taxa. PMID:23382193

  17. Olfactory Stimuli Increase Presence in Virtual Environments

    PubMed Central

    Munyan, Benson G.; Neer, Sandra M.; Beidel, Deborah C.; Jentsch, Florian

    2016-01-01

    Background Exposure therapy (EXP) is the most empirically supported treatment for anxiety and trauma-related disorders. EXP consists of repeated exposure to a feared object or situation in the absence of the feared outcome in order to extinguish associated anxiety. Key to the success of EXP is the need to present the feared object/event/situation in as much detail and utilizing as many sensory modalities as possible, in order to augment the sense of presence during exposure sessions. Various technologies used to augment the exposure therapy process by presenting multi-sensory cues (e.g., sights, smells, sounds). Studies have shown that scents can elicit emotionally charged memories, but no prior research has examined the effect of olfactory stimuli upon the patient’s sense of presence during simulated exposure tasks. Methods 60 adult participants navigated a mildly anxiety-producing virtual environment (VE) similar to those used in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Participants had no autobiographical memory associated with the VE. State anxiety, Presence ratings, and electrodermal (EDA) activity were collected throughout the experiment. Results Utilizing a Bonferroni corrected Linear Mixed Model, our results showed statistically significant relationships between olfactory stimuli and presence as assessed by both the Igroup Presence Questionnaire (IPQ: R2 = 0.85, (F(3,52) = 6.625, p = 0.0007) and a single item visual-analogue scale (R2 = 0.85, (F(3,52) = 5.382, p = 0.0027). State anxiety was unaffected by the presence or absence of olfactory cues. EDA was unaffected by experimental condition. Conclusion Olfactory stimuli increase presence in virtual environments that approximate those typical in exposure therapy, but did not increase EDA. Additionally, once administered, the removal of scents resulted in a disproportionate decrease in presence. Implications for incorporating the use of scents to increase the efficacy of exposure therapy is discussed. PMID

  18. Olfactory coding in the insect brain: data and conjectures

    PubMed Central

    Galizia, C Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    Much progress has been made recently in understanding how olfactory coding works in insect brains. Here, I propose a wiring diagram for the major steps from the first processing network (the antennal lobe) to behavioral readout. I argue that the sequence of lateral inhibition in the antennal lobe, non-linear synapses, threshold-regulating gated spring network, selective lateral inhibitory networks across glomeruli, and feedforward inhibition to the lateral protocerebrum cover most of the experimental results from different research groups and model species. I propose that the main difference between mushroom bodies and the lateral protocerebrum is not about learned vs. innate behavior. Rather, mushroom bodies perform odor identification, whereas the lateral protocerebrum performs odor evaluation (both learned and innate). I discuss the concepts of labeled line and combinatorial coding and postulate that, under restrictive experimental conditions, these networks lead to an apparent existence of ‘labeled line’ coding for special odors. Modulatory networks are proposed as switches between different evaluating systems in the lateral protocerebrum. A review of experimental data and theoretical conjectures both contribute to this synthesis, creating new hypotheses for future research. PMID:24698302

  19. Morphology and physiology of the olfactory system of blood-feeding insects.

    PubMed

    Guidobaldi, F; May-Concha, I J; Guerenstein, P G

    2014-01-01

    Several blood-feeding (hematophagous) insects are vectors of a number of diseases including dengue, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis which persistently affect public health throughout Latin America. The vectors of those diseases include mosquitoes, triatomine bugs and sandflies. As vector control is an efficient way to prevent these illnesses it is important to understand the sensory biology of those harmful insects. We study the physiology of the olfactory system of those insects and apply that knowledge on the development of methods to manipulate their behavior. Here we review some of the latest information on insect olfaction with emphasis on hematophagous insects. The insect olfactory sensory neurons are housed inside hair-like organs called sensilla which are mainly distributed on the antenna and mouthparts. The identity of many of the odor compounds that those neurons detect are already known in hematophagous insects. They include several constituents of host (vertebrate) odor, sex, aggregation and alarm pheromones, and compounds related to egg-deposition behavior. Recent work has contributed significant knowledge on how odor information is processed in the insect first odor-processing center in the brain, the antennal lobe. The quality, quantity, and temporal features of the odor stimuli are encoded by the neural networks of the antennal lobe. Information regarding odor mixtures is also encoded. While natural mixtures evoke strong responses, synthetic mixtures that deviate from their natural counterparts in terms of key constituents or proportions of those constituents evoke weaker responses. The processing of olfactory information is largely unexplored in hematophagous insects. However, many aspects of their olfactory behavior are known. As in other insects, responses to relevant single odor compounds are weak while natural mixtures evoke strong responses. Future challenges include studying how information about odor mixtures is processed in their brain

  20. High-speed odor transduction and pulse tracking by insect olfactory receptor neurons

    PubMed Central

    Szyszka, Paul; Gerkin, Richard C.; Galizia, C. Giovanni; Smith, Brian H.

    2014-01-01

    Sensory systems encode both the static quality of a stimulus (e.g., color or shape) and its kinetics (e.g., speed and direction). The limits with which stimulus kinetics can be resolved are well understood in vision, audition, and somatosensation. However, the maximum temporal resolution of olfactory systems has not been accurately determined. Here, we probe the limits of temporal resolution in insect olfaction by delivering high frequency odor pulses and measuring sensory responses in the antennae. We show that transduction times and pulse tracking capabilities of olfactory receptor neurons are faster than previously reported. Once an odorant arrives at the boundary layer of the antenna, odor transduction can occur within less than 2 ms and fluctuating odor stimuli can be resolved at frequencies more than 100 Hz. Thus, insect olfactory receptor neurons can track stimuli of very short duration, as occur when their antennae encounter narrow filaments in an odor plume. These results provide a new upper bound to the kinetics of odor tracking in insect olfactory receptor neurons and to the latency of initial transduction events in olfaction. PMID:25385618

  1. Olfactory disruption: towards controlling important insect vectors of disease

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chemical repellents are used to decrease contacts between insect disease vectors and their hosts, thus reducing the probability of disease transmission. The molecular mechanisms by which repellents have their effects are poorly understood and remain a controversial topic. Here we present recent re...

  2. Olfactory sensitivity of subjects working in odorous environments.

    PubMed

    Hummel, T; Guel, H; Delank, W

    2004-07-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate whether people with a professional interest in odors also exhibit higher olfactory sensitivity. To this end, we investigated 58 subjects (age 33.6 +/- 11.0 years, mean +/- SD; 55 women) employed in perfume retail outlets and compared their olfactory sensitivity to 58 controls (age 34.6 +/- 9.9 years; 53 women) matched for age, gender and professional activities who did not work in such odorous environments. Olfactory function was assessed using the 'Sniffin' Sticks' test kit which includes tests for n-butanol odor threshold, odor discrimination and odor identification. Subjects working in perfume retail outlets scored higher in odor discrimination tests compared to controls. Working in an odorous environment for a full day had no major effect on general olfactory abilities, as indicated by measures performed at the beginning and end of a working day. Taken together, results from the present study do not support the idea that odorous environments are deleterious to general olfactory function.

  3. Olfactory Carbon Dioxide Detection by Insects and Other Animals

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Walton

    2013-01-01

    Carbon dioxide is a small, relatively inert, but highly volatile gas that not only gives beer its bubbles, but that also acts as one of the primary driving forces of anthropogenic climate change. While beer brewers experiment with the effects of CO2 on flavor and climate scientists are concerned with global changes to ambient CO2 levels that take place over the course of decades, many animal species are keenly aware of changes in CO2 concentration that occur much more rapidly and on a much more local scale. Although imperceptible to us, these small changes in CO2 concentration can indicate imminent danger, signal overcrowding, and point the way to food. Here I review several of these CO2-evoked behaviors and compare the systems insects, nematodes, and vertebrates use to detect environmental CO2. PMID:23456329

  4. A neural network model of general olfactory coding in the insect antennal lobe.

    PubMed

    Getz, W M; Lutz, A

    1999-08-01

    A central problem in olfaction is understanding how the quality of olfactory stimuli is encoded in the insect antennal lobe (or in the analogously structured vertebrate olfactory bulb) for perceptual processing in the mushroom bodies of the insect protocerebrum (or in the vertebrate olfactory cortex). In the study reported here, a relatively simple neural network model, inspired by our current knowledge of the insect antennal lobes, is used to investigate how each of several features and elements of the network, such as synapse strengths, feedback circuits and the steepness of neural activation functions, influences the formation of an olfactory code in neurons that project from the antennal lobes to the mushroom bodies (or from mitral cells to olfactory cortex). An optimal code in these projection neurons (PNs) should minimize potential errors by the mushroom bodies in misidentifying the quality of an odor across a range of concentrations while maximizing the ability of the mushroom bodies to resolve odors of different quality. Simulation studies demonstrate that the network is able to produce codes independent or virtually independent of concentration over a given range. The extent of this range is moderately dependent on a parameter that characterizes how long it takes for the voltage in an activated neuron to decay back to its resting potential, strongly dependent on the strength of excitatory feedback by the PNs onto antennal lobe intrinsic neurons (INs), and overwhelmingly dependent on the slope of the activation function that transforms the voltage of depolarized neurons into the rate at which spikes are produced. Although the code in the PNs is degraded by large variations in the concentration of odor stimuli, good performance levels are maintained when the complexity of stimuli, as measured by the number of component odorants, is doubled. When excitatory feedback from the PNs to the INs is strong, the activity in the PNs undergoes transitions from initial

  5. A inhibitor of Na+/Ca2+ exchange blocks activation of insect olfactory receptors

    PubMed Central

    Bobkov, Y; Corey, E; Ache, B

    2014-01-01

    Earlier we showed that the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger inhibitor, KB-R7943, potently blocks the odor-evoked activity of lobster olfactory receptor neurons. Here we extend that finding to recombinant mosquito olfactory receptors stably expressed in HEK cells. Using whole-cell and outside-out patch clamping and calcium imaging, we demonstrate that KB-R7943 blocks both the odorantgated current and the odorant-evoked calcium signal from two different OR complexes from the malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, AgOr48 + AgOrco and AgOr65 + AgOrco. Both heteromeric and homomeric (Orco alone) OR complexes were susceptible to KB-R7943 blockade when activated by VUAA1, an agonist that targets the Orco channel subunit, suggesting the Orco subunit may be the target of the drug’s action. KB-R7943 represents a valuable tool to further investigate the functional properties of arthropod olfactory receptors and raises the interesting specter that activation of these ionotropic receptors is directly or indirectly linked to a Na+/Ca2+ exchanger, thereby providing a template for drug design potentially allowing improved control of insect pests and disease vectors. PMID:24996179

  6. An inhibitor of Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchange blocks activation of insect olfactory receptors.

    PubMed

    Bobkov, Y; Corey, E; Ache, B

    2014-07-25

    Earlier we showed that the Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger inhibitor, KB-R7943, potently blocks the odor-evoked activity of lobster olfactory receptor neurons. Here we extend that finding to recombinant mosquito olfactory receptors stably expressed in HEK cells. Using whole-cell and outside-out patch clamping and calcium imaging, we demonstrate that KB-R7943 blocks both the odorant-gated current and the odorant-evoked calcium signal from two different OR complexes from the malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, AgOr48+AgOrco and AgOr65+AgOrco. Both heteromeric and homomeric (Orco alone) OR complexes were susceptible to KB-R7943 blockade when activated by VUAA1, an agonist that targets the Orco channel subunit, suggesting the Orco subunit may be the target of the drug's action. KB-R7943 represents a valuable tool to further investigate the functional properties of arthropod olfactory receptors and raises the interesting specter that activation of these ionotropic receptors is directly or indirectly linked to a Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger, thereby providing a template for drug design potentially allowing improved control of insect pests and disease vectors. PMID:24996179

  7. Serotonin-immunoreactive neurons in scorpion pectine neuropils: similarities to insect and crustacean primary olfactory centres?

    PubMed

    Wolf, Harald; Harzsch, Steffen

    2012-06-01

    The pectines of scorpions are a single pair of mechano- and chemosensory appendages located ventrally behind the most posterior pair of walking legs. They are used for probing the substrate in behaviours such as prey tracking and courtship. The sensory afferents on the pectines supply large segmental neuropils with a conspicuous glomerular structure. The pectine neuropils thus bear similarities to insect and crustacean deutocerebral chemosensory centres associated with the antennae, but they also possess idiosyncratic features. One characteristic property of many insect and decapod crustacean olfactory neuropils is their innervation by single, or very few, large serotonergic (inter-) neurons. This feature, among others, has been proposed to support homology of the olfactory lobes in the two arthropod groups. A possible serotonergic innervation of the scorpion pectine neuropils has not yet been studied, despite its apparent diagnostic and functional importance. We thus examined serotonin-immunoreactivity in the pectine neuropils of Androctonus australis and Pandinus imperator. Both scorpion species yielded similar results. The periphery of the neuropil and the matrix between the glomeruli are supplied by a dense network of serotonin-immunoreactive (5-HT-ir) arborisations and varicosities, while the glomeruli themselves are mostly free of 5-HT-ir fibres. The 5-HT-ir supply of the pectine neuropils has two origins. The first is a pair of neurons on each body side, up to 30 μm in diameter and thus slightly larger than the surrounding somata. These cell bodies are and associated with the neuromeres of the genital and pectine segments. The situation is reminiscent of the 5-HT supply of insect and crustacean olfactory and antennal neuropils. The second 5-HT innervation of the pectine neuropils is from a group of some 10-20 ipsilateral neuronal somata of slightly smaller size (15-20 μm). These are part of a much larger 5-HT-ir group comprising 70-90 somata. The whole

  8. Olfactory biosensor for insect semiochemicals analysis by impedance sensing of odorant-binding proteins on interdigitated electrodes.

    PubMed

    Lu, Yanli; Yao, Yao; Zhang, Qian; Zhang, Diming; Zhuang, Shulin; Li, Hongliang; Liu, Qingjun

    2015-05-15

    Insects can sensitively and selectively detect thousands of semiochemicals at very low concentrations by their remarkable olfactory systems. As one of the most important olfactory proteins, odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) from insects are the most promising candidates for fabricating biosensors to detect biochemical molecules in the chemical ecology as well as for other biotechnological applications. In this study, we designed an olfactory biosensor by immobilizing OBPs from oriental fruit fly on interdigitated electrodes to detect semiochemicals. After successfully separated and purified, OBPs were immobilized by the special designed polyethylene glycol (PEG), SH-PEG-COOH, to produce a robust sensing membrane. Based on electrochemical sensing, interactions between OBPs and different semiochemicals emitted from host plants of the insect, such as the isoamyl acetate, β-ionone, and benzaldehyde, could be sensitively detected. With related amino acid residues in the hydrophobic cavities distinguished, the interaction forces between semiochemicals and OBPs were analyzed by molecular docking. Integrated biological olfaction proteins of insects, OBPs based biosensors could not only advance the progress in the understanding of chemical communication systems of insects, but also show promising potentials for biosensing applications in many fields. PMID:25453737

  9. New insights into an ancient insect nose: the olfactory pathway of Lepismachilis y-signata (Archaeognatha: Machilidae).

    PubMed

    Missbach, Christine; Harzsch, Steffen; Hansson, Bill S

    2011-07-01

    Hexapods most likely derived from an aquatic ancestor, which they shared with crustaceans. During the transition from water to land, their sensory systems had to face the new physiological demands that terrestrial conditions impose. This process also concerns the sense of smell and, more specifically, detection of volatile, air-borne chemicals. In insects, olfaction plays an important role in orientation, mating choice, and food and host finding behavior. The first integration center of odor information in the insect brain is the antennal lobe, which is targeted by the afferents from olfactory sensory neurons on the antennae. Within the antennal lobe of most pterygote insects, spherical substructures called olfactory glomeruli are present. In order to gain insights into the evolution of the structure of the central olfactory pathway in insects, we analyzed a representative of the wingless Archaeognatha or jumping bristletails, using immunocytochemistry, antennal backfills and histological section series combined with 3D reconstruction. In the deutocerebrum of Lepismachilis y-signata, we found three different neuropil regions. Two of them show a glomerular organization, but these glomeruli differ in their shape from those in all other insect groups. The connection of the glomerular neuropils to higher brain centers remains unclear and mushroom bodies are absent as reported from other archaeognathan species. We discuss the evolutionary implications of these findings.

  10. Using an Insect Mushroom Body Circuit to Encode Route Memory in Complex Natural Environments.

    PubMed

    Ardin, Paul; Peng, Fei; Mangan, Michael; Lagogiannis, Konstantinos; Webb, Barbara

    2016-02-01

    Ants, like many other animals, use visual memory to follow extended routes through complex environments, but it is unknown how their small brains implement this capability. The mushroom body neuropils have been identified as a crucial memory circuit in the insect brain, but their function has mostly been explored for simple olfactory association tasks. We show that a spiking neural model of this circuit originally developed to describe fruitfly (Drosophila melanogaster) olfactory association, can also account for the ability of desert ants (Cataglyphis velox) to rapidly learn visual routes through complex natural environments. We further demonstrate that abstracting the key computational principles of this circuit, which include one-shot learning of sparse codes, enables the theoretical storage capacity of the ant mushroom body to be estimated at hundreds of independent images.

  11. Using an Insect Mushroom Body Circuit to Encode Route Memory in Complex Natural Environments

    PubMed Central

    Mangan, Michael; Lagogiannis, Konstantinos; Webb, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    Ants, like many other animals, use visual memory to follow extended routes through complex environments, but it is unknown how their small brains implement this capability. The mushroom body neuropils have been identified as a crucial memory circuit in the insect brain, but their function has mostly been explored for simple olfactory association tasks. We show that a spiking neural model of this circuit originally developed to describe fruitfly (Drosophila melanogaster) olfactory association, can also account for the ability of desert ants (Cataglyphis velox) to rapidly learn visual routes through complex natural environments. We further demonstrate that abstracting the key computational principles of this circuit, which include one-shot learning of sparse codes, enables the theoretical storage capacity of the ant mushroom body to be estimated at hundreds of independent images. PMID:26866692

  12. Synaptic inhibition controls transient oscillatory synchronization in a model of the insect olfactory system

    PubMed Central

    Assisi, Collins; Bazhenov, Maxim

    2011-01-01

    In a variety of neuronal systems it has been hypothesized that inhibitory interneurons corral principal neurons into synchronously firing groups that encode sensory information and sub-serve behavior (Buzsáki and Chrobak, 1995; Buzsáki, 2008). This mechanism is particularly relevant to the olfactory system where spatiotemporal patterns of projection neuron (PN) activity act as robust markers of odor attributes (Laurent et al., 1996; Wehr and Laurent, 1996). In the insect antennal lobe (AL), a network of local inhibitory interneurons arborizes extensively throughout the AL (Leitch and Laurent, 1996) providing inhibitory input to the cholinergic PNs. Our theoretical work has attempted to elaborate the exact role of inhibition in the generation of odor specific PN responses (Bazhenov et al., 2001a,b; Assisi et al., 2011). In large-scale AL network models we characterized the inhibitory sub-network by its coloring (Assisi et al., 2011) and showed that it can entrain excitatory PNs to the odor specific patterns of transient synchronization. In this focused review, we further examine the dynamics of entrainment in more detail by simulating simple model networks in various parameter regimes. Our simulations in conjunction with earlier studies point to the key role played by lateral (between inhibitory interneurons) and feedback (from inhibitory interneurons to principal cells) inhibition in the generation of experimentally observed patterns of transient synchrony. PMID:22529800

  13. Olfactory Cues Used for Wayfinding in Urban Environments by Individuals with Visual Impairments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koutsoklenis, Athanasios; Papadopoulos, Konstantinos

    2011-01-01

    This study examined which olfactory cues individuals with visual impairments use most often and determined which of these cues these individuals deemed to be the most important for wayfinding in urban environments. It also investigated the ways in which the individuals use these olfactory cues. (Contains 3 tables.)

  14. How Do Insects Help the Environment?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hevel, Gary

    2005-01-01

    There are some 5 to 30 million insect species estimated in the world--and the majority of these have yet to be collected or named by science! Of course, the most well known insects are those that cause disease or compete for human agricultural products, but these insects represent only a small fraction of the world's insect population. In reality,…

  15. A novel method to study insect olfactory receptor function using HEK293 cells.

    PubMed

    Corcoran, Jacob A; Jordan, Melissa D; Carraher, Colm; Newcomb, Richard D

    2014-11-01

    The development of rapid and reliable assays to characterize insect odorant receptors (ORs) and pheromone receptors (PRs) remains a challenge for the field. Typically ORs and PRs are functionally characterized either in vivo in transgenic Drosophila or in vitro through expression in Xenopus oocytes. While these approaches have succeeded, they are not well suited for high-throughput screening campaigns, primarily due to inherent characteristics that limit their ability to screen large quantities of compounds in a short period of time. The development of a practical, robust and consistent in vitro assay for functional studies on ORs and PRs would allow for high-throughput screening for ligands, as well as for compounds that could be used as novel olfactory-based pest management tools. Here we describe a novel method of utilizing human embryonic kidney cells (HEK293) transfected with inducible receptor constructs for the functional characterization of ORs in 96-well plates using a fluorescent spectrophotometer. Using EposOrco and EposOR3 from the pest moth, Epiphyas postvittana as an example, we generated HEK293 cell lines with robust and consistent responses to ligands in functional assays. Single-cell sorting of cell lines by FACS facilitated the selection of isogenic cell lines with maximal responses, and the addition of epitope tags on the N-termini allowed the detection of recombinant proteins in homogenates by western blot and in cells by immunocytochemistry. We thoroughly describe the methods used to generate these OR-expressing cell lines, demonstrating that they have all the necessary features required for use in high-throughput screening platforms.

  16. Insect Development in Altered Gravitational Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tischler, Marc E.

    1996-01-01

    When tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta) larvae burrow underground (25-30 cm) to pupate, they reorient themselves to a relatively horizontal position indicating an ability to sense gravity. To evaluate their sensitivity to gravitational environment during metamorphosis, Manduca (pharate adults) were placed in a vertical (head-up) position. Distinct morphological changes, each one reflecting ensuing phases, were used to follow adult development. Five days after pupation, the vertical group showed accelerated (P less than 0.05) development and were nearly 4 phases ahead (P less than 0.0001) after 10 days. Differences in development in the vertical group were characterized further by increased (7-48%) hemolymph concentrations of 13 amino acids, but a decrease in cys and pro and no change in arg, his, met and val (trp, undetectable). Decreased (36%) turnover of injected H-3 - phenylalanine suggested slower utilization of amino acids contributed, at least partly, to the increased concentrations. Vertically-oriented Manduca also exhibited a greater (20 %, P less than 0.001) protein content in their flight muscles near the end of development. Analysis of hemolymph sugar levels showed a redistribution of sugars from the monosaccharide glucose to the disaccharide trehalose. Since injection of 20-hydroxyecdysone decreased (49%) turnover of H-3- phenylalanine in pharate adults and since ecdysteroids are known to increase flight muscle size and control adult development, these results are consistent with our measuring a greater (+80%, P less than 0.05) ecdysteroid titer in the vertically-oriented insects. These results suggest that gravity environment influences ecdysone output by the pharate adult. When we evaluated hemolymph flow in the head-up and control positions, we found that injected C-14-inulin was distributed somewhat more rapidly in the head-up group irrespective of the sight of injection (head or abdomen) likely because in the head-up position flow of the hemolymph is

  17. Dual Activation of a Sex Pheromone-Dependent Ion Channel from Insect Olfactory Dendrites by Protein Kinase C Activators and Cyclic GMP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zufall, Frank; Hatt, Hanns

    1991-10-01

    Olfactory transduction is thought to take place in the outer dendritic membrane of insect olfactory receptor neurons. Here we show that the outer dendritic plasma membrane of silkmoth olfactory receptor neurons seems to be exclusively equipped with a specific ion channel activated by low concentrations of the species-specific sex pheromone component. This so-called AC_1 channel has a conductance of 56 pS and is nonselectively permeable to cations. The AC_1 channel can be activated from the intracellular side by protein kinase C activators such as diacylglycerol and phorbolester and by cGMP but not by Ca2+, inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate, or cAMP. Our results imply that phosphorylation of this ion channel by protein kinase C could be the crucial step in channel opening by sex pheromones.

  18. A modular, computer-controlled system for olfactory stimulation in the MRI environment.

    PubMed

    Andrieu, Patrice; Bonnans, Vincent; Meneses, Jaime; Millot, Jean-Louis; Moulin, Thierry; Gharbi, Tijani

    2014-03-01

    Although the cerebral networks involved in sensory perception are of general interest in neuroscience, registration of the effects of olfactory stimulation, especially in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) environment, presents particular problems and constraints. This article presents details of a reliable and portable system for olfactory stimulation that is modular in design and based on microcontroller technology. It has the following characteristics: (1) It is under software control; (2) the presentation of olfactory stimulation can be synchronized with respiration; (3) it can be manually controlled; and (4) it is fully compatible with an MRI environment. The principle underlying this system is to direct an odor to the subject's nostrils by switching airflow to different odor diffusers. The characteristics of this system were established using (1) ultraviolet (UV) spectroscopy, to measure its response time, and (2) gas chromatography, to measure the repeatability of odor presentation in terms of gas concentration. A response time of 200 ± 25 ms was obtained for the system, and the standard deviations of the gas concentration delivered during stimulation ranged from 1.5% to 22%, depending on the odor, the airflow, and the dilution of the odor used. Since it is portable, controlled by software, and reliable, on the basis of the results we obtained, this system will lend itself to a wide range of applications in olfactory neuroscience.

  19. Evolving a Neural Olfactorimotor System in Virtual and Real Olfactory Environments

    PubMed Central

    Rhodes, Paul A.; Anderson, Todd O.

    2012-01-01

    To provide a platform to enable the study of simulated olfactory circuitry in context, we have integrated a simulated neural olfactorimotor system with a virtual world which simulates both computational fluid dynamics as well as a robotic agent capable of exploring the simulated plumes. A number of the elements which we developed for this purpose have not, to our knowledge, been previously assembled into an integrated system, including: control of a simulated agent by a neural olfactorimotor system; continuous interaction between the simulated robot and the virtual plume; the inclusion of multiple distinct odorant plumes and background odor; the systematic use of artificial evolution driven by olfactorimotor performance (e.g., time to locate a plume source) to specify parameter values; the incorporation of the realities of an imperfect physical robot using a hybrid model where a physical robot encounters a simulated plume. We close by describing ongoing work toward engineering a high dimensional, reversible, low power electronic olfactory sensor which will allow olfactorimotor neural circuitry evolved in the virtual world to control an autonomous olfactory robot in the physical world. The platform described here is intended to better test theories of olfactory circuit function, as well as provide robust odor source localization in realistic environments. PMID:23112772

  20. Effects of hydroxyurea parallel the effects of radiation in developing olfactory glomeruli in insects

    SciTech Connect

    Oland, L.A.; Tolbert, L.P.

    1988-12-15

    Previous observations have provided evidence that the afferent-axon-induced development of synaptic glomeruli in the antennal lobe of the moth Manduca sexta depends upon an interaction between ingrowing sensory axons and the glial cells of the antennal lobe. In order to differentiate between the roles of glial cells and of afferent axons on the partitioning of the lobe into glomeruli, we have used the antimitotic agent hydroxyurea to produce lobes deficient in glial cells but retaining sensory input. The resulting lobes were analyzed in the light and electron microscopes, and the integrity of their antennal input was evaluated by examining the gross and microscopic structure of the antennae, the number of antennal afferent axons, and electroantennogram responses to odors. Our results with hydroxyurea show that in treated animals with adequate antennal input the degree to which the antennal-lobe neuropil becomes glomerular varies with the number of glial cells remaining in the lobe; when less than approximately one-quarter of the normal glial complement is present, glomeruli do not develop at all. These experiments complement and extend previous experiments in which the number of glial cells was reduced with radiation. The fact that the present results mimic the previous results with radiation strongly suggest that glial cells do mediate the afferent-axon-induced formation of olfactory glomeruli in the moth.

  1. Oscillation and coding in a formal neural network considered as a guide for plausible simulations of the insect olfactory system.

    PubMed

    Horcholle-Bossavit, Ginette; Quenet, Brigitte; Foucart, Olivier

    2007-01-01

    For the analysis of coding mechanisms in the insect olfactory system, a fully connected network of synchronously updated McCulloch and Pitts neurons (MC-P type) was developed [Quenet, B., Horn, D., 2003. The dynamic neural filter: a binary model of spatio-temporal coding. Neural Comput. 15 (2), 309-329]. Considering the update time as an intrinsic clock, this "Dynamic Neural Filter" (DNF), which maps regions of input space into spatio-temporal sequences of neuronal activity, is able to produce exact binary codes extracted from the synchronized activities recorded at the level of projection neurons (PN) in the locust antennal lobe (AL) in response to different odors [Wehr, M., Laurent, G., 1996. Odor encoding by temporal sequences of firing in oscillating neural assemblies. Nature 384, 162-166]. Here, in a first step, we separate the populations of PN and local inhibitory neurons (LN) and use the DNF as a guide for simulations based on biological plausible neurons (Hodgkin-Huxley: H-H type). We show that a parsimonious network of 10 H-H neurons generates action potentials whose timing represents the required codes. In a second step, we construct a new type of DNF in order to study the population dynamics when different delays are taken into account. We find synaptic matrices which lead to both the emergence of robust oscillations and spatio-temporal patterns, using a formal criterion, based on a Normalized Euclidian Distance (NED), in order to measure the use of the temporal dimension as a coding dimension by the DNF. Similarly to biological PN, the activity of excitatory neurons in the model can be both phase-locked to different cycles of oscillations which remind local field potential (LFP), and nevertheless exhibit dynamic behavior complex enough to be the basis of spatio-temporal codes.

  2. Learning the way to blood: first evidence of dual olfactory conditioning in a blood-sucking insect, Rhodnius prolixus. I. Appetitive learning.

    PubMed

    Vinauger, Clément; Buratti, Laura; Lazzari, Claudio R

    2011-09-15

    It has been largely assumed that the individual experience of insects that are disease vectors might not only contribute to animal fitness, but also have an important influence on parasite transmission. Nevertheless, despite the invested efforts in testing the capacity to learn and remember information in blood-sucking insects, only little conclusive information has been obtained to date. Adapting a classical conditioning approach to our haematophagous model, we trained larvae of Rhodnius prolixus to associate L-lactic-acid, an odour perceived by these bugs but behaviourally neutral when presented alone, with food (i.e. positive reinforcement). Naive bugs--those exposed either to a conditioned stimulus (CS, L-lactic acid), unconditioned stimulus (US, heat) and reward (blood) alone or CS, US and reward in the absence of contingency--remained indifferent to the presence of an air stream loaded with L-lactic acid when tested in an olfactometer (random orientation), whereas the groups previously exposed to the contingency CS-US-reward (blood) were significantly attracted by L-lactic-acid. In a companion paper, the opposite, i.e. repellence, was induced in bugs exposed to the contingency of the same odour with a negative reinforcement. This constitutes the first evidence of olfactory conditioning in triatomine bugs, vectors of Chagas disease, and one of the few substantiations available to date of olfactory conditioning in haematophagous insects.

  3. Evolutionary analysis of herbivorous insects in natural and agricultural environments.

    PubMed

    Gassmann, Aaron J; Onstad, David W; Pittendrigh, Barry R

    2009-11-01

    Herbivorous insects offer a remarkable example of the biological diversity that formed the foundation for Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. The ability of insects to evolve resistance rapidly to insecticides and host-plant resistance present a continual challenge for pest management. This paper considers the manner in which genetic constraints, host-plant availability and trade-offs affect the evolution of herbivorous insects in natural and agricultural environments, and the extent to which lessons learned from studying natural systems may be applied to improve insect resistance management in agricultural systems. Studies on the genetic architecture of adaptation by herbivores to host plants and to insecticides are reviewed. The genetic basis of resistance is an important component of simulation models that predict the evolution of resistance. These models often assume monogenic resistance, but available data suggest that this assumption may be overly narrow and that modeling of resistance as oligogenic or polygenic may be more appropriate. As omics (e.g. genomics and proteomics) technologies become more accessible, a better understanding of the genetic basis of resistance will be possible. Trade-offs often accompany adaptations by herbivores. Trade-offs arise when the benefit of a trait, such as the ability to feed on a novel host plant or to survive in the presence of an insecticide, is counterbalanced by fitness costs that decrease fitness in the absence of the selective agent. For resistance to insecticides, and resistance to insecticidal transgenic crops in particular, fitness costs may act as an evolutionary constraint and delay or prevent the evolution of resistance. An important observation is that certain ecological factors such as host plants and entomopathogens can magnify fitness costs, which is termed ecological negative cross-resistance. The application of omics technologies may allow for more efficient identification of factors that

  4. Using Single Sensillum Recording to Detect Olfactory Neuron Responses of Bed Bugs to Semiochemicals.

    PubMed

    Liu, Feng; Liu, Nannan

    2016-01-01

    The insect olfactory system plays an important role in detecting semiochemicals in the environment. In particular, the antennal sensilla which house single or multiple neurons inside, are considered to make the major contribution in responding to the chemical stimuli. By directly recording action potential in the olfactory sensillum after exposure to stimuli, single sensillum recording (SSR) technique provides a powerful approach for investigating the neural responses of insects to chemical stimuli. For the bed bug, which is a notorious human parasite, multiple types of olfactory sensillum have been characterized. In this study, we demonstrated neural responses of bed bug olfactory sensilla to two chemical stimuli and the dose-dependent responses to one of them using the SSR method. This approach enables researchers to conduct early screening for individual chemical stimuli on the bed bug olfactory sensilla, which would provide valuable information for the development of new bed bug attractants or repellents and benefits the bed bug control efforts. PMID:26862929

  5. Plant odour plumes as mediators of plant-insect interactions.

    PubMed

    Beyaert, Ivo; Hilker, Monika

    2014-02-01

    Insect olfactory orientation along odour plumes has been studied intensively with respect to pheromonal communication, whereas little knowledge is available on how plant odour plumes (POPs) affect olfactory searching by an insect for its host plants. The primary objective of this review is to examine the role of POPs in the attraction of insects. First, we consider parameters of an odour source and the environment which determine the size, shape and structure of an odour plume, and we apply that knowledge to POPs. Second, we compare characteristics of insect pheromonal plumes and POPs. We propose a 'POP concept' for the olfactory orientation of insects to plants. We suggest that: (i) an insect recognises a POP by means of plant volatile components that are encountered in concentrations higher than a threshold detection limit and that occur in a qualitative and quantitative blend indicating a resource; (ii) perception of the fine structure of a POP enables an insect to distinguish a POP from an unspecific odorous background and other interfering plumes; and (iii) an insect can follow several POPs to their sources, and may leave the track of one POP and switch to another one if this conveys a signal with higher reliability or indicates a more suitable resource. The POP concept proposed here may be a useful tool for research in olfactory-mediated plant-insect interactions.

  6. Evolving olfactory systems on the fly.

    PubMed

    Ramdya, Pavan; Benton, Richard

    2010-07-01

    The detection of odour stimuli in the environment is universally important for primal behaviours such as feeding, mating, kin interactions and escape responses. Given the ubiquity of many airborne chemical signals and the similar organisation of animal olfactory circuits, a fundamental question in our understanding of the sense of smell is how species-specific behavioural responses to odorants can evolve. Recent comparative genomic, developmental and physiological studies are shedding light on this problem by providing insights into the genetic mechanisms that underlie anatomical and functional evolution of the olfactory system. Here we synthesise these data, with a particular focus on insect olfaction, to address how new olfactory receptors and circuits might arise and diverge, offering glimpses into how odour-evoked behaviours could adapt to an ever-changing chemosensory world.

  7. Evolution of alternative insect life histories in stochastic seasonal environments.

    PubMed

    Kivelä, Sami M; Välimäki, Panu; Gotthard, Karl

    2016-08-01

    Deterministic seasonality can explain the evolution of alternative life history phenotypes (i.e., life history polyphenism) expressed in different generations emerging within the same year. However, the influence of stochastic variation on the expression of such life history polyphenisms in seasonal environments is insufficiently understood. Here, we use insects as a model and explore (1) the effects of stochastic variation in seasonality and (2) the life cycle on the degree of life history differentiation among the alternative developmental pathways of direct development and diapause (overwintering), and (3) the evolution of phenology. With numerical simulation, we determine the values of development (growth) time, growth rate, body size, reproductive effort, adult life span, and fecundity in both the overwintering and directly developing generations that maximize geometric mean fitness. The results suggest that natural selection favors the expression of alternative life histories in the alternative developmental pathways even when there is stochastic variation in seasonality, but that trait differentiation is affected by the developmental stage that overwinters. Increasing environmental unpredictability induced a switch to a bet-hedging type of life history strategy, which is consistent with general life history theory. Bet-hedging appeared in our study system as reduced expression of the direct development phenotype, with associated changes in life history phenotypes, because the fitness value of direct development is highly variable in uncertain environments. Our main result is that seasonality itself is a key factor promoting the evolution of seasonally polyphenic life histories but that environmental stochasticity may modulate the expression of life history phenotypes. PMID:27547340

  8. Learning the way to blood: first evidence of dual olfactory conditioning in a blood-sucking insect, Rhodnius prolixus. II. Aversive learning.

    PubMed

    Vinauger, Clément; Buratti, Laura; Lazzari, Claudio R

    2011-09-15

    After having demonstrated that blood-sucking bugs are able to associate a behaviourally neutral odour (L-lactic acid) with positive reinforcement (i.e. appetitive conditioning) in the first part of this study, we tested whether these insects were also able to associate the same odour with a negative reinforcement (i.e. aversive conditioning). Learned aversion to host odours has been repeatedly suggested as a determinant for the distribution of disease vectors among host populations. Nevertheless, no experimental evidence has been obtained so far. Adapting a classical conditioning approach to our haematophagous model, we trained larvae of Rhodnius prolixus to associate L-lactic acid, an odour perceived by bugs but behaviourally neutral when presented alone, with a mechanical perturbation (i.e. negative reinforcement). Naive bugs and bugs exposed to CS, punishment, or CS and punishment without contingency remained indifferent to the presence of an air stream loaded with L-lactic acid (random orientation on a locomotion compensator), whereas the groups previously exposed to the contingency CS-punishment were significantly repelled by L-lactic acid. In a companion paper, the opposite, i.e. attraction, was induced in bugs exposed to the contingency of the same odour with a positive reinforcement. These constitute the first pieces of evidence of olfactory conditioning in triatomine bugs and the first demonstration that the same host odour can be used by insects that are disease vectors to learn to recognize either a host to feed on or a potentially defensive one. The orientation mechanism during repulsion is also discussed in light of our results.

  9. Ionotropic Crustacean Olfactory Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Corey, Elizabeth A.; Bobkov, Yuriy; Ukhanov, Kirill; Ache, Barry W.

    2013-01-01

    The nature of the olfactory receptor in crustaceans, a major group of arthropods, has remained elusive. We report that spiny lobsters, Panulirus argus, express ionotropic receptors (IRs), the insect chemosensory variants of ionotropic glutamate receptors. Unlike insects IRs, which are expressed in a specific subset of olfactory cells, two lobster IR subunits are expressed in most, if not all, lobster olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs), as confirmed by antibody labeling and in situ hybridization. Ligand-specific ORN responses visualized by calcium imaging are consistent with a restricted expression pattern found for other potential subunits, suggesting that cell-specific expression of uncommon IR subunits determines the ligand sensitivity of individual cells. IRs are the only type of olfactory receptor that we have detected in spiny lobster olfactory tissue, suggesting that they likely mediate olfactory signaling. Given long-standing evidence for G protein-mediated signaling in activation of lobster ORNs, this finding raises the interesting specter that IRs act in concert with second messenger-mediated signaling. PMID:23573266

  10. Radiation-induced reduction of the glial population during development disrupts the formation of olfactory glomeruli in an insect

    SciTech Connect

    Oland, L.A.; Tolbert, L.P.; Mossman, K.L.

    1988-01-01

    Interactions between neurons and between neurons and glial cells have been shown by a number of investigators to be critical for normal development of the nervous system. In the olfactory system of Manduca sexta, sensory axons have been shown to induce the formation of synaptic glomeruli in the antennal lobe of the brain. Oland and Tolbert (1987) found that the growth of sensory axons into the developing antennal lobe causes changes in glial shape and disposition that presage the establishment of glomeruli, each surrounded by a glial envelope. Several lines of evidence lead us to hypothesize that the glial cells of the lobe may be acting as intermediaries in developmental interactions between sensory axons and neurons of the antennal lobe. In the present study, we have tested this hypothesis by using gamma-radiation to reduce the number of glial cells at a time when neurons of the antennal system are postmitotic but glomeruli have not yet developed. When glial numbers are severely reduced, the neuropil of the resulting lobe lacks glomeruli. Despite the presence of afferent axons, the irradiated lobe has many of the features of a lobe that developed in the absence of afferent axons. Our findings indicate that the glial cells must play a necessary role in the inductive influence of the afferent axons.

  11. Genetic architecture of olfactory behavior in Drosophila melanogaster: differences and similarities across development

    PubMed Central

    Lavagnino, N.J.; Arya, G.H.; Korovaichuk, A.; Fanara, J.J.

    2013-01-01

    In the holometabolous insect Drosophila melanogaster, genetic, physiological and anatomical aspects of olfaction are well known in the adult stage, while larval stages olfactory behavior has received some attention it has been less studied than its adult counterpart. Most of these studies focus on olfactory receptors (Or) genes that produce peripheral odor recognition. In this paper, through a loss-of-function screen using P-element inserted lines and also by means of expression analyses of larval olfaction candidate genes, we extended the uncovering of the genetic underpinnings of D. melanogaster larval olfactory behavior by demonstrating that larval olfactory behavior is, in addition to Or genes, orchestrated by numerous genes with diverse functions. Also, our results points out that the genetic architecture of olfactory behavior in D. melanogaster presents a dynamic and changing organization across environments and ontogeny. PMID:23563598

  12. Olfactory system oscillations across phyla

    PubMed Central

    Kay, Leslie M.

    2014-01-01

    Neural oscillations are ubiquitous in olfactory systems of mammals, insects and molluscs. Neurophysiological and computational investigations point to common mechanisms for gamma or odor associated oscillations across phyla (40–100 Hz in mammals, 20–30 Hz in insects, 0.5–1.5 Hz in molluscs), engaging the reciprocal dendrodendritic synapse between excitatory principle neurons and inhibitory interneurons in the olfactory bulb, antennal lobe, or procerebrum. Recent studies suggest important mechanisms that may modulate gamma oscillations, including neuromodulators and centrifugal input to the olfactory bulb and antennal lobe. Beta (20 Hz) and theta (2–12 Hz) oscillations coordinate activity within and across brain regions. Olfactory beta oscillations are associated with odor learning and depend on centrifugal olfactory bulb input, while theta oscillations are strongly associated with respiration. PMID:25460070

  13. Formic and Acetic Acids in Degradation Products of Plant Volatiles Elicit Olfactory and Behavioral Responses from an Insect Vector.

    PubMed

    George, Justin; Robbins, Paul S; Alessandro, Rocco T; Stelinski, Lukasz L; Lapointe, Stephen L

    2016-05-01

    Volatile phytochemicals play a role in orientation by phytophagous insects. We studied antennal and behavioral responses of the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri, vector of the citrus greening disease pathogen. Little or no response to citrus leaf volatiles was detected by electroantennography. Glass cartridges prepared with β-ocimene or citral produced no response initially but became stimulatory after several days. Both compounds degraded completely in air to a number of smaller molecules. Two peaks elicited large antennal responses and were identified as acetic and formic acids. Probing by D. citri of a wax substrate containing odorants was significantly increased by a blend of formic and acetic acids compared with either compound separately or blends containing β-ocimene and/or citral. Response surface modeling based on a 4-component mixture design and a 2-component mixture-amount design predicted an optimal probing response on wax substrate containing a blend of formic and acetic acids. Our study suggests that formic and acetic acids play a role in host selection by D. citri and perhaps by phytophagous insects in general even when parent compounds from which they are derived are not active. These results have implications for the investigation of arthropod olfaction and may lead to elaboration of attract-and-kill formulations to reduce nontarget effects of chemical control in agriculture. PMID:26857741

  14. Preliminary data on carrion insects in urban (indoor and outdoor) and periurban environments in central Spain.

    PubMed

    Baz, Arturo; Botías, Cristina; Martín-Vega, Daniel; Cifrián, Blanca; Díaz-Aranda, Luisa M

    2015-03-01

    Although most cases involving entomological evidence occur in urban environments and under indoor conditions, there is a lack of studies determining the insect fauna of forensic importance in those environments. In the current paper we provide the first data on the composition of the forensically important insect species occurring in periurban and both indoor and outdoor urban environments in central Spain. Insects were collected fortnightly by means of carrion-baited traps, uninterruptedly during one year. Most species and individuals were collected in the periurban site, whereas the indoor urban site showed the lowest number of species and captures. Moreover, the composition of species differed among environments and seasons. A few species occurred under both indoor and outdoor conditions, including the blowfly Calliphora vicina and some Sarcophagidae species. These preliminary results suggest interesting differences in the insect composition between environments and conditions which may be of forensic importance, and represent a first step to further research into the application of insects to forensic investigations in urban environments of central Spain.

  15. Dimorphic Olfactory Lobes in the Arthropoda

    PubMed Central

    Strausfeld, Nicholas; Reisenman, Carolina E.

    2009-01-01

    Specialized olfactory lobe glomeruli relating to sexual or caste differences have been observed in at least five orders of insects, suggesting an early appearance of this trait in insect evolution. Dimorphism is not limited to nocturnal species, but occurs even in insects that are known to use vision for courtship. Other than a single description there is no evidence for similar structures occuring in the Crustacea, suggesting that the evolution of dimorphic olfactory systems may typify terrestrial arthropods. PMID:19686183

  16. Dimorphic olfactory lobes in the arthropoda.

    PubMed

    Strausfeld, Nicholas; Reisenman, Carolina E

    2009-07-01

    Specialized olfactory lobe glomeruli relating to sexual or caste differences have been observed in at least five orders of insects, suggesting an early appearance of this trait in insect evolution. Dimorphism is not limited to nocturnal species, but occurs even in insects that are known to use vision for courtship. Other than a single description, there is no evidence for similar structures occurring in the Crustacea, suggesting that the evolution of dimorphic olfactory systems may typify terrestrial arthropods.

  17. Synthesizing Neurophysiology, Genetics, Behaviour and Learning to Produce Whole-Insect Programmable Sensors to Detect Volatile Chemicals.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Most insects have evolved highly sensitive olfactory systems which respond to odors in their environment. The extremely sensitive nature of the insect olfaction system is enhanced by the ability to learn to associate external stimuli with resources, such as food, hosts, and mates. There have been a ...

  18. Plasticity in Insect Olfaction: To Smell or Not to Smell?

    PubMed

    Gadenne, Christophe; Barrozo, Romina B; Anton, Sylvia

    2016-01-01

    In insects, olfaction plays a crucial role in many behavioral contexts, such as locating food, sexual partners, and oviposition sites. To successfully perform such behaviors, insects must respond to chemical stimuli at the right moment. Insects modulate their olfactory system according to their physiological state upon interaction with their environment. Here, we review the plasticity of behavioral responses to different odor types according to age, feeding state, circadian rhythm, and mating status. We also summarize what is known about the underlying neural and endocrinological mechanisms, from peripheral detection to central nervous integration, and cover neuromodulation from the molecular to the behavioral level. We describe forms of olfactory plasticity that have contributed to the evolutionary success of insects and have provided them with remarkable tools to adapt to their ever-changing environment.

  19. Olfactory signal coding in an odor background.

    PubMed

    Renou, Michel; Party, Virginie; Rouyar, Angéla; Anton, Sylvia

    2015-10-01

    Insects communicating with pheromones are confronted with an olfactory environment featuring a diversity of volatile organic compounds from plant origin. These volatiles constitute a rich and fluctuant background from which the information carried by the pheromone signal must be extracted. Thus, the pheromone receptor neurons must encode into spike trains the quality, intensity and temporal characteristics of the signal that are determinant to the recognition and localization of a conspecific female. We recorded and analyzed the responses of the pheromone olfactory receptor neurons of male moths to sex pheromone in different odor background conditions. We show that in spite of the narrow chemical tuning of the pheromone receptor neurons, the sensory input can be altered by odorant background. PMID:26116090

  20. Gene expression changes in the olfactory bulb of mice induced by exposure to diesel exhaust are dependent on animal rearing environment.

    PubMed

    Yokota, Satoshi; Hori, Hiroshi; Umezawa, Masakazu; Kubota, Natsuko; Niki, Rikio; Yanagita, Shinya; Takeda, Ken

    2013-01-01

    There is an emerging concern that particulate air pollution increases the risk of cranial nerve disease onset. Small nanoparticles, mainly derived from diesel exhaust particles reach the olfactory bulb by their nasal depositions. It has been reported that diesel exhaust inhalation causes inflammation of the olfactory bulb and other brain regions. However, these toxicological studies have not evaluated animal rearing environment. We hypothesized that rearing environment can change mice phenotypes and thus might alter toxicological study results. In this study, we exposed mice to diesel exhaust inhalation at 90 µg/m(3), 8 hours/day, for 28 consecutive days after rearing in a standard cage or environmental enrichment conditions. Microarray analysis found that expression levels of 112 genes were changed by diesel exhaust inhalation. Functional analysis using Gene Ontology revealed that the dysregulated genes were involved in inflammation and immune response. This result was supported by pathway analysis. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis confirmed 10 genes. Interestingly, background gene expression of the olfactory bulb of mice reared in a standard cage environment was changed by diesel exhaust inhalation, whereas there was no significant effect of diesel exhaust exposure on gene expression levels of mice reared with environmental enrichment. The results indicate for the first time that the effect of diesel exhaust exposure on gene expression of the olfactory bulb was influenced by rearing environment. Rearing environment, such as environmental enrichment, may be an important contributive factor to causation in evaluating still undefined toxic environmental substances such as diesel exhaust.

  1. Olfactory receptors: G protein-coupled receptors and beyond.

    PubMed

    Spehr, Marc; Munger, Steven D

    2009-06-01

    Sensing the chemical environment is critical for all organisms. Diverse animals from insects to mammals utilize highly organized olfactory system to detect, encode, and process chemostimuli that may carry important information critical for health, survival, social interactions and reproduction. Therefore, for animals to properly interpret and react to their environment it is imperative that the olfactory system recognizes chemical stimuli with appropriate selectivity and sensitivity. Because olfactory receptor proteins play such an essential role in the specific recognition of diverse stimuli, understanding how they interact with and transduce their cognate ligands is a high priority. In the nearly two decades since the discovery that the mammalian odorant receptor gene family constitutes the largest group of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) genes, much attention has been focused on the roles of GPCRs in vertebrate and invertebrate olfaction. However, is has become clear that the 'family' of olfactory receptors is highly diverse, with roles for enzymes and ligand-gated ion channels as well as GPCRs in the primary detection of olfactory stimuli. PMID:19383089

  2. Insects represent a link between food animal farms and the urban environment for antibiotic resistance traits.

    PubMed

    Zurek, Ludek; Ghosh, Anuradha

    2014-06-01

    Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections result in higher patient mortality rates, prolonged hospitalizations, and increased health care costs. Extensive use of antibiotics as growth promoters in the animal industry represents great pressure for evolution and selection of antibiotic-resistant bacteria on farms. Despite growing evidence showing that antibiotic use and bacterial resistance in food animals correlate with resistance in human pathogens, the proof for direct transmission of antibiotic resistance is difficult to provide. In this review, we make a case that insects commonly associated with food animals likely represent a direct and important link between animal farms and urban communities for antibiotic resistance traits. Houseflies and cockroaches have been shown to carry multidrug-resistant clonal lineages of bacteria identical to those found in animal manure. Furthermore, several studies have demonstrated proliferation of bacteria and horizontal transfer of resistance genes in the insect digestive tract as well as transmission of resistant bacteria by insects to new substrates. We propose that insect management should be an integral part of pre- and postharvest food safety strategies to minimize spread of zoonotic pathogens and antibiotic resistance traits from animal farms. Furthermore, the insect link between the agricultural and urban environment presents an additional argument for adopting prudent use of antibiotics in the food animal industry.

  3. Insects Represent a Link between Food Animal Farms and the Urban Environment for Antibiotic Resistance Traits

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, Anuradha

    2014-01-01

    Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections result in higher patient mortality rates, prolonged hospitalizations, and increased health care costs. Extensive use of antibiotics as growth promoters in the animal industry represents great pressure for evolution and selection of antibiotic-resistant bacteria on farms. Despite growing evidence showing that antibiotic use and bacterial resistance in food animals correlate with resistance in human pathogens, the proof for direct transmission of antibiotic resistance is difficult to provide. In this review, we make a case that insects commonly associated with food animals likely represent a direct and important link between animal farms and urban communities for antibiotic resistance traits. Houseflies and cockroaches have been shown to carry multidrug-resistant clonal lineages of bacteria identical to those found in animal manure. Furthermore, several studies have demonstrated proliferation of bacteria and horizontal transfer of resistance genes in the insect digestive tract as well as transmission of resistant bacteria by insects to new substrates. We propose that insect management should be an integral part of pre- and postharvest food safety strategies to minimize spread of zoonotic pathogens and antibiotic resistance traits from animal farms. Furthermore, the insect link between the agricultural and urban environment presents an additional argument for adopting prudent use of antibiotics in the food animal industry. PMID:24705326

  4. Mimicking nature's noses: from receptor deorphaning to olfactory biosensing.

    PubMed

    Glatz, Richard; Bailey-Hill, Kelly

    2011-02-01

    The way in which organisms detect specific volatile compounds within their environment, and the associated neural processing which produces perception and subsequent behavioural responses, have been of interest to scientists for decades. Initially, most olfaction research was conducted using electrophysiological techniques on whole animals. However, the discovery of genes encoding the family of human olfactory receptors (ORs) paved the way for the development of a range of cellular assays, primarily used to deorphan ORs from mammals and insects. These assays have greatly advanced our knowledge of the molecular basis of olfaction, however, while there is currently good agreement on vertebrate and nematode olfactory signalling cascades, debate still surrounds the signalling mechanisms in insects. The inherent specificity and sensitivity of ORs makes them prime candidates as biological detectors of volatile ligands within biosensor devices, which have many potential applications. In the previous decade, researchers have investigated various technologies for transducing OR:ligand interactions into a readable format and thereby produce an olfactory biosensor (or bioelectronic nose) that maintains the discriminating power of the ORs in vivo. Here we review and compare the molecular mechanisms of olfaction in vertebrates and invertebrates, and also summarise the assay technologies utilising sub-tissue level sensing elements (cells and cell extracts), which have been applied to OR deorphanization and biosensor research. Although there are currently no commercial, "field-ready" olfactory biosensors of the kind discussed here, there have been several technological proof-of-concept studies suggesting that we will see their emergence within the next decade.

  5. Parallel processing in the honeybee olfactory pathway: structure, function, and evolution.

    PubMed

    Rössler, Wolfgang; Brill, Martin F

    2013-11-01

    Animals face highly complex and dynamic olfactory stimuli in their natural environments, which require fast and reliable olfactory processing. Parallel processing is a common principle of sensory systems supporting this task, for example in visual and auditory systems, but its role in olfaction remained unclear. Studies in the honeybee focused on a dual olfactory pathway. Two sets of projection neurons connect glomeruli in two antennal-lobe hemilobes via lateral and medial tracts in opposite sequence with the mushroom bodies and lateral horn. Comparative studies suggest that this dual-tract circuit represents a unique adaptation in Hymenoptera. Imaging studies indicate that glomeruli in both hemilobes receive redundant sensory input. Recent simultaneous multi-unit recordings from projection neurons of both tracts revealed widely overlapping response profiles strongly indicating parallel olfactory processing. Whereas lateral-tract neurons respond fast with broad (generalistic) profiles, medial-tract neurons are odorant specific and respond slower. In analogy to "what-" and "where" subsystems in visual pathways, this suggests two parallel olfactory subsystems providing "what-" (quality) and "when" (temporal) information. Temporal response properties may support across-tract coincidence coding in higher centers. Parallel olfactory processing likely enhances perception of complex odorant mixtures to decode the diverse and dynamic olfactory world of a social insect.

  6. Olfactory system oscillations across phyla.

    PubMed

    Kay, Leslie M

    2015-04-01

    Neural oscillations are ubiquitous in olfactory systems of mammals, insects and molluscs. Neurophysiological and computational investigations point to common mechanisms for gamma or odor associated oscillations across phyla (40-100Hz in mammals, 20-30Hz in insects, 0.5-1.5Hz in molluscs), engaging the reciprocal dendrodendritic synapse between excitatory principle neurons and inhibitory interneurons in the olfactory bulb (OB), antennal lobe (AL), or procerebrum (PrC). Recent studies suggest important mechanisms that may modulate gamma oscillations, including neuromodulators and centrifugal input to the OB and AL. Beta (20Hz) and theta (2-12Hz) oscillations coordinate activity within and across brain regions. Olfactory beta oscillations are associated with odor learning and depend on centrifugal OB input, while theta oscillations are strongly associated with respiration.

  7. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) transgenic crop: an environment friendly insect-pest management strategy.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Suresh; Chandra, Amaresh; Pandey, K C

    2008-09-01

    Introduction of DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) and following move towards indiscriminate use of synthetic chemical insecticides led to the contamination of water and food sources, poisoning of non-target beneficial insects and development of insect-pests resistant to the chemical insecticides. Increased public concems about the adverse environmental effects of indiscriminate use of chemical insecticides prompted search of altemative methods for insect-pest control. One of the promising alternatives has been the use of biological control agents. There is well-documented history of safe application of Bt (B. thuringiensis, a gram positive soil bacterium) as effective biopesticides and a number of reports of expression of delta-endotoxin gene(s) in crop plants are available. Only a few insecticidal sprays are required on Bt transgenic crops, which not only save cost and time, but also reduce health risks. Insects exhibit remarkable ability to develop resistance to different insecticidal compounds, which raises concern about the unsystematic use of Bt transgenic technology also. Though resistance to Bt products among insect species under field conditions has been rare, laboratory studies show that insects are capable of developing high levels of resistance to one ormore Cry proteins. Now it is generally agreed that 'high-dose/refuge strategy' is the most promising and practical approach to prolong the effectiveness of Bt toxins. Although manybiosafety concerns, ethical and moral issues exist, area under Bt transgenic crops is rapidly increasing and they are cultivated on more than 32 million hectares world over Even after reservation of European Union (EU) for acceptance of geneticaly modified (GM) crops, 6 out of 25 countries have already adopted Bt crops and many otherindustrial countries will adopt Bt transgenic crops in near future. While the modem biotechnology has been recognized to have a great potential for the promotion of human well-being, adoption

  8. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) transgenic crop: an environment friendly insect-pest management strategy.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Suresh; Chandra, Amaresh; Pandey, K C

    2008-09-01

    Introduction of DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) and following move towards indiscriminate use of synthetic chemical insecticides led to the contamination of water and food sources, poisoning of non-target beneficial insects and development of insect-pests resistant to the chemical insecticides. Increased public concems about the adverse environmental effects of indiscriminate use of chemical insecticides prompted search of altemative methods for insect-pest control. One of the promising alternatives has been the use of biological control agents. There is well-documented history of safe application of Bt (B. thuringiensis, a gram positive soil bacterium) as effective biopesticides and a number of reports of expression of delta-endotoxin gene(s) in crop plants are available. Only a few insecticidal sprays are required on Bt transgenic crops, which not only save cost and time, but also reduce health risks. Insects exhibit remarkable ability to develop resistance to different insecticidal compounds, which raises concern about the unsystematic use of Bt transgenic technology also. Though resistance to Bt products among insect species under field conditions has been rare, laboratory studies show that insects are capable of developing high levels of resistance to one ormore Cry proteins. Now it is generally agreed that 'high-dose/refuge strategy' is the most promising and practical approach to prolong the effectiveness of Bt toxins. Although manybiosafety concerns, ethical and moral issues exist, area under Bt transgenic crops is rapidly increasing and they are cultivated on more than 32 million hectares world over Even after reservation of European Union (EU) for acceptance of geneticaly modified (GM) crops, 6 out of 25 countries have already adopted Bt crops and many otherindustrial countries will adopt Bt transgenic crops in near future. While the modem biotechnology has been recognized to have a great potential for the promotion of human well-being, adoption

  9. Social influences on circadian rhythms and sleep in insects.

    PubMed

    Eban-Rothschild, Ada; Bloch, Guy

    2012-01-01

    The diverse social lifestyle and the small and accessible nervous system of insects make them valuable for research on the adaptive value and the organization principles of circadian rhythms and sleep. We focus on two complementary model insects, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, which is amenable to extensive transgenic manipulations, and the honey bee Apis mellifera, which has rich and well-studied social behaviors. Social entrainment of activity rhythms (social synchronization) has been studied in many animals. Social time givers appear to be specifically important in dark cavity-dwelling social animals, but here there are no other clear relationships between the degree of sociality and the effectiveness of social entrainment. The olfactory system is important for social entrainment in insects. Little is known, however, about the molecular and neuronal pathways linking olfactory neurons to the central clock. In the honey bee, the expression, phase, and development of circadian rhythms are socially regulated, apparently by different signals. Peripheral clocks regulating pheromone synthesis and the olfactory system have been implicated in social influences on circadian rhythms in the fruit fly. An enriched social environment increases the total amount of sleep in both fruit flies and honey bees. In fruit flies, these changes have been linked to molecular and neuronal processes involved in learning, memory, and synaptic plasticity. The studies on insects suggest that social influences on the clock are richer than previously appreciated and have led to important breakthroughs in our understanding of the mechanisms underlying social influences on sleep and circadian rhythms. PMID:22902124

  10. Signal interactions and interference in insect choruses: singing and listening in the social environment.

    PubMed

    Greenfield, Michael D

    2015-01-01

    Acoustic insects usually sing amidst conspecifics, thereby creating a social environment-the chorus-in which individuals communicate, find mates, and avoid predation. A temporal structure may arise in a chorus because of competitive and cooperative factors that favor certain signal interactions between neighbors. This temporal structure can generate significant acoustic interference among singers that pose problems for communication, mate finding, and predator detection. Acoustic insects can reduce interference by means of selective attention to only their nearest neighbors and by alternating calls with neighbors. Alternatively, they may synchronize, allowing them to preserve call rhythm and also to listen for predators during the silent intervals between calls. Moreover, males singing in choruses may benefit from reduced per capita predation risk as well as enhanced vigilance. They may also enjoy greater per capita attractiveness to females, particularly in the case of synchronous choruses. In many cases, however, the overall temporal structure of the chorus is only an emergent property of simple, pairwise interactions between neighbors. Nonetheless, the chorus that emerges can impose significant selection pressure on the singing of those individual males. Thus, feedback loops may occur and potentially influence traits at both individual and group levels in a chorus.

  11. Incredible Insects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Braus, Judy, Ed.

    1989-01-01

    Ranger Rick's NatureScope is a creative education series dedicated to inspiring in children an understanding and appreciation of the natural world while developing the skills they will need to make responsible decisions about the environment. Contents are organized into the following sections: (1) "What Makes an Insect an Insect?," including…

  12. Living with genome instability: the adaptation of phytoplasmas todiverse environments of their insect and plant hosts

    SciTech Connect

    Bai, Xiaodong; Zhang, Jianhua; Ewing, Adam; Miller, Sally A.; Radek, Agnes; Shevchenko, Dimitriy; Tsukerman, Kiryl; Walunas, Theresa; Lapidus, Alla; Campbell, John W.; Hogenhout Saskia A.

    2006-02-17

    Phytoplasmas (Candidatus Phytoplasma, Class Mollicutes) cause disease in hundreds of economically important plants, and are obligately transmitted by sap-feeding insects of the order Hemiptera, mainly leafhoppers and psyllids. The 706,569-bp chromosome and four plasmids of aster yellows phytoplasma strain witches broom (AY-WB) were sequenced and compared to the onion yellows phytoplasma strain M (OY-M) genome. The phytoplasmas have small repeat-rich genomes. The repeated DNAs are organized into large clusters, potential mobile units (PMUs), which contain tra5 insertion sequences (ISs), and specialized sigma factors and membrane proteins. So far, PMUs are unique to phytoplasmas. Compared to mycoplasmas, phytoplasmas lack several recombination and DNA modification functions, and therefore phytoplasmas probably use different mechanisms of recombination, likely involving PMUs, for the creation of variability, allowing phytoplasmas to adjust to the diverse environments of plants and insects. The irregular GC skews and presence of ISs and large repeated sequences in the AY-WB and OY-M genomes are indicative of high genomic plasticity. Nevertheless, segments of {approx}250 kb, located between genes lplA and glnQ are syntenic between the two phytoplasmas, contain the majority of the metabolic genes and no ISs. AY-WB is further along in the reductive evolution process than OY-M. The AY-WB genome is {approx}154 kb smaller than the OY-M genome, primarily as a result of fewer multicopy sequences, including PMUs. Further, AY-WB lacks genes that are truncated and are part of incomplete pathways in OY-M. This is the first comparative phytoplasma genome analysis and report of the existence of PMUs in phytoplasma genomes.

  13. A Screen for Genes Expressed in the Olfactory Organs of Drosophila melanogaster Identifies Genes Involved in Olfactory Behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Tunstall, Narelle E.; Herr, Anabel; de Bruyne, Marien; Warr, Coral G.

    2012-01-01

    Background For insects the sense of smell and associated olfactory-driven behaviours are essential for survival. Insects detect odorants with families of olfactory receptor proteins that are very different to those of mammals, and there are likely to be other unique genes and genetic pathways involved in the function and development of the insect olfactory system. Methodology/Principal Findings We have performed a genetic screen of a set of 505 Drosophila melanogaster gene trap insertion lines to identify novel genes expressed in the adult olfactory organs. We identified 16 lines with expression in the olfactory organs, many of which exhibited expression of the trapped genes in olfactory receptor neurons. Phenotypic analysis showed that six of the lines have decreased olfactory responses in a behavioural assay, and for one of these we showed that precise excision of the P element reverts the phenotype to wild type, confirming a role for the trapped gene in olfaction. To confirm the identity of the genes trapped in the lines we performed molecular analysis of some of the insertion sites. While for many lines the reported insertion sites were correct, we also demonstrated that for a number of lines the reported location of the element was incorrect, and in three lines there were in fact two pGT element insertions. Conclusions/Significance We identified 16 new genes expressed in the Drosophila olfactory organs, the majority in neurons, and for several of the gene trap lines demonstrated a defect in olfactory-driven behaviour. Further characterisation of these genes and their roles in olfactory system function and development will increase our understanding of how the insect olfactory system has evolved to perform the same essential function to that of mammals, but using very different molecular genetic mechanisms. PMID:22530061

  14. Molecular and cellular organization of insect chemosensory neurons.

    PubMed

    de Bruyne, Marien; Warr, Coral G

    2006-01-01

    Animals use their chemosensory systems to detect and discriminate among chemical cues in the environment. Remarkable progress has recently been made in our knowledge of the molecular and cellular basis of chemosensory perception in insects, based largely on studies in Drosophila. This progress has been possible due to the identification of gene families for olfactory and gustatory receptors, the use of electro-physiological recording techniques on sensory neurons, the multitude of genetic manipulations that are available in this species, and insights from several insect model systems. Recent studies show that the superfamily of chemoreceptor proteins represent the essential elements in chemosensory coding, endowing chemosensory neurons with their abilities to respond to specific sets of odorants, tastants or pheromones. Investigating how insects detect chemicals in their environment can show us how receptor protein structures relate to ligand binding, how nervous systems process complex information, and how chemosensory systems and genes evolve.

  15. A review of chemosensation and related behavior in aquatic insects.

    PubMed

    Crespo, José G

    2011-01-01

    Insects that are secondarily adapted to aquatic environments are able to sense odors from a diverse array of sources. The antenna of these insects, as in all insects, is the main chemosensory structure and its input to the brain allows for integration of sensory information that ultimately ends in behavioral responses. Only a fraction of the aquatic insect orders have been studied with respect to their sensory biology and most of the work has centered either on the description of the different types of sensilla, or on the behavior of the insect as a whole. In this paper, the literature is exhaustively reviewed and ways in which antennal morphology, brain structure, and associated behavior can advance better understanding of the neurobiology involved in processing of chemosensory information are discussed. Moreover, the importance of studying such group of insects is stated, and at the same time it is shown that many interesting questions regarding olfactory processing can be addressed by looking into the changes that aquatic insects undergo when leaving their aquatic environment. PMID:21864156

  16. A Review of Chemosensation and Related Behavior in Aquatic Insects

    PubMed Central

    Crespo, José G.

    2011-01-01

    Insects that are secondarily adapted to aquatic environments are able to sense odors from a diverse array of sources. The antenna of these insects, as in all insects, is the main chemosensory structure and its input to the brain allows for integration of sensory information that ultimately ends in behavioral responses. Only a fraction of the aquatic insect orders have been studied with respect to their sensory biology and most of the work has centered either on the description of the different types of sensilla, or on the behavior of the insect as a whole. In this paper, the literature is exhaustively reviewed and ways in which antennal morphology, brain structure, and associated behavior can advance better understanding of the neurobiology involved in processing of chemosensory information are discussed. Moreover, the importance of studying such group of insects is stated, and at the same time it is shown that many interesting questions regarding olfactory processing can be addressed by looking into the changes that aquatic insects undergo when leaving their aquatic environment. PMID:21864156

  17. Insects breeding in pig carrion in two environments of a rural area of the state of minas gerais, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Faria, L S; Paseto, M L; Franco, F T; Perdigão, V C; Capel, G; Mendes, J

    2013-04-01

    The main objective of this study was to identify potential forensic indicators in the insect fauna associated with pig carrion and the pattern of insect succession during the decomposition process in two environments of a rural area in Uberlândia, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The study was conducted at two locations: in a pasture and in a fragment of a semi-deciduous forest (vegetation profile of the Cerrado biome) in two different seasons (rainy and dry) of 2010. The decomposition process was more rapid in the rainy season. More than 32,000 insects belonging to 17 species of 6 families of Diptera and 2 species of Coleoptera bred in the carcasses. The majority of Diptera bred in the first three stages of decomposition. However, Phoridae and Coleoptera bred mainly in the last two stages. The insects bred more abundantly in the pasture and in the humid season. The exceptions were the Fanniidae (Diptera), which bred more abundantly in the forest and the Dermestidae and Cleridae (Coleoptera), which did not demonstrate any preference in terms of environments and were more abundant in the dry season, respectively. Species such as Chrysomya albiceps (Wiedemann), Peckia (Patonella) intermutans (Walker), Necrobia rufipes (De Geer), and Dermestes maculatus (De Geer) may be potential indicators of post-mortem interval. Hemilucilia segmentaria (Fabricius) and Ophyra aenescens (Wiedemann) may be indicators of localization of the natural environment, while Musca domestica Linnaeus may be an indicator of the anthropic environment. The study thus presented many species of potential forensic indicators in rural areas of this region.

  18. Autonomous Visual Navigation of an Indoor Environment Using a Parsimonious, Insect Inspired Familiarity Algorithm

    PubMed Central

    Brayfield, Brad P.

    2016-01-01

    The navigation of bees and ants from hive to food and back has captivated people for more than a century. Recently, the Navigation by Scene Familiarity Hypothesis (NSFH) has been proposed as a parsimonious approach that is congruent with the limited neural elements of these insects’ brains. In the NSFH approach, an agent completes an initial training excursion, storing images along the way. To retrace the path, the agent scans the area and compares the current scenes to those previously experienced. By turning and moving to minimize the pixel-by-pixel differences between encountered and stored scenes, the agent is guided along the path without having memorized the sequence. An important premise of the NSFH is that the visual information of the environment is adequate to guide navigation without aliasing. Here we demonstrate that an image landscape of an indoor setting possesses ample navigational information. We produced a visual landscape of our laboratory and part of the adjoining corridor consisting of 2816 panoramic snapshots arranged in a grid at 12.7-cm centers. We show that pixel-by-pixel comparisons of these images yield robust translational and rotational visual information. We also produced a simple algorithm that tracks previously experienced routes within our lab based on an insect-inspired scene familiarity approach and demonstrate that adequate visual information exists for an agent to retrace complex training routes, including those where the path’s end is not visible from its origin. We used this landscape to systematically test the interplay of sensor morphology, angles of inspection, and similarity threshold with the recapitulation performance of the agent. Finally, we compared the relative information content and chance of aliasing within our visually rich laboratory landscape to scenes acquired from indoor corridors with more repetitive scenery. PMID:27119720

  19. Insects from the grazing food web favoured the evolutionary habitat shift to bright environments in araneoid spiders.

    PubMed

    Miyashita, Tadashi; Shimazaki, Aya

    2006-12-22

    The Araneoidea comprises a diverse group of web-building spiders, and part of this diversity is believed attributable to habitat expansion to bright environments. We clarified the fitness-related advantages of living in such environments by examining prey availability and the growth rates of 10 species in three families inhabiting grassland (bright) and forest understory (dim) habitats. Spiders in the grassland habitat captured more prey, derived mainly from the grazing food web, than those in the forest-floor environment, and this difference was manifested in their growth rate. Independent contrasts indicated that increased utilization of insects from the grazing food web led to an evolutionary increase in adult body size. These results suggest that the shift to bright environments enabled araneoid spiders to evolve diverse life-history traits, including rapid growth and large size, which were not possible in dim environments.

  20. The effect of spaceflight on mouse olfactory bulb volume, neurogenesis, and cell death indicates the protective effect of novel environment.

    PubMed

    Latchney, Sarah E; Rivera, Phillip D; Mao, Xiao W; Ferguson, Virginia L; Bateman, Ted A; Stodieck, Louis S; Nelson, Gregory A; Eisch, Amelia J

    2014-06-15

    Space missions necessitate physiological and psychological adaptations to environmental factors not present on Earth, some of which present significant risks for the central nervous system (CNS) of crewmembers. One CNS region of interest is the adult olfactory bulb (OB), as OB structure and function are sensitive to environmental- and experience-induced regulation. It is currently unknown how the OB is altered by spaceflight. In this study, we evaluated OB volume and neurogenesis in mice shortly after a 13-day flight on Space Shuttle Atlantis [Space Transport System (STS)-135] relative to two groups of control mice maintained on Earth. Mice housed on Earth in animal enclosure modules that mimicked the conditions onboard STS-135 (AEM-Ground mice) had greater OB volume relative to mice maintained in standard housing on Earth (Vivarium mice), particularly in the granule (GCL) and glomerular (GL) cell layers. AEM-Ground mice also had more OB neuroblasts and fewer apoptotic cells relative to Vivarium mice. However, the AEM-induced increase in OB volume and neurogenesis was not seen in STS-135 mice (AEM-Flight mice), suggesting that spaceflight may have negated the positive effects of the AEM. In fact, when OB volume of AEM-Flight mice was considered, there was a greater density of apoptotic cells relative to AEM-Ground mice. Our findings suggest that factors present during spaceflight have opposing effects on OB size and neurogenesis, and provide insight into potential strategies to preserve OB structure and function during future space missions. PMID:24744382

  1. The effect of spaceflight on mouse olfactory bulb volume, neurogenesis, and cell death indicates the protective effect of novel environment

    PubMed Central

    Latchney, Sarah E.; Rivera, Phillip D.; Mao, Xiao W.; Ferguson, Virginia L.; Bateman, Ted A.; Stodieck, Louis S.; Nelson, Gregory A.

    2014-01-01

    Space missions necessitate physiological and psychological adaptations to environmental factors not present on Earth, some of which present significant risks for the central nervous system (CNS) of crewmembers. One CNS region of interest is the adult olfactory bulb (OB), as OB structure and function are sensitive to environmental- and experience-induced regulation. It is currently unknown how the OB is altered by spaceflight. In this study, we evaluated OB volume and neurogenesis in mice shortly after a 13-day flight on Space Shuttle Atlantis [Space Transport System (STS)-135] relative to two groups of control mice maintained on Earth. Mice housed on Earth in animal enclosure modules that mimicked the conditions onboard STS-135 (AEM-Ground mice) had greater OB volume relative to mice maintained in standard housing on Earth (Vivarium mice), particularly in the granule (GCL) and glomerular (GL) cell layers. AEM-Ground mice also had more OB neuroblasts and fewer apoptotic cells relative to Vivarium mice. However, the AEM-induced increase in OB volume and neurogenesis was not seen in STS-135 mice (AEM-Flight mice), suggesting that spaceflight may have negated the positive effects of the AEM. In fact, when OB volume of AEM-Flight mice was considered, there was a greater density of apoptotic cells relative to AEM-Ground mice. Our findings suggest that factors present during spaceflight have opposing effects on OB size and neurogenesis, and provide insight into potential strategies to preserve OB structure and function during future space missions. PMID:24744382

  2. The effect of spaceflight on mouse olfactory bulb volume, neurogenesis, and cell death indicates the protective effect of novel environment.

    PubMed

    Latchney, Sarah E; Rivera, Phillip D; Mao, Xiao W; Ferguson, Virginia L; Bateman, Ted A; Stodieck, Louis S; Nelson, Gregory A; Eisch, Amelia J

    2014-06-15

    Space missions necessitate physiological and psychological adaptations to environmental factors not present on Earth, some of which present significant risks for the central nervous system (CNS) of crewmembers. One CNS region of interest is the adult olfactory bulb (OB), as OB structure and function are sensitive to environmental- and experience-induced regulation. It is currently unknown how the OB is altered by spaceflight. In this study, we evaluated OB volume and neurogenesis in mice shortly after a 13-day flight on Space Shuttle Atlantis [Space Transport System (STS)-135] relative to two groups of control mice maintained on Earth. Mice housed on Earth in animal enclosure modules that mimicked the conditions onboard STS-135 (AEM-Ground mice) had greater OB volume relative to mice maintained in standard housing on Earth (Vivarium mice), particularly in the granule (GCL) and glomerular (GL) cell layers. AEM-Ground mice also had more OB neuroblasts and fewer apoptotic cells relative to Vivarium mice. However, the AEM-induced increase in OB volume and neurogenesis was not seen in STS-135 mice (AEM-Flight mice), suggesting that spaceflight may have negated the positive effects of the AEM. In fact, when OB volume of AEM-Flight mice was considered, there was a greater density of apoptotic cells relative to AEM-Ground mice. Our findings suggest that factors present during spaceflight have opposing effects on OB size and neurogenesis, and provide insight into potential strategies to preserve OB structure and function during future space missions.

  3. Monoallelic Expression of Olfactory Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Monahan, Kevin; Lomvardas, Stavros

    2016-01-01

    The sense of smell collects vital information about the environment by detecting a multitude of chemical odorants. Breadth and sensitivity are provided by a huge number of chemosensory receptor proteins, including more than 1,400 olfactory receptors (ORs). Organizing the sensory information generated by these receptors so that it can be processed and evaluated by the central nervous system is a major challenge. This challenge is overcome by monogenic and monoallelic expression of OR genes. The single OR expressed by each olfactory sensory neuron determines the neuron’s odor sensitivity and the axonal connections it will make to downstream neurons in the olfactory bulb. The expression of a single OR per neuron is accomplished by coupling a slow chromatin-mediated activation process to a fast negative-feedback signal that prevents activation of additional ORs. Singular OR activation is likely orchestrated by a network of interchromosomal enhancer interactions and large-scale changes in nuclear architecture. PMID:26359778

  4. Temporal response dynamics of Drosophila olfactory sensory neurons depends on receptor type and response polarity

    PubMed Central

    Getahun, Merid N.; Wicher, Dieter; Hansson, Bill S.; Olsson, Shannon B.

    2012-01-01

    Insect olfactory sensory neurons (OSN) express a diverse array of receptors from different protein families, i.e. ionotropic receptors (IR), gustatory receptors (GR) and odorant receptors (OR). It is well known that insects are exposed to a plethora of odor molecules that vary widely in both space and time under turbulent natural conditions. In addition to divergent ligand specificities, these different receptors might also provide an increased range of temporal dynamics and sensitivities for the olfactory system. To test this, we challenged different Drosophila OSNs with both varying stimulus durations (10–2000 ms), and repeated stimulus pulses of key ligands at various frequencies (1–10 Hz). Our results show that OR-expressing OSNs responded faster and with higher sensitivity to short stimulations as compared to IR- and Gr21a-expressing OSNs. In addition, OR-expressing OSNs could respond to repeated stimulations of excitatory ligands up to 5 Hz, while IR-expressing OSNs required ~5x longer stimulations and/or higher concentrations to respond to similar stimulus durations and frequencies. Nevertheless, IR-expressing OSNs did not exhibit adaptation to longer stimulations, unlike OR- and Gr21a-OSNs. Both OR- and IR-expressing OSNs were also unable to resolve repeated pulses of inhibitory ligands as fast as excitatory ligands. These differences were independent of the peri-receptor environment in which the receptors were expressed and suggest that the receptor expressed by a given OSN affects both its sensitivity and its response to transient, intermittent chemical stimuli. OR-expressing OSNs are better at resolving low dose, intermittent stimuli, while IR-expressing OSNs respond more accurately to long-lasting odor pulses. This diversity increases the capacity of the insect olfactory system to respond to the diverse spatiotemporal signals in the natural environment. PMID:23162431

  5. Olfactory system and demyelination.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Gonzalez, D; Murcia-Belmonte, V; Clemente, D; De Castro, F

    2013-09-01

    Within the central nervous system, the olfactory system represents one of the most exciting scenarios since it presents relevant examples of long-life sustained neurogenesis and continuous axonal outgrowth from the olfactory epithelium with the subsequent plasticity phenomena in the olfactory bulb. The olfactory nerve is composed of nonmyelinated axons with interesting ontogenetic interpretations. However, the centripetal projections from the olfactory bulb are myelinated axons which project to more caudal areas along the lateral olfactory tract. In consequence, demyelination has not been considered as a possible cause of the olfactory symptoms in those diseases in which this sense is impaired. One prototypical example of an olfactory disease is Kallmann syndrome, in which different mutations give rise to combined anosmia and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, together with different satellite symptoms. Anosmin-1 is the extracellular matrix glycoprotein altered in the X-linked form of this disease, which participates in cell adhesion and migration, and axonal outgrowth in the olfactory system and in other regions of the central nervous system. Recently, we have described a new patho-physiological role of this protein in the absence of spontaneous remyelination in multiple sclerosis. In the present review, we hypothesize about how both main and satellite neurological symptoms of Kallmann syndrome may be explained by alterations in the myelination. We revisit the relationship between the olfactory system and myelin highlighting that minor histological changes should not be forgotten as putative causes of olfactory malfunction.

  6. Field efficacy of four insect repellent products against vector mosquitoes in a tropical environment.

    PubMed

    Yap, H H; Jahangir, K; Zairi, J

    2000-09-01

    Four insect repellent products (RPs) (RP 1, Experimental Repellent Lotion [Bayrepel 12%]; RP 2, Experimental Repellent Cream [Bayrepel 5%]; RP 3, Off! Insect Repellent II Aerosol [deet 15%]; and RP 4, Off! Skintastic II Cream [deet 7.5%]) were evaluated simultaneously for their efficacy against vector and nuisance mosquitoes. The aim of this study was to compare the relative efficacy of RPs based on a new repellent compound, Bayrepel (1-piperidinecarboxylic acid, 2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-methylpropylester), with deet (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide)-based RPs. An 8-h field efficacy of above repellents was evaluated against the day-biting mosquito (Aedes albopictus) and night-biting mosquitoes (Culex quinquefasciatus and Anopheles spp.). Evaluation was carried out by exposing humans with repellent-treated bare limbs to mosquitoes landing and to mosquitoes landing and biting. Repellent product 1 or 2 was applied on the left arm and leg, whereas RP 3 or 4 was applied on the right arm and leg, respectively. Application of these 4 RPs significantly reduced (P < 0.05) the landing and the landing and biting of day-biting and night-biting mosquitoes. All 4 RPs were found to be equally effective (P < 0.05) against Ae. albopictus and Cx. quinquefasciatus. However, for protection against Anopheles spp., RPs 1 and 3 exhibited significantly (P < 0.05) better repellency effect than RPs 2 and 4.

  7. Olfactory specialization for perfume collection in male orchid bees.

    PubMed

    Mitko, Lukasz; Weber, Marjorie G; Ramirez, Santiago R; Hedenström, Erik; Wcislo, William T; Eltz, Thomas

    2016-05-15

    Insects rely on the olfactory system to detect a vast diversity of airborne molecules in their environment. Highly sensitive olfactory tuning is expected to evolve when detection of a particular chemical with great precision is required in the context of foraging and/or finding mates. Male neotropical orchid bees (Euglossini) collect odoriferous substances from multiple sources, store them in specialized tibial pouches and later expose them at display sites, presumably as mating signals to females. Previous analysis of tibial compounds among sympatric species revealed substantial chemical disparity in chemical composition among lineages with outstanding divergence between closely related species. Here, we tested whether specific perfume phenotypes coevolve with matching olfactory adaptations in male orchid bees to facilitate the location and harvest of species-specific perfume compounds. We conducted electroantennographic (EAG) measurements on males of 15 sympatric species in the genus Euglossa that were stimulated with 18 compounds present in variable proportions in male hind tibiae. Antennal response profiles were species-specific across all 15 species, but there was no conspicuous differentiation between closely related species. Instead, we found that the observed variation in EAG activity follows a Brownian motion model of trait evolution, where the probability of differentiation increases proportionally with lineage divergence time. However, we identified strong antennal responses for some chemicals that are present as major compounds in the perfume of the same species, thus suggesting that sensory specialization has occurred within multiple lineages. This sensory specialization was particularly apparent for semi-volatile molecules ('base note' compounds), thus supporting the idea that such compounds play an important role in chemical signaling of euglossine bees. Overall, our study found no close correspondence between antennal responses and behavioral

  8. Olfactory specialization for perfume collection in male orchid bees.

    PubMed

    Mitko, Lukasz; Weber, Marjorie G; Ramirez, Santiago R; Hedenström, Erik; Wcislo, William T; Eltz, Thomas

    2016-05-15

    Insects rely on the olfactory system to detect a vast diversity of airborne molecules in their environment. Highly sensitive olfactory tuning is expected to evolve when detection of a particular chemical with great precision is required in the context of foraging and/or finding mates. Male neotropical orchid bees (Euglossini) collect odoriferous substances from multiple sources, store them in specialized tibial pouches and later expose them at display sites, presumably as mating signals to females. Previous analysis of tibial compounds among sympatric species revealed substantial chemical disparity in chemical composition among lineages with outstanding divergence between closely related species. Here, we tested whether specific perfume phenotypes coevolve with matching olfactory adaptations in male orchid bees to facilitate the location and harvest of species-specific perfume compounds. We conducted electroantennographic (EAG) measurements on males of 15 sympatric species in the genus Euglossa that were stimulated with 18 compounds present in variable proportions in male hind tibiae. Antennal response profiles were species-specific across all 15 species, but there was no conspicuous differentiation between closely related species. Instead, we found that the observed variation in EAG activity follows a Brownian motion model of trait evolution, where the probability of differentiation increases proportionally with lineage divergence time. However, we identified strong antennal responses for some chemicals that are present as major compounds in the perfume of the same species, thus suggesting that sensory specialization has occurred within multiple lineages. This sensory specialization was particularly apparent for semi-volatile molecules ('base note' compounds), thus supporting the idea that such compounds play an important role in chemical signaling of euglossine bees. Overall, our study found no close correspondence between antennal responses and behavioral

  9. Identification and functional analysis of olfactory receptor family reveal unusual characteristics of the olfactory system in the migratory locust.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhifeng; Yang, Pengcheng; Chen, Dafeng; Jiang, Feng; Li, Yan; Wang, Xianhui; Kang, Le

    2015-11-01

    Locusts represent the excellent model of insect olfaction because the animals are equipped with an unusual olfactory system and display remarkable density-dependent olfactory plasticity. However, information regarding receptor molecules involved in the olfactory perception of locusts is very limited. On the basis of genome sequence and antennal transcriptome of the migratory locust, we conduct the identification and functional analysis of two olfactory receptor families: odorant receptors (ORs) and ionotropic receptors (IRs). In the migratory locust, there is an expansion of OR family (142 ORs) while distinctly lower number of IR genes (32 IRs) compared to the repertoires of other insects. The number of the locust OR genes is much less than that of glomeruli in antennal lobe, challenging the general principle of the "one glomerulus-one receptor" observed in other insects. Most OR genes are found in tandem arrays, forming two large lineage-specific subfamilies in the phylogenetic tree. The "divergent IR" subfamily displays a significant contraction, and most of the IRs belong to the "antennal IR" subfamily in the locust. Most ORs/IRs have olfactory-specific expression while some broadly- or internal-expressed members are also found. Differing from holometabolous insects, the migratory locust contains very similar expression profiles of ORs/IRs between nymph and adult stages. RNA interference and behavioral assays indicate that an OR-based signaling pathway, not IR-based, mediates the attraction of locusts to aggregation pheromones. These discoveries provide insights into the unusual olfactory system of locusts and enhance our understanding of the evolution of insect olfaction. PMID:26265180

  10. Identification and functional analysis of olfactory receptor family reveal unusual characteristics of the olfactory system in the migratory locust.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhifeng; Yang, Pengcheng; Chen, Dafeng; Jiang, Feng; Li, Yan; Wang, Xianhui; Kang, Le

    2015-11-01

    Locusts represent the excellent model of insect olfaction because the animals are equipped with an unusual olfactory system and display remarkable density-dependent olfactory plasticity. However, information regarding receptor molecules involved in the olfactory perception of locusts is very limited. On the basis of genome sequence and antennal transcriptome of the migratory locust, we conduct the identification and functional analysis of two olfactory receptor families: odorant receptors (ORs) and ionotropic receptors (IRs). In the migratory locust, there is an expansion of OR family (142 ORs) while distinctly lower number of IR genes (32 IRs) compared to the repertoires of other insects. The number of the locust OR genes is much less than that of glomeruli in antennal lobe, challenging the general principle of the "one glomerulus-one receptor" observed in other insects. Most OR genes are found in tandem arrays, forming two large lineage-specific subfamilies in the phylogenetic tree. The "divergent IR" subfamily displays a significant contraction, and most of the IRs belong to the "antennal IR" subfamily in the locust. Most ORs/IRs have olfactory-specific expression while some broadly- or internal-expressed members are also found. Differing from holometabolous insects, the migratory locust contains very similar expression profiles of ORs/IRs between nymph and adult stages. RNA interference and behavioral assays indicate that an OR-based signaling pathway, not IR-based, mediates the attraction of locusts to aggregation pheromones. These discoveries provide insights into the unusual olfactory system of locusts and enhance our understanding of the evolution of insect olfaction.

  11. An olfactory receptor from Apolygus lucorum (Meyer-Dur) mainly tuned to volatiles from flowering host plants.

    PubMed

    Yan, Shu-Wei; Zhang, Jin; Liu, Yang; Li, Guo-Qing; Wang, Gui-Rong

    2015-08-01

    Apolygus lucorum (Meyer-Dür) (Hemiptera: Miridae) is one of the most serious agricultural pests, feeding on a wide range of cultivated plants, including cotton, cereals and vegetables in the north of China. This insect can frequently switch between habitats and host plants over seasons and prefer plants in bloom. A. lucorum relies heavily on olfaction to locate its host plants finely discriminating different plant volatiles in the environment. Despite its economical importance, research on the olfactory system of this species has been so far very limited. In this study, we have identified and characterized an olfactory receptor which is sensitively tuned to (Z)-3-Hexenyl acetate and several flowering compounds. Besides being present in the bouquet of some flowers, these compounds are produced by plants that have suffered attacks and are supposed to act as chemical messengers between plants. This OR may play an important role in the selection of host plants.

  12. An olfactory receptor from Apolygus lucorum (Meyer-Dur) mainly tuned to volatiles from flowering host plants.

    PubMed

    Yan, Shu-Wei; Zhang, Jin; Liu, Yang; Li, Guo-Qing; Wang, Gui-Rong

    2015-08-01

    Apolygus lucorum (Meyer-Dür) (Hemiptera: Miridae) is one of the most serious agricultural pests, feeding on a wide range of cultivated plants, including cotton, cereals and vegetables in the north of China. This insect can frequently switch between habitats and host plants over seasons and prefer plants in bloom. A. lucorum relies heavily on olfaction to locate its host plants finely discriminating different plant volatiles in the environment. Despite its economical importance, research on the olfactory system of this species has been so far very limited. In this study, we have identified and characterized an olfactory receptor which is sensitively tuned to (Z)-3-Hexenyl acetate and several flowering compounds. Besides being present in the bouquet of some flowers, these compounds are produced by plants that have suffered attacks and are supposed to act as chemical messengers between plants. This OR may play an important role in the selection of host plants. PMID:26050917

  13. Anatomical specializations for enhanced olfactory sensitivity in kiwi, Apteryx mantelli.

    PubMed

    Corfield, Jeremy R; Eisthen, Heather L; Iwaniuk, Andrew N; Parsons, Stuart

    2014-01-01

    The ability to function in a nocturnal and ground-dwelling niche requires a unique set of sensory specializations. The New Zealand kiwi has shifted away from vision, instead relying on auditory and tactile stimuli to function in its environment and locate prey. Behavioral evidence suggests that kiwi also rely on their sense of smell, using olfactory cues in foraging and possibly also in communication and social interactions. Anatomical studies appear to support these observations: the olfactory bulbs and tubercles have been suggested to be large in the kiwi relative to other birds, although the extent of this enlargement is poorly understood. In this study, we examine the size of the olfactory bulbs in kiwi and compare them with 55 other bird species, including emus, ostriches, rheas, tinamous, and 2 extinct species of moa (Dinornithiformes). We also examine the cytoarchitecture of the olfactory bulbs and olfactory epithelium to determine if any neural specializations beyond size are present that would increase olfactory acuity. Kiwi were a clear outlier in our analysis, with olfactory bulbs that are proportionately larger than those of any other bird in this study. Emus, close relatives of the kiwi, also had a relative enlargement of the olfactory bulbs, possibly supporting a phylogenetic link to well-developed olfaction. The olfactory bulbs in kiwi are almost in direct contact with the olfactory epithelium, which is indeed well developed and complex, with olfactory receptor cells occupying a large percentage of the epithelium. The anatomy of the kiwi olfactory system supports an enhancement for olfactory sensitivities, which is undoubtedly associated with their unique nocturnal niche. PMID:25376305

  14. Anatomical specializations for enhanced olfactory sensitivity in kiwi, Apteryx mantelli.

    PubMed

    Corfield, Jeremy R; Eisthen, Heather L; Iwaniuk, Andrew N; Parsons, Stuart

    2014-01-01

    The ability to function in a nocturnal and ground-dwelling niche requires a unique set of sensory specializations. The New Zealand kiwi has shifted away from vision, instead relying on auditory and tactile stimuli to function in its environment and locate prey. Behavioral evidence suggests that kiwi also rely on their sense of smell, using olfactory cues in foraging and possibly also in communication and social interactions. Anatomical studies appear to support these observations: the olfactory bulbs and tubercles have been suggested to be large in the kiwi relative to other birds, although the extent of this enlargement is poorly understood. In this study, we examine the size of the olfactory bulbs in kiwi and compare them with 55 other bird species, including emus, ostriches, rheas, tinamous, and 2 extinct species of moa (Dinornithiformes). We also examine the cytoarchitecture of the olfactory bulbs and olfactory epithelium to determine if any neural specializations beyond size are present that would increase olfactory acuity. Kiwi were a clear outlier in our analysis, with olfactory bulbs that are proportionately larger than those of any other bird in this study. Emus, close relatives of the kiwi, also had a relative enlargement of the olfactory bulbs, possibly supporting a phylogenetic link to well-developed olfaction. The olfactory bulbs in kiwi are almost in direct contact with the olfactory epithelium, which is indeed well developed and complex, with olfactory receptor cells occupying a large percentage of the epithelium. The anatomy of the kiwi olfactory system supports an enhancement for olfactory sensitivities, which is undoubtedly associated with their unique nocturnal niche.

  15. Depth information in natural environments derived from optic flow by insect motion detection system: a model analysis

    PubMed Central

    Schwegmann, Alexander; Lindemann, Jens P.; Egelhaaf, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Knowing the depth structure of the environment is crucial for moving animals in many behavioral contexts, such as collision avoidance, targeting objects, or spatial navigation. An important source of depth information is motion parallax. This powerful cue is generated on the eyes during translatory self-motion with the retinal images of nearby objects moving faster than those of distant ones. To investigate how the visual motion pathway represents motion-based depth information we analyzed its responses to image sequences recorded in natural cluttered environments with a wide range of depth structures. The analysis was done on the basis of an experimentally validated model of the visual motion pathway of insects, with its core elements being correlation-type elementary motion detectors (EMDs). It is the key result of our analysis that the absolute EMD responses, i.e., the motion energy profile, represent the contrast-weighted nearness of environmental structures during translatory self-motion at a roughly constant velocity. In other words, the output of the EMD array highlights contours of nearby objects. This conclusion is largely independent of the scale over which EMDs are spatially pooled and was corroborated by scrutinizing the motion energy profile after eliminating the depth structure from the natural image sequences. Hence, the well-established dependence of correlation-type EMDs on both velocity and textural properties of motion stimuli appears to be advantageous for representing behaviorally relevant information about the environment in a computationally parsimonious way. PMID:25136314

  16. Depth information in natural environments derived from optic flow by insect motion detection system: a model analysis.

    PubMed

    Schwegmann, Alexander; Lindemann, Jens P; Egelhaaf, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Knowing the depth structure of the environment is crucial for moving animals in many behavioral contexts, such as collision avoidance, targeting objects, or spatial navigation. An important source of depth information is motion parallax. This powerful cue is generated on the eyes during translatory self-motion with the retinal images of nearby objects moving faster than those of distant ones. To investigate how the visual motion pathway represents motion-based depth information we analyzed its responses to image sequences recorded in natural cluttered environments with a wide range of depth structures. The analysis was done on the basis of an experimentally validated model of the visual motion pathway of insects, with its core elements being correlation-type elementary motion detectors (EMDs). It is the key result of our analysis that the absolute EMD responses, i.e., the motion energy profile, represent the contrast-weighted nearness of environmental structures during translatory self-motion at a roughly constant velocity. In other words, the output of the EMD array highlights contours of nearby objects. This conclusion is largely independent of the scale over which EMDs are spatially pooled and was corroborated by scrutinizing the motion energy profile after eliminating the depth structure from the natural image sequences. Hence, the well-established dependence of correlation-type EMDs on both velocity and textural properties of motion stimuli appears to be advantageous for representing behaviorally relevant information about the environment in a computationally parsimonious way. PMID:25136314

  17. Cladistic Analysis of Olfactory and Vomeronasal Systems

    PubMed Central

    Ubeda-Bañon, Isabel; Pro-Sistiaga, Palma; Mohedano-Moriano, Alicia; Saiz-Sanchez, Daniel; de la Rosa-Prieto, Carlos; Gutierrez-Castellanos, Nicolás; Lanuza, Enrique; Martinez-Garcia, Fernando; Martinez-Marcos, Alino

    2010-01-01

    Most tetrapods possess two nasal organs for detecting chemicals in their environment, which are the sensory detectors of the olfactory and vomeronasal systems. The seventies’ view that the olfactory system was only devoted to sense volatiles, whereas the vomeronasal system was exclusively specialized for pheromone detection was challenged by accumulating data showing deep anatomical and functional interrelationships between both systems. In addition, the assumption that the vomeronasal system appeared as an adaptation to terrestrial life is being questioned as well. The aim of the present work is to use a comparative strategy to gain insight in our understanding of the evolution of chemical “cortex.” We have analyzed the organization of the olfactory and vomeronasal cortices of reptiles, marsupials, and placental mammals and we have compared our findings with data from other taxa in order to better understand the evolutionary history of the nasal sensory systems in vertebrates. The olfactory and vomeronsasal cortices have been re-investigated in garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis), short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica), and rats (Rattus norvegicus) by tracing the efferents of the main and accessory olfactory bulbs using injections of neuroanatomical anterograde tracers (dextran-amines). In snakes, the medial olfactory tract is quite evident, whereas the main vomeronasal-recipient structure, the nucleus sphaericus is a folded cortical-like structure, located at the caudal edge of the amygdala. In marsupials, which are acallosal mammals, the rhinal fissure is relatively dorsal and the olfactory and vomeronasal cortices relatively expanded. Placental mammals, like marsupials, show partially overlapping olfactory and vomeronasal projections in the rostral basal telencephalon. These data raise the interesting question of how the telencephalon has been re-organized in different groups according to the biological relevance of chemical senses. PMID:21290004

  18. Cladistic analysis of olfactory and vomeronasal systems.

    PubMed

    Ubeda-Bañon, Isabel; Pro-Sistiaga, Palma; Mohedano-Moriano, Alicia; Saiz-Sanchez, Daniel; de la Rosa-Prieto, Carlos; Gutierrez-Castellanos, Nicolás; Lanuza, Enrique; Martinez-Garcia, Fernando; Martinez-Marcos, Alino

    2011-01-01

    Most tetrapods possess two nasal organs for detecting chemicals in their environment, which are the sensory detectors of the olfactory and vomeronasal systems. The seventies' view that the olfactory system was only devoted to sense volatiles, whereas the vomeronasal system was exclusively specialized for pheromone detection was challenged by accumulating data showing deep anatomical and functional interrelationships between both systems. In addition, the assumption that the vomeronasal system appeared as an adaptation to terrestrial life is being questioned as well. The aim of the present work is to use a comparative strategy to gain insight in our understanding of the evolution of chemical "cortex." We have analyzed the organization of the olfactory and vomeronasal cortices of reptiles, marsupials, and placental mammals and we have compared our findings with data from other taxa in order to better understand the evolutionary history of the nasal sensory systems in vertebrates. The olfactory and vomeronsasal cortices have been re-investigated in garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis), short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica), and rats (Rattus norvegicus) by tracing the efferents of the main and accessory olfactory bulbs using injections of neuroanatomical anterograde tracers (dextran-amines). In snakes, the medial olfactory tract is quite evident, whereas the main vomeronasal-recipient structure, the nucleus sphaericus is a folded cortical-like structure, located at the caudal edge of the amygdala. In marsupials, which are acallosal mammals, the rhinal fissure is relatively dorsal and the olfactory and vomeronasal cortices relatively expanded. Placental mammals, like marsupials, show partially overlapping olfactory and vomeronasal projections in the rostral basal telencephalon. These data raise the interesting question of how the telencephalon has been re-organized in different groups according to the biological relevance of chemical senses.

  19. Visual arrestins in olfactory pathways of Drosophila and the malaria vector mosquito Anopheles gambiae

    PubMed Central

    Merrill, C. E.; Riesgo-Escovar, J.; Pitts, R. J.; Kafatos, F. C.; Carlson, J. R.; Zwiebel, L. J.

    2002-01-01

    Arrestins are important components for desensitization of G protein-coupled receptor cascades that mediate neurotransmission as well as olfactory and visual sensory reception. We have isolated AgArr1, an arrestin-encoding cDNA from the malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, where olfaction is critical for vectorial capacity. Analysis of AgArr1 expression revealed an overlap between chemosensory and photoreceptor neurons. Furthermore, an examination of previously identified arrestins from Drosophila melanogaster exposed similar bimodal expression, and Drosophila arrestin mutants demonstrate impaired electrophysiological responses to olfactory stimuli. Thus, we show that arrestins in Drosophila are required for normal olfactory physiology in addition to their previously described role in visual signaling. These findings suggest that individual arrestins function in both olfactory and visual pathways in Dipteran insects; these genes may prove useful in the design of control strategies that target olfactory-dependent behaviors of insect disease vectors. PMID:11792843

  20. Coexistence of Insect Species Competing for a Pulsed Resource: Toward a Unified Theory of Biodiversity in Fluctuating Environments

    PubMed Central

    Venner, Samuel; Pélisson, Pierre-François; Bel-Venner, Marie-Claude; Débias, François; Rajon, Etienne; Menu, Frédéric

    2011-01-01

    Background One major challenge in understanding how biodiversity is organized is finding out whether communities of competing species are shaped exclusively by species-level differences in ecological traits (niche theory), exclusively by random processes (neutral theory of biodiversity), or by both processes simultaneously. Communities of species competing for a pulsed resource are a suitable system for testing these theories: due to marked fluctuations in resource availability, the theories yield very different predictions about the timing of resource use and the synchronization of the population dynamics between the competing species. Accordingly, we explored mechanisms that might promote the local coexistence of phytophagous insects (four sister species of the genus Curculio) competing for oak acorns, a pulsed resource. Methodology/Principal Findings We analyzed the time partitioning of the exploitation of oak acorns by the four weevil species in two independent communities, and we assessed the level of synchronization in their population dynamics. In accordance with the niche theory, overall these species exhibited marked time partitioning of resource use, both within a given year and between different years owing to different dormancy strategies between species, as well as distinct demographic patterns. Two of the four weevil species, however, consistently exploited the resource during the same period of the year, exhibited a similar dormancy pattern, and did not show any significant difference in their population dynamics. Conclusions/Significance The marked time partitioning of the resource use appears as a keystone of the coexistence of these competing insect species, except for two of them which are demographically nearly equivalent. Communities of consumers of pulsed resources thus seem to offer a promising avenue for developing a unifying theory of biodiversity in fluctuating environments which might predict the co-occurrence, within the same community

  1. Olfactory dysfunction, olfactory bulb pathology and urban air pollution

    PubMed Central

    Calderón-Garcidueñas, Lilian; Franco-Lira, Maricela; Henríquez-Roldán, Carlos; Osnaya, Norma; González-Maciel, Angelica; Reynoso-Robles, Rafael; Villarreal-Calderon, Rafael; Herritt, Lou; Brooks, Diane; Keefe, Sheyla; Palacios-Moreno, Juan; Villarreal-Calderon, Rodolfo; Torres-Jardón, Ricardo; Medina-Cortina, Humberto; Delgado-Chávez, Ricardo; Aiello-Mora, Mario; Maronpot, Robert R.; Doty, Richard L

    2010-01-01

    Mexico City (MC) residents are exposed to severe air pollution and exhibit olfactory bulb inflammation. We compared the olfactory function of individuals living under conditions of extreme air pollution to that of controls from a relatively clean environment and explore associations between olfaction scores, apolipoprotein E (APOE) status, and pollution exposure. The olfactory bulbs (OBs) of 35 MC and 9 controls 20.8 ± 8.5 y were assessed by light and electron microscopy. The University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT) was administered to 62 MC / 25 controls 21.2 ±2.7 y. MC subjects had significantly lower UPSIT scores: 34.24 ± 0.42 versus controls 35.76 ± 0.40, p=0.03. Olfaction deficits were present in 35.5% MC and 12% of controls. MC APOE ε 4 carriers failed 2.4 ± 0.54 items in the 10-item smell identification scale from the UPSIT related to Alzheimer's disease, while APOE 2/3 and 3/3 subjects failed 1.36 ± 0.16 items, p = 0.01. MC residents exhibited OB endothelial hyperplasia, neuronal accumulation of particles (2/35), and immunoreactivity to beta amyloid βA42 (29/35) and/or α-synuclein (4/35) in neurons, glial cells and/or blood vessels. Ultrafine particles were present in OBs endothelial cytoplasm and basement membranes. Control OBs were unremarkable. Air pollution exposure is associated with olfactory dysfunction and OB pathology, APOE 4 may confer greater susceptibility to such abnormalities, and ultrafine particles could play a key role in the OB pathology. This study contributes to our understanding of the influences of air pollution on olfaction and its potential contribution to neurodegeneration. PMID:19297138

  2. New insights into the Weichselian environment and climate of the East Siberian Arctic, derived from fossil insects, plants, and mammals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sher, A. V.; Kuzmina, S. A.; Kuznetsova, T. V.; Sulerzhitsky, L. D.

    2005-03-01

    Multidisciplinary study of a key section on the Laptev Sea Coast (Bykovsky Peninsula, east Lena Delta) in 1998-2001 provides the most complete record of Middle and Late Weichselian environments in the East Siberian Arctic. The 40-m high Mamontovy Khayata cliff is a typical Ice Complex section built of icy silts with a network of large syngenetic polygonal ice wedges, and is richly fossiliferous. In combination with pollen, plant macrofossil and mammal fossils, a sequence of ca 70 insect samples provides a new interpretation of the environment and climate of the area between ca 50 and 12 ka. The large number of radiocarbon dates from the section, together with an extensive 14C database on mammal bones, allows chronological correlation of the various proxies. The Bykovsky record shows how climate change, and the Last Glacial Maximum in particular, affected terrestrial organisms such as insects and large grazing mammals. Both during the presumed "Karginsky Interstadial" (MIS 3) and the Sartanian Glacial (MIS 2), the vegetation remained a mosaic arctic grassland with relatively high diversity of grasses and herbs and dominance of xeric habitats: the tundra-steppe type. This biome was supported by a constantly very continental climate, caused by low sea level and enormous extension of shelf land. Variations within the broad pattern were caused mainly by fluctuations in summer temperature, related to global trends but overprinted by the effect of continentality. No major changes in humidity were observed nor were advances of modern-type forest or forest-tundra recorded, suggesting a major revision of the "Karginsky Interstadial" paradigm. The changing subtypes of the tundra-steppe environment were persistently favourable for mammalian grazers, which inhabited the shelf lowlands throughout the studied period. Mammal population numbers were lowered during the LGM, especially toward its end, and then flourished in a short, but impressive peak in the latest Weichselian, just

  3. Olfactory Perceptual Learning Requires Action of Noradrenaline in the Olfactory Bulb: Comparison with Olfactory Associative Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vinera, Jennifer; Kermen, Florence; Sacquet, Joëlle; Didier, Anne; Mandairon, Nathalie; Richard, Marion

    2015-01-01

    Noradrenaline contributes to olfactory-guided behaviors but its role in olfactory learning during adulthood is poorly documented. We investigated its implication in olfactory associative and perceptual learning using local infusion of mixed a1-ß adrenergic receptor antagonist (labetalol) in the adult mouse olfactory bulb. We reported that…

  4. Anhydrobiotic insect Polypedilum vanderplanki: molecular mechanisms of DNA and protein protection against extreme environments.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gusev, Oleg; Nakahara, Yuichi; Kikawada, Takahiro; Levinskikh, Margarita; Sychev, Vladimir; Okuda, Takashi

    Some organisms showing no sign of living due to complete desiccation are nevertheless able to resume active life after rehydration. This peculiar biological state is referred to as "anhydrobiosis". Larvae of the sleeping chironomid, P. vanderplanki living in temporary pools in semi-arid areas on the African continent become completely desiccated upon drought, but can revive after water becomes available upon the next rain. The dried larvae can stand other extreme conditions, such as exposure to 100˚C, -270˚C, 100We have adopted several methods to evaluated DNA damage in cells of P. vanderplanki and cloned and analyzed expression of the main agent of genetic stress response showing that the larvae possess highly developed anti-stress genetic system, involving anti-oxidative stress genes, hsp and DNA reparation enzymes acting together to provide stability of proteins and DNA in the absence of water. From 2005, dried larvae were included in a number of research programs, including exposition to space environments onboard ISS and long-term exposure to outer space environment outside of ISS ("Expose-R" and"Biorisk" projects) and now are being considered for including into the Phobos-Grunt mission as a testing organism to analyze capability of resting stages of multicellular organism to interplanetary flights.

  5. Observing Insects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arbel, Ilil

    1991-01-01

    Describes how to observe and study the fascinating world of insects in public parks, backyards, and gardens. Discusses the activities and habits of several common insects. Includes addresses for sources of beneficial insects, seeds, and plants. (nine references) (JJK)

  6. Olfactory dysfunction: its early temporal relationship and neural correlates in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Daulatzai, Mak Adam

    2015-10-01

    We interact with the physical world through our senses, and these aid our behavioral performance and various activities of life. Sensory information is transmitted in neuronal networks, and the brain optimally interprets the external and internal milieu/environment. This paper delineates the framework in which the pathogenesis of memory and cognitive dysfunction is underpinned by sensory olfactory dysfunction. ERC is the gateway for olfactory input to the hippocampus, and there is seamless synchronization between sensory function and hippocampal activity. Transmission of olfactory information to the hippocampus is sequential-it is projected from the olfactory receptors to olfactory bulb to the primary olfactory cortex (comprised the anterior olfactory nucleus, the olfactory tubercle, and the piriform cortex) to the entorhinal cortex (ERC). Through perforant pathway ERC enables olfactory inputs to effectively excite hippocampal neurons. One of the earliest pathological changes in Alzheimer's disease (AD) include the olfactory dysfunction and the atrophy in ERC and hippocampus (rate in ERC is higher than in the hippocampus). Olfactory dysfunction negatively impacts the ERC and the deafferenting of the hippocampus from olfactory inputs upregulates memory decline. Olfactory dysfunction, therefore, is an important and early correlate of AD pathology. A number of factors described here may cause olfactory dysfunction; this may lead to hypoperfusion, hypometabolism, impaired synaptic transmission, and variable atrophy in olfaction-related regions. Improvement in olfactory function, therefore, is an important goal in order to attenuate cognitive neuropathology in aging and AD. This article seeks to provide a comprehensive and balanced overview of olfactory neuropathology in incipient AD, and suggests strategies to enhance olfactory function and ameliorate cognitive decline. PMID:25944089

  7. Construction of odor representations by olfactory bulb microcircuits.

    PubMed

    Cleland, Thomas A

    2014-01-01

    Like other sensory systems, the olfactory system transduces specific features of the external environment and must construct an organized sensory representation from these highly fragmented inputs. As with these other systems, this representation is not accurate per se, but is constructed for utility, and emphasizes certain, presumably useful, features over others. I here describe the cellular and circuit mechanisms of the peripheral olfactory system that underlie this process of sensory construction, emphasizing the distinct architectures and properties of the two prominent computational layers in the olfactory bulb. Notably, while the olfactory system solves essentially similar conceptual problems to other sensory systems, such as contrast enhancement, activity normalization, and extending dynamic range, its peculiarities often require qualitatively different computational algorithms than are deployed in other sensory modalities. In particular, the olfactory modality is intrinsically high dimensional, and lacks a simple, externally defined basis analogous to wavelength or pitch on which elemental odor stimuli can be quantitatively compared. Accordingly, the quantitative similarities of the receptive fields of different odorant receptors (ORs) vary according to the statistics of the odor environment. To resolve these unusual challenges, the olfactory bulb appears to utilize unique nontopographical computations and intrinsic learning mechanisms to perform the necessary high-dimensional, similarity-dependent computations. In sum, the early olfactory system implements a coordinated set of early sensory transformations directly analogous to those in other sensory systems, but accomplishes these with unique circuit architectures adapted to the properties of the olfactory modality.

  8. Multiple activities of insect repellents on odorant receptors in mosquitoes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Several lines of evidence suggest that insect repellent molecules reduce mosquito-host contacts by interacting with odorants and odorant receptors (ORs) ultimately affecting olfactory-driven behaviors. We describe the molecular effects of ten insect repellents and a pyrethroid insecticide with known...

  9. Odorant concentration differentiator for intermittent olfactory signals.

    PubMed

    Fujiwara, Terufumi; Kazawa, Tomoki; Sakurai, Takeshi; Fukushima, Ryota; Uchino, Keiro; Yamagata, Tomoko; Namiki, Shigehiro; Haupt, Stephan Shuichi; Kanzaki, Ryohei

    2014-12-10

    Animals need to discriminate differences in spatiotemporally distributed sensory signals in terms of quality as well as quantity for generating adaptive behavior. Olfactory signals characterized by odor identity and concentration are intermittently distributed in the environment. From these intervals of stimulation, animals process odorant concentration to localize partners or food sources. Although concentration-response characteristics in olfactory neurons have traditionally been investigated using single stimulus pulses, their behavior under intermittent stimulus regimens remains largely elusive. Using the silkmoth (Bombyx mori) pheromone processing system, a simple and behaviorally well-defined model for olfaction, we investigated the neuronal representation of odorant concentration upon intermittent stimulation in the naturally occurring range. To the first stimulus in a series, the responses of antennal lobe (AL) projection neurons (PNs) showed a concentration dependence as previously shown in many olfactory systems. However, PN response amplitudes dynamically changed upon exposure to intermittent stimuli of the same odorant concentration and settled to a constant, largely concentration-independent level. As a result, PN responses emphasized odorant concentration changes rather than encoding absolute concentration in pulse trains of stimuli. Olfactory receptor neurons did not contribute to this response transformation which was due to long-lasting inhibition affecting PNs in the AL. Simulations confirmed that inhibition also provides advantages when stimuli have naturalistic properties. The primary olfactory center thus functions as an odorant concentration differentiator to efficiently detect concentration changes, thereby improving odorant source orientation over a wide concentration range.

  10. Dual olfactory pathway in Hymenoptera: evolutionary insights from comparative studies.

    PubMed

    Rössler, Wolfgang; Zube, Christina

    2011-07-01

    In the honeybee (Apis mellifera) and carpenter ant (Camponotus floridanus) the antennal lobe output is connected to higher brain centers by a dual olfactory pathway. Two major sets of uniglomerular projection neurons innervate glomeruli from two antennal-lobe hemispheres and project via a medial and a lateral antennal-lobe protocerebral tract in opposite sequence to the mushroom bodies and lateral horn. Comparison across insects suggests that the lateral projection neuron tract represents a special feature of Hymenoptera. We hypothesize that this promotes advanced olfactory processing associated with chemical communication, orientation and social interactions. To test whether a dual olfactory pathway is restricted to social Hymenoptera, we labeled the antennal lobe output tracts in selected species using fluorescent tracing and confocal imaging. Our results show that a dual pathway from the antennal lobe to the mushroom bodies is present in social bees, basal and advanced ants, solitary wasps, and in one of two investigated species of sawflies. This indicates that a dual olfactory pathway is not restricted to social species and may have evolved in basal Hymenoptera. We suggest that associated advances in olfactory processing represent a preadaptation for life styles with high demands on olfactory discrimination like parasitoism, central place foraging, and sociality. PMID:21167312

  11. Genetic control of wiring specificity in the fly olfactory system.

    PubMed

    Hong, Weizhe; Luo, Liqun

    2014-01-01

    Precise connections established between pre- and postsynaptic partners during development are essential for the proper function of the nervous system. The olfactory system detects a wide variety of odorants and processes the information in a precisely connected neural circuit. A common feature of the olfactory systems from insects to mammals is that the olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) expressing the same odorant receptor make one-to-one connections with a single class of second-order olfactory projection neurons (PNs). This represents one of the most striking examples of targeting specificity in developmental neurobiology. Recent studies have uncovered central roles of transmembrane and secreted proteins in organizing this one-to-one connection specificity in the olfactory system. Here, we review recent advances in the understanding of how this wiring specificity is genetically controlled and focus on the mechanisms by which transmembrane and secreted proteins regulate different stages of the Drosophila olfactory circuit assembly in a coordinated manner. We also discuss how combinatorial coding, redundancy, and error-correcting ability could contribute to constructing a complex neural circuit in general.

  12. Olfactory habituation in Drosophila-odor encoding and its plasticity in the antennal lobe.

    PubMed

    Twick, Isabell; Lee, John Anthony; Ramaswami, Mani

    2014-01-01

    A ubiquitous feature of an animal's response to an odorant is that it declines when the odorant is frequently or continuously encountered. This decline in olfactory response, termed olfactory habituation, can have temporally or mechanistically different forms. The neural circuitry of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster's olfactory system is well defined in terms of component cells, which are readily accessible to functional studies and genetic manipulation. This makes it a particularly useful preparation for the investigation of olfactory habituation. In addition, the insect olfactory system shares many architectural and functional similarities with mammalian olfactory systems, suggesting that olfactory mechanisms in insects may be broadly relevant. In this chapter, we discuss the likely mechanisms of olfactory habituation in context of the participating cell types, their connectivity, and their roles in sensory processing. We overview the structure and function of key cell types, the mechanisms that stimulate them, and how they transduce and process odor signals. We then consider how each stage of olfactory processing could potentially contribute to behavioral habituation. After this, we overview a variety of recent mechanistic studies that point to an important role for potentiation of inhibitory synapses in the primary olfactory processing center, the antennal lobe, in driving the reduced response to familiar odorants. Following the discussion of mechanisms for short- and long-term olfactory habituation, we end by considering how these mechanisms may be regulated by neuromodulators, which likely play key roles in the induction, gating, or suppression of habituated behavior, and speculate on the relevance of these processes for other forms of learning and memory.

  13. Olfactory Learning in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Busto, Germain U.; Cervantes-Sandoval, Isaac; Davis, Ronald L.

    2012-01-01

    Studies of olfactory learning in Drosophila have provided key insights into the brain mechanisms underlying learning and memory. One type of olfactory learning, olfactory classical conditioning, consists of learning the contingency between an odor with an aversive or appetitive stimulus. This conditioning requires the activity of molecules that can integrate the two types of sensory information, the odorant as the conditioned stimulus and the aversive or appetitive stimulus as the unconditioned stimulus, in brain regions where the neural pathways for the two stimuli intersect. Compelling data indicate that a particular form of adenylyl cyclase functions as a molecular integrator of the sensory information in the mushroom body neurons. The neuronal pathway carrying the olfactory information from the antennal lobes to the mushroom body is well described. Accumulating data now show that some dopaminergic neurons provide information about aversive stimuli and octopaminergic neurons about appetitive stimuli to the mushroom body neurons. Inhibitory inputs from the GABAergic system appear to gate olfactory information to the mushroom bodies and thus control the ability to learn about odors. Emerging data obtained by functional imaging procedures indicate that distinct memory traces form in different brain regions and correlate with different phases of memory. The results from these and other experiments also indicate that cross talk between mushroom bodies and several other brain regions is critical for memory formation. PMID:21186278

  14. Expression and function of the empty spiracles gene in olfactory sense organ development of Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Sen, Sonia; Hartmann, Beate; Reichert, Heinrich; Rodrigues, Veronica

    2010-11-01

    In Drosophila, the cephalic gap gene empty spiracles plays key roles in embryonic patterning of the peripheral and central nervous system. During postembryonic development, it is involved in the development of central olfactory circuitry in the antennal lobe of the adult. However, its possible role in the postembryonic development of peripheral olfactory sense organs has not been investigated. Here, we show that empty spiracles acts in a subset of precursors that generate the olfactory sense organs of the adult antenna. All empty spiracles-expressing precursor cells co-express the proneural gene amos and the early patterning gene lozenge. Moreover, the expression of empty spiracles in these precursor cells is dependent on both amos and lozenge. Functional analysis reveals two distinct roles of empty spiracles in the development of olfactory sense organs. Genetic interaction studies in a lozenge-sensitized background uncover a requirement of empty spiracles in the formation of trichoid and basiconic olfactory sensilla. MARCM-based clonal mutant analysis reveals an additional role during axonal targeting of olfactory sensory neurons to glomeruli within the antennal lobe. Our findings on empty spiracles action in olfactory sense organ development complement previous studies that demonstrate its requirement in olfactory interneurons and, taken together with studies on the murine homologs of empty spiracles, suggest that conserved molecular genetic programs might be responsible for the formation of both peripheral and central olfactory circuitry in insects and mammals.

  15. Expression and function of the empty spiracles gene in olfactory sense organ development of Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Sen, Sonia; Hartmann, Beate; Reichert, Heinrich; Rodrigues, Veronica

    2010-11-01

    In Drosophila, the cephalic gap gene empty spiracles plays key roles in embryonic patterning of the peripheral and central nervous system. During postembryonic development, it is involved in the development of central olfactory circuitry in the antennal lobe of the adult. However, its possible role in the postembryonic development of peripheral olfactory sense organs has not been investigated. Here, we show that empty spiracles acts in a subset of precursors that generate the olfactory sense organs of the adult antenna. All empty spiracles-expressing precursor cells co-express the proneural gene amos and the early patterning gene lozenge. Moreover, the expression of empty spiracles in these precursor cells is dependent on both amos and lozenge. Functional analysis reveals two distinct roles of empty spiracles in the development of olfactory sense organs. Genetic interaction studies in a lozenge-sensitized background uncover a requirement of empty spiracles in the formation of trichoid and basiconic olfactory sensilla. MARCM-based clonal mutant analysis reveals an additional role during axonal targeting of olfactory sensory neurons to glomeruli within the antennal lobe. Our findings on empty spiracles action in olfactory sense organ development complement previous studies that demonstrate its requirement in olfactory interneurons and, taken together with studies on the murine homologs of empty spiracles, suggest that conserved molecular genetic programs might be responsible for the formation of both peripheral and central olfactory circuitry in insects and mammals. PMID:20940227

  16. Acetylcholine and Olfactory Perceptual Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Donald A.; Fletcher, Max L.; Sullivan, Regina M.

    2004-01-01

    Olfactory perceptual learning is a relatively long-term, learned increase in perceptual acuity, and has been described in both humans and animals. Data from recent electrophysiological studies have indicated that olfactory perceptual learning may be correlated with changes in odorant receptive fields of neurons in the olfactory bulb and piriform…

  17. Unexpected Effects of Low Doses of a Neonicotinoid Insecticide on Behavioral Responses to Sex Pheromone in a Pest Insect

    PubMed Central

    Rabhi, Kaouther K.; Esancy, Kali; Voisin, Anouk; Crespin, Lucille; Le Corre, Julie; Tricoire-Leignel, Hélène; Anton, Sylvia; Gadenne, Christophe

    2014-01-01

    In moths, which include many agricultural pest species, males are attracted by female-emitted sex pheromones. Although integrated pest management strategies are increasingly developed, most insect pest treatments rely on widespread use of neurotoxic chemicals, including neonicotinoid insecticides. Residual accumulation of low concentrations of these insecticides in the environment is known to be harmful to beneficial insects such as honey bees. This environmental stress probably acts as an “info-disruptor” by modifying the chemical communication system, and therefore decreases chances of reproduction in target insects that largely rely on olfactory communication. However, low doses of pollutants could on the contrary induce adaptive processes in the olfactory pathway, thus enhancing reproduction. Here we tested the effects of acute oral treatments with different low doses of the neonicotinoid clothianidin on the behavioral responses to sex pheromone in the moth Agrotis ipsilon using wind tunnel experiments. We show that low doses of clothianidin induce a biphasic effect on pheromone-guided behavior. Surprisingly, we found a hormetic-like effect, improving orientation behavior at the LD20 dose corresponding to 10 ng clothianidin. On the contrary, a negative effect, disturbing orientation behavior, was elicited by a treatment with a dose below the LD0 dose corresponding to 0.25 ng clothianidin. No clothianidin effect was observed on behavioral responses to plant odor. Our results indicate that risk assessment has to include unexpected effects of residues on the life history traits of pest insects, which could then lead to their adaptation to environmental stress. PMID:25517118

  18. Olfactory processing: detection of rapid changes.

    PubMed

    Croy, Ilona; Krone, Franziska; Walker, Susannah; Hummel, Thomas

    2015-06-01

    Changes in the olfactory environment have a rather poor chance of being detected. Aim of the present study was to determine, whether the same (cued) or different (uncued) odors can generally be detected at short inter stimulus intervals (ISI) below 2.5 s. Furthermore we investigated, whether inhibition of return, an attentional phenomenon facilitating the detection of new stimuli at longer ISI, is present in the domain of olfaction. Thirteen normosmic people (3 men, 10 women; age range 19-27 years; mean age 23 years) participated. Stimulation was performed using air-dilution olfactometry with 2 odors: phenylethylalcohol and hydrogen disulfide. Reaction time to target stimuli was assessed in cued and uncued conditions at ISIs of 1, 1.5, 2, and 2.5 s. There was a significant main effect of ISI, indicating that odors presented only 1 s apart are missed frequently. Uncued presentation facilitated detection at short ISIs, implying that changes of the olfactory environment are detected better than presentation of the same odor again. Effects in relation to "olfactory inhibition of return," on the other hand, are not supported by our results. This suggests that attention works different for the olfactory system compared with the visual and auditory systems.

  19. An olfactory demography of a diverse metropolitan population

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Human perception of the odour environment is highly variable. People vary both in their general olfactory acuity as well as in if and how they perceive specific odours. In recent years, it has been shown that genetic differences contribute to variability in both general olfactory acuity and the perception of specific odours. Odour perception also depends on other factors such as age and gender. Here we investigate the influence of these factors on both general olfactory acuity and on the perception of 66 structurally and perceptually different odours in a diverse subject population. Results We carried out a large human olfactory psychophysics study of 391 adult subjects in metropolitan New York City, an ethnically and culturally diverse North American metropolis. 210 of the subjects were women and the median age was 34.6 years (range 19–75). We recorded ~2,300 data points per subject to obtain a comprehensive perceptual phenotype, comprising multiple perceptual measures of 66 diverse odours. We show that general olfactory acuity correlates with gender, age, race, smoking habits, and body type. Young, female, non-smoking subjects had the highest average olfactory acuity. Deviations from normal body type in either direction were associated with decreased olfactory acuity. Beyond these factors we also show that, surprisingly, there are many odour-specific influences of race, age, and gender on olfactory perception. We show over 100 instances in which the intensity or pleasantness perception of an odour is significantly different between two demographic groups. Conclusions These data provide a comprehensive snapshot of the olfactory sense of a diverse population. Olfactory acuity in the population is most strongly influenced by age, followed by gender. We also show a large number of diverse correlations between demographic factors and the perception of individual odours that may reflect genetic differences as well as different prior experiences with these

  20. Olfactory dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Zou, Yong-Ming; Lu, Da; Liu, Li-Ping; Zhang, Hui-Hong; Zhou, Yu-Ying

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder with the earliest clinical symptom of olfactory dysfunction, which is a potential clinical marker for AD severity and progression. However, many questions remain unanswered. This article reviews relevant research on olfactory dysfunction in AD and evaluates the predictive value of olfactory dysfunction for the epidemiological, pathophysiological, and clinical features of AD, as well as for the conversion of cognitive impairment to AD. We summarize problems of existing studies and provide a useful reference for further studies in AD olfactory dysfunction and for clinical applications of olfactory testing. PMID:27143888

  1. Olfactory sensitivity in mammalian species.

    PubMed

    Wackermannová, M; Pinc, L; Jebavý, L

    2016-07-18

    Olfaction enables most mammalian species to detect and discriminate vast numbers of chemical structures called odorants and pheromones. The perception of such chemical compounds is mediated via two major olfactory systems, the main olfactory system and the vomeronasal system, as well as minor systems, such as the septal organ and the Grueneberg ganglion. Distinct differences exist not only among species but also among individuals in terms of their olfactory sensitivity; however, little is known about the mechanisms that determine these differences. In research on the olfactory sensitivity of mammals, scientists thus depend in most cases on behavioral testing. In this article, we reviewed scientific studies performed on various mammalian species using different methodologies and target chemical substances. Human and non-human primates as well as rodents and dogs are the most frequently studied species. Olfactory threshold studies on other species do not exist with the exception of domestic pigs. Olfactory testing performed on seals, elephants, and bats focused more on discriminative abilities than on sensitivity. An overview of olfactory sensitivity studies as well as olfactory detection ability in most studied mammalian species is presented here, focusing on comparable olfactory detection thresholds. The basics of olfactory perception and olfactory sensitivity factors are also described. PMID:27070753

  2. Bulbocortical interplay in olfactory information processing via synchronous oscillations.

    PubMed

    Fukai, T

    1996-04-01

    Emergence of synchronous oscillatory activity is an inherent feature of the olfactory systems of insects, mollusks and mammals. A class of simple computational models of the mammalian olfactory system consisting of olfactory bulb and olfactory cortex is constructed to explore possible roles of the related neural circuitry in olfactory information processing via synchronous oscillations. In the models, the bulbar neural circuitry is represented by a chain of oscillators and that of cortex is analogous to an associative memory network with horizontal synaptic connections. The models incorporate the backprojection from cortical units to the bulbar oscillators in particular ways. They exhibit rapid and robust synchronous oscillations in the presence of odorant stimuli, while they show either nonoscillatory states or propagating waves in the absence of stimuli, depending on the values of model parameters. In both models, the backprojection is shown to enhance the establishment of large-scale synchrony. The results suggest that the modulation of neural activity through centrifugal inputs may play an important role at the early stage of cortical information processing.

  3. Aggregation of f-actin in olfactory glomeruli: a common feature of glomeruli across phyla.

    PubMed

    Rössler, Wolfgang; Kuduz, Josko; Schürmann, Friedrich W; Schild, Detlev

    2002-11-01

    Using fluorophore-conjugated phalloidin, we show that filamentous (F)-actin is strongly aggregated in olfactory glomeruli within primary olfactory centers of vertebrates and insects. Our comparative study demonstrates that aggregation of F-actin is a common feature of glomeruli across phyla, and is independent of glomerular architecture and/or the presence or absence of cellular borders around glomeruli formed by neurons or glial cells. The distribution of F-actin in axonal and dendritic compartments within glomeruli, however, appears different between vertebrates and insects. The potential role of the actin-based cytoskeleton in synaptic and structural plasticity within glomeruli is discussed. PMID:12438205

  4. Caste-specific postembryonic development of primary and secondary olfactory centers in the female honeybee brain.

    PubMed

    Groh, Claudia; Rössler, Wolfgang

    2008-11-01

    Eusocial insects are characterized by division of labor among a sterile worker caste and a reproductive queen. In the honeybee both female castes are determined postembryonically by environmental factors, and queens develop substantially faster than workers. Since olfaction plays a crucial role in organizing honeybee behavior and social interactions, we compared the development of primary and secondary olfactory centers in the brain. Age-synchronized queen and worker pupae were raised in incubators at 34.5 degrees C, and their external morphology was characterized for all pupal stages. The development of olfactory synaptic neuropil was analyzed using anti-synapsin immunocytochemistry, f-actin-phalloidin labeling and confocal microscopy. In the antennal lobes of queens olfactory glomeruli formed approximately 4 days earlier than in workers. The adult number of olfactory glomeruli was in a similar range, but the total glomerular volume was slightly smaller in queens. Olfactory and visual subdivisions (lip, collar) of the mushroom-body calyx formed early, whereas the basal ring separated late. Synaptic microglomeruli in the olfactory lip were established approximately 3-4 days earlier in queens compared to workers. We propose that developmental heterochrony results in fewer synapses in olfactory centers (smaller glomeruli, fewer microglomeruli) in queens, which may result in poorer performance on olfactory learning tasks compared to workers. PMID:18621587

  5. Attention and Olfactory Consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Keller, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the relation between attention and consciousness is an important part of our understanding of consciousness. Attention, unlike consciousness, can be systematically manipulated in psychophysical experiments and a law-like relation between attention and consciousness is waiting to be discovered. Most attempts to discover the nature of this relation are focused on a special type of attention: spatial visual attention. In this review I want to introduce another type of attention to the discussion: attention to the olfactory modality. I will first clarify the position of attention to smells in a general taxonomy of attention. I will then review the mechanisms and neuroanatomy of attention and consciousness in the olfactory system before using the newly introduced system to provide evidence that attention is necessary for consciousness. PMID:22203813

  6. Recent Trend in Development of Olfactory Displays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanagida, Yasuyuki

    An olfactory display is a device that generates scented air with desired concentration of aroma, and delivers it to the user's olfactory organ. In this article, the nature of olfaction is briefly described from the view point of how to configure olfactory displays. Next, component technologies to compose olfactory displays, i.e., making scents and delivering scents, are categorized. Several existing olfactory display systems are introduced to show the current status of research and development of olfactory displays.

  7. Direct transport of inhaled xylene and its metabolites from the olfactory mucosa to the glomeruli of the olfactory bulbs

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, J.L.; Dahl, A.R.; Kracko, D.A.

    1994-11-01

    The olfactory epithelium is a unique tissue in that single receptor neurons have dendrites in contact with the external environment at the nasal airway, and axon terminals that penetrate the cribriform plate and synapse in the olfactory bulb. The Central Nervous System (CNS) is protected from systematically circulating toxicants by a blood-brain barrier primarily composed of tight junctions between endothelial cells in cerebral vessels and a high metabolic capacity within these cells. No such barrier has yet been defined to protect the CNS from inhaled toxicants. Because all inhalants do not seem to access the CNS directly, a nose-brain barrier seems plausible. The purpose of the work described here is to determine whether or not a nose-brain barrier exists and to define its components. Although such a barrier is likely to be multi-faceted, the present work focuses only on the importance of gross histologic and metabolic characteristics of the olfactory epithelium in olfactory transport.

  8. Do Native Insects and Associated Fungi Limit Non-Native Woodwasp, Sirex noctilio, Survival in a Newly Invaded Environment?

    PubMed Central

    Haavik, Laurel J.; Dodds, Kevin J.; Allison, Jeremy D.

    2015-01-01

    Sirex noctilio F. (Hymenoptera: Siricidae) is an introduced pest of pines (Pinus spp.) in several countries in the Southern Hemisphere. Although S. noctilio is established in North America (first discovered in 2004), it has not been a destructive pest there so far, where forest communities more closely resemble those in its native Eurasian range—where it is not a pest. To investigate the influence of the existing community of associated insects (competitors + natural enemies) and fungi (vectored by insects) on S. noctilio survival in North America, we examined stage-specific mortality factors and their relative importance, generating life tables drawn from experimentally-manipulated and natural cohorts of Sirex spp. (mostly S. noctilio, but some native S. nigricornis F.). For both natural and experimentally-manipulated cohorts, factors which acted during the earliest Sirex life stages, most likely tree resistance and/or competition among fungal associates, were paramount in dictating woodwasp survival. Experimentally-manipulated life tables revealed that protection from the community of associates resulted in a significantly, and substantially larger (>15x) S. noctilio F1 generation than exposure to it. Seventy percent of generation mortality in the exposed cohort was due to tree resistance or unknown causes early in larval development, which could have included competition among other bark- or wood-inhabiting insects and/or their fungal associates. Only 46% of generation mortality in the protected cohort was due to tree resistance and/or unknown causes. Parasitoids, particularly endoparasitoids (Ibalia spp.), showed limited ability to control S. noctilio, and reduced the experimentally-established cohort by only 11%, and natural cohorts an average of 3.4%. The relative importance of tree resistance vs. competition with bark- and wood-borers in reducing S. noctilio survival remains unclear. Tree resistance and/or competition likely contribute more than natural

  9. Insect Allergy.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hobart; Halverson, Sara; Mackey, Regina

    2016-09-01

    Insect bites and stings are common. Risk factors are mostly associated with environmental exposure. Most insect bites and stings result in mild, local, allergic reactions. Large local reactions and systemic reactions like anaphylaxis are possible. Common insects that bite or sting include mosquitoes, ticks, flies, fleas, biting midges, bees, and wasps. The diagnosis is made clinically. Identification of the insect should occur when possible. Management is usually supportive. For anaphylaxis, patients should be given epinephrine and transported to the emergency department for further evaluation. Venom immunotherapy (VIT) has several different protocols. VIT is highly effective in reducing systemic reactions and anaphylaxis.

  10. Insect Allergy.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hobart; Halverson, Sara; Mackey, Regina

    2016-09-01

    Insect bites and stings are common. Risk factors are mostly associated with environmental exposure. Most insect bites and stings result in mild, local, allergic reactions. Large local reactions and systemic reactions like anaphylaxis are possible. Common insects that bite or sting include mosquitoes, ticks, flies, fleas, biting midges, bees, and wasps. The diagnosis is made clinically. Identification of the insect should occur when possible. Management is usually supportive. For anaphylaxis, patients should be given epinephrine and transported to the emergency department for further evaluation. Venom immunotherapy (VIT) has several different protocols. VIT is highly effective in reducing systemic reactions and anaphylaxis. PMID:27545732

  11. Neurally Encoding Time for Olfactory Navigation.

    PubMed

    Park, In Jun; Hein, Andrew M; Bobkov, Yuriy V; Reidenbach, Matthew A; Ache, Barry W; Principe, Jose C

    2016-01-01

    Accurately encoding time is one of the fundamental challenges faced by the nervous system in mediating behavior. We recently reported that some animals have a specialized population of rhythmically active neurons in their olfactory organs with the potential to peripherally encode temporal information about odor encounters. If these neurons do indeed encode the timing of odor arrivals, it should be possible to demonstrate that this capacity has some functional significance. Here we show how this sensory input can profoundly influence an animal's ability to locate the source of odor cues in realistic turbulent environments-a common task faced by species that rely on olfactory cues for navigation. Using detailed data from a turbulent plume created in the laboratory, we reconstruct the spatiotemporal behavior of a real odor field. We use recurrence theory to show that information about position relative to the source of the odor plume is embedded in the timing between odor pulses. Then, using a parameterized computational model, we show how an animal can use populations of rhythmically active neurons to capture and encode this temporal information in real time, and use it to efficiently navigate to an odor source. Our results demonstrate that the capacity to accurately encode temporal information about sensory cues may be crucial for efficient olfactory navigation. More generally, our results suggest a mechanism for extracting and encoding temporal information from the sensory environment that could have broad utility for neural information processing. PMID:26730727

  12. Insect Keepers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Virginia J.; Chessin, Debby A.; Theobald, Becky

    2010-01-01

    Insects are fascinating creatures--especially when you and your students get up close and personal with them! To that end, the authors facilitated an inquiry-based investigation with an emphasis on identification of the different types of insects found in the school yard, their characteristics, their habitat, and what they eat, while engaging the…

  13. Insect phylogenomics.

    PubMed

    Behura, S K

    2015-08-01

    Phylogenomics, the integration of phylogenetics with genome data, has emerged as a powerful approach to study the evolution and systematics of species. Recently, several studies employing phylogenomic tools have provided better insights into insect evolution. Next-generation sequencing methods are now increasingly used by entomologists to generate genomic and transcript sequences of various insect species and strains. These data provide opportunities for comparative genomics and large-scale multigene phylogenies of diverse lineages of insects. Phy-logenomic investigations help us to better understand systematic and evolutionary relationships of insect species that play important roles as herbivores, predators, detritivores, pollinators and disease vectors. It is important that we critically assess the prospects and limitations of phylogenomic methods. In this review, I describe the current status, outline the major challenges and remark on potential future applications of phylogenomic tools in studying insect systematics and evolution.

  14. Identification of Candidate Olfactory Genes in Chilo suppressalis by Antennal Transcriptome Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Depan; Liu, Yang; Wei, Jinjin; Liao, Xinyan; Walker, William B.; Li, Jianhong; Wang, Guirong

    2014-01-01

    Antennal olfaction, which is extremely important for insect survival, mediates key behaviors such as host preference, mate choice, and oviposition site selection. In insects, odor detection is mediated by multiple proteins in the antenna, especially the odorant receptors (ORs) and ionotropic receptors (IRs), which ensure the specificity of the olfactory sensory neuron responses. In this study, we identified the olfactory gene repertoire of the rice stem borer, Chilo suppressalis, an economically important agricultural pest, which inflicts great damage to the rice yield in south and east part of Asia, especially in Southern China. By Illumina sequencing of male and female antennal transcriptomes, we identified 47 odorant receptors, 20 ionotropic receptors, 26 odorant binding proteins, 21 chemosensory proteins and 2 sensory neuron membrane proteins. Our findings make it possible for future research of the olfactory system of C. suppressalis at the molecular level. PMID:25076861

  15. Identification of candidate olfactory genes in Chilo suppressalis by antennal transcriptome analysis.

    PubMed

    Cao, Depan; Liu, Yang; Wei, Jinjin; Liao, Xinyan; Walker, William B; Li, Jianhong; Wang, Guirong

    2014-01-01

    Antennal olfaction, which is extremely important for insect survival, mediates key behaviors such as host preference, mate choice, and oviposition site selection. In insects, odor detection is mediated by multiple proteins in the antenna, especially the odorant receptors (ORs) and ionotropic receptors (IRs), which ensure the specificity of the olfactory sensory neuron responses. In this study, we identified the olfactory gene repertoire of the rice stem borer, Chilo suppressalis, an economically important agricultural pest, which inflicts great damage to the rice yield in south and east part of Asia, especially in Southern China. By Illumina sequencing of male and female antennal transcriptomes, we identified 47 odorant receptors, 20 ionotropic receptors, 26 odorant binding proteins, 21 chemosensory proteins and 2 sensory neuron membrane proteins. Our findings make it possible for future research of the olfactory system of C. suppressalis at the molecular level. PMID:25076861

  16. Computational Biology of Olfactory Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Crasto, Chiquito J.

    2011-01-01

    Olfactory receptors, in addition to being involved in first step of the physiological processes that leads to olfaction, occupy an important place in mammalian genomes. ORs constitute super families in these genomes. Elucidating ol-factory receptor function at a molecular level can be aided by a computationally derived structure and an understanding of its interactions with odor molecules. Experimental functional analyses of olfactory receptors in conjunction with computational studies serve to validate findings and generate hypotheses. We present here a review of the research efforts in: creating computational models of olfactory receptors, identifying binding strategies for these receptors with odorant molecules, performing medium to long range simulation studies of odor ligands in the receptor binding region, and identifying amino acid positions within the receptor that are responsible for ligand-binding and olfactory receptor activation. Written as a primer and a teaching tool, this review will help researchers extend the methodologies described herein to other GPCRs. PMID:21984880

  17. Multi-unit Recording Methods to Characterize Neural Activity in the Locust (Schistocerca Americana) Olfactory Circuits

    PubMed Central

    Saha, Debajit; Leong, Kevin; Katta, Nalin; Raman, Baranidharan

    2013-01-01

    Detection and interpretation of olfactory cues are critical for the survival of many organisms. Remarkably, species across phyla have strikingly similar olfactory systems suggesting that the biological approach to chemical sensing has been optimized over evolutionary time1. In the insect olfactory system, odorants are transduced by olfactory receptor neurons (ORN) in the antenna, which convert chemical stimuli into trains of action potentials. Sensory input from the ORNs is then relayed to the antennal lobe (AL; a structure analogous to the vertebrate olfactory bulb). In the AL, neural representations for odors take the form of spatiotemporal firing patterns distributed across ensembles of principal neurons (PNs; also referred to as projection neurons)2,3. The AL output is subsequently processed by Kenyon cells (KCs) in the downstream mushroom body (MB), a structure associated with olfactory memory and learning4,5. Here, we present electrophysiological recording techniques to monitor odor-evoked neural responses in these olfactory circuits. First, we present a single sensillum recording method to study odor-evoked responses at the level of populations of ORNs6,7. We discuss the use of saline filled sharpened glass pipettes as electrodes to extracellularly monitor ORN responses. Next, we present a method to extracellularly monitor PN responses using a commercial 16-channel electrode3. A similar approach using a custom-made 8-channel twisted wire tetrode is demonstrated for Kenyon cell recordings8. We provide details of our experimental setup and present representative recording traces for each of these techniques. PMID:23380828

  18. Floral to green: mating switches moth olfactory coding and preference.

    PubMed

    Saveer, Ahmed M; Kromann, Sophie H; Birgersson, Göran; Bengtsson, Marie; Lindblom, Tobias; Balkenius, Anna; Hansson, Bill S; Witzgall, Peter; Becher, Paul G; Ignell, Rickard

    2012-06-22

    Mating induces profound physiological changes in a wide range of insects, leading to behavioural adjustments to match the internal state of the animal. Here, we show for the first time, to our knowledge, that a noctuid moth switches its olfactory response from food to egg-laying cues following mating. Unmated females of the cotton leafworm (Spodoptera littoralis) are strongly attracted to lilac flowers (Syringa vulgaris). After mating, attraction to floral odour is abolished and the females fly instead to green-leaf odour of the larval host plant cotton, Gossypium hirsutum. This behavioural switch is owing to a marked change in the olfactory representation of floral and green odours in the primary olfactory centre, the antennal lobe (AL). Calcium imaging, using authentic and synthetic odours, shows that the ensemble of AL glomeruli dedicated to either lilac or cotton odour is selectively up- and downregulated in response to mating. A clear-cut behavioural modulation as a function of mating is a useful substrate for studies of the neural mechanisms underlying behavioural decisions. Modulation of odour-driven behaviour through concerted regulation of odour maps contributes to our understanding of state-dependent choice and host shifts in insect herbivores.

  19. Parallel pathways convey olfactory information with opposite polarities in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kaiyu; Gong, Jiaxin; Wang, Qingxiu; Li, Hao; Cheng, Qi; Liu, Yafeng; Zeng, Shaoqun; Wang, Zuoren

    2014-02-25

    In insects, olfactory information received by peripheral olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) is conveyed from the antennal lobes (ALs) to higher brain regions by olfactory projection neurons (PNs). Despite the knowledge that multiple types of PNs exist, little is known about how these different neuronal pathways work cooperatively. Here we studied the Drosophila GABAergic mediolateral antennocerebral tract PNs (mlPNs), which link ipsilateral AL and lateral horn (LH), in comparison with the cholinergic medial tract PNs (mPNs). We examined the connectivity of mlPNs in ALs and found that most mlPNs received inputs from both ORNs and mPNs and participated in AL network function by forming gap junctions with other AL neurons. Meanwhile, mlPNs might innervate LH neurons downstream of mPNs, exerting a feedforward inhibition. Using dual-color calcium imaging, which enables a simultaneous monitoring of neural activities in two groups of PNs, we found that mlPNs exhibited robust odor responses overlapping with, but broader than, those of mPNs. Moreover, preferentially down-regulation of GABA in most mlPNs caused abnormal courtship and aggressive behaviors in male flies. These findings demonstrate that in Drosophila, olfactory information in opposite polarities are carried coordinately by two parallel and interacted pathways, which could be essential for appropriate behaviors.

  20. A Robust Feedforward Model of the Olfactory System.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yilun; Sharpee, Tatyana O

    2016-04-01

    Most natural odors have sparse molecular composition. This makes the principles of compressed sensing potentially relevant to the structure of the olfactory code. Yet, the largely feedforward organization of the olfactory system precludes reconstruction using standard compressed sensing algorithms. To resolve this problem, recent theoretical work has shown that signal reconstruction could take place as a result of a low dimensional dynamical system converging to one of its attractor states. However, the dynamical aspects of optimization slowed down odor recognition and were also found to be susceptible to noise. Here we describe a feedforward model of the olfactory system that achieves both strong compression and fast reconstruction that is also robust to noise. A key feature of the proposed model is a specific relationship between how odors are represented at the glomeruli stage, which corresponds to a compression, and the connections from glomeruli to third-order neurons (neurons in the olfactory cortex of vertebrates or Kenyon cells in the mushroom body of insects), which in the model corresponds to reconstruction. We show that should this specific relationship hold true, the reconstruction will be both fast and robust to noise, and in particular to the false activation of glomeruli. The predicted connectivity rate from glomeruli to third-order neurons can be tested experimentally. PMID:27065441

  1. A Robust Feedforward Model of the Olfactory System

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yilun; Sharpee, Tatyana O.

    2016-01-01

    Most natural odors have sparse molecular composition. This makes the principles of compressed sensing potentially relevant to the structure of the olfactory code. Yet, the largely feedforward organization of the olfactory system precludes reconstruction using standard compressed sensing algorithms. To resolve this problem, recent theoretical work has shown that signal reconstruction could take place as a result of a low dimensional dynamical system converging to one of its attractor states. However, the dynamical aspects of optimization slowed down odor recognition and were also found to be susceptible to noise. Here we describe a feedforward model of the olfactory system that achieves both strong compression and fast reconstruction that is also robust to noise. A key feature of the proposed model is a specific relationship between how odors are represented at the glomeruli stage, which corresponds to a compression, and the connections from glomeruli to third-order neurons (neurons in the olfactory cortex of vertebrates or Kenyon cells in the mushroom body of insects), which in the model corresponds to reconstruction. We show that should this specific relationship hold true, the reconstruction will be both fast and robust to noise, and in particular to the false activation of glomeruli. The predicted connectivity rate from glomeruli to third-order neurons can be tested experimentally. PMID:27065441

  2. A Robust Feedforward Model of the Olfactory System.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yilun; Sharpee, Tatyana O

    2016-04-01

    Most natural odors have sparse molecular composition. This makes the principles of compressed sensing potentially relevant to the structure of the olfactory code. Yet, the largely feedforward organization of the olfactory system precludes reconstruction using standard compressed sensing algorithms. To resolve this problem, recent theoretical work has shown that signal reconstruction could take place as a result of a low dimensional dynamical system converging to one of its attractor states. However, the dynamical aspects of optimization slowed down odor recognition and were also found to be susceptible to noise. Here we describe a feedforward model of the olfactory system that achieves both strong compression and fast reconstruction that is also robust to noise. A key feature of the proposed model is a specific relationship between how odors are represented at the glomeruli stage, which corresponds to a compression, and the connections from glomeruli to third-order neurons (neurons in the olfactory cortex of vertebrates or Kenyon cells in the mushroom body of insects), which in the model corresponds to reconstruction. We show that should this specific relationship hold true, the reconstruction will be both fast and robust to noise, and in particular to the false activation of glomeruli. The predicted connectivity rate from glomeruli to third-order neurons can be tested experimentally.

  3. Neurophysiological and behavioral responses of gypsy moth larvae to insect repellents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The interactions between insect repellents and the olfactory system have been widely studied, however relatively little is known about the effects of repellents on the gustatory system of insects. In this study, we show that the gustatory receptor neuron (GRN) located in the medial styloconic sensi...

  4. Expression of Olfactory Signaling Genes in the Eye

    PubMed Central

    Velmeshev, Dmitry; Faghihi, Mohammad; Shestopalov, Valery I.; Slepak, Vladlen Z.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose To advance our understanding how the outer eye interacts with its environment, we asked which cellular receptors are expressed in the cornea, focusing on G protein-coupled receptors. Methods Total RNA from the mouse cornea was subjected to next-generation sequencing using the Illumina platform. The data was analyzed with TopHat and CuffLinks software packages. Expression of a representative group of genes detected by RNA-seq was further analyzed by RT-PCR and in situ hybridization using RNAscope technology and fluorescent microscopy. Results We generated more than 46 million pair-end reads from mouse corneal RNA. Bioinformatics analysis revealed that the mouse corneal transcriptome reconstructed from these reads represents over 10,000 gene transcripts. We identified 194 GPCR transcripts, of which 96 were putative olfactory receptors. RT-PCR analysis confirmed the presence of several olfactory receptors and related genes, including olfactory marker protein and the G protein associated with olfaction, Gαolf. In situ hybridization showed that mRNA for olfactory marker protein, Gαolf and possibly some olfactory receptors were found in the corneal epithelial cells. In addition to the corneal epithelium, Gαolf was present in the ganglionic and inner nuclear layers of the retina. One of the olfactory receptors, Olfr558, was present primarily in vessels of the eye co-stained with antibodies against alpha-smooth muscle actin, indicating expression in arterioles. Conclusions Several species of mRNA encoding putative olfactory receptors and related genes are expressed in the mouse cornea and other parts of the eye indicating they may play a role in sensing chemicals in the ocular environment. PMID:24789354

  5. Neurally Encoding Time for Olfactory Navigation

    PubMed Central

    Park, In Jun; Hein, Andrew M.; Bobkov, Yuriy V.; Reidenbach, Matthew A.; Ache, Barry W.; Principe, Jose C.

    2016-01-01

    Accurately encoding time is one of the fundamental challenges faced by the nervous system in mediating behavior. We recently reported that some animals have a specialized population of rhythmically active neurons in their olfactory organs with the potential to peripherally encode temporal information about odor encounters. If these neurons do indeed encode the timing of odor arrivals, it should be possible to demonstrate that this capacity has some functional significance. Here we show how this sensory input can profoundly influence an animal’s ability to locate the source of odor cues in realistic turbulent environments—a common task faced by species that rely on olfactory cues for navigation. Using detailed data from a turbulent plume created in the laboratory, we reconstruct the spatiotemporal behavior of a real odor field. We use recurrence theory to show that information about position relative to the source of the odor plume is embedded in the timing between odor pulses. Then, using a parameterized computational model, we show how an animal can use populations of rhythmically active neurons to capture and encode this temporal information in real time, and use it to efficiently navigate to an odor source. Our results demonstrate that the capacity to accurately encode temporal information about sensory cues may be crucial for efficient olfactory navigation. More generally, our results suggest a mechanism for extracting and encoding temporal information from the sensory environment that could have broad utility for neural information processing. PMID:26730727

  6. Temporal coding of odor mixtures in an olfactory receptor neuron

    PubMed Central

    Su, Chih-Ying; Martelli, Carlotta; Emonet, Thierry; Carlson, John R.

    2011-01-01

    Most natural odors are mixtures and often elicit percepts distinct from those elicited by their constituents. This emergence of a unique odor quality has long been attributed to central processing. Here we show that sophisticated integration of olfactory information begins in olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) in Drosophila. Odor mixtures are encoded in the temporal dynamics as well as in the magnitudes of ORN responses. ORNs can respond to an inhibitory odorant with different durations depending on the level of background excitation. ORNs respond to mixtures with distinctive temporal dynamics that reflect the physicochemical properties of the constituent odorants. The insect repellent DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide), which attenuates odor responses of multiple ORNs, differs from an ORN-specific inhibitor in its effects on temporal dynamics. Our analysis reveals a means by which integration of information from odor mixtures begins in ORNs and provides insight into the contribution of inhibitory stimuli to sensory coding. PMID:21383179

  7. Organization of the olfactory system of nymphalidae butterflies.

    PubMed

    Carlsson, Mikael A; Schäpers, Alexander; Nässel, Dick R; Janz, Niklas

    2013-05-01

    Olfaction is in many species the most important sense, essential for food search, mate finding, and predator avoidance. Butterflies have been considered a microsmatic group of insects that mainly rely on vision due to their diurnal lifestyle. However, an emerging number of studies indicate that butterflies indeed use the sense of smell for locating food and oviposition sites. To unravel the neural substrates for olfaction, we performed an anatomical study of 2 related butterfly species that differ in food and host plant preference. We found many of the anatomical structures and pathways, as well as distribution of neuroactive substances, to resemble that of their nocturnal relatives among the Lepidoptera. The 2 species differed in the number of one type of olfactory sensilla, thus indicating a difference in sensitivity to certain compounds. Otherwise no differences could be observed. Our findings suggest that the olfactory system in Lepidoptera is well conserved despite the long evolutionary time since butterflies and moths diverged from a common ancestor.

  8. Is there a risk associated with the insect repellent DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) commonly found in aquatic environments?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Costanzo, S.D.; Watkinson, A.J.; Murby, E.J.; Kolpin, D.W.; Sandstrom, M.W.

    2007-01-01

    DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) is the active ingredient of most commercial insect repellents. This compound has commonly been detected in aquatic water samples from around the world indicating that DEET is both mobile and persistent, despite earlier assumptions that DEET was unlikely to enter aquatic ecosystems. DEET's registration category does not require an ecological risk assessment, thus information on the ecological toxicity of DEET is sparse. This paper reviews the presence of DEET in aqueous samples from around the world (e.g. drinking water, streams, open seawater, groundwater and treated effluent) with reported DEET concentrations ranging from 40–3000 ng L− 1. In addition, new DEET data collected from 36 sites in coastal waterways from eastern Australia (detections ranging from 8 to 1500 ng L− 1) are examined. A summary of new and existing toxicity data are discussed with an emphasis on preparing a preliminary risk assessment for DEET in the aquatic environment. Collated information on DEET in the aquatic environment suggests risk to aquatic biota at observed environmental concentrations is minimal. However, the information available was not sufficient to conduct a full risk assessment due to data deficiencies in source characterisation, transport mechanisms, fate, and ecotoxicity studies. These risks warrant further investigation due to the high frequency that this organic contaminant is detected in aquatic environments around the world.

  9. Olfactory function in patients with olfactory groove meningioma

    PubMed Central

    Welge-Luessen, A; Temmel, A; Quint, C; Moll, B; Wolf, S; Hummel, T

    2001-01-01

    OBJECTIVES—Olfactory meningiomas are rare benign tumours and represent about 12% of all basal meningiomas. Anosmia is thought to be among the first symptoms, even though patients often present with headaches or visual problems. However, so far no detailed physophysical tests of olfactory function have been performed in a large number of those patients.
METHODS—Twelve patients (five men, seven women; mean age 52 years) with olfactory meningiomas were examined. In all patients extensive preoperative and postoperative lateralised olfactory testing was performed using the "Sniffin' Sticks" test battery, a psychometric testing tool. In eight cases the meningioma was lateralised (five left, three right), in four patients a bilateral meningioma was found. In addition to a detailed ear, nose, and throat examination MRI was performed in all patients.
RESULTS—In preoperative testing six patients were found to be anosmic on the side of the tumour, two were hyposmic. Four patients were normosmic. Postoperative investigations showed lateralised anosmia in four patients on the operated side, three were normosmic on the contralateral side and one hyposmic. The remaining eight patients were completely anosmic postoperatively.
CONCLUSIONS—(1) Contrary to expectations, olfactory testing seems to be of little help in detecting olfactory meningiomas. (2) The likelihood of normal postoperative olfactory function contralateral to the tumour was high when the tumour was less than 3 cm in diameter and preoperative normosmia had been established. (3) Preservation of olfactory function ipsilateral to the tumour seems to be extremely difficult, irrespective of tumour size or surgical approach.

 PMID:11160471

  10. Molecular Characterization of the Aphis gossypii Olfactory Receptor Gene Families

    PubMed Central

    Walker, William B.; Li, Jianhong; Wang, Guirong

    2014-01-01

    The cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover, is a polyphagous pest that inflicts great damage to cotton yields worldwide. Antennal olfaction, which is extremely important for insect survival, mediates key behaviors such as host preference, mate choice, and oviposition site selection. In insects, odor detection is mediated by odorant receptors (ORs) and ionotropic receptors (IRs), which ensure the specificity of the olfactory sensory neuron responses. In this study, our aim is to identify chemosensory receptors in the cotton aphid genome, as a means to uncover olfactory encoding of the polyphagous feeding habits as well as to aid the discovery of new targets for behavioral interference. We identified a total of 45 candidate ORs and 14 IRs in the cotton aphid genome. Among the candidate AgoORs, 9 are apparent pseudogenes, while 19 can be clustered with ORs from the pea aphid, forming 16 AgoOR/ApOR orthologous subgroups. Among the candidate IRs, we identified homologs of the two highly conserved co-receptors IR8a and IR25a; no AgoIR retain the complete glutamic acid binding domain, suggesting that putative AgoIRs bind different ligands. Our results provide the necessary information for functional characterization of the chemosensory receptors of A. gossypii, with potential for new or refined applications of semiochemicals-based control of this pest insect. PMID:24971460

  11. Molecular characterization of the Aphis gossypii olfactory receptor gene families.

    PubMed

    Cao, Depan; Liu, Yang; Walker, William B; Li, Jianhong; Wang, Guirong

    2014-01-01

    The cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover, is a polyphagous pest that inflicts great damage to cotton yields worldwide. Antennal olfaction, which is extremely important for insect survival, mediates key behaviors such as host preference, mate choice, and oviposition site selection. In insects, odor detection is mediated by odorant receptors (ORs) and ionotropic receptors (IRs), which ensure the specificity of the olfactory sensory neuron responses. In this study, our aim is to identify chemosensory receptors in the cotton aphid genome, as a means to uncover olfactory encoding of the polyphagous feeding habits as well as to aid the discovery of new targets for behavioral interference. We identified a total of 45 candidate ORs and 14 IRs in the cotton aphid genome. Among the candidate AgoORs, 9 are apparent pseudogenes, while 19 can be clustered with ORs from the pea aphid, forming 16 AgoOR/ApOR orthologous subgroups. Among the candidate IRs, we identified homologs of the two highly conserved co-receptors IR8a and IR25a; no AgoIR retain the complete glutamic acid binding domain, suggesting that putative AgoIRs bind different ligands. Our results provide the necessary information for functional characterization of the chemosensory receptors of A. gossypii, with potential for new or refined applications of semiochemicals-based control of this pest insect. PMID:24971460

  12. Olfactory receptor signaling.

    PubMed

    Antunes, Gabriela; Simoes de Souza, Fabio Marques

    2016-01-01

    The guanine nucleotide protein (G protein)-coupled receptors (GPCRs) superfamily represents the largest class of membrane protein in the human genome. More than a half of all GPCRs are dedicated to interact with odorants and are termed odorant-receptors (ORs). Linda Buck and Richard Axel, the Nobel Prize laureates in physiology or medicine in 2004, first cloned and characterized the gene family that encode ORs, establishing the foundations to the understanding of the molecular basis for odor recognition. In the last decades, a lot of progress has been done to unravel the functioning of the sense of smell. This chapter gives a general overview of the topic of olfactory receptor signaling and reviews recent advances in this field. PMID:26928542

  13. Detection of Volatile Indicators of Illicit Substances by the Olfactory Receptors of Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Brenton; Warr, Coral G.

    2010-01-01

    Insects can detect a large range of odors with a numerically simple olfactory system that delivers high sensitivity and accurate discrimination. Therefore, insect olfactory receptors hold great promise as biosensors for detection of volatile organic chemicals in a range of applications. The array of olfactory receptor neurons of Drosophila melanogaster is rapidly becoming the best-characterized natural nose. We have investigated the suitability of Drosophila receptors as detectors for volatiles with applications in law enforcement, emergency response, and security. We first characterized responses of the majority of olfactory neuron types to a set of diagnostic odorants. Being thus able to correctly identify neurons, we then screened for responses from 38 different types of neurons to 35 agents. We identified 13 neuron types with responses to 13 agents. As individual Drosophila receptor genes have been mapped to neuron types, we can infer which genes confer responsiveness to the neurons. The responses were confirmed for one receptor by expressing it in a nonresponsive neuron. The fly olfactory system is mainly adapted to detect volatiles from fermenting fruits. However, our findings establish that volatiles associated with illicit substances, many of which are of nonnatural origin, are also detected by Drosophila receptors. PMID:20530374

  14. Insect Phylogenomics

    PubMed Central

    Behura, Susanta K.

    2015-01-01

    With the advent of next-generation sequencing methods, phylogenetics has taken a new turn in the recent years. Phylogenomics, the integration of phylogenetics with genome data, has emerged as a powerful approach to study systematics and evolution of species. Recently, breakthrough researches employing phylogenomic tools have provided better insights into the timing and pattern of insect evolution. The next-generation sequencing methods are now increasingly used by entomologists to generate genomic and transcript sequences of various insect species and strains. These data provide opportunities for comparative genomics and large-scale multigene phylogenies of diverse lineages of insects. Phylogenomic investigations help us better understand systematic and evolutionary relationships of insect species that play important roles as herbivores, predators, detritivores, pollinators, or disease vectors. It is important that we critically assess the prospects and limitations of phylogenomic methods. In this review, I describe the current status, outline the major challenges, and remark on potential future applications of phylogenomic tools in studying insect systematics and evolution. PMID:25963452

  15. Orientation in birds. Olfactory navigation.

    PubMed

    Papi, F

    1991-01-01

    Research work on the olfactory navigation of birds, which has only recently attracted attention, has shown that many wild species rely on an osmotactic mechanism to find food sources, even at a considerable distance. The homing pigeon, the only bird to have been thoroughly investigated with respect to olfactory navigation, has been found to rely on local odours for homeward orientation, and to integrate olfactory cues perceived during passive transportation with those picked up at the release site. It is possible to design experiments in which birds are given false olfactory information, and predictions about the effects of this can be made and tested. Pigeons are able to home from unfamiliar sites because they acquire an olfactory map extending beyond the area they have flown over. The olfactory map is built up by associating wind-borne odours with the direction from which they come; this was shown by experiments which aimed to prevent, limit or alter this association. One aim of the research work has been to test whether pigeons flying over unfamiliar areas also rely or can learn to rely on non-olfactory cues, depending on their local availability, and/or on the methods of rearing and training applied to them. Various evaluations have been made of the results; the most recent experiments, however, confirm that pigeons do derive directional information from atmospheric odours. A neurobiological approach is also in progress; its results show that some telencephalic areas are involved in orientation and olfactory navigation. The lack of any knowledge about the distribution and chemical nature of the odorants which allow pigeons to navigate hinders progress in this area of research.

  16. [Occupational olfactory changes: diagnostic trends].

    PubMed

    Chiappino, G; Broich, G; Mascagni, P; Picchi, O

    1998-01-01

    Olfactory testing has been of minor interest in Occupational Health due to the lack of testing methods able to detect malingering. On the other hand there is evidence that occupational exposure to several, mainly neurotoxic, substances may result in olfactory damage. We have combined three different testing methods in one package in order to assure a forensic-degree level of results. The package consists of: 1. primary neuron functionality testing with a single olfactory stimulant; 2. olfactory-trigeminal discrimination testing with regular sniff-test; 3. odor identification score by Doty's UPSIT test. Final judgement of a link between olfactory system impairment and occupational exposure to chemicals requires a good knowledge of the present and past occupational exposure and of the general conditions of the patient. It requires collaboration between the Occupational Health specialist and the expert in Olfactology and may be completed with endoscopy, radiography and other specific controls. We suggest that a more extensive use of appropriate olfactory testing should be established at least for special risk groups of workers. This will not only detect occupational health damage that would otherwise have remained unknown, but can also furnish new information on the neurotoxic effects of many inhalable chemicals. PMID:9847530

  17. Antennal lobe representations are optimized when olfactory stimuli are periodically structured to simulate natural wing beat effects

    PubMed Central

    Houot, Benjamin; Burkland, Rex; Tripathy, Shreejoy; Daly, Kevin C.

    2014-01-01

    Animals use behaviors to actively sample the environment across a broad spectrum of sensory domains. These behaviors discretize the sensory experience into unique spatiotemporal moments, minimize sensory adaptation, and enhance perception. In olfaction, behaviors such as sniffing, antennal flicking, and wing beating all act to periodically expose olfactory epithelium. In mammals, it is thought that sniffing enhances neural representations; however, the effects of insect wing beating on representations remain unknown. To determine how well the antennal lobe (AL) produces odor dependent representations when wing beating effects are simulated, we used extracellular methods to record neural units and local field potentials (LFPs) from moth AL. We recorded responses to odors presented as prolonged continuous stimuli or periodically as 20 and 25 Hz pulse trains designed to simulate the oscillating effects of wing beating around the antennae during odor guided flight. Using spectral analyses, we show that ~25% of all recorded units were able to entrain to “pulsed stimuli”; this includes pulsed blanks, which elicited the strongest overall entrainment. The strength of entrainment to pulse train stimuli was dependent on molecular features of the odorants, odor concentration, and pulse train duration. Moreover, units showing pulse tracking responses were highly phase locked to LFPs during odor stimulation, indicating that unit-LFP phase relationships are stimulus-driven. Finally, a Euclidean distance-based population vector analysis established that AL odor representations are more robust, peak more quickly, and do not show adaptation when odors were presented at the natural wing beat frequency as opposed to prolonged continuous stimulation. These results suggest a general strategy for optimizing olfactory representations, which exploits the natural rhythmicity of wing beating by integrating mechanosensory and olfactory cues at the level of the AL. PMID:24971052

  18. Context-Dependent Olfactory Learning in an Insect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matsumoto, Yukihisa; Mizunami, Makoto

    2004-01-01

    We studied the capability of the cricket "Gryllus bimaculatus" to select one of a pair of odors and to avoid the other in one context and to do the opposite in another context. One group of crickets was trained to associate one of a pair of odors (conditioned stimulus, CS1) with water reward (appetitive unconditioned stimulus, US+) and another…

  19. Disruption of Aedes aegypti Olfactory System Development through Chitosan/siRNA Nanoparticle Targeting of semaphorin-1a

    PubMed Central

    Mysore, Keshava; Flannery, Ellen M.; Tomchaney, Michael; Severson, David W.; Duman-Scheel, Molly

    2013-01-01

    Despite the devastating impact of mosquito-borne illnesses on human health, surprisingly little is known about mosquito developmental biology, including development of the olfactory system, a tissue of vector importance. Analysis of mosquito olfactory developmental genetics has been hindered by a lack of means to target specific genes during the development of this sensory system. In this investigation, chitosan/siRNA nanoparticles were used to target semaphorin-1a (sema1a) during olfactory system development in the dengue and yellow fever vector mosquito Aedes aegypti. Immunohistochemical analyses and anterograde tracing of antennal sensory neurons, which were used to track the progression of olfactory development in this species, revealed antennal lobe defects in sema1a knockdown fourth instar larvae. These findings, which correlated with a larval odorant tracking behavioral phenotype, identified previously unreported roles for Sema1a in the developing insect larval olfactory system. Analysis of sema1a knockdown pupae also revealed a number of olfactory phenotypes, including olfactory receptor neuron targeting and projection neuron defects coincident with a collapse in the structure and shape of the antennal lobe and individual glomeruli. This study, which is to our knowledge the first functional genetic analysis of insect olfactory development outside of D. melanogaster, identified critical roles for Sema1a during Ae. aegypti larval and pupal olfactory development and advocates the use of chitosan/siRNA nanoparticles as an effective means of targeting genes during post-embryonic Ae. aegypti development. Use of siRNA nanoparticle methodology to understand sensory developmental genetics in mosquitoes will provide insight into the evolutionary conservation and divergence of key developmental genes which could be exploited in the development of both common and species-specific means for intervention. PMID:23696908

  20. Disruption of Aedes aegypti olfactory system development through chitosan/siRNA nanoparticle targeting of semaphorin-1a.

    PubMed

    Mysore, Keshava; Flannery, Ellen M; Tomchaney, Michael; Severson, David W; Duman-Scheel, Molly

    2013-01-01

    Despite the devastating impact of mosquito-borne illnesses on human health, surprisingly little is known about mosquito developmental biology, including development of the olfactory system, a tissue of vector importance. Analysis of mosquito olfactory developmental genetics has been hindered by a lack of means to target specific genes during the development of this sensory system. In this investigation, chitosan/siRNA nanoparticles were used to target semaphorin-1a (sema1a) during olfactory system development in the dengue and yellow fever vector mosquito Aedes aegypti. Immunohistochemical analyses and anterograde tracing of antennal sensory neurons, which were used to track the progression of olfactory development in this species, revealed antennal lobe defects in sema1a knockdown fourth instar larvae. These findings, which correlated with a larval odorant tracking behavioral phenotype, identified previously unreported roles for Sema1a in the developing insect larval olfactory system. Analysis of sema1a knockdown pupae also revealed a number of olfactory phenotypes, including olfactory receptor neuron targeting and projection neuron defects coincident with a collapse in the structure and shape of the antennal lobe and individual glomeruli. This study, which is to our knowledge the first functional genetic analysis of insect olfactory development outside of D. melanogaster, identified critical roles for Sema1a during Ae. aegypti larval and pupal olfactory development and advocates the use of chitosan/siRNA nanoparticles as an effective means of targeting genes during post-embryonic Ae. aegypti development. Use of siRNA nanoparticle methodology to understand sensory developmental genetics in mosquitoes will provide insight into the evolutionary conservation and divergence of key developmental genes which could be exploited in the development of both common and species-specific means for intervention.

  1. Cortico-subcortical metabolic correlates of olfactory processing in healthy resting subjects

    PubMed Central

    Alessandrini, Marco; Micarelli, Alessandro; Chiaravalloti, Agostino; Candidi, Matteo; Bruno, Ernesto; Di Pietro, Barbara; Schillaci, Orazio; Pagani, Marco

    2014-01-01

    A wide network of interconnected areas was previously found in neuroimaging studies involving normal as well as pathological subjects; however literature seems to suffer from a lack of investigation in glucose metabolism behaviour under olfactory condition. Thus, the present work describe for the first time a pure olfactory related brain response of metabolism by using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose-Positron Emission Tomography/Computer Tomography in eleven resting subjects undergoing a neutral and a pure olfactory condition. By contrasting these experimental phases, it was possible to depict a re-organization pattern of default mode network structures in a relatively ecological environment. Moreover, by correlating such pattern with a battery of validated olfactory and neuropsychological tests, our work allowed in showing peculiar correlation data that could cluster the subjects sample in a certain range of normality. We believe the present study could integrate the current knowledge in olfactory research and could be a start-up for future contributions. PMID:24888510

  2. Soluble proteins in insect chemical communication.

    PubMed

    Pelosi, P; Zhou, J-J; Ban, L P; Calvello, M

    2006-07-01

    Our understanding of the biochemical mechanisms that mediate chemoreception in insects has been greatly improved after the discovery of olfactory and taste receptor proteins. However, the presence of soluble polypeptides in high concentration around the dendrites of sensory neurons still poses unanswered questions. More than 2 decades after their discovery and despite the wealth of structural information available, the physiological function of odorant-binding proteins is not well understood. More recently, members of a second family of soluble polypeptides, the chemosensory proteins, were also discovered in the lymph of chemosensilla. Here we review the structural properties of both classes of soluble proteins, their affinity to small ligands, and their expression in the different parts of the insect body and subcellular localisation. Finally, we discuss current ideas and models of the role of such proteins in insect chemoreception.

  3. Extinction reverses olfactory fear-conditioned increases in neuron number and glomerular size.

    PubMed

    Morrison, Filomene G; Dias, Brian G; Ressler, Kerry J

    2015-10-13

    Although much work has investigated the contribution of brain regions such as the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex to the processing of fear learning and memory, fewer studies have examined the role of sensory systems, in particular the olfactory system, in the detection and perception of cues involved in learning and memory. The primary sensory receptive field maps of the olfactory system are exquisitely organized and respond dynamically to cues in the environment, remaining plastic from development through adulthood. We have previously demonstrated that olfactory fear conditioning leads to increased odorant-specific receptor representation in the main olfactory epithelium and in glomeruli within the olfactory bulb. We now demonstrate that olfactory extinction training specific to the conditioned odor stimulus reverses the conditioning-associated freezing behavior and odor learning-induced structural changes in the olfactory epithelium and olfactory bulb in an odorant ligand-specific manner. These data suggest that learning-induced freezing behavior, structural alterations, and enhanced neural sensory representation can be reversed in adult mice following extinction training.

  4. Multiorganismal Insects: Diversity and Function of Resident Microorganisms

    PubMed Central

    Douglas, Angela E.

    2015-01-01

    All insects are colonized by microorganisms on the insect exoskeleton, in the gut and hemocoel, and within insect cells. The insect microbiota is generally different from microorganisms in the external environment, including ingested food. Specifically, certain microbial taxa are favored by the conditions and resources in the insect habitat, by their tolerance of insect immunity, and by specific mechanisms for their transmission. The resident microorganisms can promote insect fitness by contributing to nutrition, especially by providing essential amino acids, B vitamins, and, for fungal partners, sterols. Some microorganisms protect their insect hosts against pathogens, parasitoids, and other parasites by synthesizing specific toxins or modifying the insect immune system. Priorities for future research include elucidation of microbial contributions to detoxification, especially of plant allelochemicals in phytophagous insects, and resistance to pathogens; as well as their role in among-insect communication; and the potential value of manipulation of the microbiota to control insect pests. PMID:25341109

  5. Multiorganismal insects: diversity and function of resident microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Douglas, Angela E

    2015-01-01

    All insects are colonized by microorganisms on the insect exoskeleton, in the gut and hemocoel, and within insect cells. The insect microbiota is generally different from microorganisms in the external environment, including ingested food. Specifically, certain microbial taxa are favored by the conditions and resources in the insect habitat, by their tolerance of insect immunity, and by specific mechanisms for their transmission. The resident microorganisms can promote insect fitness by contributing to nutrition, especially by providing essential amino acids, B vitamins, and, for fungal partners, sterols. Some microorganisms protect their insect hosts against pathogens, parasitoids, and other parasites by synthesizing specific toxins or modifying the insect immune system. Priorities for future research include elucidation of microbial contributions to detoxification, especially of plant allelochemicals in phytophagous insects, and resistance to pathogens; as well as their role in among-insect communication; and the potential value of manipulation of the microbiota to control insect pests. PMID:25341109

  6. Multiorganismal insects: diversity and function of resident microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Douglas, Angela E

    2015-01-01

    All insects are colonized by microorganisms on the insect exoskeleton, in the gut and hemocoel, and within insect cells. The insect microbiota is generally different from microorganisms in the external environment, including ingested food. Specifically, certain microbial taxa are favored by the conditions and resources in the insect habitat, by their tolerance of insect immunity, and by specific mechanisms for their transmission. The resident microorganisms can promote insect fitness by contributing to nutrition, especially by providing essential amino acids, B vitamins, and, for fungal partners, sterols. Some microorganisms protect their insect hosts against pathogens, parasitoids, and other parasites by synthesizing specific toxins or modifying the insect immune system. Priorities for future research include elucidation of microbial contributions to detoxification, especially of plant allelochemicals in phytophagous insects, and resistance to pathogens; as well as their role in among-insect communication; and the potential value of manipulation of the microbiota to control insect pests.

  7. [Olfactory sensory perception].

    PubMed

    Fuentes, Aler; Fresno, María Javiera; Santander, Hugo; Valenzuela, Saúl; Gutiérrez, Mario Felipe; Miralles, Rodolfo

    2011-03-01

    The five senses have had a fundamental importance for survival and socialization of human beings. From an evolutionary point of view the sense of smell is the oldest. This sense has a strong representation within the genome, allowing the existence of many types of receptors that allow us to capture multiple volatile odor producing molecules, sending electrical signals to higher centers to report the outside world. Several cortical areas are activated in the brain, which are interconnected to form an extensive and complex neural network, linking for example, areas involved with memory and emotions, thus giving this sense of perceptual richness. While the concept of flavor is largely related to the sense of taste, smell provides the necessary integration with the rest of the senses and higher functions. Fully understanding the sense of smell is relevant to health professionals. Knowing the characteristics of the receptors, the transduction processes and convergence of information in the higher centers involved, we can properly detect olfactory disorders in our patients. PMID:21879170

  8. [Olfactory sensory perception].

    PubMed

    Fuentes, Aler; Fresno, María Javiera; Santander, Hugo; Valenzuela, Saúl; Gutiérrez, Mario Felipe; Miralles, Rodolfo

    2011-03-01

    The five senses have had a fundamental importance for survival and socialization of human beings. From an evolutionary point of view the sense of smell is the oldest. This sense has a strong representation within the genome, allowing the existence of many types of receptors that allow us to capture multiple volatile odor producing molecules, sending electrical signals to higher centers to report the outside world. Several cortical areas are activated in the brain, which are interconnected to form an extensive and complex neural network, linking for example, areas involved with memory and emotions, thus giving this sense of perceptual richness. While the concept of flavor is largely related to the sense of taste, smell provides the necessary integration with the rest of the senses and higher functions. Fully understanding the sense of smell is relevant to health professionals. Knowing the characteristics of the receptors, the transduction processes and convergence of information in the higher centers involved, we can properly detect olfactory disorders in our patients.

  9. Behavioral and Neurophysiological Study of Olfactory Perception and Learning in Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Sandoz, Jean Christophe

    2011-01-01

    The honeybee Apis mellifera has been a central insect model in the study of olfactory perception and learning for more than a century, starting with pioneer work by Karl von Frisch. Research on olfaction in honeybees has greatly benefited from the advent of a range of behavioral and neurophysiological paradigms in the Lab. Here I review major findings about how the honeybee brain detects, processes, and learns odors, based on behavioral, neuroanatomical, and neurophysiological approaches. I first address the behavioral study of olfactory learning, from experiments on free-flying workers visiting artificial flowers to laboratory-based conditioning protocols on restrained individuals. I explain how the study of olfactory learning has allowed understanding the discrimination and generalization ability of the honeybee olfactory system, its capacity to grant special properties to olfactory mixtures as well as to retain individual component information. Next, based on the impressive amount of anatomical and immunochemical studies of the bee brain, I detail our knowledge of olfactory pathways. I then show how functional recordings of odor-evoked activity in the brain allow following the transformation of the olfactory message from the periphery until higher-order central structures. Data from extra- and intracellular electrophysiological approaches as well as from the most recent optical imaging developments are described. Lastly, I discuss results addressing how odor representation changes as a result of experience. This impressive ensemble of behavioral, neuroanatomical, and neurophysiological data available in the bee make it an attractive model for future research aiming to understand olfactory perception and learning in an integrative fashion. PMID:22163215

  10. Insects as a Nitrogen Source for Plants

    PubMed Central

    Behie, Scott W.; Bidochka, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    Many plants have evolved adaptations in order to survive in low nitrogen environments. One of the best-known adaptations is that of plant symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria; this is the major route by which nitrogen is incorporated into plant biomass. A portion of this plant-associated nitrogen is then lost to insects through herbivory, and insects represent a nitrogen reservoir that is generally overlooked in nitrogen cycles. In this review we show three specialized plant adaptations that allow for the recovery of insect nitrogen; that is, plants gaining nitrogen from insects. First, we show specialized adaptations by carnivorous plants in low nitrogen habitats. Insect carnivorous plants such as pitcher plants and sundews (Nepenthaceae/Sarraceniaceae and Drosera respectively) are able to obtain substantial amounts of nitrogen from the insects that they capture. Secondly, numerous plants form associations with mycorrhizal fungi that can provide soluble nitrogen from the soil, some of which may be insect-derived nitrogen, obtained from decaying insects or insect frass. Finally, a specialized group of endophytic, insect-pathogenic fungi (EIPF) provide host plants with insect-derived nitrogen. These soil-inhabiting fungi form a remarkable symbiosis with certain plant species. They can infect a wide range of insect hosts and also form endophytic associations in which they transfer insect-derived nitrogen to the plant. Root colonizing fungi are found in disparate fungal phylogenetic lineages, indicating possible convergent evolutionary strategies between taxa, evolution potentially driven by access to carbon-containing root exudates. PMID:26462427

  11. Insects as a Nitrogen Source for Plants.

    PubMed

    Behie, Scott W; Bidochka, Michael J

    2013-01-01

    Many plants have evolved adaptations in order to survive in low nitrogen environments. One of the best-known adaptations is that of plant symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria; this is the major route by which nitrogen is incorporated into plant biomass. A portion of this plant-associated nitrogen is then lost to insects through herbivory, and insects represent a nitrogen reservoir that is generally overlooked in nitrogen cycles. In this review we show three specialized plant adaptations that allow for the recovery of insect nitrogen; that is, plants gaining nitrogen from insects. First, we show specialized adaptations by carnivorous plants in low nitrogen habitats. Insect carnivorous plants such as pitcher plants and sundews (Nepenthaceae/Sarraceniaceae and Drosera respectively) are able to obtain substantial amounts of nitrogen from the insects that they capture. Secondly, numerous plants form associations with mycorrhizal fungi that can provide soluble nitrogen from the soil, some of which may be insect-derived nitrogen, obtained from decaying insects or insect frass. Finally, a specialized group of endophytic, insect-pathogenic fungi (EIPF) provide host plants with insect-derived nitrogen. These soil-inhabiting fungi form a remarkable symbiosis with certain plant species. They can infect a wide range of insect hosts and also form endophytic associations in which they transfer insect-derived nitrogen to the plant. Root colonizing fungi are found in disparate fungal phylogenetic lineages, indicating possible convergent evolutionary strategies between taxa, evolution potentially driven by access to carbon-containing root exudates. PMID:26462427

  12. Insects as a Nitrogen Source for Plants.

    PubMed

    Behie, Scott W; Bidochka, Michael J

    2013-07-31

    Many plants have evolved adaptations in order to survive in low nitrogen environments. One of the best-known adaptations is that of plant symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria; this is the major route by which nitrogen is incorporated into plant biomass. A portion of this plant-associated nitrogen is then lost to insects through herbivory, and insects represent a nitrogen reservoir that is generally overlooked in nitrogen cycles. In this review we show three specialized plant adaptations that allow for the recovery of insect nitrogen; that is, plants gaining nitrogen from insects. First, we show specialized adaptations by carnivorous plants in low nitrogen habitats. Insect carnivorous plants such as pitcher plants and sundews (Nepenthaceae/Sarraceniaceae and Drosera respectively) are able to obtain substantial amounts of nitrogen from the insects that they capture. Secondly, numerous plants form associations with mycorrhizal fungi that can provide soluble nitrogen from the soil, some of which may be insect-derived nitrogen, obtained from decaying insects or insect frass. Finally, a specialized group of endophytic, insect-pathogenic fungi (EIPF) provide host plants with insect-derived nitrogen. These soil-inhabiting fungi form a remarkable symbiosis with certain plant species. They can infect a wide range of insect hosts and also form endophytic associations in which they transfer insect-derived nitrogen to the plant. Root colonizing fungi are found in disparate fungal phylogenetic lineages, indicating possible convergent evolutionary strategies between taxa, evolution potentially driven by access to carbon-containing root exudates.

  13. Which solvent for olfactory testing?

    PubMed

    Philpott, C M; Goodenough, P C; Wolstenholme, C R; Murty, G E

    2004-12-01

    The physical properties of any carrier can deteriorate over time and thus alter the results in any olfactory test. The aim of this study was to evaluate clinically potential solvents as a clean odourless carrier for olfactory testing. Sweet almond oil, pure coconut oil, pure peach kernel oil, dipropylene glycol, monopropylene glycol, mineral oil and silicone oil were studied. The experimentation was conducted in two parts. First, an olfactory device was used to conduct air through the solvents on a weekly basis using a cohort of six volunteers to assess the perceived odour of each solvent at weekly intervals. Secondly a cross-reference test was performed using small bottled solutions of phenylethyl-alcohol and 1-butanol in 10-fold dilutions to compare any perceived difference in concentrations over a period of 8 weeks. We concluded that mineral oil is the most suitable carrier for the purpose of olfactory testing, possessing many desirable characteristics of an olfactory solvent, and that silicone oil may provide a suitable alternative for odorants with which it is miscible.

  14. Insects: A nutritional alternative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dufour, P. A.

    1981-01-01

    Insects are considered as potential food sources in space. Types of insects consumed are discussed. Hazards of insect ingestion are considered. Insect reproduction, requirements, and raw materials conversion are discussed. Nutrition properties and composition of insects are considered. Preparation of insects as human food is discussed.

  15. Olfactory modulation by dopamine in the context of aversive learning

    PubMed Central

    Riffell, Jeffrey A.; Martin, Joshua P.; Gage, Stephanie L.; Nighorn, Alan J.

    2012-01-01

    The need to detect and process sensory cues varies in different behavioral contexts. Plasticity in sensory coding can be achieved by the context-specific release of neuromodulators in restricted brain areas. The context of aversion triggers the release of dopamine in the insect brain, yet the effects of dopamine on sensory coding are unknown. In this study, we characterize the morphology of dopaminergic neurons that innervate each of the antennal lobes (ALs; the first synaptic neuropils of the olfactory system) of the moth Manduca sexta and demonstrate with electrophysiology that dopamine enhances odor-evoked responses of the majority of AL neurons while reducing the responses of a small minority. Because dopamine release in higher brain areas mediates aversive learning we developed a naturalistic, ecologically inspired aversive learning paradigm in which an innately appetitive host plant floral odor is paired with a mimic of the aversive nectar of herbivorized host plants. This pairing resulted in a decrease in feeding behavior that was blocked when dopamine receptor antagonists were injected directly into the ALs. These results suggest that a transient dopaminergic enhancement of sensory output from the AL contributes to the formation of aversive memories. We propose a model of olfactory modulation in which specific contexts trigger the release of different neuromodulators in the AL to increase olfactory output to downstream areas of processing. PMID:22552185

  16. Olfactory dysfunction in patients with multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Li, Li-Min; Yang, Li-Na; Zhang, Lin-Jie; Fu, Ying; Li, Ting; Qi, Yuan; Wang, Jing; Zhang, Da-Qi; Zhang, Ningnannan; Liu, Jingchun; Yang, Li

    2016-06-15

    Association of changes in olfactory-related structures with olfactory function in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) is not well understood. We used a T&T olfactometer test kit to evaluate olfactory function in 26 patients with MS and 26 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HC). Then, Brain MRI were performed and olfactory-related structures were analyzed in these subjects. Olfactory detection and recognition threshold were significantly higher in the MS group, interestingly olfactory recognition threshold positively correlated with expanded disability status scale scores in these patients. Olfactory bulb (OB) volume reduced in patients with olfactory dysfunction (ODF). At the same time, reductions in gray matter (GM) volume were observed in the parahippocampal gyrus (PCG), amygdala, piriform cortex, and inferior frontal gyrus in patients with MS compared to HC. Atrophy of the PCG was more obvious in patients with ODF than patients without ODF and the PCG volume correlated with the olfactory recognition threshold, while no difference was found in fractional anisotropy values of tract-based spatial statistics analysis in the two groups. Olfactory function in patients with MS tends to become gradually more impaired with disability aggravation. Decreases in the volume of the OB and olfactory-related GM might provide valuable information about disease status in patients with MS with olfactory impairment. PMID:27206870

  17. Cadmium-induced olfactory dysfunction in rainbow trout: Effects of binary and quaternary metal mixtures.

    PubMed

    Dew, William A; Veldhoen, Nik; Carew, Amanda C; Helbing, Caren C; Pyle, Greg G

    2016-03-01

    A functioning olfactory response is essential for fish to be able to undertake essential behaviors. The majority of work investigating the effects of metals on the olfactory response of fish has focused on single-metal exposures. In this study we exposed rainbow trout to cadmium, copper, nickel, zinc, or a mixture of these four metals at or below the current Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment guidelines for the protection of aquatic life. Measurement of olfactory acuity using an electro-olfactogram demonstrated that cadmium causes significant impairment of the entire olfactory system, while the other three metals or the mixture of all four metals did not. Binary mixtures with cadmium and each of the other metals demonstrated that nickel and zinc, but not copper, protect against cadmium-induced olfactory dysfunction. Testing was done to determine if the protection from cadmium-induced olfactory dysfunction could be explained by binding competition between cadmium and the other metals at the cell surface, or if the protection could be explained by an up-regulation of an intracellular detoxification pathway, namely metallothionein. This study is the first to measure the effects of binary and quaternary metal mixtures on the olfactory response of fish, something that will aid in future assessments of the effects of metals on the environment. PMID:26775207

  18. Cadmium-induced olfactory dysfunction in rainbow trout: Effects of binary and quaternary metal mixtures.

    PubMed

    Dew, William A; Veldhoen, Nik; Carew, Amanda C; Helbing, Caren C; Pyle, Greg G

    2016-03-01

    A functioning olfactory response is essential for fish to be able to undertake essential behaviors. The majority of work investigating the effects of metals on the olfactory response of fish has focused on single-metal exposures. In this study we exposed rainbow trout to cadmium, copper, nickel, zinc, or a mixture of these four metals at or below the current Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment guidelines for the protection of aquatic life. Measurement of olfactory acuity using an electro-olfactogram demonstrated that cadmium causes significant impairment of the entire olfactory system, while the other three metals or the mixture of all four metals did not. Binary mixtures with cadmium and each of the other metals demonstrated that nickel and zinc, but not copper, protect against cadmium-induced olfactory dysfunction. Testing was done to determine if the protection from cadmium-induced olfactory dysfunction could be explained by binding competition between cadmium and the other metals at the cell surface, or if the protection could be explained by an up-regulation of an intracellular detoxification pathway, namely metallothionein. This study is the first to measure the effects of binary and quaternary metal mixtures on the olfactory response of fish, something that will aid in future assessments of the effects of metals on the environment.

  19. Hebbian learning for olfactory sequences.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Andrew J; Cauchi, Laura; Miles, Christopher

    2013-06-01

    The present paper explores the generality of the Hebb repetition effect to the learning of olfactory sequences in order to assess commonality of memory functioning across sensory modalities. Participants completed a serial-order reconstruction task comprising sequences of four olfactory stimuli. Following presentation of each sequence, participants were re-presented with the odours and were required to reconstruct their order of presentation. Surreptitious re-presentation of the repeated sequence occurred on every third trial. This order reconstruction task produced a serial-position function comprising recency only for both the non-repeated and the repeated sequences. Importantly, serial-order reconstruction for the repeated odour sequence produced improved performance for that sequence compared to the non-repeated sequences. This observation of a Hebb repetition effect for olfactory sequences further supports the proposition that sequential learning can operate amodally.

  20. Olfactory dysfunction in Down's Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Murphy, C; Jinich, S

    1996-01-01

    Down's Syndrome subjects over 40 years old show neuropathology similar to that of Alzheimer's disease. The olfactory system is particularly vulnerable in Alzheimer's disease, both anatomically and functionally. Several measures of sensory and cognitive functioning were studied in the older Down's Syndrome patient, with the hypothesis of significant olfactory dysfunction. Participants were 23 Down's subjects, and 23 controls. The Dementia Rating Scale showed mean scores of 103 for Down's subjects and 141 for controls. Down's subjects showed significant deficits in odor detection threshold, odor identification, and odor recognition memory. Normal performance in a taste threshold task, similar to the olfactory threshold task in subject demands, suggested that the Down's syndrome subjects' poor performance was not due to task demands. Deficits in olfaction may provide a sensitive and early indicator of the deterioration and progression of the brain in older subjects with Down's Syndrome.

  1. Aging in the olfactory system.

    PubMed

    Mobley, Arie S; Rodriguez-Gil, Diego J; Imamura, Fumiaki; Greer, Charles A

    2014-02-01

    With advancing age, the ability of humans to detect and discriminate odors declines. In light of the rapid progress in analyzing molecular and structural correlates of developing and adult olfactory systems, the paucity of information available on the aged olfactory system is startling. A rich literature documents the decline of olfactory acuity in aged humans, but the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. Using animal models, preliminary work is beginning to uncover differences between young and aged rodents that may help address the deficits seen in humans, but many questions remain unanswered. Recent studies of odorant receptor (OR) expression, synaptic organization, adult neurogenesis, and the contribution of cortical representation during aging suggest possible underlying mechanisms and new research directions.

  2. Insect evolution.

    PubMed

    Engel, Michael S

    2015-10-01

    It goes without saying that insects epitomize diversity, and with over a million documented species they stand out as one of the most remarkable lineages in the 3.5-billion-year history of life on earth (Figure 1). This reality is passé to even the layperson and is taken for granted in the same way none of us think much of our breathing as we go about our day, and yet insects are just as vital to our existence. Insects are simultaneously familiar and foreign to us, and while a small fraction are beloved or reviled, most are simply ignored. These inexorable evolutionary overachievers outnumber us all, their segmented body plan is remarkably labile, they combine a capacity for high rates of speciation with low levels of natural extinction, and their history of successes eclipses those of the more familiar ages of dinosaurs and mammals alike. It is their evolution - persisting over vast expanses of geological time and inextricably implicated in the diversification of other lineages - that stands as one of the most expansive subjects in biology. PMID:26439349

  3. Insect evolution.

    PubMed

    Engel, Michael S

    2015-10-01

    It goes without saying that insects epitomize diversity, and with over a million documented species they stand out as one of the most remarkable lineages in the 3.5-billion-year history of life on earth (Figure 1). This reality is passé to even the layperson and is taken for granted in the same way none of us think much of our breathing as we go about our day, and yet insects are just as vital to our existence. Insects are simultaneously familiar and foreign to us, and while a small fraction are beloved or reviled, most are simply ignored. These inexorable evolutionary overachievers outnumber us all, their segmented body plan is remarkably labile, they combine a capacity for high rates of speciation with low levels of natural extinction, and their history of successes eclipses those of the more familiar ages of dinosaurs and mammals alike. It is their evolution - persisting over vast expanses of geological time and inextricably implicated in the diversification of other lineages - that stands as one of the most expansive subjects in biology.

  4. Classical olfactory conditioning in the cockroach Periplaneta americana.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Hidehiro; Kobayashi, Yuko; Sakura, Midori; Matsumoto, Yukihisa; Mizunami, Makoto

    2003-12-01

    We established a classical conditioning procedure for the cockroach, Periplaneta americana, by which odors were associated with reward or punishment. Cockroaches underwent differential conditioning trials in which peppermint odor was associated with sucrose solution and vanilla odor was associated with saline solution. Odor preference of cockroaches was tested by allowing them to choose between peppermint and vanilla sources. Cockroaches that had undergone one set of differential conditioning trials exhibited a significantly greater preference for peppermint odor than did untrained cockroaches. Memory formed by three sets of differential conditioning trials, with an inter-trial interval of 5 min, was retained at least 4 days after conditioning. This conditioning procedure was effective even for cockroaches that had been harnessed in plastic tubes. This study shows, for the first time in hemimetaborous insects, that both freely moving and harnessed insects are capable of forming olfactory memory by classical conditioning procedure. This procedure may be useful for future electrophysiological and pharmacological studies aimed at elucidation of neural mechanisms underlying olfactory learning and memory.

  5. Cell-free expression, purification, and ligand-binding analysis of Drosophila melanogaster olfactory receptors DmOR67a, DmOR85b and DmORCO.

    PubMed

    Tegler, Lotta Tollstoy; Corin, Karolina; Hillger, Julia; Wassie, Brooke; Yu, Yanmei; Zhang, Shuguang

    2015-01-01

    Insects transmit numerous devastating diseases, including malaria, dengue fever, and sleeping sickness. Olfactory cues guide insects to their hosts, and are thus responsible for disease transmission. Understanding the molecular basis of insect olfaction could facilitate the development of interventions. The first step is to heterologously overexpress and purify insect olfactory receptors (ORs). This is challenging, as ORs are membrane proteins. Here, we show that insect ORs and their co-receptor can be expressed in an E. coli cell-free system. After immunoaffinity chromatography, the ORs are ~95% pure, and up to 1 mg/10 ml reaction is obtained. Circular dichroism together with microscale thermophoresis indicate that each receptor is properly folded, and can bind its respective ligand. This is the first time insect ORs have been expressed in an E. coli system. The methods described here could facilitate future structure-function studies, which may aid in developments to alleviate the suffering of millions caused by insect-transmitted diseases.

  6. Influence of environmental stimulation on neurogenesis in the adult insect brain.

    PubMed

    Scotto Lomassese, S; Strambi, C; Strambi, A; Charpin, P; Augier, R; Aouane, A; Cayre, M

    2000-11-15

    Mushroom bodies are the main integrative structures of insect brain. They receive sensory information from the eyes, the palps, and the antennae. In the house cricket, Acheta domesticus, a cluster of mushroom body neuroblasts keeps producing new interneurons during an insect's life span. The aim of the present work is to study the impact of environmental stimuli on mushroom body neurogenesis during adulthood. Crickets were reared either in an enriched environment, where they received complex environmental and congeneric stimulations or isolated in small cages and deprived of most visual, auditory, and olfactory stimuli. They then were injected with a S-phase marker, 5-bromo, 2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) and sacrificed at different periods of their life. Neurogenesis and cell survival were estimated by counting the number of BrdU-labeled cells in the mushroom bodies. Environmentally enriched crickets were found to have an increased number of newborn cells in their mushroom bodies compared with crickets housed in cages with an impoverished environment. This effect of external factors on neurogenesis seems to be limited to the beginning of imaginal life. Furthermore, no cell loss could be detected among the newborn neurons in either environmental situation, suggesting that cell survival was not affected by the quality of the environment. Considering vertebrate studies which showed that enriched environment increases hippocampal cell survival and improves animal performances in spatial learning tests, we suggest that the increased number of interneurons produced in an integrative brain structure after exposure to enriched environment could contribute to adaptive behavioral performances in adult insects.

  7. Olfactory dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Zou, Yong-ming; Lu, Da; Liu, Li-ping; Zhang, Hui-hong; Zhou, Yu-ying

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder with the earliest clinical symptom of olfactory dysfunction, which is a potential clinical marker for AD severity and progression. However, many questions remain unanswered. This article reviews relevant research on olfactory dysfunction in AD and evaluates the predictive value of olfactory dysfunction for the epidemiological, pathophysiological, and clinical features of AD, as well as for the conversion of cognitive impairment to AD. We summarize problems of existing studies and provide a useful reference for further studies in AD olfactory dysfunction and for clinical applications of olfactory testing. PMID:27143888

  8. Insect abatement system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spiro, Clifford Lawrence (Inventor); Burnell, Timothy Brydon (Inventor); Wengrovius, Jeffrey Hayward (Inventor)

    1997-01-01

    An insect abatement system prevents adhesion of insect debris to surfaces which must be kept substantially free of insect debris. An article is coated with an insect abatement coating comprising polyorganosiloxane with a Shore A hardness of less than 50 and a tensile strength of less than 4 MPa. A method for preventing the adhesion of insect debris to surfaces includes the step of applying an insect abatement coating to a surface which must be kept substantially free of insect debris.

  9. Olfactory receptor neuron profiling using sandalwood odorants.

    PubMed

    Bieri, Stephan; Monastyrskaia, Katherine; Schilling, Boris

    2004-07-01

    The mammalian olfactory system can discriminate between volatile molecules with subtle differences in their molecular structures. Efforts in synthetic chemistry have delivered a myriad of smelling compounds of different qualities as well as many molecules with very similar olfactive properties. One important class of molecules in the fragrance industry are sandalwood odorants. Sandalwood oil and four synthetic sandalwood molecules were selected to study the activation profile of endogenous olfactory receptors when exposed to compounds from the same odorant family. Dissociated rat olfactory receptor neurons were exposed to the sandalwood molecules and the receptor activation studied by monitoring fluxes in the internal calcium concentration. Olfactory receptor neurons were identified that were specifically stimulated by sandalwood compounds. These neurons expressed olfactory receptors that can discriminate between sandalwood odorants with slight differences in their molecular structures. This is the first study in which an important class of perfume compounds was analyzed for its ability to activate endogenous olfactory receptors in olfactory receptor neurons.

  10. Hypothyroidism Affects Olfactory Evoked Potentials

    PubMed Central

    Świdziński, Teodor; Czerniejewska-Wolska, Hanna; Wiskirska-Woźnica, Bożena; Owecki, Maciej; Głowacka, Maria Danuta; Frankowska, Anna; Łącka, Katarzyna; Glapiński, Mariusz; Maciejewska-Szaniec, Zofia; Świdziński, Piotr

    2016-01-01

    Background. Objective electrophysiological methods for investigations of the organ of smell consist in recordings of olfactory cortex responses to specific, time restricted odor stimuli. In hypothyroidism have impaired sense of smell. Material and Methods. Two groups: control of 31 healthy subjects and study group of 21 with hypothyroidism. The inclusion criterion for the study group was the TSH range from 3.54 to 110 μIU/mL. Aim. Assessment of the latency time of evoked responses from the olfactory nerve N1 and the trigeminal nerve N5 using two smells of mint and anise in hypothyroidism. Results. The smell perception in subjective olfactory tests was normal in 85% of the hypothyroid group. Differences were noticed in the objective tests. The detailed intergroup analysis of latency times of recorded cortical responses PN5 and PN1 performed by means between the groups of patients with overt clinical hypothyroidism versus subclinical hypothyroidism demonstrated a significant difference (p < 0.05) whereas no such differences were found between the control group versus subclinical hypothyroidism group (p > 0.05). Conclusion. We can conclude that registration of cortex potentials at irritation of olfactory and trigeminal nerves offers possibilities for using this method as an objective indicator of hypothyroidism severity and prognostic process factor. PMID:27656655

  11. Hypothyroidism Affects Olfactory Evoked Potentials

    PubMed Central

    Świdziński, Teodor; Czerniejewska-Wolska, Hanna; Wiskirska-Woźnica, Bożena; Owecki, Maciej; Głowacka, Maria Danuta; Frankowska, Anna; Łącka, Katarzyna; Glapiński, Mariusz; Maciejewska-Szaniec, Zofia; Świdziński, Piotr

    2016-01-01

    Background. Objective electrophysiological methods for investigations of the organ of smell consist in recordings of olfactory cortex responses to specific, time restricted odor stimuli. In hypothyroidism have impaired sense of smell. Material and Methods. Two groups: control of 31 healthy subjects and study group of 21 with hypothyroidism. The inclusion criterion for the study group was the TSH range from 3.54 to 110 μIU/mL. Aim. Assessment of the latency time of evoked responses from the olfactory nerve N1 and the trigeminal nerve N5 using two smells of mint and anise in hypothyroidism. Results. The smell perception in subjective olfactory tests was normal in 85% of the hypothyroid group. Differences were noticed in the objective tests. The detailed intergroup analysis of latency times of recorded cortical responses PN5 and PN1 performed by means between the groups of patients with overt clinical hypothyroidism versus subclinical hypothyroidism demonstrated a significant difference (p < 0.05) whereas no such differences were found between the control group versus subclinical hypothyroidism group (p > 0.05). Conclusion. We can conclude that registration of cortex potentials at irritation of olfactory and trigeminal nerves offers possibilities for using this method as an objective indicator of hypothyroidism severity and prognostic process factor.

  12. Olfactory dysfunction in degenerative ataxias.

    PubMed

    Connelly, T; Farmer, J M; Lynch, D R; Doty, R L

    2003-10-01

    Several lines of evidence suggest that the cerebellum may play a role in higher-order olfactory processing. In this study, we administered the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT), a standardised test of olfactory function, to patients with ataxias primarily due to cerebellar pathology (spinocerebellar ataxias and related disorders) and to patients with Friedreich ataxia, an ataxia associated mainly with loss of afferent cerebellar pathways. UPSIT scores were slightly lower in both patient groups than in the control subjects, but no differences were noted between the scores of the Friedreich and the other ataxia patients. Within the Friedreich ataxia group, the smell test scores did not correlate with the number of pathologic GAA repeats (a marker of genetic severity), disease duration, or categorical ambulatory ability. UPSIT scores did not correlate with disease duration, although they correlated marginally with ambulatory status in the patients with cerebellar pathology. This study suggests that olfactory dysfunction may be a subtle clinical component of degenerative ataxias, in concordance with the hypothesis that the cerebellum or its afferents plays some role in central olfactory processing.

  13. The activity-dependent histone variant H2BE modulates the life span of olfactory neurons

    PubMed Central

    Santoro, Stephen W; Dulac, Catherine

    2012-01-01

    We have identified a replication-independent histone variant, Hist2h2be (referred to herein as H2be), which is expressed exclusively by olfactory chemosensory neurons. Levels of H2BE are heterogeneous among olfactory neurons, but stereotyped according to the identity of the co-expressed olfactory receptor (OR). Gain- and loss-of-function experiments demonstrate that changes in H2be expression affect olfactory function and OR representation in the adult olfactory epithelium. We show that H2BE expression is reduced by sensory activity and that it promotes neuronal cell death, such that inactive olfactory neurons display higher levels of the variant and shorter life spans. Post-translational modifications (PTMs) of H2BE differ from those of the canonical H2B, consistent with a role for H2BE in altering transcription. We propose a physiological function for H2be in modulating olfactory neuron population dynamics to adapt the OR repertoire to the environment. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00070.001 PMID:23240083

  14. Chronic variable stress exposure in male Wistar rats affects the first step of olfactory detection.

    PubMed

    Raynaud, Aurélien; Meunier, Nicolas; Acquistapace, Adrien; Bombail, Vincent

    2015-09-15

    For most animal species, olfaction plays a paramount role in their perception of the environment. Odours are initially detected in neurons located in the olfactory mucosa. This tissue is regulated by several physiological signals and can be altered in pathology. A number of clinical studies suggest an association between depressive disorders and olfactory sensory loss. In rodents, depressive-like states can be observed in models of chronic stress. We tested the hypothesis that olfactory function might be altered in a rat model of depression, induced by chronic variable stress (CVS). While CVS rats exhibited several symptoms consistent with chronic stress exposure and depressive-like states (increased sucrose intake in sucrose preference test, increased immobility in forced swim test, hyperlocomotion), their odorant responses recorded at the olfactory mucosa level by electro-olfactogram were decreased. In addition we observed increased apoptosis markers in the olfactory mucosa using Western Blot. Our data are consistent with reduced olfactory capacities in a laboratory rat model of chronic stress and depression, in agreement with human clinical data; this warrants further mechanistic studies. Furthermore, this works raises the possibility that altered olfactory function might be a confounding factor in the behavioural testing of chronically stressed or depressed rats.

  15. Brief sensory experience differentially affects the volume of olfactory brain centres in a moth.

    PubMed

    Anton, Sylvia; Chabaud, Marie-Ange; Schmidt-Büsser, Daniela; Gadenne, Bruno; Iqbal, Javaid; Juchaux, Marjorie; List, Olivier; Gaertner, Cyril; Devaud, Jean-Marc

    2016-04-01

    Experience modifies behaviour in animals so that they adapt to their environment. In male noctuid moths, Spodoptera littoralis, brief pre-exposure to various behaviourally relevant sensory signals modifies subsequent behaviour towards the same or different sensory modalities. Correlated with a behavioural increase in responses of male moths to the female-emitted sex pheromone after pre-exposure to olfactory, acoustic or gustatory stimuli, an increase in sensitivity of olfactory neurons within the primary olfactory centre, the antennal lobe, is found for olfactory and acoustic stimuli, but not for gustatory stimuli. Here, we investigated whether anatomical changes occurring in the antennal lobes and in the mushroom bodies (the secondary olfactory centres) possibly correlated with the changes observed in behaviour and in olfactory neuron physiology. Our results showed that significant volume changes occurred in glomeruli (olfactory units) responsive to sex pheromone following exposure to both pheromone and predator sounds. The volume of the mushroom body input region (calyx) also increased significantly after pheromone and predator sound treatment. However, we found no changes in the volume of antennal lobe glomeruli or of the mushroom body calyx after pre-exposure to sucrose. These findings show a relationship of antennal lobe sensitivity changes to the pheromone with changes in the volume of the related glomeruli and the output area of antennal lobe projection neurons elicited by sensory cues causing a behavioural change. Behavioural changes observed after sucrose pre-exposure must originate from changes in higher integration centres in the brain. PMID:26463049

  16. Antennal uridine diphosphate (UDP)-glycosyltransferases in a pest insect: diversity and putative function in odorant and xenobiotics clearance.

    PubMed

    Bozzolan, F; Siaussat, D; Maria, A; Durand, N; Pottier, M-A; Chertemps, T; Maïbèche-Coisne, M

    2014-10-01

    Uridine diphosphate UDP-glycosyltransferases (UGTs) are detoxification enzymes widely distributed within living organisms. They are involved in the biotransformation of various lipophilic endogenous compounds and xenobiotics, including odorants. Several UGTs have been reported in the olfactory organs of mammals and involved in olfactory processing and detoxification within the olfactory mucosa but, in insects, this enzyme family is still poorly studied. Despite recent transcriptomic analyses, the diversity of antennal UGTs in insects has not been investigated. To date, only three UGT cDNAs have been shown to be expressed in insect olfactory organs. In the present study, we report the identification of eleven putative UGTs expressed in the antennae of the model pest insect Spodoptera littoralis. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that these UGTs belong to five different families, highlighting their structural diversity. In addition, two genes, UGT40R3 and UGT46A6, were either specifically expressed or overexpressed in the antennae, suggesting specific roles in this sensory organ. Exposure of male moths to the sex pheromone and to a plant odorant differentially downregulated the transcription levels of these two genes, revealing for the first time the regulation of insect UGTs by odorant exposure. Moreover, the specific antennal gene UGT46A6 was upregulated by insecticide topical application on antennae, suggesting its role in the protection of the olfactory organ towards xenobiotics. This work highlights the structural and functional diversity of UGTs within this highly specialized tissue. PMID:24698447

  17. Antennal uridine diphosphate (UDP)-glycosyltransferases in a pest insect: diversity and putative function in odorant and xenobiotics clearance.

    PubMed

    Bozzolan, F; Siaussat, D; Maria, A; Durand, N; Pottier, M-A; Chertemps, T; Maïbèche-Coisne, M

    2014-10-01

    Uridine diphosphate UDP-glycosyltransferases (UGTs) are detoxification enzymes widely distributed within living organisms. They are involved in the biotransformation of various lipophilic endogenous compounds and xenobiotics, including odorants. Several UGTs have been reported in the olfactory organs of mammals and involved in olfactory processing and detoxification within the olfactory mucosa but, in insects, this enzyme family is still poorly studied. Despite recent transcriptomic analyses, the diversity of antennal UGTs in insects has not been investigated. To date, only three UGT cDNAs have been shown to be expressed in insect olfactory organs. In the present study, we report the identification of eleven putative UGTs expressed in the antennae of the model pest insect Spodoptera littoralis. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that these UGTs belong to five different families, highlighting their structural diversity. In addition, two genes, UGT40R3 and UGT46A6, were either specifically expressed or overexpressed in the antennae, suggesting specific roles in this sensory organ. Exposure of male moths to the sex pheromone and to a plant odorant differentially downregulated the transcription levels of these two genes, revealing for the first time the regulation of insect UGTs by odorant exposure. Moreover, the specific antennal gene UGT46A6 was upregulated by insecticide topical application on antennae, suggesting its role in the protection of the olfactory organ towards xenobiotics. This work highlights the structural and functional diversity of UGTs within this highly specialized tissue.

  18. Simple and Computer-assisted Olfactory Testing for Mice.

    PubMed

    Brai, Emanuele; Alberi, Lavinia

    2015-01-01

    Olfaction is highly conserved among species and is required for reproduction and survival. In humans, olfaction is also one of the senses that is affected with aging and is a strong predictor of neurodegenerative diseases. Thus, olfaction testing is used as a non-invasive diagnostic method to detect neurological deficits early on. In order to understand the mechanisms underlying olfactory network susceptibility, olfactory research in rodents has gained momentum in the past decade. Here, we present a very simple, time efficient and reproducible olfactory testing method of innate odor perception and sensitivity in mice without the need of any prior food or water restriction. The tests are performed in a familiar environment to the mice, require only the scents and a 2 min session of odorant exposure. The analysis is performed, post-hoc, using computer-assisted commands on ImageJ and can be, therefore, carried out from start to end by one researcher. This protocol does not require any special hardware or setup and is indicated for any laboratory interested in testing olfactory perception and sensitivity.

  19. Nonlinear response speedup in bimodal visual-olfactory object identification

    PubMed Central

    Höchenberger, Richard; Busch, Niko A.; Ohla, Kathrin

    2015-01-01

    Multisensory processes are vital in the perception of our environment. In the evaluation of foodstuff, redundant sensory inputs not only assist the identification of edible and nutritious substances, but also help avoiding the ingestion of possibly hazardous substances. While it is known that the non-chemical senses interact already at early processing levels, it remains unclear whether the visual and olfactory senses exhibit comparable interaction effects. To address this question, we tested whether the perception of congruent bimodal visual-olfactory objects is facilitated compared to unimodal stimulation. We measured response times (RT) and accuracy during speeded object identification. The onset of the visual and olfactory constituents in bimodal trials was physically aligned in the first and perceptually aligned in the second experiment. We tested whether the data favored coactivation or parallel processing consistent with race models. A redundant-signals effect was observed for perceptually aligned redundant stimuli only, i.e., bimodal stimuli were identified faster than either of the unimodal components. Analysis of the RT distributions and accuracy data revealed that these observations could be explained by a race model. More specifically, visual and olfactory channels appeared to be operating in a parallel, positively dependent manner. While these results suggest the absence of early sensory interactions, future studies are needed to substantiate this interpretation. PMID:26483730

  20. Integration of Visual and Olfactory Cues in Host Plant Identification by the Asian Longhorned Beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis (Motschulsky) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae).

    PubMed

    Yv, Fei L; Hai, Xiaoxia; Wang, Zhigang; Yan, Aihua; Liu, Bingxiang; Bi, Yongguo

    2015-01-01

    Some insects use host and mate cues, including odor, color, and shape, to locate and recognize their preferred hosts and mates. Previous research has shown that the Asian longicorn beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis (Motschulsky), uses olfactory cues to locate host plants and differentiate them from non-host plants. However, whether A. glabripennis adults use visual cues or a combination of visual and olfactory cues remains unclear. In this study, we tested the host location and recognition behavior in A. glabripennis, which infests a number of hardwood species and causes considerable economic losses in North America, Europe and Asia. We determined the relative importance of visual and olfactory cues from Acer negundo in host plant location and recognition, as well as in the discrimination of non-host plants (Sabina chinensis and Pinus bungeana), by female and male A. glabripennis. Visual and olfactory cues from the host plants (A. negundo), alone and combined, attracted significantly more females and males than equivalent cues from non-host plants (S. chinensis and P. bungeana). Furthermore, the combination of visual and olfactory cues of host plants attracted more adults than either cue alone, and visual cues alone attracted significantly more adults than olfactory cues alone. This finding suggests that adult A. glabripennis has an innate preference for the visual and/or olfactory cues of its host plants (A. negundo) over those of the non-host plant and visual cues are initially more important than olfactory cues for orientation; furthermore, this finding also suggests that adults integrate visual and olfactory cues to find their host plants. Our results indicate that different modalities of host plant cues should be considered together to understand fully the communication between host plants and Asian longhorned beetles. PMID:26556100

  1. Integration of Visual and Olfactory Cues in Host Plant Identification by the Asian Longhorned Beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis (Motschulsky) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)

    PubMed Central

    L.Yv, Fei; Hai, Xiaoxia; Wang, Zhigang; Yan, Aihua; Liu, Bingxiang; Bi, Yongguo

    2015-01-01

    Some insects use host and mate cues, including odor, color, and shape, to locate and recognize their preferred hosts and mates. Previous research has shown that the Asian longicorn beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis (Motschulsky), uses olfactory cues to locate host plants and differentiate them from non-host plants. However, whether A. glabripennis adults use visual cues or a combination of visual and olfactory cues remains unclear. In this study, we tested the host location and recognition behavior in A. glabripennis, which infests a number of hardwood species and causes considerable economic losses in North America, Europe and Asia. We determined the relative importance of visual and olfactory cues from Acer negundo in host plant location and recognition, as well as in the discrimination of non-host plants (Sabina chinensis and Pinus bungeana), by female and male A. glabripennis. Visual and olfactory cues from the host plants (A. negundo), alone and combined, attracted significantly more females and males than equivalent cues from non-host plants (S. chinensis and P. bungeana). Furthermore, the combination of visual and olfactory cues of host plants attracted more adults than either cue alone, and visual cues alone attracted significantly more adults than olfactory cues alone. This finding suggests that adult A. glabripennis has an innate preference for the visual and/or olfactory cues of its host plants (A. negundo) over those of the non-host plant and visual cues are initially more important than olfactory cues for orientation; furthermore, this finding also suggests that adults integrate visual and olfactory cues to find their host plants. Our results indicate that different modalities of host plant cues should be considered together to understand fully the communication between host plants and Asian longhorned beetles. PMID:26556100

  2. Integration of Visual and Olfactory Cues in Host Plant Identification by the Asian Longhorned Beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis (Motschulsky) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae).

    PubMed

    Yv, Fei L; Hai, Xiaoxia; Wang, Zhigang; Yan, Aihua; Liu, Bingxiang; Bi, Yongguo

    2015-01-01

    Some insects use host and mate cues, including odor, color, and shape, to locate and recognize their preferred hosts and mates. Previous research has shown that the Asian longicorn beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis (Motschulsky), uses olfactory cues to locate host plants and differentiate them from non-host plants. However, whether A. glabripennis adults use visual cues or a combination of visual and olfactory cues remains unclear. In this study, we tested the host location and recognition behavior in A. glabripennis, which infests a number of hardwood species and causes considerable economic losses in North America, Europe and Asia. We determined the relative importance of visual and olfactory cues from Acer negundo in host plant location and recognition, as well as in the discrimination of non-host plants (Sabina chinensis and Pinus bungeana), by female and male A. glabripennis. Visual and olfactory cues from the host plants (A. negundo), alone and combined, attracted significantly more females and males than equivalent cues from non-host plants (S. chinensis and P. bungeana). Furthermore, the combination of visual and olfactory cues of host plants attracted more adults than either cue alone, and visual cues alone attracted significantly more adults than olfactory cues alone. This finding suggests that adult A. glabripennis has an innate preference for the visual and/or olfactory cues of its host plants (A. negundo) over those of the non-host plant and visual cues are initially more important than olfactory cues for orientation; furthermore, this finding also suggests that adults integrate visual and olfactory cues to find their host plants. Our results indicate that different modalities of host plant cues should be considered together to understand fully the communication between host plants and Asian longhorned beetles.

  3. Geographical matching of volatile signals and pollinator olfactory responses in a cycad brood-site mutualism.

    PubMed

    Suinyuy, Terence N; Donaldson, John S; Johnson, Steven D

    2015-10-01

    Brood-site mutualisms represent extreme levels of reciprocal specialization between plants and insect pollinators, raising questions about whether these mutualisms are mediated by volatile signals and whether these signals and insect responses to them covary geographically in a manner expected from coevolution. Cycads are an ancient plant lineage in which almost all extant species are pollinated through brood-site mutualisms with insects. We investigated whether volatile emissions and insect olfactory responses are matched across the distribution range of the African cycad Encephalartos villosus. This cycad species is pollinated by the same beetle species across its distribution, but cone volatile emissions are dominated by alkenes in northern populations, and by monoterpenes and a pyrazine compound in southern populations. In reciprocal choice experiments, insects chose the scent of cones from the local region over that of cones from the other region. Antennae of beetles from northern populations responded mainly to alkenes, while those of beetles from southern populations responded mainly to pyrazine. In bioassay experiments, beetles were most strongly attracted to alkenes in northern populations and to the pyrazine compound in southern populations. Geographical matching of cone volatiles and pollinator olfactory preference is consistent with coevolution in this specialized mutualism. PMID:26446814

  4. Geographical matching of volatile signals and pollinator olfactory responses in a cycad brood-site mutualism

    PubMed Central

    Suinyuy, Terence N.; Donaldson, John S.; Johnson, Steven D.

    2015-01-01

    Brood-site mutualisms represent extreme levels of reciprocal specialization between plants and insect pollinators, raising questions about whether these mutualisms are mediated by volatile signals and whether these signals and insect responses to them covary geographically in a manner expected from coevolution. Cycads are an ancient plant lineage in which almost all extant species are pollinated through brood-site mutualisms with insects. We investigated whether volatile emissions and insect olfactory responses are matched across the distribution range of the African cycad Encephalartos villosus. This cycad species is pollinated by the same beetle species across its distribution, but cone volatile emissions are dominated by alkenes in northern populations, and by monoterpenes and a pyrazine compound in southern populations. In reciprocal choice experiments, insects chose the scent of cones from the local region over that of cones from the other region. Antennae of beetles from northern populations responded mainly to alkenes, while those of beetles from southern populations responded mainly to pyrazine. In bioassay experiments, beetles were most strongly attracted to alkenes in northern populations and to the pyrazine compound in southern populations. Geographical matching of cone volatiles and pollinator olfactory preference is consistent with coevolution in this specialized mutualism. PMID:26446814

  5. Geographical matching of volatile signals and pollinator olfactory responses in a cycad brood-site mutualism.

    PubMed

    Suinyuy, Terence N; Donaldson, John S; Johnson, Steven D

    2015-10-01

    Brood-site mutualisms represent extreme levels of reciprocal specialization between plants and insect pollinators, raising questions about whether these mutualisms are mediated by volatile signals and whether these signals and insect responses to them covary geographically in a manner expected from coevolution. Cycads are an ancient plant lineage in which almost all extant species are pollinated through brood-site mutualisms with insects. We investigated whether volatile emissions and insect olfactory responses are matched across the distribution range of the African cycad Encephalartos villosus. This cycad species is pollinated by the same beetle species across its distribution, but cone volatile emissions are dominated by alkenes in northern populations, and by monoterpenes and a pyrazine compound in southern populations. In reciprocal choice experiments, insects chose the scent of cones from the local region over that of cones from the other region. Antennae of beetles from northern populations responded mainly to alkenes, while those of beetles from southern populations responded mainly to pyrazine. In bioassay experiments, beetles were most strongly attracted to alkenes in northern populations and to the pyrazine compound in southern populations. Geographical matching of cone volatiles and pollinator olfactory preference is consistent with coevolution in this specialized mutualism.

  6. Centrifugal innervation of the mammalian olfactory bulb.

    PubMed

    Matsutani, Shinji; Yamamoto, Noboru

    2008-12-01

    Although it has been known for decades that the mammalian olfactory bulb receives a substantial number of centrifugal inputs from other regions of the brain, relatively few data have been available on the function of the centrifugal olfactory system. Knowing the role of the centrifugal projection and how it works is of critical importance to fully understanding olfaction. The centrifugal fibers can be classified into two groups, a group that release neuromodulators, such as noradrenaline, serotonin, or acetylcholine, and a group originating in the olfactory cortex. Accumulating evidence suggests that centrifugal neuromodulatory inputs are associated with acquisition of odor memory. Because the distribution of the terminals on these fibers is diffuse and widespread, the neuromodulatory inputs must affect diverse subsets of bulbar neurons at the same time. In contrast, knowledge of the role of centrifugal fibers from the olfactory cortical areas is limited. Judging from recent morphological evidence, these fibers may modify the activity of neurons located in sparse and discrete loci in the olfactory bulb. Given the modular organization of the olfactory bulb, centrifugal fibers from the olfactory cortex may help coordinate the activities of restricted subsets of neurons belonging to distinct functional modules in an odor-specific manner. Because the olfactory cortex receives inputs from limbic and neocortical areas in addition to inputs from the bulb, the centrifugal inputs from the cortex can modulate odor processing in the bulb in response to non-olfactory as well as olfactory cues.

  7. Allergies to Insect Venom

    MedlinePlus

    ... The smell of food attracts these insects.  Use insect repellents and keep insecticide available. Treatment tips:  Venom immunotherapy (allergy shots to insect venom(s) is highly effective in preventing subsequent sting ...

  8. Notch1 activity in the olfactory bulb is odour-dependent and contributes to olfactory behaviour.

    PubMed

    Brai, Emanuele; Marathe, Swananda; Zentilin, Lorena; Giacca, Mauro; Nimpf, Johannes; Kretz, Robert; Scotti, Alessandra; Alberi, Lavinia

    2014-11-01

    Notch signalling plays an important role in synaptic plasticity, learning and memory functions in both Drosophila and rodents. In this paper, we report that this feature is not restricted to hippocampal networks but also involves the olfactory bulb (OB). Odour discrimination and olfactory learning in rodents are essential for survival. Notch1 expression is enriched in mitral cells of the mouse OB. These principal neurons are responsive to specific input odorants and relay the signal to the olfactory cortex. Olfactory stimulation activates a subset of mitral cells, which show an increase in Notch activity. In Notch1cKOKln mice, the loss of Notch1 in mitral cells affects the magnitude of the neuronal response to olfactory stimuli. In addition, Notch1cKOKln mice display reduced olfactory aversion to propionic acid as compared to wildtype controls. This indicates, for the first time, that Notch1 is involved in olfactory processing and may contribute to olfactory behaviour.

  9. Antennal transcriptome and differential expression of olfactory genes in the yellow peach moth, Conogethes punctiferalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae).

    PubMed

    Jia, Xiao-Jian; Wang, Hai-Xiang; Yan, Zeng-Guang; Zhang, Min-Zhao; Wei, Chun-Hua; Qin, Xiao-Chun; Ji, Wei-Rong; Falabella, Patrizia; Du, Yan-Li

    2016-01-01

    The yellow peach moth (YPM), Conogethes punctiferalis (Guenée), is a multivoltine insect pest of crops and fruits. Antennal-expressed receptors are important for insects to detect olfactory cues for host finding, mate attraction and oviposition site selection. However, few olfactory related genes were reported in YPM until now. In the present study, we sequenced and characterized the antennal transcriptomes of male and female YPM. In total, 15 putative odorant binding proteins (OBPs), 46 putative odorant receptors (ORs) and 7 putative ionotropic receptors (IRs) were annotated and identified as olfactory-related genes of C. punctiferalis. Further analysis of RT-qPCR revealed that all these olfactory genes are primarily or uniquely expressed in male and female antennae. Among which, 3 OBPs (OBP4, OBP8 and PBP2) and 4 ORs (OR22, OR26, OR44 and OR46) were specially expressed in male antennae, whereas 4 ORs (OR5, OR16, OR25 and OR42) were primarily expressed in female antennae. The predicted protein sequences were compared with homologs in other lepidopteran species and model insects, which showed high sequence homologies between C. punctiferalis and O. furnacalis. Our work allows for further functional studies of pheromone and general odorant detection genes, which might be meaningful targets for pest management. PMID:27364081

  10. Antennal transcriptome and differential expression of olfactory genes in the yellow peach moth, Conogethes punctiferalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae)

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Xiao-Jian; Wang, Hai-Xiang; Yan, Zeng-Guang; Zhang, Min-Zhao; Wei, Chun-Hua; Qin, Xiao-Chun; Ji, Wei-Rong; Falabella, Patrizia; Du, Yan-Li

    2016-01-01

    The yellow peach moth (YPM), Conogethes punctiferalis (Guenée), is a multivoltine insect pest of crops and fruits. Antennal-expressed receptors are important for insects to detect olfactory cues for host finding, mate attraction and oviposition site selection. However, few olfactory related genes were reported in YPM until now. In the present study, we sequenced and characterized the antennal transcriptomes of male and female YPM. In total, 15 putative odorant binding proteins (OBPs), 46 putative odorant receptors (ORs) and 7 putative ionotropic receptors (IRs) were annotated and identified as olfactory-related genes of C. punctiferalis. Further analysis of RT-qPCR revealed that all these olfactory genes are primarily or uniquely expressed in male and female antennae. Among which, 3 OBPs (OBP4, OBP8 and PBP2) and 4 ORs (OR22, OR26, OR44 and OR46) were specially expressed in male antennae, whereas 4 ORs (OR5, OR16, OR25 and OR42) were primarily expressed in female antennae. The predicted protein sequences were compared with homologs in other lepidopteran species and model insects, which showed high sequence homologies between C. punctiferalis and O. furnacalis. Our work allows for further functional studies of pheromone and general odorant detection genes, which might be meaningful targets for pest management. PMID:27364081

  11. Neural basis of a pollinator's buffet: olfactory specialization and learning in Manduca sexta.

    PubMed

    Riffell, Jeffrey A; Lei, Hong; Abrell, Leif; Hildebrand, John G

    2013-01-11

    Pollinators exhibit a range of innate and learned behaviors that mediate interactions with flowers, but the olfactory bases of these responses in a naturalistic context remain poorly understood. The hawkmoth Manduca sexta is an important pollinator for many night-blooming flowers but can learn--through olfactory conditioning--to visit other nectar resources. Analysis of the flowers that are innately attractive to moths shows that the scents all have converged on a similar chemical profile that, in turn, is uniquely represented in the moth's antennal (olfactory) lobe. Flexibility in visitation to nonattractive flowers, however, is mediated by octopamine-associated modulation of antennal-lobe neurons during learning. Furthermore, this flexibility does not extinguish the innate preferences. Such processing of stimuli through two olfactory channels, one involving an innate bias and the other a learned association, allows the moths to exist within a dynamic floral environment while maintaining specialized associations.

  12. Temporal processing in the olfactory system: can we see a smell?

    PubMed

    Gire, David H; Restrepo, Diego; Sejnowski, Terrence J; Greer, Charles; De Carlos, Juan A; Lopez-Mascaraque, Laura

    2013-05-01

    Sensory processing circuits in the visual and olfactory systems receive input from complex, rapidly changing environments. Although patterns of light and plumes of odor create different distributions of activity in the retina and olfactory bulb, both structures use what appears on the surface similar temporal coding strategies to convey information to higher areas in the brain. We compare temporal coding in the early stages of the olfactory and visual systems, highlighting recent progress in understanding the role of time in olfactory coding during active sensing by behaving animals. We also examine studies that address the divergent circuit mechanisms that generate temporal codes in the two systems, and find that they provide physiological information directly related to functional questions raised by neuroanatomical studies of Ramon y Cajal over a century ago. Consideration of differences in neural activity in sensory systems contributes to generating new approaches to understand signal processing.

  13. Insect transgenesis and the sterile insect technique

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The establishment of broadly applicable insect transgenesis systems will enable the analyses of gene function in diverse insect species. This will greatly increase our understanding of diverse aspects of biology so far not functionally addressable. Moreover, insect transgenesis will provide novel st...

  14. What Makes an Insect an Insect?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    NatureScope, 1985

    1985-01-01

    Provides background information on characteristics common to all insects, activities, and student materials (ready-to-copy games, puzzles, coloring pages, worksheets, and/or mazes) which describe: how insects are classified; how they are different from other animals; and the main insect characteristics. Activities include recommended age levels,…

  15. Olfactory neuroblastoma: A case report

    PubMed Central

    USLU, GONCA HANEDAN; CANYILMAZ, EMINE; ZENGIN, AHMET YASAR; MUNGAN, SEVDEGUL; YONEY, ADNAN; BAHADIR, OSMAN; GOCMEZ, HUSEYIN

    2015-01-01

    Olfactory neuroblastoma (ON) is a rare type of malignant neoplasm originating from the olfactory neuroepithelial cells of the nasal cavity. ON is also known as esthesioneuroblastoma or neuroendocrine carcinoma. The malignancy accounts for <3% of tumors originating in the nasal cavity. Through the nasal cavity, ON may infiltrate the sinuses, the orbit and the cranium. The tumor is characterized by a pattern of slow growth and local recurrences. Treatment options are surgical excision or surgery combined with a radiotherapy (RT) and/or chemotherapy combination treatment. The present study reports the case of a 69-year-old patient with a mass in the nasal cavity who was treated by combined surgical excision and RT. The literature for ON and the treatment of the tumor are also discussed. PMID:26788185

  16. Role of Centrifugal Projections to the Olfactory Bulb in Olfactory Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kiselycznyk, Carly L.; Zhang, Steven; Linster, Christine

    2006-01-01

    While there is evidence that feedback projections from cortical and neuromodulatory structures to the olfactory bulb are crucial for maintaining the oscillatory dynamics of olfactory bulb processing, it is not clear how changes in dynamics are related to odor perception. Using electrical lesions of the olfactory peduncle, sparing output from the…

  17. The complete human olfactory subgenome.

    PubMed

    Glusman, G; Yanai, I; Rubin, I; Lancet, D

    2001-05-01

    Olfactory receptors likely constitute the largest gene superfamily in the vertebrate genome. Here we present the nearly complete human olfactory subgenome elucidated by mining the genome draft with gene discovery algorithms. Over 900 olfactory receptor genes and pseudogenes (ORs) were identified, two-thirds of which were not annotated previously. The number of extrapolated ORs is in good agreement with previous theoretical predictions. The sequence of at least 63% of the ORs is disrupted by what appears to be a random process of pseudogene formation. ORs constitute 17 gene families, 4 of which contain more than 100 members each. "Fish-like" Class I ORs, previously considered a relic in higher tetrapods, constitute as much as 10% of the human repertoire, all in one large cluster on chromosome 11. Their lower pseudogene fraction suggests a functional significance. ORs are disposed on all human chromosomes except 20 and Y, and nearly 80% are found in clusters of 6-138 genes. A novel comparative cluster analysis was used to trace the evolutionary path that may have led to OR proliferation and diversification throughout the genome. The results of this analysis suggest the following genome expansion history: first, the generation of a "tetrapod-specific" Class II OR cluster on chromosome 11 by local duplication, then a single-step duplication of this cluster to chromosome 1, and finally an avalanche of duplication events out of chromosome 1 to most other chromosomes. The results of the data mining and characterization of ORs can be accessed at the Human Olfactory Receptor Data Exploratorium Web site (http://bioinfo.weizmann.ac.il/HORDE). PMID:11337468

  18. The complete human olfactory subgenome.

    PubMed

    Glusman, G; Yanai, I; Rubin, I; Lancet, D

    2001-05-01

    Olfactory receptors likely constitute the largest gene superfamily in the vertebrate genome. Here we present the nearly complete human olfactory subgenome elucidated by mining the genome draft with gene discovery algorithms. Over 900 olfactory receptor genes and pseudogenes (ORs) were identified, two-thirds of which were not annotated previously. The number of extrapolated ORs is in good agreement with previous theoretical predictions. The sequence of at least 63% of the ORs is disrupted by what appears to be a random process of pseudogene formation. ORs constitute 17 gene families, 4 of which contain more than 100 members each. "Fish-like" Class I ORs, previously considered a relic in higher tetrapods, constitute as much as 10% of the human repertoire, all in one large cluster on chromosome 11. Their lower pseudogene fraction suggests a functional significance. ORs are disposed on all human chromosomes except 20 and Y, and nearly 80% are found in clusters of 6-138 genes. A novel comparative cluster analysis was used to trace the evolutionary path that may have led to OR proliferation and diversification throughout the genome. The results of this analysis suggest the following genome expansion history: first, the generation of a "tetrapod-specific" Class II OR cluster on chromosome 11 by local duplication, then a single-step duplication of this cluster to chromosome 1, and finally an avalanche of duplication events out of chromosome 1 to most other chromosomes. The results of the data mining and characterization of ORs can be accessed at the Human Olfactory Receptor Data Exploratorium Web site (http://bioinfo.weizmann.ac.il/HORDE).

  19. Sleep and olfactory cortical plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Barnes, Dylan C.; Wilson, Donald A.

    2014-01-01

    In many systems, sleep plays a vital role in memory consolidation and synaptic homeostasis. These processes together help store information of biological significance and reset synaptic circuits to facilitate acquisition of information in the future. In this review, we describe recent evidence of sleep-dependent changes in olfactory system structure and function which contribute to odor memory and perception. During slow-wave sleep, the piriform cortex becomes hypo-responsive to odor stimulation and instead displays sharp-wave activity similar to that observed within the hippocampal formation. Furthermore, the functional connectivity between the piriform cortex and other cortical and limbic regions is enhanced during slow-wave sleep compared to waking. This combination of conditions may allow odor memory consolidation to occur during a state of reduced external interference and facilitate association of odor memories with stored hedonic and contextual cues. Evidence consistent with sleep-dependent odor replay within olfactory cortical circuits is presented. These data suggest that both the strength and precision of odor memories is sleep-dependent. The work further emphasizes the critical role of synaptic plasticity and memory in not only odor memory but also basic odor perception. The work also suggests a possible link between sleep disturbances that are frequently co-morbid with a wide range of pathologies including Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and depression and the known olfactory impairments associated with those disorders. PMID:24795585

  20. Cytokines and olfactory bulb microglia in response to bacterial challenge in the compromised primary olfactory pathway

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The primary olfactory pathway is a potential route through which microorganisms from the periphery could potentially access the central nervous system. Our previous studies demonstrated that if the olfactory epithelium was damaged, bacteria administered into the nasal cavity induced nitric oxide production in olfactory ensheathing cells. This study investigates the cytokine profile of olfactory tissues as a consequence of bacterial challenge and establishes whether or not the bacteria are able to reach the olfactory bulb in the central nervous system. Methods The olfactory epithelium of C57BL/6 mice was damaged by unilateral Triton X-100 nasal washing, and Staphylococcus aureus was administered ipsilaterally 4 days later. Olfactory mucosa and bulb were harvested 6 h, 24 h and 5 days after inoculation and their cytokine profile compared to control tissues. The fate of S. aureus and the response of bulbar microglia were examined using fluorescence microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Results In the olfactory mucosa, administered S. aureus was present in supporting cells of the olfactory epithelium, and macrophages and olfactory nerve bundles in the lamina propria. Fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated S. aureus was observed within the olfactory mucosa and bulb 6 h after inoculation, but remained restricted to the peripheral layers up to 5 days later. At the 24-h time point, the level of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumour necrosis factor-α in the compromised olfactory tissues challenged with bacteria (12,466 ± 956 pg/ml and 552 ± 193 pg/ml, respectively) was significantly higher than that in compromised olfactory tissues alone (6,092 ± 1,403 pg/ml and 80 ± 2 pg/ml, respectively). Immunohistochemistry confirmed that IL-6 was present in several cell types including olfactory ensheathing cells and mitral cells of the olfactory bulb. Concurrently, there was a 4.4-, 4.5- and 2.8-fold increase in the density of i

  1. Roles of olfactory system dysfunction in depression.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Ti-Fei; Slotnick, Burton M

    2014-10-01

    The olfactory system is involved in sensory functions, emotional regulation and memory formation. Olfactory bulbectomy in rat has been employed as an animal model of depression for antidepressant discovery studies for many years. Olfaction is impaired in animals suffering from chronic stress, and patients with clinical depression were reported to have decreased olfactory function. It is believed that the neurobiological bases of depression might include dysfunction in the olfactory system. Further, brain stimulation, including nasal based drug delivery could provide novel therapies for management of depression.

  2. Insect density-plant density relationships: a modified view of insect responses to resource concentrations.

    PubMed

    Andersson, Petter; Löfstedt, Christer; Hambäck, Peter A

    2013-12-01

    Habitat area is an important predictor of spatial variation in animal densities. However, the area often correlates with the quantity of resources within habitats, complicating our understanding of the factors shaping animal distributions. We addressed this problem by investigating densities of insect herbivores in habitat patches with a constant area but varying numbers of plants. Using a mathematical model, predictions of scale-dependent immigration and emigration rates for insects into patches with different densities of host plants were derived. Moreover, a field experiment was conducted where the scaling properties of odour-mediated attraction in relation to the number of odour sources were estimated, in order to derive a prediction of immigration rates of olfactory searchers. The theoretical model predicted that we should expect immigration rates of contact and visual searchers to be determined by patch area, with a steep scaling coefficient, μ = -1. The field experiment suggested that olfactory searchers should show a less steep scaling coefficient, with μ ≈ -0.5. A parameter estimation and analysis of published data revealed a correspondence between observations and predictions, and density-variation among groups could largely be explained by search behaviour. Aphids showed scaling coefficients corresponding to the prediction for contact/visual searchers, whereas moths, flies and beetles corresponded to the prediction for olfactory searchers. As density responses varied considerably among groups, and variation could be explained by a certain trait, we conclude that a general theory of insect responses to habitat heterogeneity should be based on shared traits, rather than a general prediction for all species.

  3. Olfactory responses of the antennal trichoid sensilla to chemical repellents in the mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus.

    PubMed

    Liu, Feng; Chen, Li; Appel, Arthur G; Liu, Nannan

    2013-11-01

    Insect repellents are widely used to protect against insect bites and thus prevent allergic reaction and the spread of disease. To gain insight into the mosquito's response to chemicals repellents, we investigated the interaction between the olfactory system of the mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus Say and chemical repellents using single sensillum recording. The interactions of 50 repellent chemicals with olfactory receptor neurons were measured in six different types of mosquito sensilla: long sharp trichoid (LST), short sharp trichoid (SST), short blunt trichoid I (SBT-I), short blunt trichoid II (SBT-II), short blunt trichoid-curved (SBT-C), and grooved peg (GP). A single olfactory neuron reacted to the chemical repellents in each of the sensilla except for SBT-I and SBT-II, where two neurons were involved. Other than LST and GP, which showed no or very weak responses to the repellents tested, all the sensilla showed significant excitatory responses to certain types of repellents. Terpene-derived chemicals such as eucalyptol, α-pinene, and camphor, stimulated olfactory receptor neurons in a dose-dependent manner and mosquitoes responded more strongly to terpene-derived chemical repellents than to non-terpene-derived chemicals such as dimethyl phthalate. Mosquitoes also exhibited a similar response to stereoisomers of chemicals such as (-)-β-pinene versus (+)-β-pinene, and (-)-menthone versus (+)-menthone. This study not only demonstrates the effects of chemical repellents on the mosquito olfactory system but also provides important information that will assist those screening new mosquito repellents and designing new mosquito control agents.

  4. The banana code—natural blend processing in the olfactory circuitry of Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Schubert, Marco; Hansson, Bill S.; Sachse, Silke

    2014-01-01

    Odor information is predominantly perceived as complex odor blends. For Drosophila melanogaster one of the most attractive blends is emitted by an over-ripe banana. To analyze how the fly's olfactory system processes natural blends we combined the experimental advantages of gas chromatography and functional imaging (GC-I). In this way, natural banana compounds were presented successively to the fly antenna in close to natural occurring concentrations. This technique allowed us to identify the active odor components, use these compounds as stimuli and measure odor-induced Ca2+ signals in input and output neurons of the Drosophila antennal lobe (AL), the first olfactory neuropil. We demonstrate that mixture interactions of a natural blend are very rare and occur only at the AL output level resulting in a surprisingly linear blend representation. However, the information regarding single components is strongly modulated by the olfactory circuitry within the AL leading to a higher similarity between the representation of individual components and the banana blend. This observed modulation might tune the olfactory system in a way to distinctively categorize odor components and improve the detection of suitable food sources. Functional GC-I thus enables analysis of virtually any unknown natural odorant blend and its components in their relative occurring concentrations and allows characterization of neuronal responses of complete neural assemblies. This technique can be seen as a valuable complementary method to classical GC/electrophysiology techniques, and will be a highly useful tool in future investigations of insect-insect and insect-plant chemical interactions. PMID:24600405

  5. Insect-ual Pursuits.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mallow, David

    1991-01-01

    Explains how insects can be used to stimulate student writing. Describes how students can create their own systems to classify and differentiate insects. Discusses insect morphology and includes three detailed diagrams. The author provides an extension activity where students hypothesize about the niche of an insect based on its anatomy. (PR)

  6. Book Review: Insect Virology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Viruses that infect insects have long been of interest both as a means for controlling insect pest populations in an environmentally safe manner, and also as significant threats to beneficial insects of great value, such as honey bees and silkworms. Insect viruses also have been of intrinsic intere...

  7. Generic Insect Repellent Detector from the Fruit Fly Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Syed, Zainulabeuddin; Pelletier, Julien; Flounders, Eric; Chitolina, Rodrigo F.; Leal, Walter S.

    2011-01-01

    Background Insect repellents are prophylactic tools against a number of vector-borne diseases. There is growing demand for repellents outperforming DEET in cost and safety, but with the current technologies R&D of a new product takes almost 10 years, with a prohibitive cost of $30 million dollar in part due to the demand for large-scale synthesis of thousands of test compounds of which only 1 may reach the market. R&D could be expedited and cost dramatically reduced with a molecular/physiological target to streamline putative repellents for final efficacy and toxicological tests. Methodology Using olfactory-based choice assay we show here that the fruit fly is repelled by not only DEET, but also IR3535 and picaridin thus suggesting they might have “generic repellent detector(s),” which may be of practical applications in new repellent screenings. We performed single unit recordings from all olfactory sensilla in the antennae and maxillary palps. Although the ab3A neuron in the wild type flies responded to picaridin, it was unresponsive to DEET and IR3535. By contrast, a neuron housed in the palp basiconic sensilla pb1 responded to DEET, IR3535, and picaridin, with apparent sensitivity higher than that of the DEET detectors in the mosquitoes Culex quinquefasciatus and Aedes aegypti. DmOr42a was transplanted from pb1 to the “empty neuron” and showed to be sensitive to the three insect repellents. Conclusions For the first time we have demonstrated that the fruit fly avoids not only DEET but also IR3535 and picaridin, and identified an olfactory receptor neuron (ORN), which is sensitive to these three major insect repellents. We have also identified the insect repellent-sensitive receptor, DmOr42a. This generic detector fulfils the requirements for a simplified bioassay for early screening of test insect repellents. PMID:21436880

  8. Molecule capture by olfactory antennules: mantis shrimp.

    PubMed

    Stacey, Mark T; Mead, Kristina S; Koehl, Mimi A R

    2002-01-01

    A critical step in the process of olfaction is the movement of odorant molecules from the environment to the surface of a chemosensory structure. Many marine crustaceans capture odorant molecules with arrays of chemosensory sensilla (aesthetascs) on antennules that they flick through the water. We developed a model to calculate molecule flux to the surfaces of aesthetascs in order to study how the size, aesthetasc spacing, and flick kinematics of olfactory antennules affect their performance in capturing molecules from the surrounding water. Since the three-dimensional geometry of an aesthetasc-bearing antennule is complex, dynamically-scaled physical models can often provide an efficient method of determining the fluid velocity field through the array. Here we present a method to optimize the incorporation of such measured velocity vector fields into a numerical simulation of the advection and diffusion of odorants to aesthetasc surfaces. Furthermore, unlike earlier models of odorant interception by antennae, our model incorporates odorant concentration distributions that have been measured in turbulent ambient flows. By applying our model to the example of the olfactory antennules of mantis shrimp, we learned that flicking velocity can have profound effects on odorant flux to the aesthetascs if they operate in the speed range in which the leakiness of the gaps between the aesthetascs to fluid movement is sensitive to velocity. This sensitivity creates an asymmetry in molecule fluxes between outstroke and return stroke, which results in an antennule taking discrete samples in space and time, i.e. "sniffing". As stomatopods grow and their aesthetasc Reynolds number increases, the aesthetasc arrangement on the antennule changes in a way that maintains these asymmetries in leakiness and molecule flux between the outstroke and return stroke, allowing the individual to continue to take discrete samples as it develops. PMID:11942523

  9. Appetitive associative olfactory learning in Drosophila larvae.

    PubMed

    Apostolopoulou, Anthi A; Widmann, Annekathrin; Rohwedder, Astrid; Pfitzenmaier, Johanna E; Thum, Andreas S

    2013-02-18

    In the following we describe the methodological details of appetitive associative olfactory learning in Drosophila larvae. The setup, in combination with genetic interference, provides a handle to analyze the neuronal and molecular fundamentals of specifically associative learning in a simple larval brain. Organisms can use past experience to adjust present behavior. Such acquisition of behavioral potential can be defined as learning, and the physical bases of these potentials as memory traces. Neuroscientists try to understand how these processes are organized in terms of molecular and neuronal changes in the brain by using a variety of methods in model organisms ranging from insects to vertebrates. For such endeavors it is helpful to use model systems that are simple and experimentally accessible. The Drosophila larva has turned out to satisfy these demands based on the availability of robust behavioral assays, the existence of a variety of transgenic techniques and the elementary organization of the nervous system comprising only about 10,000 neurons (albeit with some concessions: cognitive limitations, few behavioral options, and richness of experience questionable). Drosophila larvae can form associations between odors and appetitive gustatory reinforcement like sugar. In a standard assay, established in the lab of B. Gerber, animals receive a two-odor reciprocal training: A first group of larvae is exposed to an odor A together with a gustatory reinforcer (sugar reward) and is subsequently exposed to an odor B without reinforcement. Meanwhile a second group of larvae receives reciprocal training while experiencing odor A without reinforcement and subsequently being exposed to odor B with reinforcement (sugar reward). In the following both groups are tested for their preference between the two odors. Relatively higher preferences for the rewarded odor reflect associative learning--presented as a performance index (PI). The conclusion regarding the associative

  10. Introducing Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation into Olfactory Display

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishida, Hiroshi; Yoshida, Hitoshi; Nakamoto, Takamichi

    An olfactory display is a device that delivers various odors to the user's nose. It can be used to add special effects to movies and games by releasing odors relevant to the scenes shown on the screen. In order to provide high-presence olfactory stimuli to the users, the display must be able to generate realistic odors with appropriate concentrations in a timely manner together with visual and audio playbacks. In this paper, we propose to use computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations in conjunction with the olfactory display. Odor molecules released from their source are transported mainly by turbulent flow, and their behavior can be extremely complicated even in a simple indoor environment. In the proposed system, a CFD solver is employed to calculate the airflow field and the odor dispersal in the given environment. An odor blender is used to generate the odor with the concentration determined based on the calculated odor distribution. Experimental results on presenting odor stimuli synchronously with movie clips show the effectiveness of the proposed system.

  11. DSP-4 treatment influences olfactory preferences of developing rats.

    PubMed

    Cornwell, C A; Chang, J W; Cole, B; Fukada, Y; Gianulli, T; Rathbone, E A; McFarlane, H; McGaugh, J L

    1996-03-01

    Control cagemates of rats treated with the norepinephrine (NE) neurotoxin DSP-4, showed normal olfactory learning as infants, but abnormal aversion to home-cage odors as juveniles. Neither age nor social housing conditions influenced the odor preferences of DSP-4-treated rats: they showed tolerance or attraction to familiar odors at both developmental stages. Controls, but not DSP-4-treated juveniles, housed in mixed treatment groups, showed elevated concentrations of a serotonin metabolite and reduced NE concentrations in the hippocampus, suggesting that this social situation was particularly stressful for the controls. DSP-4-treated juveniles, but not infants, produced odors that were discriminable from controls'. Thus, conflicting olfactory signals in the home-cages of mixed juvenile groups may have led to the development of stress in controls. NE depletion appeared to lessen social stress effects in their DSP-4-treated cagemates. These findings support other data suggesting that NE modulates the biobehavioral effects of the social environment. PMID:8680871

  12. Sensational placodes: Neurogenesis in the otic and olfactory systems

    PubMed Central

    Maier, Esther C.; Saxena, Ankur; Alsina, Berta; Bronner, Marianne E.; Whitfield, Tanya T.

    2014-01-01

    For both the intricate morphogenetic layout of the sensory cells in the ear and the elegantly radial arrangement of the sensory neurons in the nose, numerous signaling molecules and genetic determinants are required in concert to generate these specialized neuronal populations that help connect us to our environment. In this review, we outline many of the proteins and pathways that play essential roles in the differentiation of otic and olfactory neurons and their integration into their non-neuronal support structures. In both cases, well-known signaling pathways together with region-specific factors transform thickened ectodermal placodes into complex sense organs containing numerous, diverse neuronal subtypes. Olfactory and otic placodes, in combination with migratory neural crest stem cells, generate highly specialized subtypes of neuronal cells that sense sound, position and movement in space, odors and pheromones throughout our lives. PMID:24508480

  13. Differential Odor Processing in Two Olfactory Pathways in the Honeybee

    PubMed Central

    Yamagata, Nobuhiro; Schmuker, Michael; Szyszka, Paul; Mizunami, Makoto; Menzel, Randolf

    2009-01-01

    An important component in understanding central olfactory processing and coding in the insect brain relates to the characterization of the functional divisions between morphologically distinct types of projection neurons (PN). Using calcium imaging, we investigated how the identity, concentration and mixtures of odors are represented in axon terminals (boutons) of two types of PNs – lPN and mPN. In lPN boutons we found less concentration dependence, narrow tuning profiles at a high concentration, which may be optimized for fine, concentration-invariant odor discrimination. In mPN boutons, however, we found clear rising concentration dependence, broader tuning profiles at a high concentration, which may be optimized for concentration coding. In addition, we found more mixture suppression in lPNs than in mPNs, indicating lPNs better adaptation for synthetic mixture processing. These results suggest a functional division of odor processing in both PN types. PMID:20198105

  14. Microvasculature of the Olfactory Organ in the Japanese Monkey (Macaca fuscata fuscata)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okada, Shigenori; Schraufnagel, Dean E.

    2002-06-01

    Olfaction is an important and primitive sense. As its importance has changed with evolution, anatomic adjustments have occurred in its structure and vasculature. Primates are a family of vertebrates that have had to develop their visual system to adapt to the arboreal environment and have evolved from a macrosmatic to a microsmatic species as the optic system has enlarged. This has resulted in anatomic changes of a small but critical area at the base of the brain. This paper describes the three-dimensional vascular anatomy of the olfactory organ of the Japanese monkey (Macaca fuscata fuscata). This is best understood by dividing the organ into three parts: the olfactory tract, olfactory bulb, and olfactory nerves in the nasal mucosa. The bulb can be partitioned into an outer or cortical part and inner or medullary part. The vasculature and tissue were examined grossly and with light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy of vascular corrosion casts. The olfactory tract and bulb were supplied by an arteriole from the anterior cerebral artery on each side. The tract was supplied by capillaries running spirally with a coarse network. At the olfactory bulb, the arteriole ramified into the intracortical and medullary branches that formed capillary networks. The bulbar intracortical capillaries were divided into two layers with different densities and vascular patterns. The capillaries of the superficial layer had a ladder-like pattern. The branches that ran into the medulla of the olfactory bulb were more widely spaced. Twigs from the posterior ethmoidal artery ran along the nerve fiber and formed intra- and extrafascicular networks. Each region of the olfactory organ had characteristic three-dimensional vascular patterns that were related to their cellular architecture.

  15. Olfactory epithelium changes in germfree mice

    PubMed Central

    François, Adrien; Grebert, Denise; Rhimi, Moez; Mariadassou, Mahendra; Naudon, Laurent; Rabot, Sylvie; Meunier, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Intestinal epithelium development is dramatically impaired in germfree rodents, but the consequences of the absence of microbiota have been overlooked in other epithelia. In the present study, we present the first description of the bacterial communities associated with the olfactory epithelium and explored differences in olfactory epithelium characteristics between germfree and conventional, specific pathogen-free, mice. While the anatomy of the olfactory epithelium was not significantly different, we observed a thinner olfactory cilia layer along with a decreased cellular turn-over in germfree mice. Using electro-olfactogram, we recorded the responses of olfactory sensitive neuronal populations to various odorant stimulations. We observed a global increase in the amplitude of responses to odorants in germfree mice as well as altered responses kinetics. These changes were associated with a decreased transcription of most olfactory transduction actors and of olfactory xenobiotic metabolising enzymes. Overall, we present here the first evidence that the microbiota modulates the physiology of olfactory epithelium. As olfaction is a major sensory modality for most animal species, the microbiota may have an important impact on animal physiology and behaviour through olfaction alteration. PMID:27089944

  16. Postnatal odorant exposure induces peripheral olfactory plasticity at the cellular level.

    PubMed

    Cadiou, Hervé; Aoudé, Imad; Tazir, Bassim; Molinas, Adrien; Fenech, Claire; Meunier, Nicolas; Grosmaitre, Xavier

    2014-04-01

    Mammalian olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) form the primary elements of the olfactory system. Inserted in the olfactory mucosa lining of the nasal cavity, they are exposed to the environment and their lifespan is brief. Several reports say that OSNs are regularly regenerated during the entire life and that odorant environment affects the olfactory epithelium. However, little is known about the impact of the odorant environment on OSNs at the cellular level and more precisely in the context of early postnatal olfactory exposure. Here we exposed MOR23-green fluorescent protein (GFP) and M71-GFP mice to lyral or acetophenone, ligands for MOR23 or M71, respectively. Daily postnatal exposure to lyral induces plasticity in the population of OSNs expressing MOR23. Their density decreases after odorant exposure, whereas the amount of MOR23 mRNA and protein remain stable in the whole epithelium. Meanwhile, quantitative PCR indicates that each MOR23 neuron has higher levels of olfactory receptor transcripts and also expresses more CNGA2 and phosphodiesterase 1C, fundamental olfactory transduction pathway proteins. Transcript levels return to baseline after 4 weeks recovery. Patch-clamp recordings reveal that exposed MOR23 neurons respond to lyral with higher sensitivity and broader dynamic range while the responses' kinetics were faster. These effects are specific to the odorant-receptor pair lyral-MOR23: there was no effect of acetophenone on MOR23 neurons and no effect of acetophenone and lyral on the M71 population. Together, our results clearly demonstrate that OSNs undergo specific anatomical, molecular, and functional adaptation when chronically exposed to odorants in the early stage of life.

  17. Detection of explosives by olfactory sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Corcelli, Angela; Lobasso, Simona; Lopalco, Patrizia; Dibattista, Michele; Araneda, Ricardo; Peterlin, Zita; Firestein, Stuart

    2010-03-15

    The response of olfactory sensory neurons to TNT and RDX as well as to some volatile organic compounds present in the vapors of antipersonnel landmines has been studied both in the pig and in the rat. GC/MS analyses of different plastic components of six different kinds of landmines were performed in order to identify the components of the "perfume" of mines. Studies on rat olfactory mucosa were carried out with electro-olfactogram and calcium imaging techniques, while changes in the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels following exposure to odorants and explosives were used as a criterion to evaluate the interaction of TNT and RDX with olfactory receptors in a preparation of isolated pig olfactory cilia. These studies indicate that chemical compounds associated with explosives and explosive devices can activate mammalian olfactory receptors.

  18. Identification of the western tarnished plant bug (lygus hesperus) olfactory co-receptor orco: expression profile and confirmation of atypical membrane topology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Lygus hesperus (western tarnished plant bug) is an agronomically important pest species of numerous cropping systems. Similar to other insects, a critical component underlying behaviors is the perception and discrimination of olfactory cues. Consequently, the molecular basis of olfaction in this spe...

  19. [Examination of the olfactory analyzer].

    PubMed

    Domrachev, A A; Afon'kin, V Iu

    2002-01-01

    A method of threshold olfactometry is proposed consisting in the use of three olfactive substances (tincture of valerian, acetic acid, liquid ammonia) in selected concentrations. This allows to investigate the thresholds of certain modality. Each concentration of the olfactive substance is placed into a glass bottle (100 ml) and stored at the temperature 18-20 degrees C. The examination of the state of the olfactory analyzer within a 24-h working day showed stability of threshold olfactometry when the organism is tired. Utilization of threshold olfactometry in some diagnostic areas is shown. PMID:12056163

  20. Calcium signals in olfactory neurons.

    PubMed

    Tareilus, E; Noé, J; Breer, H

    1995-11-01

    Laser scanning confocal microscopy in combination with the fluorescent calcium indicators Fluo-3 and Fura-Red was employed to estimate the intracellular concentration of free calcium ions in individual olfactory receptor neurons and to monitor temporal and spatial changes in the Ca(2+)-level upon stimulation. The chemosensory cells responded to odorants with a significant increase in the calcium concentration, preferentially in the dendritic knob. Applying various stimulation paradigma, it was found that in a population of isolated cells, subsets of receptor neurons display distinct patterns of responsiveness. PMID:7488645

  1. Calcium signals in olfactory neurons.

    PubMed

    Tareilus, E; Noé, J; Breer, H

    1995-11-01

    Laser scanning confocal microscopy in combination with the fluorescent calcium indicators Fluo-3 and Fura-Red was employed to estimate the intracellular concentration of free calcium ions in individual olfactory receptor neurons and to monitor temporal and spatial changes in the Ca(2+)-level upon stimulation. The chemosensory cells responded to odorants with a significant increase in the calcium concentration, preferentially in the dendritic knob. Applying various stimulation paradigma, it was found that in a population of isolated cells, subsets of receptor neurons display distinct patterns of responsiveness.

  2. A novel olfactory pathway is essential for fast and efficient blood-feeding in mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Jung, Je Won; Baeck, Seung-Jae; Perumalsamy, Haribalan; Hansson, Bill S; Ahn, Young-Joon; Kwon, Hyung Wook

    2015-08-26

    In mosquitoes, precise and efficient finding of a host animal is crucial for survival. One of the poorly understood aspects of mosquito blood-feeding behavior is how these insects target an optimal site in order to penetrate the skin and blood vessels without alerting the host animal. Here we provide new findings that a piercing structure of the mouthpart of the mosquitoes, the stylet, is an essential apparatus for the stage in blood feeding. Indeed, the stylet possesses a number of sensory hairs located at the tip of the stylet. These hairs house olfactory receptor neurons that express two conventional olfactory receptors of Aedes aegypti (AaOrs), AaOr8 and AaOr49, together with the odorant co-receptor (AaOrco). In vivo calcium imaging using transfected cell lines demonstrated that AaOr8 and AaOr49 were activated by volatile compounds present in blood. Inhibition of gene expression of these AaOrs delayed blood feeding behaviors of the mosquito. Taken together, we identified olfactory receptor neurons in the stylet involved in mosquito blood feeding behaviors, which in turn indicates that olfactory perception in the stylet is necessary and sufficient for mosquitoes to find host blood in order to rapidly acquire blood meals from a host animal.

  3. Olfactory experience shapes the evaluation of odour similarity in ants: a behavioural and computational analysis

    PubMed Central

    Perez, Margot; Nowotny, Thomas; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2016-01-01

    Perceptual similarity between stimuli is often assessed via generalization, the response to stimuli that are similar to the one which was previously conditioned. Although conditioning procedures are variable, studies on how this variation may affect perceptual similarity remain scarce. Here, we use a combination of behavioural and computational analyses to investigate the influence of olfactory conditioning procedures on odour generalization in ants. Insects were trained following either absolute conditioning, in which a single odour (an aldehyde) was rewarded with sucrose, or differential conditioning, in which one odour (the same aldehyde) was similarly rewarded and another odour (an aldehyde differing in carbon-chain length) was punished with quinine. The response to the trained odours and generalization to other aldehydes were assessed. We show that olfactory similarity, rather than being immutable, varies with the conditioning procedure. Compared with absolute conditioning, differential conditioning enhances olfactory discrimination. This improvement is best described by a multiplicative interaction between two independent processes, the excitatory and inhibitory generalization gradients induced by the rewarded and the punished odour, respectively. We show that olfactory similarity is dramatically shaped by an individual's perceptual experience and suggest a new hypothesis for the nature of stimulus interactions underlying experience-dependent changes in perceptual similarity. PMID:27581883

  4. Spatial representation of alarm pheromone information in a secondary olfactory centre in the ant brain.

    PubMed

    Yamagata, Nobuhiro; Mizunami, Makoto

    2010-08-22

    Pheromones play major roles in intraspecific communication in many animals. Elaborated communication systems in eusocial insects provide excellent materials to study neural mechanisms for social pheromone processing. We previously reported that alarm pheromone information is processed in a specific cluster of glomeruli in the antennal lobe of the ant Camponotus obscuripes. However, representation of alarm pheromone information in a secondary olfactory centre is unknown in any animal. Olfactory information in the antennal lobe is transmitted to secondary olfactory centres, including the lateral horn, by projection neurons (PNs). In this study, we compared distributions of terminal boutons of alarm pheromone-sensitive and -insensitive PNs in the lateral horn of ants. Distributions of their dendrites largely overlapped, but there was a region where boutons of pheromone-sensitive PNs, but not those of pheromone-insensitive PNs, were significantly denser than in the rest of the lateral horn. Moreover, most of a major type of pheromone-sensitive efferent neurons from the lateral horn extended dendritic branches in this region, suggesting specialization of this region for alarm pheromone processing. This study is the first study to demonstrate the presence of specialized areas for the processing of a non-sexual, social pheromone in the secondary olfactory centre in any animal. PMID:20375054

  5. A novel olfactory pathway is essential for fast and efficient blood-feeding in mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    Won Jung, Je; Baeck, Seung-Jae; Perumalsamy, Haribalan; Hansson, Bill S.; Ahn, Young-Joon; Kwon, Hyung Wook

    2015-01-01

    In mosquitoes, precise and efficient finding of a host animal is crucial for survival. One of the poorly understood aspects of mosquito blood-feeding behavior is how these insects target an optimal site in order to penetrate the skin and blood vessels without alerting the host animal. Here we provide new findings that a piercing structure of the mouthpart of the mosquitoes, the stylet, is an essential apparatus for the stage in blood feeding. Indeed, the stylet possesses a number of sensory hairs located at the tip of the stylet. These hairs house olfactory receptor neurons that express two conventional olfactory receptors of Aedes aegypti (AaOrs), AaOr8 and AaOr49, together with the odorant co-receptor (AaOrco). In vivo calcium imaging using transfected cell lines demonstrated that AaOr8 and AaOr49 were activated by volatile compounds present in blood. Inhibition of gene expression of these AaOrs delayed blood feeding behaviors of the mosquito. Taken together, we identified olfactory receptor neurons in the stylet involved in mosquito blood feeding behaviors, which in turn indicates that olfactory perception in the stylet is necessary and sufficient for mosquitoes to find host blood in order to rapidly acquire blood meals from a host animal. PMID:26306800

  6. Olfactory experience shapes the evaluation of odour similarity in ants: a behavioural and computational analysis.

    PubMed

    Perez, Margot; Nowotny, Thomas; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Giurfa, Martin

    2016-08-31

    Perceptual similarity between stimuli is often assessed via generalization, the response to stimuli that are similar to the one which was previously conditioned. Although conditioning procedures are variable, studies on how this variation may affect perceptual similarity remain scarce. Here, we use a combination of behavioural and computational analyses to investigate the influence of olfactory conditioning procedures on odour generalization in ants. Insects were trained following either absolute conditioning, in which a single odour (an aldehyde) was rewarded with sucrose, or differential conditioning, in which one odour (the same aldehyde) was similarly rewarded and another odour (an aldehyde differing in carbon-chain length) was punished with quinine. The response to the trained odours and generalization to other aldehydes were assessed. We show that olfactory similarity, rather than being immutable, varies with the conditioning procedure. Compared with absolute conditioning, differential conditioning enhances olfactory discrimination. This improvement is best described by a multiplicative interaction between two independent processes, the excitatory and inhibitory generalization gradients induced by the rewarded and the punished odour, respectively. We show that olfactory similarity is dramatically shaped by an individual's perceptual experience and suggest a new hypothesis for the nature of stimulus interactions underlying experience-dependent changes in perceptual similarity. PMID:27581883

  7. A Closer Look at Acid-Base Olfactory Titrations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neppel, Kerry; Oliver-Hoyo, Maria T.; Queen, Connie; Reed, Nicole

    2005-01-01

    Olfactory titrations using raw onions and eugenol as acid-base indicators are reported. An in-depth investigation on olfactory titrations is presented to include requirements for potential olfactory indicators and protocols for using garlic, onions, and vanillin as acid-base olfactory indicators are tested.

  8. 21 CFR 874.1600 - Olfactory test device.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ...) MEDICAL DEVICES EAR, NOSE, AND THROAT DEVICES Diagnostic Devices § 874.1600 Olfactory test device. (a) Identification. An olfactory test device is used to determine whether an olfactory loss is present. The device... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Olfactory test device. 874.1600 Section...

  9. 21 CFR 874.1600 - Olfactory test device.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ...) MEDICAL DEVICES EAR, NOSE, AND THROAT DEVICES Diagnostic Devices § 874.1600 Olfactory test device. (a) Identification. An olfactory test device is used to determine whether an olfactory loss is present. The device... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Olfactory test device. 874.1600 Section...

  10. Drosophila's view on insect vision.

    PubMed

    Borst, Alexander

    2009-01-13

    Within the last 400 million years, insects have radiated into at least a million species, accounting for more than half of all known living organisms: they are the most successful group in the animal kingdom, found in almost all environments of the planet, ranging in body size from a mere 0.1 mm up to half a meter. Their eyes, together with the respective parts of the nervous system dedicated to the processing of visual information, have long been the subject of intense investigation but, with the exception of some very basic reflexes, it is still not possible to link an insect's visual input to its behavioral output. Fortunately for the field, the fruit fly Drosophila is an insect, too. This genetic workhorse holds great promise for the insect vision field, offering the possibility of recording, suppressing or stimulating any single neuron in its nervous system. Here, I shall give a brief synopsis of what we currently know about insect vision, describe the genetic toolset available in Drosophila and give some recent examples of how the application of these tools have furthered our understanding of color and motion vision in Drosophila.

  11. Preliminary Modeling and Simulation Study on Olfactory Cell Sensation

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou Jun; Chen Peihua; Liu Qingjun; Wang Ping; Yang Wei

    2009-05-23

    This paper introduced olfactory sensory neuron's whole-cell model with a concrete voltage-gated ionic channels and simulation. Though there are many models in olfactory sensory neuron and olfactory bulb, it remains uncertain how they express the logic of olfactory information processing. In this article, the olfactory neural network model is also introduced. This model specifies the connections among neural ensembles of the olfactory system. The simulation results of the neural network model are consistent with the observed olfactory biological characteristics such as 1/f-type power spectrum and oscillations.

  12. Preliminary Modeling and Simulation Study on Olfactory Cell Sensation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Jun; Yang, Wei; Chen, Peihua; Liu, Qingjun; Wang, Ping

    2009-05-01

    This paper introduced olfactory sensory neuron's whole-cell model with a concrete voltage-gated ionic channels and simulation. Though there are many models in olfactory sensory neuron and olfactory bulb, it remains uncertain how they express the logic of olfactory information processing. In this article, the olfactory neural network model is also introduced. This model specifies the connections among neural ensembles of the olfactory system. The simulation results of the neural network model are consistent with the observed olfactory biological characteristics such as 1/f-type power spectrum and oscillations.

  13. The human olfactory receptor repertoire

    PubMed Central

    Zozulya, Sergey; Echeverri, Fernando; Nguyen, Trieu

    2001-01-01

    Background The mammalian olfactory apparatus is able to recognize and distinguish thousands of structurally diverse volatile chemicals. This chemosensory function is mediated by a very large family of seven-transmembrane olfactory (odorant) receptors encoded by approximately 1,000 genes, the majority of which are believed to be pseudogenes in humans. Results The strategy of our sequence database mining for full-length, functional candidate odorant receptor genes was based on the high overall sequence similarity and presence of a number of conserved sequence motifs in all known mammalian odorant receptors as well as the absence of introns in their coding sequences. We report here the identification and physical cloning of 347 putative human full-length odorant receptor genes. Comparative sequence analysis of the predicted gene products allowed us to identify and define a number of consensus sequence motifs and structural features of this vast family of receptors. A new nomenclature for human odorant receptors based on their chromosomal localization and phylogenetic analysis is proposed. We believe that these sequences represent the essentially complete repertoire of functional human odorant receptors. Conclusions The identification and cloning of all functional human odorant receptor genes is an important initial step in understanding receptor-ligand specificity and combinatorial encoding of odorant stimuli in human olfaction. PMID:11423007

  14. Primary culture of embryonic rat olfactory receptor neurons.

    PubMed

    Micholt, Evelien; Jans, Danny; Callewaert, Geert; Bartic, Carmen; Lammertyn, Jeroen; Nicolai, Bart

    2012-12-01

    Embryonic cells are very robust in surviving dissection and culturing protocols and easily adapt to their in vitro environment. Despite these advantages, research in the olfactory field on cultured embryonic olfactory neurons is sparse. In this study, two primary rat olfactory explant cultures of different embryonic d (E17 and E20) were established, comprising epithelium and bulb. The functionality of these neurons was tested by measuring intracellular calcium responses to cAMP-inducing agents forskolin (FSK) and 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX) with fluorescence microscopy. For E17, the responsive cell fraction increased over time, from an initial 3% at the 1 d in vitro (DIV) to a maximum of 19% at 11 DIV. The response of E20 neurons fluctuated over time around a more or less stable 13%. A logistic regression analysis indicated a significant difference between both embryonic d in the response to FSK + IBMX. In addition, of these functional neurons, 23.3% of E17 and 54.3% of E20 cultures were responsive to the odorant isoamyl acetate. PMID:23150136

  15. Molecular Characterization and Differential Expression of Olfactory Genes in the Antennae of the Black Cutworm Moth Agrotis ipsilon

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Shao-Hua; Sun, Liang; Yang, Ruo-Nan; Wu, Kong-Ming; Guo, Yu-Yuan; Li, Xian-Chun; Zhou, Jing-Jiang; Zhang, Yong-Jun

    2014-01-01

    Insects use their sensitive and selective olfactory system to detect outside chemical odorants, such as female sex pheromones and host plant volatiles. Several groups of olfactory proteins participate in the odorant detection process, including odorant binding proteins (OBPs), chemosensory proteins (CSPs), odorant receptors (ORs), ionotropic receptors (IRs) and sensory neuron membrane proteins (SNMPs). The identification and functional characterization of these olfactory proteins will enhance our knowledge of the molecular basis of insect chemoreception. In this study, we report the identification and differential expression profiles of these olfactory genes in the black cutworm moth Agrotis ipsilon. In total, 33 OBPs, 12 CSPs, 42 ORs, 24 IRs, 2 SNMPs and 1 gustatory receptor (GR) were annotated from the A. ipsilon antennal transcriptomes, and further RT-PCR and RT-qPCR revealed that 22 OBPs, 3 CSPs, 35 ORs, 14 IRs and the 2 SNMPs are uniquely or primarily expressed in the male and female antennae. Furthermore, one OBP (AipsOBP6) and one CSP (AipsCSP2) were exclusively expressed in the female sex pheromone gland. These antennae-enriched OBPs, CSPs, ORs, IRs and SNMPs were suggested to be responsible for pheromone and general odorant detection and thus could be meaningful target genes for us to study their biological functions in vivo and in vitro. PMID:25083706

  16. Insect olfaction from model systems to disease control

    PubMed Central

    Carey, Allison F.; Carlson, John R.

    2011-01-01

    Great progress has been made in the field of insect olfaction in recent years. Receptors, neurons, and circuits have been defined in considerable detail, and the mechanisms by which they detect, encode, and process sensory stimuli are being unraveled. We provide a guide to recent progress in the field, with special attention to advances made in the genetic model organism Drosophila. We highlight key questions that merit additional investigation. We then present our view of how recent advances may be applied to the control of disease-carrying insects such as mosquitoes, which transmit disease to hundreds of millions of people each year. We suggest how progress in defining the basic mechanisms of insect olfaction may lead to means of disrupting host-seeking and other olfactory behaviors, thereby reducing the transmission of deadly diseases. PMID:21746926

  17. Information processing in the mammalian olfactory system.

    PubMed

    Lledo, Pierre-Marie; Gheusi, Gilles; Vincent, Jean-Didier

    2005-01-01

    Recently, modern neuroscience has made considerable progress in understanding how the brain perceives, discriminates, and recognizes odorant molecules. This growing knowledge took over when the sense of smell was no longer considered only as a matter for poetry or the perfume industry. Over the last decades, chemical senses captured the attention of scientists who started to investigate the different stages of olfactory pathways. Distinct fields such as genetic, biochemistry, cellular biology, neurophysiology, and behavior have contributed to provide a picture of how odor information is processed in the olfactory system as it moves from the periphery to higher areas of the brain. So far, the combination of these approaches has been most effective at the cellular level, but there are already signs, and even greater hope, that the same is gradually happening at the systems level. This review summarizes the current ideas concerning the cellular mechanisms and organizational strategies used by the olfactory system to process olfactory information. We present findings that exemplified the high degree of olfactory plasticity, with special emphasis on the first central relay of the olfactory system. Recent observations supporting the necessity of such plasticity for adult brain functions are also discussed. Due to space constraints, this review focuses mainly on the olfactory systems of vertebrates, and primarily those of mammals.

  18. [Odor sensing system and olfactory display].

    PubMed

    Nakamoto, Takamichi

    2014-01-01

    In this review, an odor sensing system and an olfactory display are introduced into people in pharmacy. An odor sensing system consists of an array of sensors with partially overlapping specificities and pattern recognition technique. One of examples of odor sensing systems is a halitosis sensor which quantifies the mixture composition of three volatile sulfide compounds. A halitosis sensor was realized using a preconcentrator to raise sensitivity and an electrochemical sensor array to suppress the influence of humidity. Partial least squares (PLS) method was used to quantify the mixture composition. The experiment reveals that the sufficient accuracy was obtained. Moreover, the olfactory display, which present scents to human noses, is explained. A multi-component olfactory display enables the presentation of a variety of smells. The two types of multi-component olfactory display are described. The first one uses many solenoid valves with high speed switching. The valve ON frequency determines the concentration of the corresponding odor component. The latter one consists of miniaturized liquid pumps and a surface acoustic wave (SAW) atomizer. It enables the wearable olfactory display without smell persistence. Finally, the application of the olfactory display is demonstrated. Virtual ice cream shop with scents was made as a content of interactive art. People can enjoy harmony among vision, audition and olfaction. In conclusion, both odor sensing system and olfactory display can contribute to the field of human health care.

  19. Olfactory deposition of inhaled nanoparticles in humans

    PubMed Central

    Garcia, Guilherme J. M.; Schroeter, Jeffry D.; Kimbell, Julia S.

    2016-01-01

    Context Inhaled nanoparticles can migrate to the brain via the olfactory bulb, as demonstrated in experiments in several animal species. This route of exposure may be the mechanism behind the correlation between air pollution and human neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Objectives This manuscript aims to (1) estimate the dose of inhaled nanoparticles that deposit in the human olfactory epithelium during nasal breathing at rest and (2) compare the olfactory dose in humans with our earlier dose estimates for rats. Materials and methods An anatomically-accurate model of the human nasal cavity was developed based on computed tomography scans. The deposition of 1–100 nm particles in the whole nasal cavity and its olfactory region were estimated via computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. Our CFD methods were validated by comparing our numerical predictions for whole-nose deposition with experimental data and previous CFD studies in the literature. Results In humans, olfactory dose of inhaled nanoparticles is highest for 1–2 nm particles with approximately 1% of inhaled particles depositing in the olfactory region. As particle size grows to 100 nm, olfactory deposition decreases to 0.01% of inhaled particles. Discussion and conclusion Our results suggest that the percentage of inhaled particles that deposit in the olfactory region is lower in humans than in rats. However, olfactory dose per unit surface area is estimated to be higher in humans due to their larger minute volume. These dose estimates are important for risk assessment and dose-response studies investigating the neurotoxicity of inhaled nanoparticles. PMID:26194036

  20. Stingless bees use terpenes as olfactory cues to find resin sources.

    PubMed

    Leonhardt, S D; Zeilhofer, S; Blüthgen, N; Schmitt, Thomas

    2010-09-01

    Insects largely rely on olfactory cues when seeking and judging information on nests, partners, or resources. Bees are known to use volatile compounds-besides visual cues-to find flowers suitable for pollen and nectar collection. Tropical stingless bees additionally collect large amounts of plant resins for nest construction, nest maintenance, nest defense, and to derive chemical constituents for their cuticular profiles. We here demonstrate that stingless bees of Borneo also use olfactory cues to find tree resins. They rely on volatile mono- and sesquiterpenes to locate or recognize known resin sources. Moreover, by modifying resin extracts, we found that stingless bees do not use the entire resin bouquet but relative proportions of several terpenes. In doing so, the bees are able to learn specific tree resin profiles and distinguish between tree species and partly even tree individuals.

  1. Insects and Scorpions

    MedlinePlus

    ... gov . Workplace Safety and Health Topics Insects & Scorpions Bees, Wasps, and Hornets Fire Ants Scorpions Additional Resources ... to outdoor workers. Stinging or biting insects include bees, wasps, hornets, and fire ants. The health effects ...

  2. Insects: An Interdisciplinary Unit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leger, Heather

    2007-01-01

    The author talks about an interdisciplinary unit on insects, and presents activities that can help students practice communication skills (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational) and learn about insects with hands-on activities.

  3. Ecophysiology and insect herbivory

    SciTech Connect

    Clancy, K.M.; Wagner, M.R.; Reich, P.B.

    1995-07-01

    The relationship of insect herbivory to conifer physiology is examined. Aspects of nutrient assimilation, nutrient distribution, water stress, and climatic change are correlated to defoliation by insects. Other factors examined include plant age, density, structure, soils, and plant genotype.

  4. Respiration in Aquatic Insects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacFarland, John

    1985-01-01

    This article: (1) explains the respiratory patterns of several freshwater insects; (2) describes the differences and mechanisms of spiracular cutaneous, and gill respiration; and (3) discusses behavioral aspects of selected aquatic insects. (ML)

  5. When the sense of smell meets emotion: anxiety-state-dependent olfactory processing and neural circuitry adaptation.

    PubMed

    Krusemark, Elizabeth A; Novak, Lucas R; Gitelman, Darren R; Li, Wen

    2013-09-25

    Phylogenetically the most ancient sense, olfaction is characterized by a unique intimacy with the emotion system. However, mechanisms underlying olfaction-emotion interaction remain unclear, especially in an ever-changing environment and dynamic internal milieu. Perturbing the internal state with anxiety induction in human subjects, we interrogated emotion-state-dependent olfactory processing in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study. Following anxiety induction, initially neutral odors become unpleasant and take longer to detect, accompanied by augmented response to these odors in the olfactory (anterior piriform and orbitofrontal) cortices and emotion-relevant pregenual anterior cingulate cortex. In parallel, the olfactory sensory relay adapts with increased anxiety, incorporating amygdala as an integral step via strengthened (afferent or efferent) connections between amygdala and all levels of the olfactory cortical hierarchy. This anxiety-state-dependent neural circuitry thus enables cumulative infusion of limbic affective information throughout the olfactory sensory progression, thereby driving affectively charged olfactory perception. These findings could constitute an olfactory etiology model of emotional disorders, as exaggerated emotion-olfaction interaction in negative mood states turns innocuous odors aversive, fueling anxiety and depression with rising ambient sensory stress.

  6. [Graphic method of recording olfactory disorders].

    PubMed

    Bariliak, R A; Kitsera, A E

    1976-01-01

    The authors present a method of recording results of threshold olfactometry for substances of different neuroreceptive response (olfactory, olfactive-trigeminal and olfactive-glossopharyngeal) in the form of olfactograms. The use of a unit for comparative evaluation of the olfactory function (deciodor) made it possible to get a unit horizontal zero line on the olfactogram. The authors demonstrate olfactograms of patients with various olfactory disorders. They consider that the method of graphic recording results of comparative threshold olfactometry is a valuable differential-diagnostic test.

  7. Unraveling Cajal's view of the olfactory system

    PubMed Central

    Figueres-Oñate, María; Gutiérrez, Yolanda; López-Mascaraque, Laura

    2014-01-01

    The olfactory system has a highly regular organization of interconnected synaptic circuits from the periphery. It is therefore an excellent model for understanding general principles about how the brain processes information. Cajal revealed the basic cell types and their interconnections at the end of the XIX century. Since his original descriptions, the observation and analysis of the olfactory system and its components represents a major topic in neuroscience studies, providing important insights into the neural mechanisms. In this review, we will highlight the importance of Cajal contributions and his legacy to the actual knowledge of the olfactory system. PMID:25071462

  8. Exotic models may offer unique opportunities to decipher specific scientific question: the case of Xenopus olfactory system.

    PubMed

    Gascuel, Jean; Amano, Tosikazu

    2013-09-01

    The fact that olfactory systems are highly conserved in all animal species from insects to mammals allow the generalization of findings from one species to another. Most of our knowledge about the anatomy and physiology of the olfactory system comes from data obtained in a very limited number of biological models such as rodents, Zebrafish, Drosophila, and a worm, Caenorhabditis elegans. These models have proved useful to answer most questions in the field of olfaction, and thus concentrating on these few models appear to be a pragmatic strategy. However, the diversity of the organization and physiology of the olfactory system amongst phyla appear to be greater than generally assumed and the four models alone may not be sufficient to address all the questions arising from the study of olfaction. In this article, we will illustrate the idea that we should take advantage of biological diversity to address specific scientific questions and will show that the Xenopus olfactory system is a very good model to investigate: first, olfaction in aerial versus aquatic conditions and second, mechanisms underlying postnatal reorganization of the olfactory system especially those controlled by tyroxine hormone.

  9. Identification of Putative Olfactory Genes from the Oriental Fruit Moth Grapholita molesta via an Antennal Transcriptome Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yiping; Wu, Junxiang

    2015-01-01

    Background The oriental fruit moth, Grapholita molesta, is an extremely important oligophagous pest species of stone and pome fruits throughout the world. As a host-switching species, adult moths, especially females, depend on olfactory cues to a large extent in locating host plants, finding mates, and selecting oviposition sites. The identification of olfactory genes can facilitate investigation on mechanisms for chemical communications. Methodology/Principal Finding We generated transcriptome of female antennae of G.molesta using the next-generation sequencing technique, and assembled transcripts from RNA-seq reads using Trinity, SOAPdenovo-trans and Abyss-trans assemblers. We identified 124 putative olfactory genes. Among the identified olfactory genes, 118 were novel to this species, including 28 transcripts encoding for odorant binding proteins, 17 chemosensory proteins, 48 odorant receptors, four gustatory receptors, 24 ionotropic receptors, two sensory neuron membrane proteins, and one odor degrading enzyme. The identified genes were further confirmed through semi-quantitative reverse transcription PCR for transcripts coding for 26 OBPs and 17 CSPs. OBP transcripts showed an obvious antenna bias, whereas CSP transcripts were detected in different tissues. Conclusion Antennal transcriptome data derived from the oriental fruit moth constituted an abundant molecular resource for the identification of genes potentially involved in the olfaction process of the species. This study provides a foundation for future research on the molecules involved in olfactory recognition of this insect pest, and in particular, the feasibility of using semiochemicals to control this pest. PMID:26540284

  10. Symbiont-mediated functions in insect hosts

    PubMed Central

    Su, Qi; Zhou, Xiaomao; Zhang, Youjun

    2013-01-01

    The bacterial endosymbionts occur in a diverse array of insect species and are usually rely within the vertical transmission from mothers to offspring. In addition to primary symbionts, plant sap-sucking insects may also harbor several diverse secondary symbionts. Bacterial symbionts play a prominent role in insect nutritional ecology by aiding in digestion of food or supplementing nutrients that insect hosts can’t obtain sufficient amounts from a restricted diet of plant phloem. Currently, several other ecologically relevant traits mediated by endosymbionts are being investigated, including defense toward pathogens and parasites, adaption to environment, influences on insect-plant interactions, and impact of population dynamics. Here, we review recent theoretical predictions and experimental observations of these traits mediated by endosymbionts and suggest that clarifying the roles of symbiotic microbes may be important to offer insights for ameliorating pest invasiveness or impact. PMID:23710278

  11. Insects and Spiders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    This set of teaching aids consists of nine Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing teachers and students with informational reading on insects and spiders. The bulletins have these titles: What Good Are Insects, How Insects Benefit Man, Life of the Honey Bee, Ants and Their Fascinating Ways, Mosquitoes and Other Flies, Caterpillars, Spiders and Silk,…

  12. Sunflower insect pests

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Like other annual crops, sunflowers are fed upon by a variety of insect pests capable of reducing yields. Though there are a few insects which are considered consistent or severe (e.g., sunflower moth, banded sunflower moth, red sunflower seed weevil), many more insects are capable of causing proble...

  13. Exploring Sound with Insects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, Laura; Meyer, John R.

    2010-01-01

    Differences in insect morphology and movement during singing provide a fascinating opportunity for students to investigate insects while learning about the characteristics of sound. In the activities described here, students use a free online computer software program to explore the songs of the major singing insects and experiment with making…

  14. Insects and Others.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mills, Richard

    1984-01-01

    Several ideas for observing insects and soil animals in the classroom are provided. Also provided are: (1) procedures for making insect cages with milk cartons; (2) suggestions for collecting and feeding insects; and (3) techniques for collecting and identifying soil animals. (BC)

  15. InsectBase: a resource for insect genomes and transcriptomes

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Chuanlin; Shen, Gengyu; Guo, Dianhao; Wang, Shuping; Ma, Xingzhou; Xiao, Huamei; Liu, Jinding; Zhang, Zan; Liu, Ying; Zhang, Yiqun; Yu, Kaixiang; Huang, Shuiqing; Li, Fei

    2016-01-01

    The genomes and transcriptomes of hundreds of insects have been sequenced. However, insect community lacks an integrated, up-to-date collection of insect gene data. Here, we introduce the first release of InsectBase, available online at http://www.insect-genome.com. The database encompasses 138 insect genomes, 116 insect transcriptomes, 61 insect gene sets, 36 gene families of 60 insects, 7544 miRNAs of 69 insects, 96 925 piRNAs of Drosophila melanogaster and Chilo suppressalis, 2439 lncRNA of Nilaparvata lugens, 22 536 pathways of 78 insects, 678 881 untranslated regions (UTR) of 84 insects and 160 905 coding sequences (CDS) of 70 insects. This release contains over 12 million sequences and provides search functionality, a BLAST server, GBrowse, insect pathway construction, a Facebook-like network for the insect community (iFacebook), and phylogenetic analysis of selected genes. PMID:26578584

  16. Differential combinatorial coding of pheromones in two olfactory subsystems of the honey bee brain.

    PubMed

    Carcaud, Julie; Giurfa, Martin; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2015-03-11

    Neural coding of pheromones has been intensively studied in insects with a particular focus on sex pheromones. These studies favored the view that pheromone compounds are processed within specific antennal lobe glomeruli following a specialized labeled-line system. However, pheromones play crucial roles in an insect's life beyond sexual attraction, and some species use many different pheromones making such a labeled-line organization unrealistic. A combinatorial coding scheme, in which each component activates a set of broadly tuned units, appears more adapted in this case. However, this idea has not been tested thoroughly. We focused here on the honey bee Apis mellifera, a social insect that relies on a wide range of pheromones to ensure colony cohesion. Interestingly, the honey bee olfactory system harbors two central parallel pathways, whose functions remain largely unknown. Using optophysiological recordings of projection neurons, we compared the responses of these two pathways to 27 known honey bee pheromonal compounds emitted by the brood, the workers, and the queen. We show that while queen mandibular pheromone is processed by l-ALT (lateral antennal lobe tract) neurons and brood pheromone is mainly processed by m-ALT (median antennal lobe tract) neurons, worker pheromones induce redundant activity in both pathways. Moreover, all tested pheromonal compounds induce combinatorial activity from several AL glomeruli. These findings support the combinatorial coding scheme and suggest that higher-order brain centers reading out these combinatorial activity patterns may eventually classify olfactory signals according to their biological meaning. PMID:25762663

  17. Parallel Olfactory Processing in the Honey Bee Brain: Odor Learning and Generalization under Selective Lesion of a Projection Neuron Tract

    PubMed Central

    Carcaud, Julie; Giurfa, Martin; Sandoz, Jean Christophe

    2016-01-01

    The function of parallel neural processing is a fundamental problem in Neuroscience, as it is found across sensory modalities and evolutionary lineages, from insects to humans. Recently, parallel processing has attracted increased attention in the olfactory domain, with the demonstration in both insects and mammals that different populations of second-order neurons encode and/or process odorant information differently. Among insects, Hymenoptera present a striking olfactory system with a clear neural dichotomy from the periphery to higher-order centers, based on two main tracts of second-order (projection) neurons: the medial and lateral antennal lobe tracts (m-ALT and l-ALT). To unravel the functional role of these two pathways, we combined specific lesions of the m-ALT tract with behavioral experiments, using the classical conditioning of the proboscis extension response (PER conditioning). Lesioned and intact bees had to learn to associate an odorant (1-nonanol) with sucrose. Then the bees were subjected to a generalization procedure with a range of odorants differing in terms of their carbon chain length or functional group. We show that m-ALT lesion strongly affects acquisition of an odor-sucrose association. However, lesioned bees that still learned the association showed a normal gradient of decreasing generalization responses to increasingly dissimilar odorants. Generalization responses could be predicted to some extent by in vivo calcium imaging recordings of l-ALT neurons. The m-ALT pathway therefore seems necessary for normal classical olfactory conditioning performance. PMID:26834589

  18. Parallel Olfactory Processing in the Honey Bee Brain: Odor Learning and Generalization under Selective Lesion of a Projection Neuron Tract.

    PubMed

    Carcaud, Julie; Giurfa, Martin; Sandoz, Jean Christophe

    2015-01-01

    The function of parallel neural processing is a fundamental problem in Neuroscience, as it is found across sensory modalities and evolutionary lineages, from insects to humans. Recently, parallel processing has attracted increased attention in the olfactory domain, with the demonstration in both insects and mammals that different populations of second-order neurons encode and/or process odorant information differently. Among insects, Hymenoptera present a striking olfactory system with a clear neural dichotomy from the periphery to higher-order centers, based on two main tracts of second-order (projection) neurons: the medial and lateral antennal lobe tracts (m-ALT and l-ALT). To unravel the functional role of these two pathways, we combined specific lesions of the m-ALT tract with behavioral experiments, using the classical conditioning of the proboscis extension response (PER conditioning). Lesioned and intact bees had to learn to associate an odorant (1-nonanol) with sucrose. Then the bees were subjected to a generalization procedure with a range of odorants differing in terms of their carbon chain length or functional group. We show that m-ALT lesion strongly affects acquisition of an odor-sucrose association. However, lesioned bees that still learned the association showed a normal gradient of decreasing generalization responses to increasingly dissimilar odorants. Generalization responses could be predicted to some extent by in vivo calcium imaging recordings of l-ALT neurons. The m-ALT pathway therefore seems necessary for normal classical olfactory conditioning performance. PMID:26834589

  19. Olfactory loss in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Zivadinov, R; Zorzon, M; Monti Bragadin, L; Pagliaro, G; Cazzato, G

    1999-10-15

    The objectives of the present study were to test odor identification ability in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and to examine possible correlations between smell identification test scores and various clinical variables. We performed a case-control study comparing the Cross Cultural Smell Identification Test scores of 40 patients with definite multiple sclerosis with those obtained in 40 age-, sex- and smoking-habit-matched healthy controls. The neurological impairment, the disability, the cognitive performances and the psychological functioning were also assessed. Patients with multiple sclerosis scored significantly poorer than controls on the Cross-Cultural Smell Identification Test (P<0.001). Olfactory function was borderline normal in four (10%) and abnormal in five (12.5%) MS patients, whereas it was normal in all controls (P<0.02). Significant correlations between the smell identification score and symptoms of anxiety (r=-0.43, P=0.006), depression (r=-0.42, P=0. 008) and severity of neurological impairment (r=-0.32, P=0.05) were found. Only two (5%) patients with multiple sclerosis reported having episodes of smell loss, suggesting a low level of awareness of this problem. Although smell changes are rarely reported, olfactory function is impaired in a considerable number of patients with MS. The observed association between decreased odor identification ability and symptoms of anxiety and depression in our patients suggests that mood and anxiety disorders have to be considered in assessing olfaction in MS patients. Clearly, smell disturbances deserve greater attention from health professionals and caregivers dealing with such patients.

  20. The Pig Olfactory Brain: A Primer

    PubMed Central

    Feldman, Sanford; Osterberg, Stephen K.

    2016-01-01

    Despite the fact that pigs are reputed to have excellent olfactory abilities, few studies have examined regions of the pig brain involved in the sense of smell. The present study provides an overview of the olfactory bulb, anterior olfactory nucleus, and piriform cortex of adult pigs using several approaches. Nissl, myelin, and Golgi stains were used to produce a general overview of the organization of the regions and confocal microscopy was employed to examine 1) projection neurons, 2) GABAergic local circuit neurons that express somatostatin, parvalbumin, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, or calretinin, 3) neuromodulatory fibers (cholinergic and serotonergic), and 4) glia (astrocytes and microglia). The findings revealed that pig olfactory structures are quite large, highly organized and follow the general patterns observed in mammals. PMID:26936231

  1. The Pig Olfactory Brain: A Primer.

    PubMed

    Brunjes, Peter C; Feldman, Sanford; Osterberg, Stephen K

    2016-06-01

    Despite the fact that pigs are reputed to have excellent olfactory abilities, few studies have examined regions of the pig brain involved in the sense of smell. The present study provides an overview of the olfactory bulb, anterior olfactory nucleus, and piriform cortex of adult pigs using several approaches. Nissl, myelin, and Golgi stains were used to produce a general overview of the organization of the regions and confocal microscopy was employed to examine 1) projection neurons, 2) GABAergic local circuit neurons that express somatostatin, parvalbumin, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, or calretinin, 3) neuromodulatory fibers (cholinergic and serotonergic), and 4) glia (astrocytes and microglia). The findings revealed that pig olfactory structures are quite large, highly organized and follow the general patterns observed in mammals. PMID:26936231

  2. A multisensory network for olfactory processing

    PubMed Central

    Maier, Joost X.; Blankenship, Meredith L.; Li, Jennifer X.; Katz, Donald B.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Primary gustatory cortex (GC) is connected (both mono- and poly-synaptically) to primary olfactory (piriform) cortex (PC)—connections that might be hypothesized to underlie the construction of a “flavor” percept when both gustatory and olfactory stimuli are present. Here, we use multi-site electrophysiology and optical inhibition of GC neurons (GCx, produced via infection with ArchT) to demonstrate that, indeed, during gustatory stimulation, taste-selective information is transmitted from GC to PC. We go on to show that these connections impact olfactory processing even in the absence of gustatory stimulation: GCx alters PC responses to olfactory stimuli presented alone, enhancing some and eliminating others, despite leaving the path from nasal epithelium to PC intact. Finally, we show the functional importance of this latter phenomenon, demonstrating that GCx renders rats unable to properly recognize odor stimuli. This sequence of findings suggests that sensory processing may be more intrinsically integrative than previously thought. PMID:26441351

  3. Methods to measure olfactory behavior in mice.

    PubMed

    Zou, Junhui; Wang, Wenbin; Pan, Yung-Wei; Lu, Song; Xia, Zhengui

    2015-02-02

    Mice rely on the sense of olfaction to detect food sources, recognize social and mating partners, and avoid predators. Many behaviors of mice, including learning and memory, social interaction, fear, and anxiety are closely associated with their function of olfaction, and behavior tasks designed to evaluate those brain functions may use odors as cues. Accurate assessment of olfaction is not only essential for the study of olfactory system but also critical for proper interpretation of various mouse behaviors, especially learning and memory, emotionality and affect, and sociality. Here we describe a series of behavior experiments that offer multidimensional and quantitative assessments for mouse olfactory function, including olfactory habituation, discrimination, odor preference, odor detection sensitivity, and olfactory memory, with respect to both social and nonsocial odors.

  4. Neurophysiological and Behavioral Responses of Gypsy Moth Larvae to Insect Repellents: DEET, IR3535, and Picaridin

    PubMed Central

    Sanford, Jillian L.; Barski, Sharon A.; Seen, Christina M.; Dickens, Joseph C.; Shields, Vonnie D. C.

    2014-01-01

    The interactions between insect repellents and the olfactory system have been widely studied, however relatively little is known about the effects of repellents on the gustatory system of insects. In this study, we show that the gustatory receptor neuron (GRN) located in the medial styloconic sensilla on the maxillary palps of gypsy moth larvae, and known to be sensitive to feeding deterrents, also responds to the insect repellents DEET, IR3535, and picaridin. These repellents did not elicit responses in the lateral styloconic sensilla. Moreover, behavioral studies demonstrated that each repellent deterred feeding. This is the first study to show perception of insect repellents by the gustatory system of a lepidopteran larva and suggests that detection of a range of bitter or aversive compounds may be a broadly conserved feature among insects. PMID:24955823

  5. Neurophysiological and behavioral responses of gypsy moth larvae to insect repellents: DEET, IR3535, and picaridin.

    PubMed

    Sanford, Jillian L; Barski, Sharon A; Seen, Christina M; Dickens, Joseph C; Shields, Vonnie D C

    2014-01-01

    The interactions between insect repellents and the olfactory system have been widely studied, however relatively little is known about the effects of repellents on the gustatory system of insects. In this study, we show that the gustatory receptor neuron (GRN) located in the medial styloconic sensilla on the maxillary palps of gypsy moth larvae, and known to be sensitive to feeding deterrents, also responds to the insect repellents DEET, IR3535, and picaridin. These repellents did not elicit responses in the lateral styloconic sensilla. Moreover, behavioral studies demonstrated that each repellent deterred feeding. This is the first study to show perception of insect repellents by the gustatory system of a lepidopteran larva and suggests that detection of a range of bitter or aversive compounds may be a broadly conserved feature among insects. PMID:24955823

  6. Neurophysiological and behavioral responses of gypsy moth larvae to insect repellents: DEET, IR3535, and picaridin.

    PubMed

    Sanford, Jillian L; Barski, Sharon A; Seen, Christina M; Dickens, Joseph C; Shields, Vonnie D C

    2014-01-01

    The interactions between insect repellents and the olfactory system have been widely studied, however relatively little is known about the effects of repellents on the gustatory system of insects. In this study, we show that the gustatory receptor neuron (GRN) located in the medial styloconic sensilla on the maxillary palps of gypsy moth larvae, and known to be sensitive to feeding deterrents, also responds to the insect repellents DEET, IR3535, and picaridin. These repellents did not elicit responses in the lateral styloconic sensilla. Moreover, behavioral studies demonstrated that each repellent deterred feeding. This is the first study to show perception of insect repellents by the gustatory system of a lepidopteran larva and suggests that detection of a range of bitter or aversive compounds may be a broadly conserved feature among insects.

  7. Protein kinase C sensitizes olfactory adenylate cyclase

    PubMed Central

    1993-01-01

    Effects of neurotransmitters on cAMP-mediated signal transduction in frog olfactory receptor cells (ORCs) were studied using in situ spike recordings and radioimmunoassays. Carbachol, applied to the mucosal side of olfactory epithelium, amplified the electrical response of ORCs to cAMP-generating odorants, but did not affect unstimulated cells. A similar augmentation of odorant response was observed in the presence of phorbol dibutyrate (PDBu), an activator of protein kinase C (PKC). The electrical response to forskolin, an activator of adenylate cyclase (AC), was also enhanced by PDBu, and it was attenuated by the PKC inhibitor Goe 6983. Forskolin-induced accumulation of cAMP in olfactory tissue was potentiated by carbachol, serotonin, and PDBu to a similar extent. Potentiation was completely suppressed by the PKC inhibitors Goe 6983, staurosporine, and polymyxin B, suggesting that the sensitivity of olfactory AC to stimulation by odorants and forskolin was increased by PKC. Experiments with deciliated olfactory tissue indicated that sensitization of AC was restricted to sensory cilia of ORCs. To study the effects of cell Ca2+ on these mechanisms, the intracellular Ca2+ concentration of olfactory tissue was either increased by ionomycin or decreased by BAPTA/AM. Increasing cell Ca2+ had two effects on cAMP production: (a) the basal cAMP production was enhanced by a mechanism sensitive to inhibitors of calmodulin; and (b) similar to phorbol ester, cell Ca2+ caused sensitization of AC to stimulation by forskolin, an effect sensitive to Goe 6983. Decreasing cell Ca2+ below basal levels rendered AC unresponsive to stimulation by forskolin. These data suggest that a crosstalk mechanism is functional in frog ORCs, linking the sensitivity of AC to the activity of PKC. At increased activity of PKC, olfactory AC becomes more responsive to stimulation by odorants, forskolin, and cell Ca2+. Neurotransmitters appear to use this crosstalk mechanism to regulate olfactory

  8. Olfactory bulb encoding during learning under anesthesia

    PubMed Central

    Nicol, Alister U.; Sanchez-Andrade, Gabriela; Collado, Paloma; Segonds-Pichon, Anne; Kendrick, Keith M.

    2014-01-01

    Neural plasticity changes within the olfactory bulb are important for olfactory learning, although how neural encoding changes support new associations with specific odors and whether they can be investigated under anesthesia, remain unclear. Using the social transmission of food preference olfactory learning paradigm in mice in conjunction with in vivo microdialysis sampling we have shown firstly that a learned preference for a scented food odor smelled on the breath of a demonstrator animal occurs under isofluorane anesthesia. Furthermore, subsequent exposure to this cued odor under anesthesia promotes the same pattern of increased release of glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the olfactory bulb as previously found in conscious animals following olfactory learning, and evoked GABA release was positively correlated with the amount of scented food eaten. In a second experiment, multiarray (24 electrodes) electrophysiological recordings were made from olfactory bulb mitral cells under isofluorane anesthesia before, during and after a novel scented food odor was paired with carbon disulfide. Results showed significant increases in overall firing frequency to the cued-odor during and after learning and decreases in response to an uncued odor. Analysis of patterns of changes in individual neurons revealed that a substantial proportion (>50%) of them significantly changed their response profiles during and after learning with most of those previously inhibited becoming excited. A large number of cells exhibiting no response to the odors prior to learning were either excited or inhibited afterwards. With the uncued odor many previously responsive cells became unresponsive or inhibited. Learning associated changes only occurred in the posterior part of the olfactory bulb. Thus olfactory learning under anesthesia promotes extensive, but spatially distinct, changes in mitral cell networks to both cued and uncued odors as well as in evoked glutamate and GABA

  9. Olfactory learning and memory in the disease vector mosquito Aedes aegypti

    PubMed Central

    Vinauger, Clément; Lutz, Eleanor K.; Riffell, Jeffrey A.

    2014-01-01

    Olfactory learning in blood-feeding insects, such as mosquitoes, could play an important role in host preference and disease transmission. However, standardised protocols allowing testing of their learning abilities are currently lacking, and how different olfactory stimuli are learned by these insects remains unknown. Using a Pavlovian conditioning paradigm, we trained individuals and groups of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes to associate an odorant conditioned stimulus (CS) with a blood-reinforced thermal stimulus (unconditioned stimulus; US). Results showed, first, that mosquitoes could learn the association between L-lactic acid and the US, and retained the association for at least 24 h. Second, the success of olfactory conditioning was dependent upon the CS – some odorants that elicited indifferent responses in naïve mosquitoes, such as L-lactic acid and 1-octen-3-ol, were readily learned, whereas others went from aversive to attractive after training (Z-3-hexen-1-ol) or were untrainable (β-myrcene and benzyl alcohol). Third, we examined whether mosquitoes' ability to learn could interfere with the action of the insect repellent DEET. Results demonstrated that pre-exposure and the presence of DEET in the CS reduced the aversive effects of DEET. Last, the nature of the formed memories was explored. Experiments using cold-shock treatments within the first 6 h post-training (for testing anaesthesia-resistant memory) and a protein synthesis inhibitor (cycloheximide; to disrupt the formation of long-term memory) both affected mosquitoes' performances. Together, these results show that learning is a crucial component in odour responses in A. aegypti, and provide the first evidence for the functional role of different memory traces in these responses. PMID:24737761

  10. The sense of smell: multiple olfactory subsystems.

    PubMed

    Breer, H; Fleischer, J; Strotmann, J

    2006-07-01

    The mammalian olfactory system is not uniformly organized but consists of several subsystems each of which probably serves distinct functions. Not only are the two major nasal chemosensory systems, the vomeronasal organ and the main olfactory epithelium, structurally and functionally separate entities, but the latter is further subcompartimentalized into overlapping expression zones and projection-related subzones. Moreover, the populations of 'OR37' neurons not only express a unique type of olfactory receptors but also are segregated in a cluster-like manner and generally project to only one receptor-specific glomerulus. The septal organ is an island of sensory epithelium on the nasal septum positioned at the nasoplatine duct; it is considered as a 'mini-nose' with dual function. A specific chemosensory function of the most recently discovered subsystem, the so-called Grueneberg ganglion, is based on the expression of olfactory marker protein and the axonal projections to defined glomeruli within the olfactory bulb. This complexity of distinct olfactory subsystems may be one of the features determining the enormous chemosensory capacity of the sense of smell.

  11. Variation in thermal performance among insect populations.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, Brent J; Williams, Caroline M; Terblanche, John S

    2012-01-01

    Among-population variation in insect thermal performance is important for understanding patterns and mechanisms of evolution and predicting insect responses to altered climate regimes in future or novel environments. Here we review and discuss several key examples of among-population variation in insect thermal performance, including latitudinal gradients in chill coma recovery time, variation in energy consumption and metabolic biochemistry, rapid changes in thermal biology with range expansion in invasive and introduced species, and potential constraints on variation in thermal performance traits. This review highlights that while there is substantial evidence for among-population variation that is generally correlated with local climate regimes, neither the underlying mechanisms nor the implications for whole-animal fitness in the field are well understood. We also discuss the potential limitations of interpreting evolved variation among populations and argue for a genes-to-environment approach to population-level variation in thermal biology of insects. PMID:23099457

  12. Imaging evolutionarily conserved neural networks: preferential activation of the olfactory system by food-related odor.

    PubMed

    Kulkarni, Praveen; Stolberg, Tara; Sullivanjr, J M; Ferris, Craig F

    2012-04-21

    Rodents routinely forge and rely on hippocampal-dependent spatial memory to guide them to sources of caloric rich food in their environment. Has evolution affected the olfactory system and its connections to the hippocampus and limbic cortex, so rodents have an innate sensitivity to energy rich food and their location? To test this notion, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging in awake rats to observe changes in brain activity in response to four odors: benzaldehyde (almond odor), isoamyl acetate (banana odor), methyl benzoate (rosy odor), and limonene (citrus odor). We chose the almond odor because nuts are high in calories and would be expected to convey greater valance as compared to the other odors. Moreover, the standard food chow is devoid of nuts, so laboratory bred rats would not have any previous exposure to this food. Activation maps derived from computational analysis using a 3D segmented rat MRI atlas were dramatically different between odors. Animals exposed to banana, rosy and citrus odors showed modest activation of the primary olfactory system, hippocampus and limbic cortex. However, animals exposed to almond showed a robust increase in brain activity in the primary olfactory system particularly the main olfactory bulb, anterior olfactory nucleus and tenia tecta. The most significant difference in brain activation between odors was observed in the hippocampus and limbic cortex. These findings show that fMRI can be used to identify neural circuits that have an innate sensitivity to environmental stimuli that may help in an animal's survival. PMID:22343130

  13. Transition from sea to land: olfactory function and constraints in the terrestrial hermit crab Coenobita clypeatus.

    PubMed

    Krång, Anna-Sara; Knaden, Markus; Steck, Kathrin; Hansson, Bill S

    2012-09-01

    The ability to identify chemical cues in the environment is essential to most animals. Apart from marine larval stages, anomuran land hermit crabs (Coenobita) have evolved different degrees of terrestriality, and thus represent an excellent opportunity to investigate adaptations of the olfactory system needed for a successful transition from aquatic to terrestrial life. Although superb processing capacities of the central olfactory system have been indicated in Coenobita and their olfactory system evidently is functional on land, virtually nothing was known about what type of odourants are detected. Here, we used electroantennogram (EAG) recordings in Coenobita clypeatus and established the olfactory response spectrum. Interestingly, different chemical groups elicited EAG responses of opposite polarity, which also appeared for Coenobita compressus and the closely related marine hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus. Furthermore, in a two-choice bioassay with C. clypeatus, we found that water vapour was critical for natural and synthetic odourants to induce attraction or repulsion. Strikingly, also the physiological response was found much greater at higher humidity in C. clypeatus, whereas no such effect appeared in the terrestrial vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster. In conclusion, our results reveal that the Coenobita olfactory system is restricted to a limited number of water-soluble odourants, and that high humidity is most critical for its function.

  14. The effect of environmental temperature on olfactory perception in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Riveron, Jacob; Boto, Tamara; Alcorta, Esther

    2009-10-01

    Olfaction provides chemical information to an animal about its environment. When environmental conditions change, individuals should be able to adequately maintain function. Temperature may influence olfaction in a double manner, as it modifies the concentrations of gaseous compounds and affects biological processes. Here, we address acclimatization to environmental temperature in the olfactory system of Drosophila melanogaster using heat and cold treatments. Because the consequences of temperature shifts persist for some time after the treatment's end, comparison of olfactory behaviors at the same temperature in treated and untreated flies allows us to infer the biological effects of temperature in olfaction. At intermediate odorant concentrations heat always generates a reduction of olfactory sensitivity, as they would be expected to compensate for the increase of volatiles in the air. Cold produces the opposite effect. These changes are observed in both sexes and in natural populations as well as in standard laboratory stocks. Short applications suffice to cause detectable olfactory perception changes, but even prolonged temperature treatments have only a transitory effect. Together, these results suggest that olfaction in Drosophila underlies acclimatization to environmental temperature. However, sensitivity changes are not immediate and may cause imperfect adjustment of olfactory function for short time periods.

  15. Transition from sea to land: olfactory function and constraints in the terrestrial hermit crab Coenobita clypeatus

    PubMed Central

    Krång, Anna-Sara; Knaden, Markus; Steck, Kathrin; Hansson, Bill S.

    2012-01-01

    The ability to identify chemical cues in the environment is essential to most animals. Apart from marine larval stages, anomuran land hermit crabs (Coenobita) have evolved different degrees of terrestriality, and thus represent an excellent opportunity to investigate adaptations of the olfactory system needed for a successful transition from aquatic to terrestrial life. Although superb processing capacities of the central olfactory system have been indicated in Coenobita and their olfactory system evidently is functional on land, virtually nothing was known about what type of odourants are detected. Here, we used electroantennogram (EAG) recordings in Coenobita clypeatus and established the olfactory response spectrum. Interestingly, different chemical groups elicited EAG responses of opposite polarity, which also appeared for Coenobita compressus and the closely related marine hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus. Furthermore, in a two-choice bioassay with C. clypeatus, we found that water vapour was critical for natural and synthetic odourants to induce attraction or repulsion. Strikingly, also the physiological response was found much greater at higher humidity in C. clypeatus, whereas no such effect appeared in the terrestrial vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster. In conclusion, our results reveal that the Coenobita olfactory system is restricted to a limited number of water-soluble odourants, and that high humidity is most critical for its function. PMID:22673356

  16. Experience-dependent modification of primary sensory synapses in the mammalian olfactory bulb.

    PubMed

    Tyler, William J; Petzold, Gabor C; Pal, Sumon K; Murthy, Venkatesh N

    2007-08-29

    Experience-dependent changes in neural circuits have traditionally been investigated several synapses downstream of sensory input. Whether experience can alter the strength of primary sensory synapses remains mostly unknown. To address this issue, we investigated the consequences of odor deprivation on synapses made by olfactory sensory axons in the olfactory bulb of rats. Odor deprivation triggered an increase in the probability of glutamate release from olfactory sensory neuron synapses. Deprivation also increased the amplitude of quantal synaptic currents mediated by AMPA- and NMDA-type glutamate receptors, as well as the abundance of these receptors in the glomerular region. Our results demonstrate that sensory experience is capable of modulating synaptic strength at the earliest stages of information transfer between the environment and an organism. Such compensatory experience-dependent changes may represent a mechanism of sensory gain control.

  17. Divergence in olfactory host plant preference in D. mojavensis in response to cactus host use.

    PubMed

    Date, Priya; Dweck, Hany K M; Stensmyr, Marcus C; Shann, Jodi; Hansson, Bill S; Rollmann, Stephanie M

    2013-01-01

    Divergence in host adaptive traits has been well studied from an ecological and evolutionary perspective, but identification of the proximate mechanisms underlying such divergence is less well understood. Behavioral preferences for host plants are often mediated by olfaction and shifts in preference may be accompanied by changes in the olfactory system. In this study, we examine the evolution of host plant preferences in cactophilic Drosophila mojavensis that feeds and breeds on different cacti throughout its range. We show divergence in electrophysiological responses and olfactory behavior among populations with host plant shifts. Specifically, significant divergence was observed in the Mojave Desert population that specializes on barrel cactus. Differences were observed in electrophysiological responses of the olfactory organs and in behavioral responses to barrel cactus volatiles. Together our results suggest that the peripheral nervous system has changed in response to different ecological environments and that these changes likely contribute to divergence among D. mojavensis populations.

  18. Divergence in Olfactory Host Plant Preference in D. mojavensis in Response to Cactus Host Use

    PubMed Central

    Stensmyr, Marcus C.; Shann, Jodi; Hansson, Bill S.; Rollmann, Stephanie M.

    2013-01-01

    Divergence in host adaptive traits has been well studied from an ecological and evolutionary perspective, but identification of the proximate mechanisms underlying such divergence is less well understood. Behavioral preferences for host plants are often mediated by olfaction and shifts in preference may be accompanied by changes in the olfactory system. In this study, we examine the evolution of host plant preferences in cactophilic Drosophila mojavensis that feeds and breeds on different cacti throughout its range. We show divergence in electrophysiological responses and olfactory behavior among populations with host plant shifts. Specifically, significant divergence was observed in the Mojave Desert population that specializes on barrel cactus. Differences were observed in electrophysiological responses of the olfactory organs and in behavioral responses to barrel cactus volatiles. Together our results suggest that the peripheral nervous system has changed in response to different ecological environments and that these changes likely contribute to divergence among D. mojavensis populations. PMID:23936137

  19. Olfactory Fear Conditioning Induces Field Potential Potentiation in Rat Olfactory Cortex and Amygdala

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Messaoudi, Belkacem; Granjon, Lionel; Mouly, Anne-Marie; Sevelinges, Yannick; Gervais, Remi

    2004-01-01

    The widely used Pavlovian fear-conditioning paradigms used for studying the neurobiology of learning and memory have mainly used auditory cues as conditioned stimuli (CS). The present work assessed the neural network involved in olfactory fear conditioning, using olfactory bulb stimulation-induced field potential signal (EFP) as a marker of…

  20. Relation of the volume of the olfactory bulb to psychophysical measures of olfactory function.

    PubMed

    Mazal, Patricia Portillo; Haehner, Antje; Hummel, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this review is to investigate whether changes in olfactory bulb volume relate to changes in specific olfactory functions. We studied currently available peer-reviewed articles on the volume of the human olfactory bulb that also included a psychophysical measure of olfactory function. In the present review, we observed a very clear and consistent correlation between general olfactory function and olfactory bulb (OB) volume. We were not able to find a clear relationship between a specific smell component and OB volume, even when analyzing pathologic conditions separately. In some cases, changes were observed for different subtests, but these changes did not significantly correlate with OB volume or had only a borderline correlation. In other cases, we found contradictory data. Several factors may contribute to the difficulties in finding correlations with the different components of smell: (1) the OB volume may be influenced by information from olfactory receptor neurons (bottom-up effect), information from central nervous system (top-down effect) and by direct damage; (2) most pathologic conditions affect more than one area of the olfactory pathway; (3) small sample sizes of hyposmic subjects were used. We believe that it is necessary to do further studies with larger numbers of subjects to answer the currently investigated question.

  1. Effects of handedness on olfactory event-related potentials in a simple olfactory task.

    PubMed

    Gottschlich, Marie; Hummel, Thomas

    2015-06-01

    The purpose of the present study was to re-investigate the influence of handedness on simple olfactory tasks to further clarify the role of handedness in chemical senses. Similar to language and other sensory systems, effects of handedness should be expected. Young, healthy subjects participated in this study, including 24 left-handers and 24 right-handers, with no indication of any major nasal or health problems. The two groups did not differ in terms of sex and age (14 women and 10 men in each group). They had a mean age of 24.0 years. Olfactory event-related potentials were recorded after left or right olfactory stimulation with the rose-like odor phenyl ethyl alcohol (PEA) or the smell of rotten eggs (hydrogen sulfide, H2S). Results suggested that handedness has no major influence on amplitude or latency of olfactory event-related potentials when it comes to simple olfactory tasks.

  2. Inhibition of Inflammation-Associated Olfactory Loss by Etanercept in an Inducible Olfactory Inflammation Mouse Model

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Yong Gi; Lane, Andrew P.

    2016-01-01

    Objective To determine the effect of a soluble human tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) receptor blocker (Etanercept) on an inducible olfactory inflammation (IOI) mouse model Study Design An in vivo study using a transgenic mouse model Setting Research laboratory Subjects and Methods To study the impact of chronic inflammation on the olfactory system, a transgenic mouse model of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS)-associated olfactory loss was utilized (IOI mouse), expressing TNF-α in a temporally-controlled fashion specifically within the olfactory epithelium. In one group of mice (n=4), Etanercept was injected intraperitoneally (100 µg/dose, 3 times/week) concurrent with a 2-week period of TNF-α expression. A second group of mice (n=2) underwent induction of TNF-α expression for 8 weeks, with Etanercept treatment administered during the final 2 weeks of inflammation. Olfactory function was assayed by elecro-olfactogram (EOG), and olfactory tissue was processed for histology and immunohistochemical staining. Each group was compared with equal number of control group. Results Compared to non-treated IOI mice, Etanercept -treated IOI mice showed significantly improved EOG responses after 2 weeks (p<0.001). After 8 weeks of induced inflammation, there was massive loss of olfactory epithelium and no EOG response in non-treated IOI mice. However, in Etanercept - treated mice, regeneration of olfactory epithelium was observed. Conclusion Concomitant administration of Etanercept in IOI mice results in interruption of TNF-α-induced olfactory loss and induction of neuroepithelial regeneration. This demonstrates that Etanercept has potential utility as a tool for elucidating the role of TNF-α in other olfactory inflammation models. PMID:26932943

  3. The Membrane Proteome of Sensory Cilia to the Depth of Olfactory Receptors*

    PubMed Central

    Kuhlmann, Katja; Tschapek, Astrid; Wiese, Heike; Eisenacher, Martin; Meyer, Helmut E.; Hatt, Hanns H.; Oeljeklaus, Silke; Warscheid, Bettina

    2014-01-01

    In the nasal cavity, the nonmotile cilium of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) constitutes the chemosensory interface between the ambient environment and the brain. The unique sensory organelle facilitates odor detection for which it includes all necessary components of initial and downstream olfactory signal transduction. In addition to its function in olfaction, a more universal role in modulating different signaling pathways is implicated, for example, in neurogenesis, apoptosis, and neural regeneration. To further extend our knowledge about this multifunctional signaling organelle, it is of high importance to establish a most detailed proteome map of the ciliary membrane compartment down to the level of transmembrane receptors. We detached cilia from mouse olfactory epithelia via Ca2+/K+ shock followed by the enrichment of ciliary membrane proteins at alkaline pH, and we identified a total of 4,403 proteins by gel-based and gel-free methods in conjunction with high resolution LC/MS. This study is the first to report the detection of 62 native olfactory receptor proteins and to provide evidence for their heterogeneous expression at the protein level. Quantitative data evaluation revealed four ciliary membrane-associated candidate proteins (the annexins ANXA1, ANXA2, ANXA5, and S100A5) with a suggested function in the regulation of olfactory signal transduction, and their presence in ciliary structures was confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Moreover, we corroborated the ciliary localization of the potassium-dependent Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCKX) 4 and the plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase 1 (PMCA1) involved in olfactory signal termination, and we detected for the first time NCKX2 in olfactory cilia. Through comparison with transcriptome data specific for mature, ciliated OSNs, we finally delineated the membrane ciliome of OSNs. The membrane proteome of olfactory cilia established here is the most complete today, thus allowing us to pave new avenues for the study of diverse

  4. Evaluation of long-term occupational exposure to styrene vapor on olfactory function.

    PubMed

    Dalton, Pamela; Lees, Peter S J; Gould, Michele; Dilks, Daniel; Stefaniak, Aleksandr; Bader, Michael; Ihrig, Andreas; Triebig, Gerhard

    2007-10-01

    The primary sensory neurons of the olfactory system are chronically exposed to the ambient environment and may therefore be susceptible to damage from occupational exposure to many volatile chemicals. To investigate whether occupational exposure to styrene was associated with olfactory impairment, we examined olfactory function in 2 groups: workers in a German reinforced-plastics boat-manufacturing facility having a minimum of 2 years of styrene exposure (15-25 ppm as calculated from urinary metabolite concentrations, with historical exposures up to 85 ppm) and a group of age-matched workers from the same facility with lower styrene exposures. The results were also compared with normative data previously collected from healthy, unexposed individuals. Multiple measures of olfactory function were evaluated using a standardized battery of clinical assessments from the Monell-Jefferson Chemosensory Clinical Research Center that included tests of threshold sensitivity for phenylethyl alcohol (PEA) and odor identification ability. Thresholds for styrene were also obtained as a measure of occupational olfactory adaptation. Styrene exposure history was calculated through the use of past biological monitoring results for urinary metabolites of styrene (mandelic acid [MA], phenylglyoxylic acid [PGA]); current exposure was determined for each individual using passive air sampling for styrene and biological monitoring for styrene urinary metabolites. Current mean effective styrene exposure during the day of olfactory testing for the group of workers who worked directly with styrene resins was 18 ppm styrene (standard deviation [SD] = 14), 371 g/g creatinine MA + PGA (SD = 289) and that of the group of workers with lower exposures was 4.8 ppm (SD = 5.2), 93 g/g creatinine MA+PGA (SD = 100). Historic annual average exposures for all workers were greater by a factor of up to 6x. No differences unequivocally attributable to exposure status were observed between the Exposed and

  5. Involvement of TRPV1 in the Olfactory Bulb in Rimonabant-Induced Olfactory Discrimination Deficit.

    PubMed

    Hu, Sherry Shu-Jung

    2016-02-29

    Rimonabant is well recognized as a cannabinoid CB₁ receptor antagonist/inverse agonist. Rimonabant not only antagonizes the effects induced by exogenous cannabinoids and endocannabinoids at CB₁ receptors, it also exerts several pharmacological and behavioral effects independent of CB₁ receptor inactivation. For example, rimonabant can function as a low-potency mixed agonist/antagonist of the transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1). Hence, it is important to explain the underlying mechanisms of the diverse physiological effects induced by rimonabant with caution. Interestingly, CB₁ receptor has recently been suggested to play a role in olfactory functions. Olfaction not only is involved in food intake, visual perception and social interaction, but also is proposed as a putative marker for schizophrenia and autism. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate whether CB₁ receptor and TRPV1 played a role in olfactory functions. We first used the genetic disruption approach to examine the role of CB₁ receptor in olfactory functions and found that CB₁ knockout mice exhibited olfactory discrimination deficit. However, it is important to point out that these CB₁ knockout mice, despite their normal locomotivity, displayed deficiencies in the olfactory foraging and novel object exploration tasks. These results imply that general exploratory behaviors toward odorant and odorless objects are compromised in CB₁ knockout mice. We next turned to the pharmacological approach to examine the role of CB₁ receptor and TRPV1 in olfactory functions. We found that the short-term administration of rimonabant, injected systemically or directly into the olfactory bulb (OB), impaired olfactory discrimination that was rescued by the TRPV1 antagonist capsazepine (CPZ), via the same route of rimonabant, in wild-type mice. These results suggest that TRPV1 in the OB is involved in rimonabant-induced olfactory discrimination deficit. However, the

  6. Cellulolytic systems in insects.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Hirofumi; Tokuda, Gaku

    2010-01-01

    Despite the presence of many carbohydrolytic activities in insects, their cellulolytic mechanisms are poorly understood. Whereas cellulase genes are absent from the genomes of Drosophila melanogaster or Bombyx mori, other insects such as termites produce their own cellulases. Recent studies using molecular biological techniques have brought new insights into the mechanisms by which the insects and their microbial symbionts digest cellulose in the small intestine. DNA sequences of cellulase and associated genes, as well as physiological and morphological information about the digestive systems of cellulase-producing insects, may allow the efficient use of cellulosic biomass as a sustainable energy source.

  7. An Olfactory Indicator for Acid-Base Titrations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flair, Mark N.; Setzer, William N.

    1990-01-01

    The use of an olfactory acid-base indicator in titrations for visually impaired students is discussed. Potential olfactory indicators include eugenol, thymol, vanillin, and thiophenol. Titrations performed with each indicator with eugenol proved to be successful. (KR)

  8. Compensatory plasticity in the olfactory epithelium: age, timing, and reversibility

    PubMed Central

    Barber, Casey N.

    2015-01-01

    Like other biological systems, olfaction responds “homeostatically” to enduring change in the stimulus environment. This adaptive mechanism, referred to as compensatory plasticity, has been studied almost exclusively in developing animals. Thus it is unknown if this phenomenon is limited to ontogenesis and irreversible, characteristics common to some other forms of plasticity. Here we explore the effects of odor deprivation on the adult mouse olfactory epithelium (OE) using nasal plugs to eliminate nasal airflow unilaterally. Plugs were in place for 2–6 wk after which electroolfactograms (EOGs) were recorded from the occluded and open sides of the nasal cavity. Mean EOG amplitudes were significantly greater on the occluded than on the open side. The duration of plugging did not affect the results, suggesting that maximal compensation occurs within 2 wk or less. The magnitude of the EOG difference between the open and occluded side in plugged mice was comparable to adults that had undergone surgical naris occlusion as neonates. When plugs were removed after 4 wk followed by 2 wk of recovery, mean EOG amplitudes were not significantly different between the always-open and previously plugged sides of the nasal cavity suggesting that this form of plasticity is reversible. Taken together, these results suggest that compensatory plasticity is a constitutive mechanism of olfactory receptor neurons that allows these cells to recalibrate their stimulus-response relationship to fit the statistics of their current odor environment. PMID:26269548

  9. Olfactory pathway of the hornet Vespa velutina: New insights into the evolution of the hymenopteran antennal lobe.

    PubMed

    Couto, Antoine; Lapeyre, Benoit; Thiéry, Denis; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2016-08-01

    In the course of evolution, eusociality has appeared several times independently in Hymenoptera, within different families such as Apidae (bees), Formicidae (ants), and Vespidae (wasps and hornets), among others. The complex social organization of eusocial Hymenoptera relies on sophisticated olfactory communication systems. Whereas the olfactory systems of several bee and ant species have been well characterized, very little information is as yet available in Vespidae, although this family represents a highly successful insect group, displaying a wide range of life styles from solitary to eusocial. Using fluorescent labeling, confocal microscopy, and 3D reconstructions, we investigated the organization of the olfactory pathway in queens, workers, and males of the eusocial hornet Vespa velutina. First, we found that caste and sex dimorphism is weakly pronounced in hornets, with regard to both whole-brain morphology and antennal lobe organization, although several male-specific macroglomeruli are present. The V. velutina antennal lobe contains approximately 265 glomeruli (in females), grouped in nine conspicuous clusters formed by afferent tract subdivisions. As in bees and ants, hornets display a dual olfactory pathway, with two major efferent tracts, the medial and the lateral antennal lobe tracts (m- and l-ALT), separately arborizing two antennal lobe hemilobes and projecting to partially different regions of higher order olfactory centers. Finally, we found remarkable anatomical similarities in the glomerular cluster organizations among hornets, ants, and bees, suggesting the possible existence of homologies in the olfactory pathways of these eusocial Hymenoptera. We propose a common framework for describing AL compartmentalization across Hymenoptera and discuss possible evolutionary scenarios. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2335-2359, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26850231

  10. Forty years of olfactory navigation in birds.

    PubMed

    Gagliardo, Anna

    2013-06-15

    Forty years ago, Papi and colleagues discovered that anosmic pigeons cannot find their way home when released at unfamiliar locations. They explained this phenomenon by developing the olfactory navigation hypothesis: pigeons at the home loft learn the odours carried by the winds in association with wind direction; once at the release site, they determine the direction of displacement on the basis of the odours perceived locally and orient homeward. In addition to the old classical experiments, new GPS tracking data and observations on the activation of the olfactory system in displaced pigeons have provided further evidence for the specific role of olfactory cues in pigeon navigation. Although it is not known which odours the birds might rely on for navigation, it has been shown that volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere are distributed as fairly stable gradients to allow environmental odour-based navigation. The investigation of the potential role of olfactory cues for navigation in wild birds is still at an early stage; however, the evidence collected so far suggests that olfactory navigation might be a widespread mechanism in avian species.

  11. Olfactory phenotypic expression unveils human aging.

    PubMed

    Mazzatenta, Andrea; Cellerino, Alessandro; Origlia, Nicola; Barloscio, Davide; Sartucci, Ferdinando; Di Giulio, Camillo; Domenici, Luciano

    2016-04-12

    The mechanism of the natural aging of olfaction and its declinein the absence of any overt disease conditions remains unclear. Here, we investigated this mechanism through measurement of one of the parameters of olfactory function, the absolute threshold, in a healthy population from childhood to old age. The absolute olfactory threshold data were collected from an Italian observational study with 622 participants aged 5-105 years. A subjective testing procedure of constant stimuli was used, which was also compared to the 'staircase' method, with the calculation of the reliability. The n-butanol stimulus was used as an ascending series of nine molar concentrations that were monitored using an electronic nose. The data were analyzed using nonparametric statistics because of the multimodal distribution. We show that the age-related variations in the absolute olfactory threshold are not continuous; instead, there are multiple olfactory phenotypes. Three distinct age-related phenotypes were defined, termed as 'juvenile', 'mature' and 'elder'. The frequency of these three phenotypes depends on age. Our data suggest that the sense of smell does not decrease linearly with aging. Our findings provide the basis for further understanding of olfactory loss as an anticipatory sign of aging and neurodegenerative processes. PMID:27027240

  12. Perceptual and Neural Olfactory Similarity in Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    The question of whether or not neural activity patterns recorded in the olfactory centres of the brain correspond to olfactory perceptual measures remains unanswered. To address this question, we studied olfaction in honeybees Apis mellifera using the olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension response. We conditioned bees to odours and tested generalisation responses to different odours. Sixteen odours were used, which varied both in their functional group (primary and secondary alcohols, aldehydes and ketones) and in their carbon-chain length (from six to nine carbons).The results obtained by presentation of a total of 16 × 16 odour pairs show that (i) all odorants presented could be learned, although acquisition was lower for short-chain ketones; (ii) generalisation varied depending both on the functional group and the carbon-chain length of odours trained; higher generalisation was found between long-chain than between short-chain molecules and between groups such as primary and secondary alcohols; (iii) for some odour pairs, cross-generalisation between odorants was asymmetric; (iv) a putative olfactory space could be defined for the honeybee with functional group and carbon-chain length as inner dimensions; (v) perceptual distances in such a space correlate well with physiological distances determined from optophysiological recordings of antennal lobe activity. We conclude that functional group and carbon-chain length are inner dimensions of the honeybee olfactory space and that neural activity in the antennal lobe reflects the perceptual quality of odours. PMID:15736975

  13. Olfactory phenotypic expression unveils human aging

    PubMed Central

    Mazzatenta, Andrea; Cellerino, Alessandro; Origlia, Nicola; Barloscio, Davide; Sartucci, Ferdinando; Giulio, Camillo Di; Domenici, Luciano

    2016-01-01

    The mechanism of the natural aging of olfaction and its declinein the absence of any overt disease conditions remains unclear. Here, we investigated this mechanism through measurement of one of the parameters of olfactory function, the absolute threshold, in a healthy population from childhood to old age. The absolute olfactory threshold data were collected from an Italian observational study with 622 participants aged 5-105 years. A subjective testing procedure of constant stimuli was used, which was also compared to the ‘staircase’ method, with the calculation of the reliability. The n-butanol stimulus was used as an ascending series of nine molar concentrations that were monitored using an electronic nose. The data were analyzed using nonparametric statistics because of the multimodal distribution. We show that the age-related variations in the absolute olfactory threshold are not continuous; instead, there are multiple olfactory phenotypes. Three distinct age-related phenotypes were defined, termed as ‘juvenile’, ‘mature’ and ‘elder’. The frequency of these three phenotypes depends on age. Our data suggest that the sense of smell does not decrease linearly with aging. Our findings provide the basis for further understanding of olfactory loss as an anticipatory sign of aging and neurodegenerative processes. PMID:27027240

  14. Chemical olfactory signals and parenthood in mammals.

    PubMed

    Corona, Rebeca; Lévy, Frédéric

    2015-02-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Chemosignals and Reproduction". In mammalian species, odor cues emitted by the newborn are essential to establish maternal behavior at parturition and coordinate early mother-infant interactions. Offspring odors become potent attractive stimuli at parturition promoting the contact with the young to ensure that normal maternal care develops. In some species odors provide a basis for individual recognition of the offspring and highly specialized neural mechanisms for learning the infant signals have evolved. Both the main and the accessory olfactory systems are involved in the onset of maternal care, but only the former contributes to individual odor discrimination of the young. Electrophysiological and neurochemical changes occur in the main olfactory bulb leading to a coding of the olfactory signature of the familiar young. Olfactory neurogenesis could also contribute to motherhood and associated learning. Parturition and interactions with the young influence neurogenesis and some evidence indicates a functional link between olfactory neurogenesis and maternal behavior. Although a simple compound has been found which regulates anogenital licking in the rat, studies identifying the chemical nature of these odors are lacking. Neonatal body odors seem to be particularly salient to human mothers who are able to identify their infant's odors. Recent studies have revealed some neural processing of these cues confirming the importance of mother-young chemical communication in our own species.

  15. Olfactory region schwannoma: Excision with preservation of olfaction.

    PubMed

    Salunke, Pravin; Patra, Devi Prasad; Futane, Sameer; Nada, Ritambhara

    2014-07-01

    Olfactory region schwannomas are rare, but when they occur, they commonly arise from the meningeal branches of the trigeminal nerve and may present without involvement of the olfaction. A 24 year old lady presented with hemifacial paraesthesias. Radiology revealed a large olfactory region enhancing lesion. She was operated through a transbasal with olfactory preserving approach. This manuscript highlights the importance of olfactory preservation in such lesions.

  16. Epigenetic regulation of olfactory receptor gene expression by the Myb-MuvB/dREAM complex.

    PubMed

    Sim, Choon Kiat; Perry, Sarah; Tharadra, Sana Khalid; Lipsick, Joseph S; Ray, Anandasankar

    2012-11-15

    In both mammals and insects, an olfactory neuron will usually select a single olfactory receptor and repress remaining members of large receptor families. Here we show that a conserved multiprotein complex, Myb-MuvB (MMB)/dREAM, plays an important role in mediating neuron-specific expression of the carbon dioxide (CO(2)) receptor genes (Gr63a/Gr21a) in Drosophila. Activity of Myb in the complex is required for expression of Gr63a/Gr21a and acts in opposition to the histone methyltransferase Su(var)3-9. Consistent with this, we observed repressive dimethylated H3K9 modifications at the receptor gene loci, suggesting a mechanism for silencing receptor gene expression. Conversely, other complex members, Mip120 (Myb-interacting protein 120) and E2F2, are required for repression of Gr63a in inappropriate neurons. Misexpression in mutants is accompanied by an increase in the H3K4me3 mark of active chromatin at the receptor gene locus. Nuclei of CO(2) receptor-expressing neurons contain reduced levels of the repressive subunit Mip120 compared with surrounding neurons and increased levels of Myb, suggesting that activity of the complex can be regulated in a cell-specific manner. Our evidence suggests a model in which olfactory receptors are regulated epigenetically and the MMB/dREAM complex plays a critical role in specifying, maintaining, and modulating the receptor-to-neuron map.

  17. Olfactory system gamma oscillations: the physiological dissection of a cognitive neural system

    PubMed Central

    Rojas-Líbano, Daniel

    2008-01-01

    Oscillatory phenomena have been a focus of dynamical systems research since the time of the classical studies on the pendulum by Galileo. Fast cortical oscillations also have a long and storied history in neurophysiology, and olfactory oscillations have led the way with a depth of explanation not present in the literature of most other cortical systems. From the earliest studies of odor-evoked oscillations by Adrian, many reports have focused on mechanisms and functional associations of these oscillations, in particular for the so-called gamma oscillations. As a result, much information is now available regarding the biophysical mechanisms that underlie the oscillations in the mammalian olfactory system. Recent studies have expanded on these and addressed functionality directly in mammals and in the analogous insect system. Sub-bands within the rodent gamma oscillatory band associated with specific behavioral and cognitive states have also been identified. All this makes oscillatory neuronal networks a unique interdisciplinary platform from which to study neurocognitive and dynamical phenomena in intact, freely behaving animals. We present here a summary of what has been learned about the functional role and mechanisms of gamma oscillations in the olfactory system as a guide for similar studies in other cortical systems. PMID:19003484

  18. Transduction in Drosophila olfactory receptor neurons is invariant to air speed

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Yi

    2012-01-01

    In the vertebrate nose, increasing air speed tends to increase the magnitude of odor-evoked activity in olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs), given constant odor concentration and duration. It is often assumed that the same is true of insect olfactory organs, but this has not been directly tested. In this study, we examined the effect of air speed on ORN responses in Drosophila melanogaster. We constructed an odor delivery device that allowed us to independently vary concentration and air speed, and we used a fast photoionization detector to precisely measure the actual odor concentration at the antenna while simultaneously recording spikes from ORNs in vivo. Our results demonstrate that Drosophila ORN odor responses are invariant to air speed, as long as odor concentration is kept constant. This finding was true across a >100-fold range of air speeds. Because odor hydrophobicity has been proposed to affect the air speed dependence of olfactory transduction, we tested a >1,000-fold range of hydrophobicity values and found that ORN responses are invariant to air speed across this full range. These results have implications for the mechanisms of odor delivery to Drosophila ORNs. Our findings are also significant because flies have a limited ability to control air flow across their antennae, unlike terrestrial vertebrates, which can control air flow within their nasal cavity. Thus, for the fly, invariance to air speed may be adaptive because it confers robustness to changing wind conditions. PMID:22815404

  19. Early life stress disrupts attachment learning: The role of amygdala corticosterone, locus coeruleus CRH and olfactory bulb NE

    PubMed Central

    Moriceau, Stephanie; Shionoya, Kiseko; Jakubs, Katherine; Sullivan, Regina M.

    2010-01-01

    Infant rats require maternal odor learning to guide pups proximity-seeking of the mother and nursing. Maternal odor learning occurs using a simple learning circuit including robust olfactory bulb norepinephrine (NE) release from the locus coeruleus (LC) and amygdala suppression by low corticosterone (CORT). Early life stress increases NE but also CORT and we questioned whether early life stress disrupted attachment learning and its neural correlates (2-DG autoradiography). Neonatal rats were normally-reared or stressed-reared during the first 6-days of life by providing the mother with insufficient bedding for nest building and were odor-0.5mA shock conditioned at 7-day old. Normally-reared paired pups exhibited typical odor approach learning and associated olfactory bulb enhanced 2-DG uptake. However, stressed-reared pups showed odor avoidance learning and both olfactory bulb and amygdala 2-DG uptake enhancement. Furthermore, stressed-reared pups had elevated CORT levels and systemic CORT antagonist injection reestablished the age appropriate odor preference learning, enhanced olfactory bulb and attenuated amygdala 2-DG. We also assessed the neural mechanism for stressed-reared pups' abnormal behavior in a more controlled environment by injecting normally-reared pups with CORT. This was sufficient to produce odor aversion, as well as dual amygdala and olfactory bulb enhanced 2-DG uptake. Moreover, we assessed a unique cascade of neural events for the aberrant effects of stress rearing: the amygdala-LC-olfactory bulb pathway. Intra-amygdala CORT or intra-LC corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) infusion supported aversion learning with intra-LC CRH infusion associated with increased olfactory bulb NE (microdialysis). These results suggest that early life stress disturbs attachment behavior via a unique cascade of events (amygdala-LC-olfactory bulb). PMID:20016090

  20. Public health advantages of biological insect controls.

    PubMed Central

    Bosch, R

    1976-01-01

    Biological control is not new, it is simply newly appreciated. This renewed appreciation stems from the widespread insecticide treadmill which is largely a product of insecticide disruption of the balance of insect communities. Biological control is a natural phenomenon; the regulation of plant and animal numbers by natural enemies. In this broad sense, biological control is vital to public health because it keeps the myriad insect species from out-competing us. It also has direct public health advantages as where natural enemies are manipulated to control disease vectoring insects. Insecticide distruption of biological control by insecticides and the resulting pesticide treadmill have serious public health implications. One is the increased pesticide load in the environment. The other is the acceleration of pesticide resistance in disease vectoring insects. The treadmill and its associated hazards will not abate so long as chemical control dominates our pest management strategy. PMID:976223

  1. Individual olfactory perception reveals meaningful nonolfactory genetic information.

    PubMed

    Secundo, Lavi; Snitz, Kobi; Weissler, Kineret; Pinchover, Liron; Shoenfeld, Yehuda; Loewenthal, Ron; Agmon-Levin, Nancy; Frumin, Idan; Bar-Zvi, Dana; Shushan, Sagit; Sobel, Noam

    2015-07-14

    Each person expresses a potentially unique subset of ∼ 400 different olfactory receptor subtypes. Given that the receptors we express partially determine the odors we smell, it follows that each person may have a unique nose; to capture this, we devised a sensitive test of olfactory perception we termed the "olfactory fingerprint." Olfactory fingerprints relied on matrices of perceived odorant similarity derived from descriptors applied to the odorants. We initially fingerprinted 89 individuals using 28 odors and 54 descriptors. We found that each person had a unique olfactory fingerprint (P < 10(-10)), which was odor specific but descriptor independent. We could identify individuals from this pool using randomly selected sets of 7 odors and 11 descriptors alone. Extrapolating from this data, we determined that using 34 odors and 35 descriptors we could individually identify each of the 7 billion people on earth. Olfactory perception, however, fluctuates over time, calling into question our proposed perceptual readout of presumably stable genetic makeup. To test whether fingerprints remain informative despite this temporal fluctuation, building on the linkage between olfactory receptors and HLA, we hypothesized that olfactory perception may relate to HLA. We obtained olfactory fingerprints and HLA typing for 130 individuals, and found that olfactory fingerprint matching using only four odorants was significantly related to HLA matching (P < 10(-4)), such that olfactory fingerprints can save 32% of HLA tests in a population screen (P < 10(-6)). In conclusion, a precise measure of olfactory perception reveals meaningful nonolfactory genetic information.

  2. Neural Correlates of Olfactory Learning: Critical Role of Centrifugal Neuromodulation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fletcher, Max L.; Chen, Wei R.

    2010-01-01

    The mammalian olfactory system is well established for its remarkable capability of undergoing experience-dependent plasticity. Although this process involves changes at multiple stages throughout the central olfactory pathway, even the early stages of processing, such as the olfactory bulb and piriform cortex, can display a high degree of…

  3. Evidence for olfactory search in wandering albatross, Diomedea exulans

    PubMed Central

    Nevitt, Gabrielle A.; Losekoot, Marcel; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2008-01-01

    Wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans) forage over thousands of square kilometers of open ocean for patchily distributed live prey and carrion. These birds have large olfactory bulbs and respond to fishy-scented odors in at-sea trials, suggesting that olfaction plays a role in natural foraging behavior. With the advent of new, fine-scale tracking technologies, we are beginning to explore how birds track prey in the pelagic environment, and we relate these observations to models of odor transport in natural situations. These models suggest that odors emanating from prey will tend to disperse laterally and downwind of the odor source and acquire an irregular and patchy concentration distribution due to turbulent transport. For a seabird foraging over the ocean, this scenario suggests that olfactory search would be facilitated by crosswind flight to optimize the probability of encountering a plume emanating from a prey item, followed by upwind, zigzag flight to localize the prey. By contrast, birds approaching prey by sight would be expected to fly directly to a prey item, irrespective of wind direction. Using high-precision global positioning system (GPS) loggers in conjunction with stomach temperature recorders to simultaneously monitor feeding events, we confirm these predictions in freely ranging wandering albatrosses. We found that initial olfactory detection was implicated in nearly half (46.8%) of all flown approaches preceding prey-capture events, accounting for 45.5% of total prey mass captured by in-flight foraging. These results offer insights into the sensory basis for area-restricted search at the large spatial scales of the open ocean. PMID:18326025

  4. Chasing information to search in random environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masson, J.-B.; Bailly Bechet, M.; Vergassola, M.

    2009-10-01

    We discuss search strategies for finding sources of particles transported in a random environment and detected by the searcher(s). The mixing of the particles in the environment is supposed to be strong, so that strategies based on concentration-gradient ascent are not viable. These dilute conditions are common in natural environments typical of searches performed by insects and birds. The sparseness of the detections constitutes the major stumbling block in developing efficient olfactory robots to detect mines, chemical leaks, etc. We first discuss a search strategy, 'infotaxis', recently introduced for the search of a single source by a single robot. Decisions are made by locally maximizing the rate of acquisition of information on the location of the source and they balance exploration and exploitation. We present numerical simulations demonstrating the efficiency of the method and, most importantly, its robustness to lack of detailed modeling of the transport of particles in the random environment. We then introduce a novel formulation of infotaxis for collective searches where a swarm of robots is available and must be coordinated. Gains in the search time are impressive and the method can be further generalized to deal with conflicts arising in the identification of multiple sources.

  5. Not all sharks are "swimming noses": variation in olfactory bulb size in cartilaginous fishes.

    PubMed

    Yopak, Kara E; Lisney, Thomas J; Collin, Shaun P

    2015-03-01

    Olfaction is a universal modality by which all animals sample chemical stimuli from their environment. In cartilaginous fishes, olfaction is critical for various survival tasks including localizing prey, avoiding predators, and chemosensory communication with conspecifics. Little is known, however, about interspecific variation in olfactory capability in these fishes, or whether the relative importance of olfaction in relation to other sensory systems varies with regard to ecological factors, such as habitat and lifestyle. In this study, we have addressed these questions by directly examining interspecific variation in the size of the olfactory bulbs (OB), the region of the brain that receives the primary sensory projections from the olfactory nerve, in 58 species of cartilaginous fishes. Relative OB size was compared among species occupying different ecological niches. Our results show that the OBs maintain a substantial level of allometric independence from the rest of the brain across cartilaginous fishes and that OB size is highly variable among species. These findings are supported by phylogenetic generalized least-squares models, which show that this variability is correlated with ecological niche, particularly habitat. The relatively largest OBs were found in pelagic-coastal/oceanic sharks, especially migratory species such as Carcharodon carcharias and Galeocerdo cuvier. Deep-sea species also possess large OBs, suggesting a greater reliance on olfaction in habitats where vision may be compromised. In contrast, the smallest OBs were found in the majority of reef-associated species, including sharks from the families Carcharhinidae and Hemiscyllidae and dasyatid batoids. These results suggest that there is great variability in the degree to which these fishes rely on olfactory cues. The OBs have been widely used as a neuroanatomical proxy for olfactory capability in vertebrates, and we speculate that differences in olfactory capabilities may be the result of

  6. Not all sharks are "swimming noses": variation in olfactory bulb size in cartilaginous fishes.

    PubMed

    Yopak, Kara E; Lisney, Thomas J; Collin, Shaun P

    2015-03-01

    Olfaction is a universal modality by which all animals sample chemical stimuli from their environment. In cartilaginous fishes, olfaction is critical for various survival tasks including localizing prey, avoiding predators, and chemosensory communication with conspecifics. Little is known, however, about interspecific variation in olfactory capability in these fishes, or whether the relative importance of olfaction in relation to other sensory systems varies with regard to ecological factors, such as habitat and lifestyle. In this study, we have addressed these questions by directly examining interspecific variation in the size of the olfactory bulbs (OB), the region of the brain that receives the primary sensory projections from the olfactory nerve, in 58 species of cartilaginous fishes. Relative OB size was compared among species occupying different ecological niches. Our results show that the OBs maintain a substantial level of allometric independence from the rest of the brain across cartilaginous fishes and that OB size is highly variable among species. These findings are supported by phylogenetic generalized least-squares models, which show that this variability is correlated with ecological niche, particularly habitat. The relatively largest OBs were found in pelagic-coastal/oceanic sharks, especially migratory species such as Carcharodon carcharias and Galeocerdo cuvier. Deep-sea species also possess large OBs, suggesting a greater reliance on olfaction in habitats where vision may be compromised. In contrast, the smallest OBs were found in the majority of reef-associated species, including sharks from the families Carcharhinidae and Hemiscyllidae and dasyatid batoids. These results suggest that there is great variability in the degree to which these fishes rely on olfactory cues. The OBs have been widely used as a neuroanatomical proxy for olfactory capability in vertebrates, and we speculate that differences in olfactory capabilities may be the result of

  7. Ecology and evolution of gall-forming insects. Forest Service general technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Price, P.W.; Mattson, W.J.; Baranchikov, Y.N.

    1994-09-21

    ;Partial Contents: Ecology and Population Dynamics; Effects of the Physical Environment on the Ecology of Gall Insects; Biodiversity and Distribution; Genetic Variation in Host Plant Resistance; Evolutionary Perspectives on Gall Insects.

  8. Insect bites and stings

    MedlinePlus

    ... likely to cause itching than pain. Insect and spider bites cause more deaths from venom reactions than bites from snakes. ... are harmless. If possible, bring the insect or spider that bit you with you when you go for medical treatment so it can be identified.

  9. Insects and Bugs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sutherland, Karen

    2009-01-01

    They have been around for centuries. They sting, they bite. They cause intense itching or painful sores. They even cause allergic reactions and sometimes death. There are two types of insects that are pests to humans--those that sting and those that bite. The insects that bite do so with their mouths and include mosquitoes, chiggers, and ticks.…

  10. Corazonin in insects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Corazonin is a peptidergic neurohormone of insects which is expressed in neurosecretory neurons of the pars lateralis of the protocerebrum and transported via nervi corpus cardiaci in the storage lobes of the corpora cardiaca. This peptide occurs with a single isofomr in all insects studied so far,...

  11. Sterile Insect Quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter discusses the history of the development of quality control tchnology, the principles and philosophy of assessing insect quality, and the relative importance of the various parameters used to assess insect quality in the context of mass-rearing for the SIT. Quality control is most devel...

  12. Sugarcane insect update

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect are an important group of pests affecting sugarcane production. Agricultural consultants play an important role is assisting sugarcane farmers to choose the most appropriated means of managing damaging infestations of insects in their crop. In this presentation, information will be presented ...

  13. Insects: Bugged Out!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Piehl, Kathy

    2011-01-01

    Insects really need no introduction. They have lived on earth much longer than humans and vastly outnumber people and all other animal species combined. People encounter them daily in their houses and yards. Yet, when children want to investigate insects, books can help them start their explorations. "Paleo Bugs" carries readers back to the time…

  14. Principal Areas of Insect Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Carroll M.

    1973-01-01

    Research for insect control has been quite complex. However, recent knowledge of using insect hormones against them has opened new vistas for producing insecticides which may be harmless to human population. Current areas of insect research are outlined. (PS)

  15. Visual and olfactory associative learning in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Memory and learning are critical aspects of the ecology of insect vectors of human pathogens because of their potential effects on contacts between vectors and their hosts. Despite this epidemiological importance, there have been only a limited number of studies investigating associative learning in insect vector species and none on Anopheline mosquitoes. Methods A simple behavioural assays was developed to study visual and olfactory associative learning in Anopheles gambiae, the main vector of malaria in Africa. Two contrasted membrane qualities or levels of blood palatability were used as reinforcing stimuli for bi-directional conditioning during blood feeding. Results Under such experimental conditions An. gambiae females learned very rapidly to associate visual (chequered and white patterns) and olfactory cues (presence and absence of cheese or Citronella smell) with the reinforcing stimuli (bloodmeal quality) and remembered the association for up to three days. Associative learning significantly increased with the strength of the conditioning stimuli used. Importantly, learning sometimes occurred faster when a positive reinforcing stimulus (palatable blood) was associated with an innately preferred cue (such as a darker visual pattern). However, the use of too attractive a cue (e.g. Shropshire cheese smell) was counter-productive and decreased learning success. Conclusions The results address an important knowledge gap in mosquito ecology and emphasize the role of associative memory for An. gambiae's host finding and blood-feeding behaviour with important potential implications for vector control. PMID:22284012

  16. Context-dependent olfactory enhancement of optomotor flight control in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Chow, Dawnis M; Frye, Mark A

    2008-08-01

    Sensing and following the chemical plume of food odors is a fundamental challenge faced by many organisms. For flying insects, the task is complicated by wind that distorts the plume and buffets the fly. To maintain an upwind heading, and thus stabilize their orientation in a plume, insects such as flies and moths make use of strong context-specific visual equilibrium reflexes. For example, flying straight requires the regulation of image rotation across the eye, whereas minimizing side-slip and avoiding a collision require regulation of image expansion. In flies, visual rotation stabilizes plume tracking, but rotation and expansion optomotor responses are controlled by separate visual pathways. Are olfactory signals integrated with optomotor responses in a manner dependent upon visual context? We addressed this question by investigating the effect of an attractive food odor on active optomotor flight control. Odorant caused flies both to increase aerodynamic power output and to steer straighter. However, when challenged with wide-field optic flow, odor resulted in enhanced amplitude rotation responses but reduced amplitude expansion responses. For both visual conditions, flies tracked motion signals more closely in odor, an indication of increased saliency. These results suggest a simple search algorithm by which olfactory signals improve the salience of visual stimuli and modify optomotor control in a context-dependent manner, thereby enabling an animal to fly straight up a plume and approach odiferous objects.

  17. Odor-induced cAMP production in Drosophila melanogaster olfactory sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Miazzi, Fabio; Hansson, Bill S; Wicher, Dieter

    2016-06-15

    Insect odorant receptors are seven transmembrane domain proteins that form cation channels, whose functional properties such as receptor sensitivity are subject to regulation by intracellular signaling cascades. Here, we used the cAMP fluorescent indicator Epac1-camps to investigate the occurrence of odor-induced cAMP production in olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) of Drosophila melanogaster We show that stimulation of the receptor complex with an odor mixture or with the synthetic agonist VUAA1 induces a cAMP response. Moreover, we show that while the intracellular Ca(2+) concentration influences cAMP production, the OSN-specific receptor OrX is necessary to elicit cAMP responses in Ca(2+)-free conditions. These results provide direct evidence of a relationship between odorant receptor stimulation and cAMP production in olfactory sensory neurons in the fruit fly antenna and show that this method can be used to further investigate the role that this second messenger plays in insect olfaction. PMID:27045092

  18. Context-dependent olfactory learning monitored by activities of salivary neurons in cockroaches.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Chihiro Sato; Matsumoto, Yukihisa; Watanabe, Hidehiro; Nishino, Hiroshi; Mizunami, Makoto

    2012-01-01

    Context-dependent discrimination learning, a sophisticated form of nonelemental associative learning, has been found in many animals, including insects. The major purpose of this research is to establish a method for monitoring this form of nonelemental learning in rigidly restrained insects for investigation of underlying neural mechanisms. We report context-dependent olfactory learning (occasion-setting problem solving) of salivation, which can be monitored as activity changes of salivary neurons in immobilized cockroaches, Periplaneta americana. A group of cockroaches was trained to associate peppermint odor (conditioned stimulus, CS) with sucrose solution reward (unconditioned stimulus, US) while vanilla odor was presented alone without pairing with the US under a flickering light condition (1.0 Hz) and also trained to associate vanilla odor with sucrose reward while peppermint odor was presented alone under a steady light condition. After training, the responses of salivary neurons to the rewarded peppermint odor were significantly greater than those to the unrewarded vanilla odor under steady illumination and those to the rewarded vanilla odor was significantly greater than those to the unrewarded peppermint odor in the presence of flickering light. Similar context-dependent responses were observed in another group of cockroaches trained with the opposite stimulus arrangement. This study demonstrates context-dependent olfactory learning of salivation for the first time in any vertebrate and invertebrate species, which can be monitored by activity changes of salivary neurons in restrained cockroaches.

  19. Transition from marine to terrestrial ecologies: changes in olfactory and tritocerebral neuropils in land-living isopods.

    PubMed

    Harzsch, S; Rieger, V; Krieger, J; Seefluth, F; Strausfeld, N J; Hansson, B S

    2011-05-01

    In addition to the ancestors of insects, representatives of five lineages of crustaceans have colonized land. Whereas insects have evolved sensilla that are specialized to allow the detection of airborne odors and have evolved olfactory sensory neurons that recognize specific airborne ligands, there is so far little evidence for aerial olfaction in terrestrial crustaceans. Here we ask the question whether terrestrial Isopoda have evolved the neuronal substrate for the problem of detecting far-field airborne chemicals. We show that conquest of land of Isopoda has been accompanied by a radical diminution of their first antennae and a concomitant loss of their deutocerebral olfactory lobes and olfactory computational networks. In terrestrial isopods, but not their marine cousins, tritocerebral neuropils serving the second antenna have evolved radical modifications. These include a complete loss of the malacostracan pattern of somatotopic representation, the evolution in some species of amorphous lobes and in others lobes equipped with microglomeruli, and yet in others the evolution of partitioned neuropils that suggest modality-specific segregation of second antenna inputs. Evidence suggests that Isopoda have evolved, and are in the process of evolving, several novel solutions to chemical perception on land and in air.

  20. Olfactory regulation of mosquito–host interactions

    PubMed Central

    Zwiebel, L.J.; Takken, W.

    2011-01-01

    Mosquitoes that act as disease vectors rely upon olfactory cues to direct several important behaviors that are fundamentally involved in establishing their overall vectorial capacity. Of these, the propensity to select humans for blood feeding is arguably the most important of these olfactory driven behaviors in so far as it significantly contributes to the ability of these mosquitoes to transmit pathogens that cause diseases such as dengue, yellow fever and most significantly human malaria. Here, we review significant advances in behavioral, physiological and molecular investigations into mosquito host preference, with a particular emphasis on studies that have emerged in the post-genomic era that seek to combine these approaches. PMID:15242705

  1. Olfactory regulation of mosquito-host interactions.

    PubMed

    Zwiebel, L J; Takken, W

    2004-07-01

    Mosquitoes that act as disease vectors rely upon olfactory cues to direct several important behaviors that are fundamentally involved in establishing their overall vectorial capacity. Of these, the propensity to select humans for blood feeding is arguably the most important of these olfactory driven behaviors in so far as it significantly contributes to the ability of these mosquitoes to transmit pathogens that cause diseases such as dengue, yellow fever and most significantly human malaria. Here, we review significant advances in behavioral, physiological and molecular investigations into mosquito host preference, with a particular emphasis on studies that have emerged in the post-genomic era that seek to combine these approaches.

  2. Structural and functional changes in the olfactory pathway of adult Drosophila take place at a critical age.

    PubMed

    Devaud, Jean-Marc; Acebes, Angel; Ramaswami, Mani; Ferrús, Alberto

    2003-07-01

    The olfactory system of several holometabolous insect species undergoes anatomical changes after eclosion of the imago, following those occurring during metamorphosis. In parallel, odor experience and learning performance also evolve with age. Here, we analyze the case of adult Drosophila females. Synaptogenesis in the antennal lobe (AL) starts in late pupa and continues during the first days of adult life, at the same time as the behavioral response to odors matures. Individual olfactory glomeruli (DM6, DM2, and V) display specific growth patterns between days 1 and 12 of adult life. Experience can modify the olfactory pathway both structurally and functionally as shown by adaptation experiments. The modifications associated with this form of nonassociative learning seem to take place at a critical age. Exposure to benzaldehyde at days 2-5 of adult life, but not at 8-11, causes behavioral adaptation as well as structural changes in DM2 and V glomeruli. Altered levels in intracellular cAMP, caused by dunce and rutabaga mutants, do not affect the normal changes in glomerular size, at least at day 6 of development, but they prevent those elicited by experience, establishing a molecular difference between glomerular changes of intrinsic versus environmental origin. Taken together, these data demonstrate an imprinting-like phenomenon in the olfactory pathway of young Drosophila adults, and illustrate its glomerulus-specific dynamics.

  3. Concurrent modulation of neuronal and behavioural olfactory responses to sex and host plant cues in a male moth.

    PubMed

    Kromann, Sophie H; Saveer, Ahmed M; Binyameen, Muhammad; Bengtsson, Marie; Birgersson, Göran; Hansson, Bill S; Schlyter, Fredrik; Witzgall, Peter; Ignell, Rickard; Becher, Paul G

    2015-01-22

    Mating has profound effects on animal physiology and behaviour, not only in females but also in males, which we show here for olfactory responses. In cotton leafworm moths, Spodoptera littoralis, odour-mediated attraction to sex pheromone and plant volatiles are modulated after mating, producing a behavioural response that matches the physiological condition of the male insect. Unmated males are attracted by upwind flight to sex pheromone released by calling females, as well as to volatiles of lilac flowers and green leaves of the host plant cotton, signalling adult food and mating sites, respectively. Mating temporarily abolishes male attraction to females and host plant odour, but does not diminish attraction to flowers. This behavioural modulation is correlated with a response modulation in the olfactory system, as shown by electro-physiological recordings from antennae and by functional imaging of the antennal lobe, using natural odours and synthetic compounds. An effect of mating on the olfactory responses to pheromone and cotton plant volatiles but not to lilac flowers indicates the presence of functionally independent neural circuits within the olfactory system. Our results indicate that these circuits interconnect and weigh perception of social and habitat odour signals to generate appropriate behavioural responses according to mating state.

  4. Olfactory Cues Are Subordinate to Visual Stimuli in a Neotropical Generalist Weevil

    PubMed Central

    Otálora-Luna, Fernando; Lapointe, Stephen L.; Dickens, Joseph C.

    2013-01-01

    The tropical root weevil Diaprepes abbreviatus is a major pest of multiple crops in the Caribbean Islands and has become a serious constraint to citrus production in the United States. Recent work has identified host and conspecific volatiles that mediate host- and mate-finding by D. abbreviatus. The interaction of light, color, and odors has not been studied in this species. The responses of male and female D. abbreviatus to narrow bandwidths of visible light emitted by LEDs offered alone and in combination with olfactory stimuli were studied in a specially-designed multiple choice arena combined with a locomotion compensator. Weevils were more attracted to wavelengths close to green and yellow compared with blue or ultraviolet, but preferred red and darkness over green. Additionally, dim green light was preferred over brighter green. Adult weevils were also attracted to the odor of its citrus host + conspecifics. However, the attractiveness of citrus + conspecific odors disappeared in the presence of a green light. Photic stimulation induced males but not females to increase their speed. In the presence of light emitted by LEDs, turning speed decreased and path straightness increased, indicating that weevils tended to walk less tortuously. Diaprepes abbreviatus showed a hierarchy between chemo- and photo-taxis in the series of experiments presented herein, where the presence of the green light abolished upwind anemotaxis elicited by the pheromone + host plant odor. Insight into the strong responses to visual stimuli of chemically stimulated insects may be provided when the amount of information supplied by vision and olfaction is compared, as the information transmission capacity of compound eyes is estimated to be several orders of magnitude higher compared with the olfactory system. Subordination of olfactory responses by photic stimuli should be considered in the design of strategies aimed at management of such insects. PMID:23341926

  5. Plasticity-driven individualization of olfactory coding in mushroom body output neurons

    PubMed Central

    Hige, Toshihide; Aso, Yoshinori; Rubin, Gerald M.; Turner, Glenn C.

    2015-01-01

    Although all sensory circuits ascend to higher brain areas where stimuli are represented in sparse, stimulus-specific activity patterns, relatively little is known about sensory coding on the descending side of neural circuits, as a network converges. In insects, mushroom bodies (MBs) have been an important model system for studying sparse coding in the olfactory system1–3, where this format is important for accurate memory formation4–6. In Drosophila, it has recently been shown that the 2000 Kenyon cells (KCs) of the MB converge onto a population of only 35 MB output neurons (MBONs), that fall into 22 anatomically distinct cell types7,8. Here we provide the first comprehensive view of olfactory representations at the fourth layer of the circuit, where we find a clear transition in the principles of sensory coding. We show that MBON tuning curves are highly correlated with one another. This is in sharp contrast to the process of progressive decorrelation of tuning in the earlier layers of the circuit2,9. Instead, at the population level, odor representations are reformatted so that positive and negative correlations arise between representations of different odors. At the single-cell level, we show that uniquely identifiable MBONs display profoundly different tuning across different animals, but tuning of the same neuron across the two hemispheres of an individual fly was nearly identical. Thus, individualized coordination of tuning arises at this level of the olfactory circuit. Furthermore, we find that this individualization is an active process that requires a learning-related gene, rutabaga. Ultimately, neural circuits have to flexibly map highly stimulus-specific information in sparse layers onto a limited number of different motor outputs. The reformatting of sensory representations we observe here may mark the beginning of this sensory-motor transition in the olfactory system. PMID:26416731

  6. Plasticity-driven individualization of olfactory coding in mushroom body output neurons.

    PubMed

    Hige, Toshihide; Aso, Yoshinori; Rubin, Gerald M; Turner, Glenn C

    2015-10-01

    Although all sensory circuits ascend to higher brain areas where stimuli are represented in sparse, stimulus-specific activity patterns, relatively little is known about sensory coding on the descending side of neural circuits, as a network converges. In insects, mushroom bodies have been an important model system for studying sparse coding in the olfactory system, where this format is important for accurate memory formation. In Drosophila, it has recently been shown that the 2,000 Kenyon cells of the mushroom body converge onto a population of only 34 mushroom body output neurons (MBONs), which fall into 21 anatomically distinct cell types. Here we provide the first, to our knowledge, comprehensive view of olfactory representations at the fourth layer of the circuit, where we find a clear transition in the principles of sensory coding. We show that MBON tuning curves are highly correlated with one another. This is in sharp contrast to the process of progressive decorrelation of tuning in the earlier layers of the circuit. Instead, at the population level, odour representations are reformatted so that positive and negative correlations arise between representations of different odours. At the single-cell level, we show that uniquely identifiable MBONs display profoundly different tuning across different animals, but that tuning of the same neuron across the two hemispheres of an individual fly was nearly identical. Thus, individualized coordination of tuning arises at this level of the olfactory circuit. Furthermore, we find that this individualization is an active process that requires a learning-related gene, rutabaga. Ultimately, neural circuits have to flexibly map highly stimulus-specific information in sparse layers onto a limited number of different motor outputs. The reformatting of sensory representations we observe here may mark the beginning of this sensory-motor transition in the olfactory system.

  7. Same same but different: the case of olfactory imagery

    PubMed Central

    Arshamian, Artin; Larsson, Maria

    2014-01-01

    In the present work we present an overview of experimental findings corroborating olfactory imagery observations with the visual and auditory modalities. Overall, the results indicate that imagery of olfactory information share many features with those observed in the primary senses although some major differences are evident. One such difference pertains to the considerable individual differences observed, with the majority being unable to reproduce olfactory information in their mind. Here, we highlight factors that are positively related to an olfactory imagery capacity, such as semantic knowledge, perceptual experience, and olfactory interest that may serve as potential moderators of the large individual variation. PMID:24550862

  8. Interneurons in the human olfactory system in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Saiz-Sanchez, Daniel; Flores-Cuadrado, Alicia; Ubeda-Bañon, Isabel; de la Rosa-Prieto, Carlos; Martinez-Marcos, Alino

    2016-02-01

    The principal olfactory structures display Alzheimer's disease (AD) related pathology at early stages of the disease. Consequently, olfactory deficits are among the earliest symptoms. Reliable olfactory tests for accurate clinical diagnosis are rarely made. In addition, neuropathological analysis postmortem of olfactory structures is often not made. Therefore, the relationship between the clinical features and the underlying pathology is poorly defined. Traditionally, research into Alzheimer's disease has focused on the degeneration of cortical temporal projection neurons and cholinergic neurons. Recent evidence has demonstrated the neurodegeneration of interneuron populations in AD. This review provides an updated overview of the pathological involvement of interneuron populations in the human olfactory system in Alzheimer's disease.

  9. Scientific Encounters of the Insect World. Reading Activities That Explore Nature's Fascinating Insects. A Good Apple Science Activity Book for Grades 4-7.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Embry, Lynn

    Insects comprise the largest group of animals in the world and newly discovered ones are being added to the list every year. The habits of even the most common insects are interesting to observe. This book introduces insects that many children will be able to observe in their environments. Interesting information is presented to help children…

  10. Development of olfactory projection neuron dendrites that contribute to wiring specificity of the Drosophila olfactory circuit.

    PubMed

    Sakuma, Chisako; Anzo, Marie; Miura, Masayuki; Chihara, Takahiro

    2014-01-01

    The antennal lobe (AL) of Drosophila is the first olfactory processing center in which olfactory input and output are spatially organized into distinct channels via glomeruli to form a discrete neural map. In each glomerulus, the axons of a single type of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) synapse with the dendrites of a single type of projection neurons (PNs). The AL is an ideal place to study how the wiring specificity between specific types of ORNs and PNs is established during development. During the past two decades, the involvement of diverse molecules in the specification and patterning of ORNs and PNs has been reported. Furthermore, local interneurons-another component of glomeruli-have been recently catalogued and their functions have been gradually dissected. Although there is accumulating knowledge about the involvement of these three cell types in the wiring specificity of the olfactory system, in this review, we focus especially on the development of PN dendrites.

  11. Disruption of centrifugal inhibition to olfactory bulb granule cells impairs olfactory discrimination

    PubMed Central

    Nunez-Parra, Alexia; Maurer, Robert K.; Krahe, Krista; Smith, Richard S.; Araneda, Ricardo C.

    2013-01-01

    Granule cells (GCs) are the most abundant inhibitory neuronal type in the olfactory bulb and play a critical role in olfactory processing. GCs regulate the activity of principal neurons, the mitral cells, through dendrodendritic synapses, shaping the olfactory bulb output to other brain regions. GC excitability is regulated precisely by intrinsic and extrinsic inputs, and this regulation is fundamental for odor discrimination. Here, we used channelrhodopsin to stimulate GABAergic axons from the basal forebrain selectively and show that this stimulation generates reliable inhibitory responses in GCs. Furthermore, selective in vivo inhibition of GABAergic neurons in the basal forebrain by targeted expression of designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs produced a reversible impairment in the discrimination of structurally similar odors, indicating an important role of these inhibitory afferents in olfactory processing. PMID:23959889

  12. Olfactory sensations produced by high-energy photon irradiation of the olfactory receptor mucosa in humans

    SciTech Connect

    Sagar, S.M.; Thomas, R.J.; Loverock, L.T.; Spittle, M.F. )

    1991-04-01

    During irradiation of volumes that incorporate the olfactory system, a proportion of patients have complained of a pungent smell. A retrospective study was carried out to determine the prevalence of this side-effect. A questionnaire was sent to 40 patients whose treatment volumes included the olfactory region and also to a control group treated away from this region. The irradiated tumor volumes included the frontal lobe, whole brain, nasopharynx, pituitary fossa, and maxillary antrum. Of the 25 patients who replied, 60% experienced odorous symptoms during irradiation. They described the odor as unpleasant and consistent with ozone. Stimulation of olfactory receptors is considered to be caused by the radiochemical formation of ozone and free radicals in the mucus overlying the olfactory mucosa.

  13. Corridors and olfactory predator cues affect small mammal behavior.

    SciTech Connect

    Brinkerhoff, Robert Jory; Haddad, Nick M.; Orrock, John L.

    2005-03-30

    Abstract The behavior of prey individuals is influenced by a variety of factors including, but not limited to, habitat configuration, risk of predation, and availability of resources, and these habitat-dependent factors may have interactive effects. We studied the responses of mice to an increase in perceived predation risk in a patchy environment to understand how habitat corridors might affect interactions among species in a fragmented landscape. We used a replicated experiment to investigate corridor-mediated prey responses to predator cues in a network of open habitat patches surrounded by a matrix of planted pine forest. Some of the patches were connected by corridors. We used mark–recapture techniques and foraging trays to monitor the movement, behavior, and abundance of small mammals. Predation threat was manipulated in one-half of the replicates by applying an olfactory predator cue. Corridors synchronized small mammal foraging activity among connected patches. Foraging also was inhibited in the presence of an olfactory predator cue but apparently increased in adjacent connected patches. Small mammal abundance did not change as a result of the predator manipulation and was not influenced by the presence of corridors. This study is among the 1st to indicate combined effects of landscape configuration and predation risk on prey behavior. These changes in prey behavior may, in turn, have cascading effects on community dynamics where corridors and differential predation risk influence movement and patch use.

  14. Beyond Modeling: All-Atom Olfactory Receptor Model Simulations

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Peter C.; Crasto, Chiquito J.

    2012-01-01

    Olfactory receptors (ORs) are a type of GTP-binding protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). These receptors are responsible for mediating the sense of smell through their interaction with odor ligands. OR-odorant interactions marks the first step in the process that leads to olfaction. Computational studies on model OR structures can generate focused and novel hypotheses for further bench investigation by providing a view of these interactions at the molecular level beyond inferences that are drawn merely from static docking. Here we have shown the specific advantages of simulating the dynamic environment associated with OR-odorant interactions. We present a rigorous protocol which ranges from the creation of a computationally derived model of an olfactory receptor to simulating the interactions between an OR and an odorant molecule. Given the ubiquitous occurrence of GPCRs in the membranes of cells, we anticipate that our OR-developed methodology will serve as a model for the computational structural biology of all GPCRs. PMID:22563330

  15. On the organization of olfactory and vomeronasal cortices.

    PubMed

    Martinez-Marcos, Alino

    2009-01-12

    Classically, the olfactory and vomeronasal pathways are thought to run in parallel non-overlapping axes in the forebrain subserving different functions. The olfactory and vomeronasal epithelia project to the main and accessory olfactory bulbs (primary projections), which in turn project to different areas of the telencephalon in a non-topographic fashion (secondary projections) and so on (tertiary projections). New data indicate that projections arising from the main and accessory olfactory bulbs converge widely in the rostral basal telencephalon. In contrast, in the vomeronasal system, cloning two classes of vomeronasal receptors (V1R and V2R) has led to the distinction of two anatomically and functionally independent pathways that reach some common, but also some different, targets in the amygdala. Tertiary projections from the olfactory and vomeronasal amygdalae are directed to the ventral striatum, which thus becomes a site for processing and potential convergence of chemosensory stimuli. Functional data indicate that the olfactory and vomeronasal systems are able to detect and process volatiles (presumptive olfactory cues) as well as pheromones in both epithelia and bulbs. Collectively, these data indicate that the anatomical and functional distinction between the olfactory and vomeronasal systems should be re-evaluated. Specifically, the recipient cortex should be reorganized to include olfactory, vomeronasal (convergent and V1R and V2R specific areas) and mixed (olfactory and vomeronasal) chemosensory cortices. This new perspective could help to unravel olfactory and vomeronasal interactions in behavioral paradigms.

  16. Subjective and objective olfactory abnormalities in Crohn's disease.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Marie; Zopf, Yurdagül; Elm, Cornelia; Pechmann, Georg; Hahn, Eckhart G; Schwab, Dieter; Kornhuber, Johannes; Thuerauf, Norbert Joachim

    2014-07-01

    The pathogenesis of Crohn's disease (CD) is still unknown, but the involvement of the olfactory system in CD appears possible. No study to date has systematically assessed the olfactory function in CD patients. We investigated the olfactory function in CD patients in active (n = 31) and inactive disease (n = 27) and in a control group of age- and sex-matched healthy subjects (n = 35). Subjective olfactory testing was applied using the Sniffin' Sticks test. For olfactory testing, olfactory event-related potentials (OERPs) were obtained with a 4-channel olfactometer using phenyl ethyl alcohol (PEA) and hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S). Carbon dioxide (CO(2)) was employed as control stimulus, and chemosomatosensory event-related potentials (CSSERPs) were registered. Results of the Sniffin' Sticks test revealed significantly different olfactory hedonic judgment with increased olfactory hedonic estimates for pleasant odorants in CD patients in active disease compared with healthy subjects. A statistical trend was found toward lower olfactory thresholds in CD patients. In objective olfactory testing, CD patients showed lower amplitudes of OERPs and CSSERPs. Additionally, OERPs showed significantly shorter N1- and P2 latencies following stimulation of the right nostril with H(2)S in CD patients in inactive disease compared with controls. Our study demonstrates specific abnormalities of olfactory perception in CD patients.

  17. Odorant metabolism catalyzed by olfactory mucosal enzymes influences peripheral olfactory responses in rats.

    PubMed

    Thiebaud, Nicolas; Veloso Da Silva, Stéphanie; Jakob, Ingrid; Sicard, Gilles; Chevalier, Joëlle; Ménétrier, Franck; Berdeaux, Olivier; Artur, Yves; Heydel, Jean-Marie; Le Bon, Anne-Marie

    2013-01-01

    A large set of xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes (XMEs), such as the cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (CYPs), esterases and transferases, are highly expressed in mammalian olfactory mucosa (OM). These enzymes are known to catalyze the biotransformation of exogenous compounds to facilitate elimination. However, the functions of these enzymes in the olfactory epithelium are not clearly understood. In addition to protecting against inhaled toxic compounds, these enzymes could also metabolize odorant molecules, and thus modify their stimulating properties or inactivate them. In the present study, we investigated the in vitro biotransformation of odorant molecules in the rat OM and assessed the impact of this metabolism on peripheral olfactory responses. Rat OM was found to efficiently metabolize quinoline, coumarin and isoamyl acetate. Quinoline and coumarin are metabolized by CYPs whereas isoamyl acetate is hydrolyzed by carboxylesterases. Electro-olfactogram (EOG) recordings revealed that the hydroxylated metabolites derived from these odorants elicited lower olfactory response amplitudes than the parent molecules. We also observed that glucurono-conjugated derivatives induced no olfactory signal. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the local application of a CYP inhibitor on rat olfactory epithelium increased EOG responses elicited by quinoline and coumarin. Similarly, the application of a carboxylesterase inhibitor increased the EOG response elicited by isoamyl acetate. This increase in EOG amplitude provoked by XME inhibitors is likely due to enhanced olfactory sensory neuron activation in response to odorant accumulation. Taken together, these findings strongly suggest that biotransformation of odorant molecules by enzymes localized to the olfactory mucosa may change the odorant's stimulating properties and may facilitate the clearance of odorants to avoid receptor saturation. PMID:23555703

  18. Olfactory Processing and Behavior Downstream from Highly Selective Receptor Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Schlief, Michelle L.; Wilson, Rachel I.

    2010-01-01

    In either the vertebrate nose or the insect antenna, most olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) respond to multiple odors. However, some ORNs respond to just a single odor, or at most to a few highly related odors. It has been hypothesized that narrowly-tuned ORNs project to narrowly-tuned neurons in the brain, and that these dedicated circuits mediate innate behavioral responses to a particular ligand. Here we have investigated neural activity and behavior downstream from two narrowly-tuned ORN types in Drosophila. We found that genetically ablating either of these ORN types impairs innate behavioral attraction to their cognate ligand. Neurons in the antennal lobe postsynaptic to one of these ORN types are, like their presynaptic ORNs, narrowly tuned to a pheromone. However, neurons postsynaptic to the second ORN type are broadly tuned. These results demonstrate that some narrowly-tuned ORNs project to dedicated central circuits, ensuring a tight connection between stimulus and behavior, whereas others project to central neurons which participate in the ensemble representations of many odors. PMID:17417635

  19. Linking energetics and overwintering in temperate insects.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, Brent J

    2015-12-01

    Overwintering insects cannot feed, and energy they take into winter must therefore fuel energy demands during autumn, overwintering, warm periods prior to resumption of development in spring, and subsequent activity. Insects primarily consume lipids during winter, but may also use carbohydrate and proteins as fuel. Because they are ectotherms, the metabolic rate of insects is temperature-dependent, and the curvilinear nature of the metabolic rate-temperature relationship means that warm temperatures are disproportionately important to overwinter energy use. This energy use may be reduced physiologically, by reducing the slope or elevation of the metabolic rate-temperature relationship, or because of threshold changes, such as metabolic suppression upon freezing. Insects may also choose microhabitats or life history stages that reduce the impact of overwinter energy drain. There is considerable capacity for overwinter energy drain to affect insect survival and performance both directly (via starvation) or indirectly (for example, through a trade-off with cryoprotection), but this has not been well-explored. Likewise, the impact of overwinter energy drain on growing-season performance is not well understood. I conclude that overwinter energetics provides a useful lens through which to link physiology and ecology and winter and summer in studies of insect responses to their environment.

  20. Harmful effects of cadmium on olfactory system in mice.

    PubMed

    Bondier, Jean-Robert; Michel, Germaine; Propper, Alain; Badot, Pierre-Marie

    2008-10-01

    The inhalation of certain metals can result in olfactory epithelial injury, an altered sense of smell, and direct delivery of the metal from the olfactory epithelium to the olfactory bulbs and other parts of the central nervous system. The purpose of this study was to examine whether mice given an intranasal instillation of cadmium would develop altered olfactory function and to assess whether cadmium may be transported directly from the olfactory epithelium to the central nervous system. To evaluate cadmium's ability to induce anosmia and on the basis of olfactory epithelium sensitivity to metals, the aim of this study was first to study cadmium effects on the olfactory function and secondly to check whether cadmium may be transported from the nasal area to the central nervous system. After an intranasal instillation of a solution containing CdCl2 at 136 mM, we observed in treated mice: (1) a partial destruction of the olfactory epithelium, which is reduced to three or four basal cell layers followed by a progressive regeneration; (2) a loss of odor discrimination with a subsequent recovery; and (3) a cadmium uptake by olfactory bulbs demonstrated using atomic absorption spectrophotometry, but not by other parts of the central nervous system. Cadmium was delivered to the olfactory bulbs, most likely along the olfactory nerve, thereby bypassing the intact blood-brain barrier. We consider that cadmium can penetrate olfactory epithelium and hence be transported to olfactory bulbs. The olfactory route could therefore be a likely way to reach the brain and should be taken into account for occupational risk assessments for this metal.

  1. Functional Neuroanatomy of "Drosophila" Olfactory Memory Formation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guven-Ozkan, Tugba; Davis, Ronald L.

    2014-01-01

    New approaches, techniques and tools invented over the last decade and a half have revolutionized the functional dissection of neural circuitry underlying "Drosophila" learning. The new methodologies have been used aggressively by researchers attempting to answer three critical questions about olfactory memories formed with appetitive…

  2. Adult Neurogenesis and the Olfactory System

    PubMed Central

    Whitman, Mary C.; Greer, Charles A.

    2009-01-01

    Though initially described in the early 1960s, it is only within the past decade that the concept of continuing adult neurogenesis has gained widespread acceptance. Neuroblasts from the subventricular zone (SVZ) migrate along the rostral migratory stream (RMS) into the olfactory bulb, where they differentiate into interneurons. Neuroblasts from the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the hippocampal formation show relatively little migratory behavior, and differentiate into dentate gyrus granule cells. In sharp contrast to embryonic and perinatal development, these newly differentiated neurons must integrate into a fully functional circuit, without disrupting ongoing performance. Here, after a brief historical overview and introduction to olfactory circuitry, we review recent advances in the biology of neural stem cells, mechanisms of migration in the RMS and olfactory bulb, differentiation and survival of new neurons, and finally mechanisms of synaptic integration. Our primary focus is on the olfactory system, but we also contrast the events occurring there with those in the hippocampal formation. Although both SVZ and SGZ neurogenesis are involved in some types of learning, their full functional significance remains unclear. Since both systems offer models of integration of new neuroblasts, there is immense interest in using neural stem cells to replace neurons lost in injury or disease. Though many questions remain unanswered, new insights appear daily about adult neurogenesis, regulatory mechanisms, and the fates of the progeny. We discuss here some of the central features of these advances, as well as speculate on future research directions. PMID:19615423

  3. The Olfactory Factor in Nonverbal Communication.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riley, Jobie E.

    This paper on the subject of smell in communication provides a brief survey of the subject, pulling together a wide variety of disparate ideas across many disciplines. The paper is comprised of a general introductory section and separate sections on the olfactory nonverbal communication of animals and human beings. The uses to which animals put…

  4. The olfactory experience: constants and cultural variables.

    PubMed

    Candau, J

    2004-01-01

    Odor and olfaction anthropology explores four lines of research which, in many cases, may overlap: the variability of the olfactory perception, olfactory skills and know-how, odor use, and odor representations. My proposal here is to deal with the first one, trying to answer the following question: is olfactory perception a phenomenon resulting solely from the biological organization of the human being, in such a way that it does not know other variations than the ones due to nature? Or, on the contrary, can we show different kinds of olfaction culturally determined or, at least, environmental influences resulting in significant perceptual differences among groups, societies, cultures, etc.? In the first part of the text, I will deal with the invariants (or universals). In the second, I will insist on the cultural types of olfaction. In the third and last part, I will advance the following proposal: beyond the discussion on the roles that nature and culture play in human olfaction, we can sustain that naturally and culturally, there is a way of smelling characteristic of our species. Finally, I will conclude with two examples of the symbolic treatment characteristic of the olfactory human experience.

  5. Nitric oxide synthesis in locust olfactory interneurones

    PubMed

    Elphick; Rayne; Riveros-Moreno; Moncada; Shea

    1995-01-01

    The brain of the locust Schistocerca gregaria contains a nitric oxide synthase (NOS) that has similar properties to mammalian neuronal NOS. It catalyses the production of equimolar quantities of nitric oxide (NO) and citrulline from l-arginine in a Ca2+/calmodulin- and NADPH-dependent manner and is inhibited by the Nomega-nitro and Nomega-monomethyl analogues of l-arginine. In Western blots, an antiserum to the 160 kDa rat cerebellar NOS subunit recognises a locust brain protein with a molecular mass of approximately 135 kDa. NOS is located in several parts of the locust brain, including the mushroom bodies, but it is particularly abundant in the olfactory processing centres, the antennal lobes. Here it is present in two groups of local interneurones (a pair and a cluster of about 50) that project into the neuropile of the antennal lobes. The processes of these neurones terminate in numerous glomerulus-like structures where the synapses between primary olfactory receptor neurones and central interneurones are formed. NOS-containing local interneurones have also been identified in the mammalian olfactory bulb, suggesting that NO performs analogous functions in locust and mammalian olfactory systems. As yet, nothing is known about the role of NO in olfaction, but it seems likely that it is involved in the processing of chemosensory input to the brain. The locust antennal lobe may be an ideal 'simple' system in which this aspect of NO function can be examined.

  6. Resistance to Interference of Olfactory Perceptual Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stevenson, Richard J.; Case, Trevor I.; Tomiczek, Caroline

    2007-01-01

    Olfactory memory is especially persistent. The current study explored whether this applies to a form of perceptual learning, in which experience of an odor mixture results in greater judged similarity between its elements. Experiment 1A contrasted 2 forms of interference procedure, "compound" (mixture AW, followed by presentation of new mixtures…

  7. Acid sensing by the Drosophila olfactory system.

    PubMed

    Ai, Minrong; Min, Soohong; Grosjean, Yael; Leblanc, Charlotte; Bell, Rati; Benton, Richard; Suh, Greg S B

    2010-12-01

    The odour of acids has a distinct quality that is perceived as sharp, pungent and often irritating. How acidity is sensed and translated into an appropriate behavioural response is poorly understood. Here we describe a functionally segregated population of olfactory sensory neurons in the fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster, that are highly selective for acidity. These olfactory sensory neurons express IR64a, a member of the recently identified ionotropic receptor (IR) family of putative olfactory receptors. In vivo calcium imaging showed that IR64a+ neurons projecting to the DC4 glomerulus in the antennal lobe are specifically activated by acids. Flies in which the function of IR64a+ neurons or the IR64a gene is disrupted had defects in acid-evoked physiological and behavioural responses, but their responses to non-acidic odorants remained unaffected. Furthermore, artificial stimulation of IR64a+ neurons elicited avoidance responses. Taken together, these results identify cellular and molecular substrates for acid detection in the Drosophila olfactory system and support a labelled-line mode of acidity coding at the periphery. PMID:21085119

  8. High potency olfactory receptor agonists discovered by virtual high-throughput screening: molecular probes for receptor structure and olfactory function

    PubMed Central

    Triballeau, Nicolas; Van Name, Eric; Laslier, Guillaume; Cai, Diana; Paillard, Guillaume; Sorensen, Peter W.; Hoffmann, Rémy; Bertrand, Hugues-Olivier; Ngai, John; Acher, Francine C.

    2008-01-01

    The detection and discrimination of diverse chemical structures by the vertebrate olfactory system is accomplished by the recognition of odorous ligands by their cognate receptors. In the present study we used a computational high-throughput screening strategy to discover novel high affinity agonists of an olfactory G protein-coupled receptor tuned to recognize amino acid ligands. Functional testing of the top candidates validated several agonists with potencies higher than any of the receptor’s known natural ligands. Computational modeling revealed molecular interactions involved in ligand recognition by this receptor, and further highlighted interactions that have been conserved in evolutionarily divergent amino acid receptors. Significantly, the top compounds display robust activities as odorants in vivo, and include a natural product that may be used to signal the presence of bacteria in the aquatic environment. Our virtual screening approach should be applicable to the identification of new bioactive molecules for probing the structure of chemosensory receptors and the function of chemosensory systems in vivo. PMID:19081373

  9. Olfactory dysfunction in head injured workers.

    PubMed

    Ogawa, T; Rutka, J

    1999-01-01

    Olfactory dysfunction following trauma has been widely reported and is currently compensable according to existing American Medical Association guidelines when it occurs in the occupational setting. Its presence and the risk factors for its development, however, have not been clearly delineated in occupationally head injured workers. In order to assess this phenomenon, a series of 365 consecutive head injured workers from 1993-1997 was assessed in order to determine the incidence of post-traumatic olfactory dysfunction and its association with the severity of the head injury, the mechanism of injury and other neurotological abnormalities in the same cohort group. Olfactory dysfunction was identified in 13.7% (9.3% with anosmia, 4.4% with hyposmia/dysosmia). It was more likely where the loss of consciousness > 1 h (p < 0.002), in more severe head injuries (grades II-V) (p < 0.001) and when skull fracture (p < 0.001) occurred. The direction of the blow applied to the skull did not influence its presence, although radiologically confirmed skull fractures in the frontal, occipital, skull base and midface were twice as likely as temporal and parietal fractures to result in an olfactory change. From a neurotologic perspective, approximately 21.9% of head injured workers were determined to have recognizable evidence of cochleovestibular dysfunction. Olfactory dysfunction as a physical finding post-head injury compares favourably with the presence of post-traumatic benign positional paroxysmal vertigo (BPPV) and its atypical variants in 11.2% of head injured workers. PMID:10445080

  10. Neuropeptide F neurons modulate sugar reward during associative olfactory learning of Drosophila larvae.

    PubMed

    Rohwedder, Astrid; Selcho, Mareike; Chassot, Bérénice; Thum, Andreas S

    2015-12-15

    All organisms continuously have to adapt their behavior according to changes in the environment in order to survive. Experience-driven changes in behavior are usually mediated and maintained by modifications in signaling within defined brain circuits. Given the simplicity of the larval brain of Drosophila and its experimental accessibility on the genetic and behavioral level, we analyzed if Drosophila neuropeptide F (dNPF) neurons are involved in classical olfactory conditioning. dNPF is an ortholog of the mammalian neuropeptide Y, a highly conserved neuromodulator that stimulates food-seeking behavior. We provide a comprehensive anatomical analysis of the dNPF neurons on the single-cell level. We demonstrate that artificial activation of dNPF neurons inhibits appetitive olfactory learning by modulating the sugar reward signal during acquisition. No effect is detectable for the retrieval of an established appetitive olfactory memory. The modulatory effect is based on the joint action of three distinct cell types that, if tested on the single-cell level, inhibit and invert the conditioned behavior. Taken together, our work describes anatomically and functionally a new part of the sugar reinforcement signaling pathway for classical olfactory conditioning in Drosophila larvae.

  11. Feeding the insect industry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This article reports the use of insect colloidal artificial diets suitable for the rearing of economically important arthropods, such as Lygus lineolaris, Lygus hesperus, Coleomegilla maculata, and Phytoseiulus persimilis The different diets contain key nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, vit...

  12. Insect Bites and Stings

    MedlinePlus

    ... they sometimes cause discomfort. Bee, wasp, and hornet stings and fire ant bites usually hurt. Mosquito and ... have severe allergic reactions to insect bites and stings (such as anaphylaxis), carry an emergency epinephrine kit

  13. Insects and climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Elias, S.A. )

    1991-09-01

    In this article the author describes some of the significant late glacial and Holocene changes that occurred in the Rocky Mountains, including the regional extirpation of certain beetle species. The fossil data presented here summarize what is known about regional insect responses to climate change in terms of species stability and geographic distribution. To minimize potential problems of species interactions (i.e., insect-host plant relationships, host-parasite relationships, and other interactions that tie a particular insect species' distribution to that of another organism), only predators and scavengers are discussed. These insects respond most rapidly to environmental changes, because for the most part they are not tied to any particular type of vegetation.

  14. Insect hemolymph clotting.

    PubMed

    Dushay, Mitchell S

    2009-08-01

    The clot's appearance in different large-bodied insects has been described, but until recently, little was known about any insect clot's molecular makeup, and few experiments could directly test its function. Techniques have been developed in Drosophila (fruit fly) larvae to identify clotting factors that can then be tested for effects on hemostasis, healing, and immunity. This has revealed unanticipated complexity in the hemostatic mechanisms in these larvae. While the clot's molecular structure is not yet fully understood, progress is being made, and the loss of clotting factors has been shown to cause subtle immune defects. The few similarities between coagulation in different insect species and life stages, and the current state of knowledge about coagulation in insects are discussed. PMID:19418022

  15. Evolution of the Insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grimaldi, David; Engel, Michael S.

    2005-05-01

    This book chronicles the complete evolutionary history of insects--their living diversity and relationships as well as 400 million years of fossils. Introductory sections cover the living species diversity of insects, methods of reconstructing evolutionary relationships, basic insect structure, and the diverse modes of insect fossilization and major fossil deposits. Major sections then explore the relationships and evolution of each order of hexapods. The volume also chronicles major episodes in the evolutionary history of insects from their modest beginnings in the Devonian and the origin of wings hundreds of millions of years before pterosaurs and birds to the impact of mass extinctions and the explosive radiation of angiosperms on insects, and how they evolved into the most complex societies in nature. Whereas other volumes focus on either living species or fossils, this is the first comprehensive synthesis of all aspects of insect evolution. Illustrated with 955 photo- and electron- micrographs, drawings, diagrams, and field photos, many in full color and virtually all of them original, this reference will appeal to anyone engaged with insect diversity--professional entomologists and students, insect and fossil collectors, and naturalists. David Grimaldi and Michael S. Engel have collectively published over 200 scientific articles and monographs on the relationships and fossil record of insects, including 10 articles in the journals Science, Nature, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. David Grimaldi is curator in the Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History and adjunct professor at Cornell University, Columbia University, and the City University of New York. David Grimaldi has traveled in 40 countries on 6 continents, collecting and studying recent species of insects and conducting fossil excavations. He is the author of Amber: Window to the Past (Abrams, 2003). Michael S. Engel is an assistant professor in the

  16. Nonlinear flight dynamics and stability of hovering model insects.

    PubMed

    Liang, Bin; Sun, Mao

    2013-08-01

    Current analyses on insect dynamic flight stability are based on linear theory and limited to small disturbance motions. However, insects' aerial environment is filled with swirling eddies and wind gusts, and large disturbances are common. Here, we numerically solve the equations of motion coupled with the Navier-Stokes equations to simulate the large disturbance motions and analyse the nonlinear flight dynamics of hovering model insects. We consider two representative model insects, a model hawkmoth (large size, low wingbeat frequency) and a model dronefly (small size, high wingbeat frequency). For small and large initial disturbances, the disturbance motion grows with time, and the insects tumble and never return to the equilibrium state; the hovering flight is inherently (passively) unstable. The instability is caused by a pitch moment produced by forward/backward motion and/or a roll moment produced by side motion of the insect.

  17. Nonlinear flight dynamics and stability of hovering model insects

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Bin; Sun, Mao

    2013-01-01

    Current analyses on insect dynamic flight stability are based on linear theory and limited to small disturbance motions. However, insects' aerial environment is filled with swirling eddies and wind gusts, and large disturbances are common. Here, we numerically solve the equations of motion coupled with the Navier–Stokes equations to simulate the large disturbance motions and analyse the nonlinear flight dynamics of hovering model insects. We consider two representative model insects, a model hawkmoth (large size, low wingbeat frequency) and a model dronefly (small size, high wingbeat frequency). For small and large initial disturbances, the disturbance motion grows with time, and the insects tumble and never return to the equilibrium state; the hovering flight is inherently (passively) unstable. The instability is caused by a pitch moment produced by forward/backward motion and/or a roll moment produced by side motion of the insect. PMID:23697714

  18. Exploring Insect Vision

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Damonte, Kathleen

    2005-01-01

    A fly is buzzing around in the kitchen. You sneak up on it with a flyswatter, but just as you get close to it, it flies away. What makes flies and other insects so good at escaping from danger? The fact that insects have eyesight that can easily detect moving objects is one of the things that help them survive. In this month's Science Shorts,…

  19. Important Insect Pests of Fruit - Important Insect Pests of Nuts - Field Crop Insect Pests - Insect Pests of Vegetable Crops.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gesell, Stanley G.; And Others

    This document consists of four agriculture extension service publications from Pennsylvania State University. The titles are: (1) Important Insect Pests of Fruit; (2) Important Insect Pests of Nuts; (3) Field Crop Insect Pests; and (4) Insect Pests of Vegetable Crops. The first publication gives the hosts, injury, and description of 22 insect…

  20. Decision-making and action selection in insects: inspiration from vertebrate-based theories

    PubMed Central

    Barron, Andrew B.; Gurney, Kevin N.; Meah, Lianne F. S.; Vasilaki, Eleni; Marshall, James A. R.

    2015-01-01

    Effective decision-making, one of the most crucial functions of the brain, entails the analysis of sensory information and the selection of appropriate behavior in response to stimuli. Here, we consider the current state of knowledge on the mechanisms of decision-making and action selection in the insect brain, with emphasis on the olfactory processing system. Theoretical and computational models of decision-making emphasize the importance of using inhibitory connections to couple evidence-accumulating pathways; this coupling allows for effective discrimination between competing alternatives and thus enables a decision maker to reach a stable unitary decision. Theory also shows that the coupling of pathways can be implemented using a variety of different mechanisms and vastly improves the performance of decision-making systems. The vertebrate basal ganglia appear to resolve stable action selection by being a point of convergence for multiple excitatory and inhibitory inputs such that only one possible response is selected and all other alternatives are suppressed. Similar principles appear to operate within the insect brain. The insect lateral protocerebrum (LP) serves as a point of convergence for multiple excitatory and inhibitory channels of olfactory information to effect stable decision and action selection, at least for olfactory information. The LP is a rather understudied region of the insect brain, yet this premotor region may be key to effective resolution of action section. We argue that it may be beneficial to use models developed to explore the operation of the vertebrate brain as inspiration when considering action selection in the invertebrate domain. Such an approach may facilitate the proposal of new hypotheses and furthermore frame experimental studies for how decision-making and action selection might be achieved in insects. PMID:26347627

  1. Decision-making and action selection in insects: inspiration from vertebrate-based theories.

    PubMed

    Barron, Andrew B; Gurney, Kevin N; Meah, Lianne F S; Vasilaki, Eleni; Marshall, James A R

    2015-01-01

    Effective decision-making, one of the most crucial functions of the brain, entails the analysis of sensory information and the selection of appropriate behavior in response to stimuli. Here, we consider the current state of knowledge on the mechanisms of decision-making and action selection in the insect brain, with emphasis on the olfactory processing system. Theoretical and computational models of decision-making emphasize the importance of using inhibitory connections to couple evidence-accumulating pathways; this coupling allows for effective discrimination between competing alternatives and thus enables a decision maker to reach a stable unitary decision. Theory also shows that the coupling of pathways can be implemented using a variety of different mechanisms and vastly improves the performance of decision-making systems. The vertebrate basal ganglia appear to resolve stable action selection by being a point of convergence for multiple excitatory and inhibitory inputs such that only one possible response is selected and all other alternatives are suppressed. Similar principles appear to operate within the insect brain. The insect lateral protocerebrum (LP) serves as a point of convergence for multiple excitatory and inhibitory channels of olfactory information to effect stable decision and action selection, at least for olfactory information. The LP is a rather understudied region of the insect brain, yet this premotor region may be key to effective resolution of action section. We argue that it may be beneficial to use models developed to explore the operation of the vertebrate brain as inspiration when considering action selection in the invertebrate domain. Such an approach may facilitate the proposal of new hypotheses and furthermore frame experimental studies for how decision-making and action selection might be achieved in insects.

  2. Insect--plant adaptations.

    PubMed

    Southwood, T R

    1984-01-01

    The adaptation of insects to plants probably commenced in the early Permian period, though most current associations will be more recent. A major burst of adaptation must have followed the rise of the Angiosperms in the Cretaceous period, though some particular associations are as recent as this century. Living plants form a large proportion of the potential food in most habitats, though insects have had to overcome certain general hurdles to live and feed on them. Insects affect the reproduction and survival of plants, and thus the diversity of plant secondary chemicals may have evolved as a response. Where an insect species has a significant effect on a plant species that is its only host, coevolution may be envisaged. A spectacular example is provided by Heliconius butterflies and passion flower vines, studied by L.E. Gilbert and others. But such cases may be likened to 'vortices in the evolutionary stream': most plant species are influenced by a range of phytophagous insects so that selection will be for general defences--a situation termed diffuse coevolution. Evidence is presented on recent host-plant shifts to illustrate both the restrictions and the flexibility in current insect-plant associations.

  3. Transformation systems in insects.

    PubMed

    O'Brochta, David A; Atkinson, Peter W

    2004-01-01

    Genetic transformation is an important technology that provides unique opportunities to find, isolate, and analyze genes, as well as to create organisms with unique functional characteristics. Insect biologists have been developing genetic transformation technologies that rely extensively on transposable elements. A number of class II transposable elements isolated originally from insects have been converted into broad host range insect gene vectors. Class II transposable elements are particularly amenable to gene vector development, although they suffer from some limitations such as low rates of recombination. Use of these gene vectors requires the physical introduction of the vectors into developing insect embryos by microinjection. Microinjection methods vary to accommodate the unique physical and developmental characteristics of the target insects. All methods rely on the use of fine glass needles in conjunction with micromanipulators and a microscope. A serious constraint on the use of existing systems can be the inefficiency of successfully delivering the gene vectors to the germ cells of the developing embryo. The general method for vector delivery to insect germ cells is described, as well as variations that are useful under some conditions.

  4. Insect--plant adaptations.

    PubMed

    Southwood, T R

    1984-01-01

    The adaptation of insects to plants probably commenced in the early Permian period, though most current associations will be more recent. A major burst of adaptation must have followed the rise of the Angiosperms in the Cretaceous period, though some particular associations are as recent as this century. Living plants form a large proportion of the potential food in most habitats, though insects have had to overcome certain general hurdles to live and feed on them. Insects affect the reproduction and survival of plants, and thus the diversity of plant secondary chemicals may have evolved as a response. Where an insect species has a significant effect on a plant species that is its only host, coevolution may be envisaged. A spectacular example is provided by Heliconius butterflies and passion flower vines, studied by L.E. Gilbert and others. But such cases may be likened to 'vortices in the evolutionary stream': most plant species are influenced by a range of phytophagous insects so that selection will be for general defences--a situation termed diffuse coevolution. Evidence is presented on recent host-plant shifts to illustrate both the restrictions and the flexibility in current insect-plant associations. PMID:6559112

  5. Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Gilbert F.

    1980-01-01

    Presented are perspectives on the emergence of environmental problems. Six major trends in scientific thinking are identified including: holistic approaches to examining environments, life support systems, resource management, risk assessment, streamlined methods for monitoring environmental change, and emphasis on the global framework. (Author/SA)

  6. Leptin-sensitive OBP-expressing mucous cells in rat olfactory epithelium: a novel target for olfaction-nutrition crosstalk?

    PubMed

    Badonnel, Karine; Durieux, Didier; Monnerie, Régine; Grébert, Denise; Salesse, Roland; Caillol, Monique; Baly, Christine

    2009-10-01

    Although odorant-binding proteins (OBP) are one of the most abundant classes of proteins in the mammalian olfactory mucus, they have only recently been ascribed a functional role in the detection of odorants by olfactory neurons. Among the three OBPs described in the rat, OBP-1f is mainly secreted by the lateral nasal glands (LNG) and Bowman's glands, and its expression is transcriptionally regulated by food deprivation in the olfactory mucosa, but not in LNG. Therefore, mucus composition might be locally regulated by hormones or molecules relevant to nutritional status. Our aim has been to investigate the mechanisms of such physiological regulation at the cellular level, through both the examination of OBP-1f synthesis sites in the olfactory mucosa and their putative regulation by leptin, a locally acting satiety hormone. Immunohistochemical observations have allowed the identification of a novel population of OBP-1f-secreting cells displaying morphological and functional characteristics similar to those of epithelial mucous cells. Ultrastructural analyses by both transmission and scanning electron microscopy has enabled a more complete cytoarchitectural characterization of these specialized olfactory mucous cells in their tissue environment. These globular cells are localized in discrete zones of the olfactory epithelium, mainly in the fourth turbinate, and are often scattered from the basal to the apical surface of the epithelium. They contain numerous small droplets of mucosubstances. Using an in-vitro-derived model of olfactory mucosa primary culture, we have been able to demonstrate that leptin increases the production of mucus by these cells, so that they constitute potential targets for the physiological modulation of mucus composition by nutritional cues.

  7. Trace amines inhibit insect odorant receptor function through antagonism of the co-receptor subunit

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Sisi; Luetje, Charles W.

    2014-01-01

    Many insect behaviors are driven by olfaction, making insect olfactory receptors (ORs) appealing targets for insect control.  Insect ORs are odorant-gated ion channels, with each receptor thought to be composed of a representative from a large, variable family of odorant binding subunits and a highly conserved co-receptor subunit (Orco), assembled in an unknown stoichiometry.  Synthetic Orco directed agonists and antagonists have recently been identified.  Several Orco antagonists have been shown to act via an allosteric mechanism to inhibit OR activation by odorants.  The high degree of conservation of Orco across insect species results in Orco antagonists having broad activity at ORs from a variety of insect species and suggests that the binding site for Orco ligands may serve as a modulatory site for compounds endogenous to insects or may be a target of exogenous compounds, such as those produced by plants.  To test this idea, we screened a series of biogenic and trace amines, identifying several as Orco antagonists.  Of particular interest were tryptamine, a plant-produced amine, and tyramine, an amine endogenous to the insect nervous system.  Tryptamine was found to be a potent antagonist of Orco, able to block Orco activation by an Orco agonist and to allosterically inhibit activation of ORs by odorants.  Tyramine had effects similar to those of tryptamine, but was less potent.  Importantly, both tryptamine and tyramine displayed broad activity, inhibiting odorant activation of ORs of species from three different insect orders (Diptera, Lepidoptera and Coleoptera), as well as odorant activation of six diverse ORs from a single species (the human malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles gambiae).  Our results suggest that endogenous and exogenous natural compounds serve as Orco ligands modulating insect olfaction and that Orco can be an important target for the development of novel insect repellants. PMID:25075297

  8. An information theoretic model of information processing in the Drosophila olfactory system: the role of inhibitory neurons for system efficiency.

    PubMed

    Faghihi, Faramarz; Kolodziejski, Christoph; Fiala, André; Wörgötter, Florentin; Tetzlaff, Christian

    2013-12-20

    Fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) rely on their olfactory system to process environmental information. This information has to be transmitted without system-relevant loss by the olfactory system to deeper brain areas for learning. Here we study the role of several parameters of the fly's olfactory system and the environment and how they influence olfactory information transmission. We have designed an abstract model of the antennal lobe, the mushroom body and the inhibitory circuitry. Mutual information between the olfactory environment, simulated in terms of different odor concentrations, and a sub-population of intrinsic mushroom body neurons (Kenyon cells) was calculated to quantify the efficiency of information transmission. With this method we study, on the one hand, the effect of different connectivity rates between olfactory projection neurons and firing thresholds of Kenyon cells. On the other hand, we analyze the influence of inhibition on mutual information between environment and mushroom body. Our simulations show an expected linear relation between the connectivity rate between the antennal lobe and the mushroom body and firing threshold of the Kenyon cells to obtain maximum mutual information for both low and high odor concentrations. However, contradicting all-day experiences, high odor concentrations cause a drastic, and unrealistic, decrease in mutual information for all connectivity rates compared to low concentration. But when inhibition on the mushroom body is included, mutual information remains at high levels independent of other system parameters. This finding points to a pivotal role of inhibition in fly information processing without which the system efficiency will be substantially reduced.

  9. Differential Muscarinic Modulation in the Olfactory Bulb

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Richard S.; Hu, Ruilong; DeSouza, Andre; Eberly, Christian L.; Krahe, Krista; Chan, Wilson

    2015-01-01

    Neuromodulation of olfactory circuits by acetylcholine (ACh) plays an important role in odor discrimination and learning. Early processing of chemosensory signals occurs in two functionally and anatomically distinct regions, the main and accessory olfactory bulbs (MOB and AOB), which receive extensive cholinergic input from the basal forebrain. Here, we explore the regulation of AOB and MOB circuits by ACh, and how cholinergic modulation influences olfactory-mediated behaviors in mice. Surprisingly, despite the presence of a conserved circuit, activation of muscarinic ACh receptors revealed marked differences in cholinergic modulation of output neurons: excitation in the AOB and inhibition in the MOB. Granule cells (GCs), the most abundant intrinsic neuron in the OB, also exhibited a complex muscarinic response. While GCs in the AOB were excited, MOB GCs exhibited a dual muscarinic action in the form of a hyperpolarization and an increase in excitability uncovered by cell depolarization. Furthermore, ACh influenced the input–output relationship of mitral cells in the AOB and MOB differently showing a net effect on gain in mitral cells of the MOB, but not in the AOB. Interestingly, despite the striking differences in neuromodulatory actions on output neurons, chemogenetic inhibition of cholinergic neurons produced similar perturbations in olfactory behaviors mediated by these two regions. Decreasing ACh in the OB disrupted the natural discrimination of molecularly related odors and the natural investigation of odors associated with social behaviors. Thus, the distinct neuromodulation by ACh in these circuits could underlie different solutions to the processing of general odors and semiochemicals, and the diverse olfactory behaviors they trigger. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT State-dependent cholinergic modulation of brain circuits is critical for several high-level cognitive functions, including attention and memory. Here, we provide new evidence that cholinergic

  10. 40 CFR 180.1064 - Tomato pinworm insect pheromone; exemption from the requirement of a tolerance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Tomato pinworm insect pheromone... RESIDUES IN FOOD Exemptions From Tolerances § 180.1064 Tomato pinworm insect pheromone; exemption from the... residues of both components of the tomato pinworm insect pheromone (E)-4-tridecen-1-yl acetate and...

  11. 40 CFR 180.1064 - Tomato pinworm insect pheromone; exemption from the requirement of a tolerance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 23 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Tomato pinworm insect pheromone... RESIDUES IN FOOD Exemptions From Tolerances § 180.1064 Tomato pinworm insect pheromone; exemption from the... residues of both components of the tomato pinworm insect pheromone (E)-4-tridecen-1-yl acetate and...

  12. 40 CFR 180.1064 - Tomato pinworm insect pheromone; exemption from the requirement of a tolerance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Tomato pinworm insect pheromone... RESIDUES IN FOOD Exemptions From Tolerances § 180.1064 Tomato pinworm insect pheromone; exemption from the... residues of both components of the tomato pinworm insect pheromone (E)-4-tridecen-1-yl acetate and...

  13. 40 CFR 180.1064 - Tomato pinworm insect pheromone; exemption from the requirement of a tolerance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 25 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Tomato pinworm insect pheromone... RESIDUES IN FOOD Exemptions From Tolerances § 180.1064 Tomato pinworm insect pheromone; exemption from the... residues of both components of the tomato pinworm insect pheromone (E)-4-tridecen-1-yl acetate and...

  14. 40 CFR 180.1064 - Tomato pinworm insect pheromone; exemption from the requirement of a tolerance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 25 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Tomato pinworm insect pheromone... RESIDUES IN FOOD Exemptions From Tolerances § 180.1064 Tomato pinworm insect pheromone; exemption from the... residues of both components of the tomato pinworm insect pheromone (E)-4-tridecen-1-yl acetate and...

  15. Insect bite reactions.

    PubMed

    Singh, Sanjay; Mann, Baldeep Kaur

    2013-01-01

    Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods. Insect bite reactions are commonly seen in clinical practice. The present review touches upon the medically important insects and their places in the classification, the sparse literature on the epidemiology of insect bites in India, and different variables influencing the susceptibility of an individual to insect bites. Clinical features of mosquito bites, hypersensitivity to mosquito bites Epstein-Barr virus NK (HMB-EBV-NK) disease, eruptive pseudoangiomatosis, Skeeter syndrome, papular pruritic eruption of HIV/AIDS, and clinical features produced by bed bugs, Mexican chicken bugs, assassin bugs, kissing bugs, fleas, black flies, Blandford flies, louse flies, tsetse flies, midges, and thrips are discussed. Brief account is presented of the immunogenic components of mosquito and bed bug saliva. Papular urticaria is discussed including its epidemiology, the 5 stages of skin reaction, the SCRATCH principle as an aid in diagnosis, and the recent evidence supporting participation of types I, III, and IV hypersensitivity reactions in its causation is summarized. Recent developments in the treatment of pediculosis capitis including spinosad 0.9% suspension, benzyl alcohol 5% lotion, dimethicone 4% lotion, isopropyl myristate 50% rinse, and other suffocants are discussed within the context of evidence derived from randomized controlled trials and key findings of a recent systematic review. We also touch upon a non-chemical treatment of head lice and the ineffectiveness of egg-loosening products. Knockdown resistance (kdr) as the genetic mechanism making the lice nerves insensitive to permethrin is discussed along with the surprising contrary clinical evidence from Europe about efficacy of permethrin in children with head lice carrying kdr-like gene. The review also presents a brief account of insects as vectors of diseases and ends with discussion of prevention of insect bites and some serious adverse effects

  16. Enterococci in Insects

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Jonathan D.; Mundt, J. Orvin

    1972-01-01

    Enterococci were obtained from 213 of 403 insects cultured during a 14-month period, in numbers from 103 to 3 × 107/g of insect. Insects were taken only from nonurban, wild, and cultivated fields and woods. In species of insects carrying them, enterococci were not always present in every individual cultured, and often more than one species of enterococcus occurred within a species. Enterococci were obtained from certain insects taken in the field during the dormant season, suggesting their role as overwintering agents. They were generally present in species feeding on nectar, succulent plant parts, and on and ir forest litter, but not from insects feeding on less succulent leaves and stems. Streptococcus faecalis was recovered from 32%, Streptococcus faecium from 22.4%, and Streptococcus faecium var. casseliflavus from 43.5% of members of the 37 taxa of insects. S. faecalis and S. faecium var. casseliflavus exhibit a high percent of conformity to the properties published for them. The heterogeneity in properties of S. faecium is similar to that found for the species taken from plants. Many fail to grow in broth at 45 C or in broth containing 6.5% NaCl; 50% of the cultures ferment both melezitose and melibiose, and a few ferment neither sugar. The remainder ferment melibiose only. Failure to reduce methylene blue in milk by S. faecalis and S. faecium is correlated with the inability to ferment lactose. More than 93% of the cultures of S. faecalis digest casein in milk from the top downward, following the production of a soft, flowing curd. Because this property is not characteristic of S. faecalis taken from humans, the reaction in litmus milk is suggested as a means of differentiation between cultures of remote and innocent origin in nature and recent, human pollution. PMID:4628796

  17. Insect bite reactions.

    PubMed

    Singh, Sanjay; Mann, Baldeep Kaur

    2013-01-01

    Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods. Insect bite reactions are commonly seen in clinical practice. The present review touches upon the medically important insects and their places in the classification, the sparse literature on the epidemiology of insect bites in India, and different variables influencing the susceptibility of an individual to insect bites. Clinical features of mosquito bites, hypersensitivity to mosquito bites Epstein-Barr virus NK (HMB-EBV-NK) disease, eruptive pseudoangiomatosis, Skeeter syndrome, papular pruritic eruption of HIV/AIDS, and clinical features produced by bed bugs, Mexican chicken bugs, assassin bugs, kissing bugs, fleas, black flies, Blandford flies, louse flies, tsetse flies, midges, and thrips are discussed. Brief account is presented of the immunogenic components of mosquito and bed bug saliva. Papular urticaria is discussed including its epidemiology, the 5 stages of skin reaction, the SCRATCH principle as an aid in diagnosis, and the recent evidence supporting participation of types I, III, and IV hypersensitivity reactions in its causation is summarized. Recent developments in the treatment of pediculosis capitis including spinosad 0.9% suspension, benzyl alcohol 5% lotion, dimethicone 4% lotion, isopropyl myristate 50% rinse, and other suffocants are discussed within the context of evidence derived from randomized controlled trials and key findings of a recent systematic review. We also touch upon a non-chemical treatment of head lice and the ineffectiveness of egg-loosening products. Knockdown resistance (kdr) as the genetic mechanism making the lice nerves insensitive to permethrin is discussed along with the surprising contrary clinical evidence from Europe about efficacy of permethrin in children with head lice carrying kdr-like gene. The review also presents a brief account of insects as vectors of diseases and ends with discussion of prevention of insect bites and some serious adverse effects

  18. Response Patterns of Single Neurons in the Tortoise Olfactory Epithelium and Olfactory Bulb

    PubMed Central

    Mathews, Donald F.

    1972-01-01

    The responses to odor stimulation of 40 single units in the olfactory mucosa and of 18 units in the olfactory bulb of the tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) were recorded with indium-filled, Pt-black-tipped microelectrodes. The test battery consisted of 27 odorants which were proved effective by recording from small bundles of olfactory nerve. Two concentrations of each odorant were employed. These values were adjusted for response magnitudes equal to those for amyl acetate at –2.5 and –3.5 log concentration in olfactory twig recording. Varying concentrations were generated by an injection-type olfactometer. The mucosal responses were exclusively facilitory with a peak frequency of 16 impulses/sec. 19 mucosal units responded to at least one odorant and each unit was sensitive to a limited number of odorants (1–15). The sensitivity pattern of each unit was highly individual, with no clear-cut types, either chemical or qualitative, emerging. Of the 18 olfactory bulb units sampled, all responded to at least one odorant. The maximum frequency observed during a response was 39 impulses/sec. The bulbar neurons can be classified into two types. There are neurons that respond exclusively with facilitation and others that respond with facilitation to some odorants and with inhibition to others. Qualitatively or chemically similar odorants did not generate similar patterns across bulbar units. PMID:5049077

  19. Organization of deutocerebral neuropils and olfactory behavior in the centipede Scutigera coleoptrata (Linnaeus, 1758) (Myriapoda: Chilopoda).

    PubMed

    Sombke, Andy; Harzsch, Steffen; Hansson, Bill S

    2011-01-01

    Myriapods represent an arthropod lineage, that originating from a marine arthropod ancestor most likely conquered land independently from hexapods and crustaceans. Establishing aerial olfaction during a transition from the ocean to land requires molecules to be detected in gas phase instead of in water solution. Considering that the olfactory sense of myriapods has evolved independently from that in hexapods and crustaceans, the question arises if and how myriapods have solved the tasks of odor detection and odor information processing in air. Comparative studies between arthropod taxa that independently have established a terrestrial life style provide a powerful means of investigating the evolution of chemosensory adaptations in this environment and to understand how the arthropod nervous system evolved in response to new environmental and ecological challenges. In general, the neuroethology of myriapods and the architecture of their central nervous systems are insufficiently understood. In a set of experiments with the centipede Scutigera coleoptrata, we analyzed the central olfactory pathway with serial semi-thin sectioning combined with 3-dimensional reconstruction, antennal backfilling with neuronal tracers, and immunofluorescence combined with confocal laser-scanning microscopy. Furthermore, we conducted behavioral experiments to find out if these animals react to airborne stimuli. Our results show that the primary olfactory and mechanosensory centers are well developed in these organisms but that the shape of the olfactory neuropils in S. coleoptrata is strikingly different when compared with those of hexapods and malacostracan crustaceans. Nevertheless, the presence of distinct neuropils for chemosensory and mechanosensory qualities in S. coleoptrata, malacostracan Crustacea, and Hexapoda could indicate a common architectural principle within the Mandibulata. Furthermore, behavioral experiments indicate that S. coleoptrata is able to perceive airborne

  20. Neural correlates of taste perception in congenital olfactory impairment.

    PubMed

    Gagnon, Léa; Vestergaard, Martin; Madsen, Kristoffer; Karstensen, Helena G; Siebner, Hartwig; Tommerup, Niels; Kupers, Ron; Ptito, Maurice

    2014-09-01

    Olfaction and gustation contribute both to the appreciation of food flavours. Although acquired loss of smell has profound consequences on the pleasure of eating, food habits and body weight, less is known about the impact of congenital olfactory impairment on gustatory processing. Here we examined taste identification accuracy and its neural correlates using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 12 congenitally olfactory impaired individuals and 8 normosmic controls. Results showed that taste identification was worse in congenitally olfactory impaired compared to control subjects. The fMRI results demonstrated that olfactory impaired individuals had reduced activation in medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC) relative to normosmic subjects while tasting. In addition, olfactory performance as measured with the Sniffin' Sticks correlated positively with taste-induced blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal increases in bilateral mOFC and anterior insula. Our data provide a neurological underpinning for the reduced taste perception in congenitally olfactory impaired individuals.

  1. Sensory Cell Proliferation within the Olfactory Epithelium of Developing Adult Manduca sexta (Lepidoptera)

    PubMed Central

    Franco, Marie-dominique; Bohbot, Jonathan; Fernandez, Kenny; Hanna, Jayd; Poppy, James; Vogt, Richard

    2007-01-01

    Background Insects detect a multitude of odors using a broad array of phenotypically distinct olfactory organs referred to as olfactory sensilla. Each sensillum contains one to several sensory neurons and at least three support cells; these cells arise from mitotic activities from one or a small group of defined precursor cells. Sensilla phenotypes are defined by distinct morphologies, and specificities to specific odors; these are the consequence of developmental programs expressed by associated neurons and support cells, and by selection and expression of subpopulations of olfactory genes encoding such proteins as odor receptors, odorant binding proteins, and odor degrading enzymes. Methodology/Principal Findings We are investigating development of the olfactory epithelium of adult M. sexta, identifying events which might establish sensilla phenotypes. In the present study, antennal tissue was examined during the first three days of an 18 day development, a period when sensory mitotic activity was previously reported to occur. Each antenna develops as a cylinder with an outward facing sensory epithelium divided into approximately 80 repeat units or annuli. Mitotic proliferation of sensory cells initiated about 20–24 hrs after pupation (a.p.), in pre-existing zones of high density cells lining the proximal and distal borders of each annulus. These high density zones were observed as early as two hr. a.p., and expanded with mitotic activity to fill the mid-annular regions by about 72 hrs a.p. Mitotic activity initiated at a low rate, increasing dramatically after 40–48 hrs a.p.; this activity was enhanced by ecdysteroids, but did not occur in animals entering pupal diapause (which is also ecdysteroid sensitive). Conclusions/Significance Sensory proliferation initiates in narrow zones along the proximal and distal borders of each annulus; these zones rapidly expand to fill the mid-annular regions. These zones exist prior to any mitotic activity as regions of

  2. Migration strategies of insects.

    PubMed

    Dingle, H

    1972-03-24

    Physiological and ecological results from a variety of species are consistent with what seem to be valid general statements concerning insect migration. These are as follows: (i)During migration locomotory functions are enhanced and vegetative functions such as feeding and reproduction are suppressed. (ii) Migration usually occurs prereproductively in the life of the adult insect (the oogenesis-flight syndrome). (iii)Since migrant individuals are usually prereproductive, their reproductive values, and hence colonizing abilities, are at or near maximum. (iv) Migrants usually reside in temporary habitats. (v)Migrants have a high potential for population increase, r, which is also advantageous for colonizers. (vi)Both the physiological and ecological parameters of migration are modifiable by environmental factors (that is, phenotypically modifiable)to suit the prevailing conditions. Taken together, these criteria establish a comprehensive theory and adumbrate the basic strategy for migrant insects. This basic strategy is modified to suit the ecological requirements of individual species. Comparative studies of these modifications are of considerable theoretical and practical interest, the more so since most economically important insects are migrants. No satisfactory general statements can as yet be made with respect to the genotype and migration. Certainly we expect colonizing populiations to possess genotypes favoring a high r, but genotypic variation in r depends on the heritabilities of life table statistics, and such measurements are yet to be made (10, 53). The fact that flight duration can be increased by appropriate selection in Oncopeltus fasciatus, and the demonstration of additive genetic variance for this trait in Lygaeus kalmii, suggest that heritability studies of migratory behavior would also be worth pursuing. Most interesting of course, will be possible genetic correlations between migration and life history parameters. Also, migration often

  3. Cortical Metabolic Arrangement During Olfactory Processing: Proposal for a 18F FDG PET/CT Methodological Approach

    PubMed Central

    Micarelli, Alessandro; Pagani, Marco; Chiaravalloti, Agostino; Bruno, Ernesto; Pavone, Isabella; Candidi, Matteo; Danieli, Roberta; Schillaci, Orazio; Alessandrini, Marco

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The aim of this article is to investigate the cortical metabolic arrangements in olfactory processing by using 18F fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography. Twenty-six normosmic individuals (14 women and 12 men; mean age 46.7 ± 10 years) were exposed to a neutral olfactory condition (NC) and, after 1 month, to a pure olfactory condition (OC) in a relatively ecological environment, that is, outside the scanner. All the subjects were injected with 185–210 megabecquerel of 18F FDG during both stimulations. Statistical parametric mapping version 2 was used in order to assess differences between NC and OC. As a result, we found a significant higher glucose consumption during OC in the cuneus, lingual, and parahippocampal gyri, mainly in the left hemisphere. During NC, our results show a relative higher glucose metabolism in the left superior, inferior, middle, medial frontal, and orbital gyri as well as in the anterior cingulate cortex. The present investigation, performed with a widely available functional imaging clinical tool, may help to better understand the neural responses associated to olfactory processing in healthy individuals and in patients with olfactory disorders by acquiring data in an ecologic, noise-free, and resting condition in which possible cerebral activations related to unwanted attentional processes might be avoided. PMID:25340494

  4. Effect of salinity changes on olfactory memory-related genes and hormones in adult chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta.

    PubMed

    Kim, Na Na; Choi, Young Jae; Lim, Sang-Gu; Jeong, Minhwan; Jin, Deuk-Hee; Choi, Cheol Young

    2015-09-01

    Studies of memory formation have recently concentrated on the possible role of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NRs). We examined changes in the expression of three NRs (NR1, NR2B, and NR2C), olfactory receptor (OR), and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) in chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QPCR) during salinity change (seawater→50% seawater→freshwater). NRs were significantly detected in the diencephalon and telencephalon and OR was significantly detected in the olfactory epithelium. The expression of NRs, OR, and ACTH increased after the transition to freshwater. We also determined that treatment with MK-801, an antagonist of NRs, decreased NRs in telencephalon cells. In addition, a reduction in salinity was associated with increased levels of dopamine, ACTH, and cortisol (in vivo). Reductions in salinity evidently caused NRs and OR to increase the expression of cortisol and dopamine. We concluded that memory capacity and olfactory imprinting of salmon is related to the salinity of the environment during the migration to spawning sites. Furthermore, salinity affects the memory/imprinting and olfactory abilities, and cortisol and dopamine is also related with olfactory-related memories during migration.

  5. Drosophila TRPA1 channel is required to avoid the naturally occurring insect repellent citronellal

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Young; Kim, Sang Hoon; Ronderos, David S.; Lee, Youngseok; Akitake, Bradley; Woodward, Owen M.; Guggino, William B.; Smith, Dean P.; Montell, Craig

    2010-01-01

    Summary Plants produce naturally occurring insect repellents, such as citronellal, which is the main component of citronellal oil and is among the most widely-used-naturally-occurring insect repellents. However, the molecular pathways through which insects sense botanical repellents are unknown. Here, we showed that Drosophila used two pathways for direct avoidance of citronellal. The olfactory co-receptor, Or83b, which is required for the response to the synthetic repellent DEET, contributed to citronellal repulsion, and was essential for citronellal-evoked action potentials. Mutations affecting the Ca2+-permeable cation channel, TRPA1 resulted in a comparable defect in avoiding citronellal vapor. The TRPA1-dependent aversion to citronellal relied on a G protein/phospholipase C (PLC) signaling cascade, rather than direct detection of citronellal by TRPA1. Loss of TRPA1, Gq or PLC caused an increase in the frequency of citronellal-evoked action potentials in olfactory receptor neurons. Absence of the Ca2+-activated K+ channel, Slowpoke, resulted in a similar impairment in citronellal avoidance, and an increase in the frequency of action potentials. These results suggest that TRPA1 is required for activation of a BK channel to modulate citronellal-evoked action potentials, and for aversion to citronellal. In contrast to Drosophila TRPA1, Anopheles gambiae TRPA1 was directly and potently activated by citronellal, thereby raising the possibility that mosquito TRPA1 may be a target for developing improved repellents to reduce insect-borne diseases such as malaria. PMID:20797863

  6. Antennal transcriptome analysis and comparison of olfactory genes in two sympatric defoliators, Dendrolimus houi and Dendrolimus kikuchii (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Sufang; Zhang, Zhen; Wang, Hongbin; Kong, Xiangbo

    2014-09-01

    The Yunnan pine and Simao pine caterpillar moths, Dendrolimus houi Lajonquière and Dendrolimus kikuchii Matsumura (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae), are two closely related and sympatric pests of coniferous forests in southwestern China, and olfactory communication systems of these two insects have received considerable attention because of their economic importance. However, there is little information on the molecular aspect of odor detection about these insects. Furthermore, although lepidopteran species have been widely used in studies of insect olfaction, few work made comparison between sister moths on the olfactory recognition mechanisms. In this study, next-generation sequencing of the antennal transcriptome of these two moths were performed to identify the major olfactory genes. After comparing the antennal transcriptome of these two moths, we found that they exhibit highly similar transcripts-associated GO terms. Chemosensory gene families were further analyzed in both species. We identified 23 putative odorant binding proteins (OBP), 17 chemosensory proteins (CSP), two sensory neuron membrane proteins (SNMP), 33 odorant receptors (OR), and 10 ionotropic receptors (IR) in D. houi; and 27 putative OBPs, 17 CSPs, two SNMPs, 33 ORs, and nine IRs in D. kikuchii. All these transcripts were full-length or almost full-length. The predicted protein sequences were compared with orthologs in other species of Lepidoptera and model insects, including Bombyx mori, Manduca sexta, Heliothis virescens, Danaus plexippus, Sesamia inferens, Cydia pomonella, and Drosophila melanogaster. The sequence homologies of the orthologous genes in D. houi and D. kikuchii are very high. Furthermore, the olfactory genes were classed according to their expression level, and the highly expressed genes are our target for further function investigation. Interestingly, many highly expressed genes are ortholog gene of D. houi and D. kikuchii. We also found that the Classic OBPs were

  7. Antennal transcriptome analysis and comparison of olfactory genes in two sympatric defoliators, Dendrolimus houi and Dendrolimus kikuchii (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Sufang; Zhang, Zhen; Wang, Hongbin; Kong, Xiangbo

    2014-09-01

    The Yunnan pine and Simao pine caterpillar moths, Dendrolimus houi Lajonquière and Dendrolimus kikuchii Matsumura (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae), are two closely related and sympatric pests of coniferous forests in southwestern China, and olfactory communication systems of these two insects have received considerable attention because of their economic importance. However, there is little information on the molecular aspect of odor detection about these insects. Furthermore, although lepidopteran species have been widely used in studies of insect olfaction, few work made comparison between sister moths on the olfactory recognition mechanisms. In this study, next-generation sequencing of the antennal transcriptome of these two moths were performed to identify the major olfactory genes. After comparing the antennal transcriptome of these two moths, we found that they exhibit highly similar transcripts-associated GO terms. Chemosensory gene families were further analyzed in both species. We identified 23 putative odorant binding proteins (OBP), 17 chemosensory proteins (CSP), two sensory neuron membrane proteins (SNMP), 33 odorant receptors (OR), and 10 ionotropic receptors (IR) in D. houi; and 27 putative OBPs, 17 CSPs, two SNMPs, 33 ORs, and nine IRs in D. kikuchii. All these transcripts were full-length or almost full-length. The predicted protein sequences were compared with orthologs in other species of Lepidoptera and model insects, including Bombyx mori, Manduca sexta, Heliothis virescens, Danaus plexippus, Sesamia inferens, Cydia pomonella, and Drosophila melanogaster. The sequence homologies of the orthologous genes in D. houi and D. kikuchii are very high. Furthermore, the olfactory genes were classed according to their expression level, and the highly expressed genes are our target for further function investigation. Interestingly, many highly expressed genes are ortholog gene of D. houi and D. kikuchii. We also found that the Classic OBPs were

  8. Mirror sniffing: humans mimic olfactory sampling behavior.

    PubMed

    Arzi, Anat; Shedlesky, Limor; Secundo, Lavi; Sobel, Noam

    2014-05-01

    Ample evidence suggests that social chemosignaling plays a significant role in human behavior. Processing of odors and chemosignals depends on sniffing. Given this, we hypothesized that humans may have evolved an automatic mechanism driving sniffs in response to conspecific sniffing. To test this, we measured sniffing behavior of human subjects watching the movie Perfume, which contains many olfactory sniffing events. Despite the total absence of odor, observers sniffed when characters in the movie sniffed. Moreover, this effect was most pronounced in scenes where subjects heard the sniff but did not see the sniffed-at object. We liken this response to the orienting towards conspecific gaze in vision and argue that its robustness further highlights the significance of olfactory information processing in human behavior.

  9. Mirror sniffing: humans mimic olfactory sampling behavior.

    PubMed

    Arzi, Anat; Shedlesky, Limor; Secundo, Lavi; Sobel, Noam

    2014-05-01

    Ample evidence suggests that social chemosignaling plays a significant role in human behavior. Processing of odors and chemosignals depends on sniffing. Given this, we hypothesized that humans may have evolved an automatic mechanism driving sniffs in response to conspecific sniffing. To test this, we measured sniffing behavior of human subjects watching the movie Perfume, which contains many olfactory sniffing events. Despite the total absence of odor, observers sniffed when characters in the movie sniffed. Moreover, this effect was most pronounced in scenes where subjects heard the sniff but did not see the sniffed-at object. We liken this response to the orienting towards conspecific gaze in vision and argue that its robustness further highlights the significance of olfactory information processing in human behavior. PMID:24457159

  10. Olfactory Orientation and Navigation in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Jacobs, Lucia F.; Arter, Jennifer; Cook, Amy; Sulloway, Frank J.

    2015-01-01

    Although predicted by theory, there is no direct evidence that an animal can define an arbitrary location in space as a coordinate location on an odor grid. Here we show that humans can do so. Using a spatial match-to-sample procedure, humans were led to a random location within a room diffused with two odors. After brief sampling and spatial disorientation, they had to return to this location. Over three conditions, participants had access to different sensory stimuli: olfactory only, visual only, and a final control condition with no olfactory, visual, or auditory stimuli. Humans located the target with higher accuracy in the olfaction-only condition than in the control condition and showed higher accuracy than chance. Thus a mechanism long proposed for the homing pigeon, the ability to define a location on a map constructed from chemical stimuli, may also be a navigational mechanism used by humans. PMID:26083337

  11. Odors Discrimination by Olfactory Epithelium Biosensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Qingjun; Hu, Ning; Ye, Weiwei; Zhang, Fenni; Wang, Hua; Wang, Ping

    2011-09-01

    Humans are exploring the bionic biological olfaction to sense the various trace components of gas or liquid in many fields. For achieving the goal, we endeavor to establish a bioelectronic nose system for odor detection by combining intact bioactive function units with sensors. The bioelectronic nose is based on the olfactory epithelium of rat and microelectrode array (MEA). The olfactory epithelium biosensor generates extracellular potentials in presence of odor, and presents obvious specificity under different odors condition. The odor response signals can be distinguished with each other effectively by signal sorting. On basis of bioactive MEA hybrid system and the improved signal processing analysis, the bioelectronic nose will realize odor discrimination by the specific feature of signals response to various odors.

  12. The effect of some drugs on the mitral cell odor-evoked responses in the gecko olfactory bulb.

    PubMed

    Tonosaki, K; Shibuya, T

    1985-01-01

    The activity of odor-evoked olfactory mitral cell response of the gecko was recorded extracellularly by glass microelectrodes. The activities of the mitral cell observed during the presentation of the odor (n-amyl acetate) could be described as excitation, suppression or zero. The present experiments were undertaken to study the neural activities of the mitral cell in the olfactory bulb by perfusion application of some drugs (cobalt chloride, carnosine, norepinephrine, GABA and D-L-homocysteate) on the olfactory bulb surface or iontophoretic application of some drugs (carnosine, norepinephrine, GABA and D-L-homocysteate) to the glomerulus and the external plexiform layer to change the physiological environment. The effect of the drugs suggested that the synaptic neurons on the mitral cell have different chemical characteristics.

  13. Topographical representation of odor hedonics in the olfactory bulb.

    PubMed

    Kermen, Florence; Midroit, Maëllie; Kuczewski, Nicola; Forest, Jérémy; Thévenet, Marc; Sacquet, Joëlle; Benetollo, Claire; Richard, Marion; Didier, Anne; Mandairon, Nathalie

    2016-07-01

    Hedonic value is a dominant aspect of olfactory perception. Using optogenetic manipulation in freely behaving mice paired with immediate early gene mapping, we demonstrate that hedonic information is represented along the antero-posterior axis of the ventral olfactory bulb. Using this representation, we show that the degree of attractiveness of odors can be bidirectionally modulated by local manipulation of the olfactory bulb's neural networks in freely behaving mice. PMID:27273767

  14. Unraveling navigational strategies in migratory insects

    PubMed Central

    Merlin, Christine; Heinze, Stanley; Reppert, Steven M.

    2011-01-01

    Long-distance migration is a strategy some animals use to survive a seasonally changing environment. To reach favorable grounds, migratory animals have evolved sophisticated navigational mechanisms that rely on a map and compasses. In migratory insects, the existence of a map sense (sense of position) remains poorly understood, but recent work has provided new insights into the mechanisms some compasses use for maintaining a constant bearing during long-distance navigation. The best-studied directional strategy relies on a time-compensated sun compass, used by diurnal insects, for which neural circuits have begun to be delineated. Yet, a growing body of evidence suggests that migratory insects may also rely on other compasses that use night sky cues or the Earth's magnetic field. Those mechanisms are ripe for exploration. PMID:22154565

  15. Olfactory Receptor Patterning in a Higher Primate

    PubMed Central

    Horowitz, Lisa F.; Saraiva, Luis R.; Kuang, Donghui; Yoon, Kyoung-hye

    2014-01-01

    The mammalian olfactory system detects a plethora of environmental chemicals that are perceived as odors or stimulate instinctive behaviors. Studies using odorant receptor (OR) genes have provided insight into the molecular and organizational strategies underlying olfaction in mice. One important unanswered question, however, is whether these strategies are conserved in primates. To explore this question, we examined the macaque, a higher primate phylogenetically close to humans. Here we report that the organization of sensory inputs in the macaque nose resembles that in mouse in some respects, but not others. As in mouse, neurons with different ORs are interspersed in the macaque nose, and there are spatial zones that differ in their complement of ORs and extend axons to different domains in the olfactory bulb of the brain. However, whereas the mouse has multiple discrete band-like zones, the macaque appears to have only two broad zones. It is unclear whether the organization of OR inputs in a rodent/primate common ancestor degenerated in primates or, alternatively became more sophisticated in rodents. The mouse nose has an additional small family of chemosensory receptors, called trace amine-associated receptors (TAARs), which may detect social cues. Here we find that TAARs are also expressed in the macaque nose, suggesting that TAARs may also play a role in human olfactory perception. We further find that one human TAAR responds to rotten fish, suggesting a possible role as a sentinel to discourage ingestion of food harboring pathogenic microorganisms. PMID:25209267

  16. Functional neuroanatomy of Drosophila olfactory memory formation

    PubMed Central

    Guven-Ozkan, Tugba

    2014-01-01

    New approaches, techniques and tools invented over the last decade and a half have revolutionized the functional dissection of neural circuitry underlying Drosophila learning. The new methodologies have been used aggressively by researchers attempting to answer three critical questions about olfactory memories formed with appetitive and aversive reinforcers: (1) Which neurons within the olfactory nervous system mediate the acquisition of memory? (2) What is the complete neural circuitry extending from the site(s) of acquisition to the site(s) controlling memory expression? (3) How is information processed across this circuit to consolidate early-forming, disruptable memories to stable, late memories? Much progress has been made and a few strong conclusions have emerged: (1) Acquisition occurs at multiple sites within the olfactory nervous system but is mediated predominantly by the γ mushroom body neurons. (2) The expression of long-term memory is completely dependent on the synaptic output of α/β mushroom body neurons. (3) Consolidation occurs, in part, through circuit interactions between mushroom body and dorsal paired medial neurons. Despite this progress, a complete and unified model that details the pathway from acquisition to memory expression remains elusive. PMID:25225297

  17. Anatomy, histochemistry, and immunohistochemistry of the olfactory subsystems in mice

    PubMed Central

    Barrios, Arthur W.; Núñez, Gonzalo; Sánchez Quinteiro, Pablo; Salazar, Ignacio

    2014-01-01

    The four regions of the murine nasal cavity featuring olfactory neurons were studied anatomically and by labeling with lectins and relevant antibodies with a view to establishing criteria for the identification of olfactory subsystems that are readily applicable to other mammals. In the main olfactory epithelium and the septal organ the olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) are embedded in quasi-stratified columnar epithelium; vomeronasal OSNs are embedded in epithelium lining the medial interior wall of the vomeronasal duct and do not make contact with the mucosa of the main nasal cavity; and in Grüneberg's ganglion a small isolated population of OSNs lies adjacent to, but not within, the epithelium. With the exception of Grüneberg's ganglion, all the tissues expressing olfactory marker protein (OMP) (the above four nasal territories, the vomeronasal and main olfactory nerves, and the main and accessory olfactory bulbs) are also labeled by Lycopersicum esculentum agglutinin, while Ulex europaeus agglutinin I labels all and only tissues expressing Gαi2 (the apical sensory neurons of the vomeronasal organ, their axons, and their glomerular destinations in the anterior accessory olfactory bulb). These staining patterns of UEA-I and LEA may facilitate the characterization of olfactory anatomy in other species. A 710-section atlas of the anatomy of the murine nasal cavity has been made available on line. PMID:25071468

  18. [Hypothesis on the function of olfactory receptor cells].

    PubMed

    Smirnov, A A

    1995-01-01

    The scientific studies of sensory systems (including olfactory organs) are carried out during a century. Usually a preliminary theory of object is suggested and detailed in accordance with the new data. However only the strong criticized theories of smell reception more than thirty) are now in the theoretical part of the olfactory organ physiology. The theory is necessary for planning the further investigations of olfactory organ; revealing the mystery of the biological sensors to improve the artificial ones; the improvement of the methods to obtain new biological active substances (perfume, drugs, insecticides). These circumstances justify the attempt to suggest the theory of the olfactory receptor cell functioning.

  19. Insect pest management in forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahlsten, Donald L.; Rowney, David L.

    1983-01-01

    Understanding the role of insects in forest ecosystems is vital to the development of environmentally and economically sound pest management strategies in forestry Most of the research on forest insects has been confined to phytophagous species associated with economically important tree species The roles of most other insects in forest environments have generally been ignored, including the natural enemies and associates of phytophagous species identified as being important In the past few years several investigations have begun to reevaluate the role of phytophagous species responsible for perturbation in forest ecosystems, and it appears that these species may be playing an important role in the primary productivity of those ecosystems Also, there is an increasing awareness that forest pest managers have been treating the symptoms and not the causes of the problems in the forest Many insect problems are associated with poor sites or sites where trees are growing poorly because of crowding As a result, there is considerable emphasis on the hazard rating of stands of trees for their susceptibility to various phytophagous insects The next step is to manipulate forest stands to make them less susceptible to forest pest complexes A thinning study in California is used as an example and shows that tree mortality in ponderosa pine ( Pinus ponderosa) attributable to the western pine beetle ( Dendroctonus brevicomis) can be reduced by commercial thinning to reduce stocking

  20. Behavioral Immunity in Insects

    PubMed Central

    de Roode, Jacobus C.; Lefèvre, Thierry

    2012-01-01

    Parasites can dramatically reduce the fitness of their hosts, and natural selection should favor defense mechanisms that can protect hosts against disease. Much work has focused on understanding genetic and physiological immunity against parasites, but hosts can also use behaviors to avoid infection, reduce parasite growth or alleviate disease symptoms. It is increasingly recognized that such behaviors are common in insects, providing strong protection against parasites and parasitoids. We review the current evidence for behavioral immunity in insects, present a framework for investigating such behavior, and emphasize that behavioral immunity may act through indirect rather than direct fitness benefits. We also discuss the implications for host-parasite co-evolution, local adaptation, and the evolution of non-behavioral physiological immune systems. Finally, we argue that the study of behavioral immunity in insects has much to offer for investigations in vertebrates, in which this topic has traditionally been studied. PMID:26466629

  1. Identification and Knockdown of the Olfactory Receptor (OrCo) in Gypsy Moth, Lymantria dispar.

    PubMed

    Lin, Wei; Yu, Yanxue; Zhou, Ping; Zhang, Junhua; Dou, Liduo; Hao, Qin; Chen, Hongjun; Zhu, Shuifang

    2015-01-01

    The gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, is an important economic pest that causes large-scale damage to forests worldwide. Because of its important role in initiating and controlling insect behavior, olfaction-and olfaction-based pest management-has drawn increasing attention from entomologists. In this study, we identified the gene that encodes the olfactory receptor co-receptor (OrCo). Through amino acid sequence alignment, we found that LdisOrCo shares high identity with other OrCo proteins from different insect orders. Next, we performed RNA-interference (RNAi) to assess the role of OrCo in olfaction. Electroantennographic assays showed that after RNAi, the average value of males' response to sex pheromones was 0.636 mV, significantly lower than that of the positive control (average = 1.472 mV). Females showed no response to sex pheromones before or after RNAi. Finally, quantitative PCR showed a strong decrease in the expression of OrCo after RNAi, by ~74% in males and by 23% in females relative to the positive controls. These results indicate that OrCo is not only critical to odor recognition, but it may also represent a new target for development of semiochemicals that can influence insect behavior. PMID:26078719

  2. Identification and Knockdown of the Olfactory Receptor (OrCo) in Gypsy Moth, Lymantria dispar.

    PubMed

    Lin, Wei; Yu, Yanxue; Zhou, Ping; Zhang, Junhua; Dou, Liduo; Hao, Qin; Chen, Hongjun; Zhu, Shuifang

    2015-01-01

    The gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, is an important economic pest that causes large-scale damage to forests worldwide. Because of its important role in initiating and controlling insect behavior, olfaction-and olfaction-based pest management-has drawn increasing attention from entomologists. In this study, we identified the gene that encodes the olfactory receptor co-receptor (OrCo). Through amino acid sequence alignment, we found that LdisOrCo shares high identity with other OrCo proteins from different insect orders. Next, we performed RNA-interference (RNAi) to assess the role of OrCo in olfaction. Electroantennographic assays showed that after RNAi, the average value of males' response to sex pheromones was 0.636 mV, significantly lower than that of the positive control (average = 1.472 mV). Females showed no response to sex pheromones before or after RNAi. Finally, quantitative PCR showed a strong decrease in the expression of OrCo after RNAi, by ~74% in males and by 23% in females relative to the positive controls. These results indicate that OrCo is not only critical to odor recognition, but it may also represent a new target for development of semiochemicals that can influence insect behavior.

  3. The gut microbiota of insects - diversity in structure and function.

    PubMed

    Engel, Philipp; Moran, Nancy A

    2013-09-01

    Insect guts present distinctive environments for microbial colonization, and bacteria in the gut potentially provide many beneficial services to their hosts. Insects display a wide range in degree of dependence on gut bacteria for basic functions. Most insect guts contain relatively few microbial species as compared to mammalian guts, but some insects harbor large gut communities of specialized bacteria. Others are colonized only opportunistically and sparsely by bacteria common in other environments. Insect digestive tracts vary extensively in morphology and physicochemical properties, factors that greatly influence microbial community structure. One obstacle to the evolution of intimate associations with gut microorganisms is the lack of dependable transmission routes between host individuals. Here, social insects, such as termites, ants, and bees, are exceptions: social interactions provide opportunities for transfer of gut bacteria, and some of the most distinctive and consistent gut communities, with specialized beneficial functions in nutrition and protection, have been found in social insect species. Still, gut bacteria of other insects have also been shown to contribute to nutrition, protection from parasites and pathogens, modulation of immune responses, and communication. The extent of these roles is still unclear and awaits further studies. PMID:23692388

  4. Mechanisms of Regulation of Olfactory Transduction and Adaptation in the Olfactory Cilium

    PubMed Central

    Antunes, Gabriela; Sebastião, Ana Maria; Simoes de Souza, Fabio Marques

    2014-01-01

    Olfactory adaptation is a fundamental process for the functioning of the olfactory system, but the underlying mechanisms regulating its occurrence in intact olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) are not fully understood. In this work, we have combined stochastic computational modeling and a systematic pharmacological study of different signaling pathways to investigate their impact during short-term adaptation (STA). We used odorant stimulation and electroolfactogram (EOG) recordings of the olfactory epithelium treated with pharmacological blockers to study the molecular mechanisms regulating the occurrence of adaptation in OSNs. EOG responses to paired-pulses of odorants showed that inhibition of phosphodiesterases (PDEs) and phosphatases enhanced the levels of STA in the olfactory epithelium, and this effect was mimicked by blocking vesicle exocytosis and reduced by blocking cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase (PKA) and vesicle endocytosis. These results suggest that G-coupled receptors (GPCRs) cycling is involved with the occurrence of STA. To gain insights on the dynamical aspects of this process, we developed a stochastic computational model. The model consists of the olfactory transduction currents mediated by the cyclic nucleotide gated (CNG) channels and calcium ion (Ca2+)-activated chloride (CAC) channels, and the dynamics of their respective ligands, cAMP and Ca2+, and it simulates the EOG results obtained under different experimental conditions through changes in the amplitude and duration of cAMP and Ca2+ response, two second messengers implicated with STA occurrence. The model reproduced the experimental data for each pharmacological treatment and provided a mechanistic explanation for the action of GPCR cycling in the levels of second messengers modulating the levels of STA. All together, these experimental and theoretical results indicate the existence of a mechanism of regulation of STA by signaling pathways that control GPCR

  5. Cognition in insects

    PubMed Central

    Webb, Barbara

    2012-01-01

    A traditional view of cognition is that it involves an internal process that represents, tracks or predicts an external process. This is not a general characteristic of all complex neural processing or feedback control, but rather implies specific forms of processing giving rise to specific behavioural capabilities. In this paper, I will review the evidence for such capabilities in insect navigation and learning. Do insects know where they are, or do they only know what to do? Do they learn what stimuli mean, or do they only learn how to behave? PMID:22927570

  6. Intranasal Location and Immunohistochemical Characterization of the Equine Olfactory Epithelium

    PubMed Central

    Kupke, Alexandra; Wenisch, Sabine; Failing, Klaus; Herden, Christiane

    2016-01-01

    The olfactory epithelium (OE) is the only body site where neurons contact directly the environment and are therefore exposed to a broad variation of substances and insults. It can serve as portal of entry for neurotropic viruses which spread via the olfactory pathway to the central nervous system. For horses, it has been proposed and concluded mainly from rodent studies that different viruses, e.g., Borna disease virus, equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1), hendra virus, influenza virus, rabies virus, vesicular stomatitis virus can use this route. However, little is yet known about cytoarchitecture, protein expression and the intranasal location of the equine OE. Revealing differences in cytoarchitecture or protein expression pattern in comparison to rodents, canines, or humans might help to explain varying susceptibility to certain intranasal virus infections. On the other hand, disclosing similarities especially between rodents and other species, e.g., horses would help to underscore transferability of rodent models. Analysis of the complete noses of five adult horses revealed that in the equine OE two epithelial subtypes with distinct marker expression exist, designated as types a and b which resemble those previously described in dogs. Detailed statistical analysis was carried out to confirm the results obtained on the descriptive level. The equine OE was predominantly located in caudodorsal areas of the nasal turbinates with a significant decline in rostroventral direction, especially for type a. Immunohistochemically, olfactory marker protein and doublecortin (DCX) expression was found in more cells of OE type a, whereas expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen and tropomyosin receptor kinase A was present in more cells of type b. Accordingly, type a resembles the mature epithelium, in contrast to the more juvenile type b. Protein expression profile was comparable to canine and rodent OE but equine types a and b were located differently within the nose and

  7. Insect Repellents: Protect Your Child from Insect Bites

    MedlinePlus

    ... Español Text Size Email Print Share Choosing an Insect Repellent for Your Child Page Content Article Body Mosquitoes , ... sunscreen needs to be reapplied often. Reactions to Insect Repellents If you suspect that your child is having ...

  8. The olfactory apparatus of the bandicoot (Isoodon macrourus): fine structure and presence of a septal olfactory organ.

    PubMed Central

    Kratzing, J E

    1978-01-01

    The structure and extent of olfactory epithelium in the bandicoot (Isoodon macrourus) were examined by light and electron microscopy. Sensory epithelium covers most of the dorsal conchae, though non-sensory epithelium lines ventrally facing scrolls. The middle conchae are partly covered by olfactory epithelium, the proportion of olfactory to ciliated respiratory epithelium increasing caudally. Ventral conchae are lined by non-sensory ciliated epithelium. The nasal septum ends short of the floor of the nasal cavity in its caudal two thirds. It is covered dorsally by olfactory epithelium. The ventral margin has rounded lateral extensions which carry the isolated strips of olfactory epithelium which form the septal olfactory organ. The fine structure of the olfactory epithelium is the same in all areas. Cell types include olfactory receptors, supporting cells, two types of basal cell and rarer pale and brush cells. There is considerable morphological variation in olfactory cells, and evidence suggestive of continuing turnover in the receptor cell population. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 PMID:640961

  9. Photoperiod mediated changes in olfactory bulb neurogenesis and olfactory behavior in male white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus).

    PubMed

    Walton, James C; Pyter, Leah M; Weil, Zachary M; Nelson, Randy J

    2012-01-01

    Brain plasticity, in relation to new adult mammalian neurons generated in the subgranular zone of the hippocampus, has been well described. However, the functional outcome of new adult olfactory neurons born in the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricles is not clearly defined, as manipulating neurogenesis through various methods has given inconsistent and conflicting results in lab mice. Several small rodent species, including Peromyscus leucopus, display seasonal (photoperiodic) brain plasticity in brain volume, hippocampal function, and hippocampus-dependent behaviors; plasticity in the olfactory system of photoperiodic rodents remains largely uninvestigated. We exposed adult male P. leucopus to long day lengths (LD) and short day lengths (SD) for 10 to 15 weeks and then examined olfactory bulb cell proliferation and survival using the thymidine analog BrdU, olfactory bulb granule cell morphology using Golgi-Cox staining, and behavioral investigation of same-sex conspecific urine. SD mice did not differ from LD counterparts in granular cell morphology of the dendrites or in dendritic spine density. Although there were no differences due to photoperiod in habituation to water odor, SD mice rapidly habituated to male urine, whereas LD mice did not. In addition, short day induced changes in olfactory behavior were associated with increased neurogenesis in the caudal plexiform and granule cell layers of the olfactory bulb, an area known to preferentially respond to water-soluble odorants. Taken together, these data demonstrate that photoperiod, without altering olfactory bulb neuronal morphology, alters olfactory bulb neurogenesis and olfactory behavior in Peromyscus leucopus. PMID:22912730

  10. Photoperiod mediated changes in olfactory bulb neurogenesis and olfactory behavior in male white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus).

    PubMed

    Walton, James C; Pyter, Leah M; Weil, Zachary M; Nelson, Randy J

    2012-01-01

    Brain plasticity, in relation to new adult mammalian neurons generated in the subgranular zone of the hippocampus, has been well described. However, the functional outcome of new adult olfactory neurons born in the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricles is not clearly defined, as manipulating neurogenesis through various methods has given inconsistent and conflicting results in lab mice. Several small rodent species, including Peromyscus leucopus, display seasonal (photoperiodic) brain plasticity in brain volume, hippocampal function, and hippocampus-dependent behaviors; plasticity in the olfactory system of photoperiodic rodents remains largely uninvestigated. We exposed adult male P. leucopus to long day lengths (LD) and short day lengths (SD) for 10 to 15 weeks and then examined olfactory bulb cell proliferation and survival using the thymidine analog BrdU, olfactory bulb granule cell morphology using Golgi-Cox staining, and behavioral investigation of same-sex conspecific urine. SD mice did not differ from LD counterparts in granular cell morphology of the dendrites or in dendritic spine density. Although there were no differences due to photoperiod in habituation to water odor, SD mice rapidly habituated to male urine, whereas LD mice did not. In addition, short day induced changes in olfactory behavior were associated with increased neurogenesis in the caudal plexiform and granule cell layers of the olfactory bulb, an area known to preferentially respond to water-soluble odorants. Taken together, these data demonstrate that photoperiod, without altering olfactory bulb neuronal morphology, alters olfactory bulb neurogenesis and olfactory behavior in Peromyscus leucopus.

  11. Photoperiod Mediated Changes in Olfactory Bulb Neurogenesis and Olfactory Behavior in Male White-Footed Mice (Peromyscus leucopus)

    PubMed Central

    Weil, Zachary M.; Nelson, Randy J.

    2012-01-01

    Brain plasticity, in relation to new adult mammalian neurons generated in the subgranular zone of the hippocampus, has been well described. However, the functional outcome of new adult olfactory neurons born in the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricles is not clearly defined, as manipulating neurogenesis through various methods has given inconsistent and conflicting results in lab mice. Several small rodent species, including Peromyscus leucopus, display seasonal (photoperiodic) brain plasticity in brain volume, hippocampal function, and hippocampus-dependent behaviors; plasticity in the olfactory system of photoperiodic rodents remains largely uninvestigated. We exposed adult male P. leucopus to long day lengths (LD) and short day lengths (SD) for 10 to 15 weeks and then examined olfactory bulb cell proliferation and survival using the thymidine analog BrdU, olfactory bulb granule cell morphology using Golgi-Cox staining, and behavioral investigation of same-sex conspecific urine. SD mice did not differ from LD counterparts in granular cell morphology of the dendrites or in dendritic spine density. Although there were no differences due to photoperiod in habituation to water odor, SD mice rapidly habituated to male urine, whereas LD mice did not. In addition, short day induced changes in olfactory behavior were associated with increased neurogenesis in the caudal plexiform and granule cell layers of the olfactory bulb, an area known to preferentially respond to water-soluble odorants. Taken together, these data demonstrate that photoperiod, without altering olfactory bulb neuronal morphology, alters olfactory bulb neurogenesis and olfactory behavior in Peromyscus leucopus. PMID:22912730

  12. Learning about natural variation of odor mixtures enhances categorization in early olfactory processing.

    PubMed

    Locatelli, Fernando F; Fernandez, Patricia C; Smith, Brian H

    2016-09-01

    Natural odors are typically mixtures of several chemical components. Mixtures vary in composition among odor objects that have the same meaning. Therefore a central 'categorization' problem for an animal as it makes decisions about odors in natural contexts is to correctly identify odor variants that have the same meaning and avoid variants that have a different meaning. We propose that identified mechanisms of associative and non-associative plasticity in early sensory processing in the insect antennal lobe and mammalian olfactory bulb are central to solving this problem. Accordingly, this plasticity should work to improve categorization of odors that have the opposite meanings in relation to important events. Using synthetic mixtures designed to mimic natural odor variation among flowers, we studied how honey bees learn about and generalize among floral odors associated with food. We behaviorally conditioned honey bees on a difficult odor discrimination problem using synthetic mixtures that mimic natural variation among snapdragon flowers. We then used calcium imaging to measure responses of projection neurons of the antennal lobe, which is the first synaptic relay of olfactory sensory information in the brain, to study how ensembles of projection neurons change as a result of behavioral conditioning. We show how these ensembles become 'tuned' through plasticity to improve categorization of odors that have the different meanings. We argue that this tuning allows more efficient use of the immense coding space of the antennal lobe and olfactory bulb to solve the categorization problem. Our data point to the need for a better understanding of the 'statistics' of the odor space.

  13. Learning about natural variation of odor mixtures enhances categorization in early olfactory processing.

    PubMed

    Locatelli, Fernando F; Fernandez, Patricia C; Smith, Brian H

    2016-09-01

    Natural odors are typically mixtures of several chemical components. Mixtures vary in composition among odor objects that have the same meaning. Therefore a central 'categorization' problem for an animal as it makes decisions about odors in natural contexts is to correctly identify odor variants that have the same meaning and avoid variants that have a different meaning. We propose that identified mechanisms of associative and non-associative plasticity in early sensory processing in the insect antennal lobe and mammalian olfactory bulb are central to solving this problem. Accordingly, this plasticity should work to improve categorization of odors that have the opposite meanings in relation to important events. Using synthetic mixtures designed to mimic natural odor variation among flowers, we studied how honey bees learn about and generalize among floral odors associated with food. We behaviorally conditioned honey bees on a difficult odor discrimination problem using synthetic mixtures that mimic natural variation among snapdragon flowers. We then used calcium imaging to measure responses of projection neurons of the antennal lobe, which is the first synaptic relay of olfactory sensory information in the brain, to study how ensembles of projection neurons change as a result of behavioral conditioning. We show how these ensembles become 'tuned' through plasticity to improve categorization of odors that have the different meanings. We argue that this tuning allows more efficient use of the immense coding space of the antennal lobe and olfactory bulb to solve the categorization problem. Our data point to the need for a better understanding of the 'statistics' of the odor space. PMID:27412003

  14. Olfactory Sensor Processing in Neural Networks: Lessons from Modeling the Fruit Fly Antennal Lobe

    PubMed Central

    Proske, J. Henning; Wittmann, Marco; Galizia, C. Giovanni

    2011-01-01

    The insect olfactory system can be a model for artificial olfactory devices. In particular, Drosophila melanogaster due to its genetic tractability has yielded much information about the design and function of such systems in biology. In this study we investigate possible network topologies to separate representations of odors in the primary olfactory neuropil, the antennal lobe. In particular we compare networks based on stochastic and homogeneous connection weight distributions to connectivities that are based on the input correlations between the glomeruli in the antennal lobe. We show that moderate homogeneous inhibition implements a soft winner-take-all mechanism when paired with realistic input from a large meta-database of odor responses in receptor cells (DoOR database). The sparseness of representations increases with stronger inhibition. Excitation, on the other hand, pushes the representation of odors closer together thus making them harder to distinguish. We further analyze the relationship between different inhibitory network topologies and the properties of the receptor responses to different odors. We show that realistic input from the DoOR database has a relatively high entropy of activation values over all odors and receptors compared to the theoretical maximum. Furthermore, under conditions in which the information in the input is artificially decreased, networks with heterogeneous topologies based on the similarity of glomerular response profiles perform best. These results indicate that in order to arrive at the most beneficial representation for odor discrimination it is important to finely tune the strength of inhibition in combination with taking into account the properties of the available sensors. PMID:22347182

  15. Analysis of the Antennal Transcriptome and Insights into Olfactory Genes in Hyphantria cunea (Drury)

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Tian-Tian; Zhang, Jing; Sun, Long; Yang, Yun-Qiu; Huang, Chang-Chun; Jiang, Li-Ya; Ding, De-Gui

    2016-01-01

    Hyphantria cunea (Drury) (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) is an invasive insect pest which, in China, causes unprecedented damage and economic losses due to its extreme fecundity and wide host range, including forest and shade trees, and even crops. Compared to the better known lepidopteran species which use Type-I pheromones, little is known at the molecular level about the olfactory mechanisms of host location and mate choice in H. cunea, a species using Type-II lepidopteran pheromones. In the present study, the H. cunea antennal transcriptome was constructed by Illumina Hiseq 2500TM sequencing, with the aim of discovering olfaction-related genes. We obtained 64,020,776 clean reads, and 59,243 unigenes from the analysis of the transcriptome, and the putative gene functions were annotated using gene ontology (GO) annotation. We further identified 124 putative chemosensory unigenes based on homology searches and phylogenetic analysis, including 30 odorant binding proteins (OBPs), 17 chemosensory proteins (CSPs), 52 odorant receptors (ORs), 14 ionotropic receptors (IRs), nine gustatory receptors (GRs) and two sensory neuron membrane proteins (SNMPs). We also found many conserved motif patterns of OBPs and CSPs using a MEME system. Moreover, we systematically analyzed expression patterns of OBPs and CSPs based on reverse transcription PCR and quantitative real time PCR (RT-qPCR) with RNA extracted from different tissues and life stages of both sexes in H. cunea. The antennae-biased expression may provide a deeper further understanding of olfactory processing in H. cunea. The first ever identification of olfactory genes in H. cunea may provide new leads for control of this major pest. PMID:27741298

  16. Comparative analyses of olfactory systems in terrestrial crabs (Brachyura): evidence for aerial olfaction?

    PubMed

    Krieger, Jakob; Braun, Philipp; Rivera, Nicole T; Schubart, Christoph D; Müller, Carsten H G; Harzsch, Steffen

    2015-01-01

    Adaptations to a terrestrial lifestyle occurred convergently multiple times during the evolution of the arthropods. This holds also true for the "true crabs" (Brachyura), a taxon that includes several lineages that invaded land independently. During an evolutionary transition from sea to land, animals have to develop a variety of physiological and anatomical adaptations to a terrestrial life style related to respiration, reproduction, development, circulation, ion and water balance. In addition, sensory systems that function in air instead of in water are essential for an animal's life on land. Besides vision and mechanosensory systems, on land, the chemical senses have to be modified substantially in comparison to their function in water. Among arthropods, insects are the most successful ones to evolve aerial olfaction. Various aspects of terrestrial adaptation have also been analyzed in those crustacean lineages that evolved terrestrial representatives including the taxa Anomala, Brachyura, Amphipoda, and Isopoda. We are interested in how the chemical senses of terrestrial crustaceans are modified to function in air. Therefore, in this study, we analyzed the brains and more specifically the structure of the olfactory system of representatives of brachyuran crabs that display different degrees of terrestriality, from exclusively marine to mainly terrestrial. The methods we used included immunohistochemistry, detection of autofluorescence- and confocal microscopy, as well as three-dimensional reconstruction and morphometry. Our comparative approach shows that both the peripheral and central olfactory pathways are reduced in terrestrial members in comparison to their marine relatives, suggesting a limited function of their olfactory system on land. We conclude that for arthropod lineages that invaded land, evolving aerial olfaction is no trivial task.

  17. Comparative analyses of olfactory systems in terrestrial crabs (Brachyura): evidence for aerial olfaction?

    PubMed Central

    Krieger, Jakob; Braun, Philipp; Rivera, Nicole T.; Schubart, Christoph D.; Müller, Carsten H.G.

    2015-01-01

    Adaptations to a terrestrial lifestyle occurred convergently multiple times during the evolution of the arthropods. This holds also true for the “true crabs” (Brachyura), a taxon that includes several lineages that invaded land independently. During an evolutionary transition from sea to land, animals have to develop a variety of physiological and anatomical adaptations to a terrestrial life style related to respiration, reproduction, development, circulation, ion and water balance. In addition, sensory systems that function in air instead of in water are essential for an animal’s life on land. Besides vision and mechanosensory systems, on land, the chemical senses have to be modified substantially in comparison to their function in water. Among arthropods, insects are the most successful ones to evolve aerial olfaction. Various aspects of terrestrial adaptation have also been analyzed in those crustacean lineages that evolved terrestrial representatives including the taxa Anomala, Brachyura, Amphipoda, and Isopoda. We are interested in how the chemical senses of terrestrial crustaceans are modified to function in air. Therefore, in this study, we analyzed the brains and more specifically the structure of the olfactory system of representatives of brachyuran crabs that display different degrees of terrestriality, from exclusively marine to mainly terrestrial. The methods we used included immunohistochemistry, detection of autofluorescence- and confocal microscopy, as well as three-dimensional reconstruction and morphometry. Our comparative approach shows that both the peripheral and central olfactory pathways are reduced in terrestrial members in comparison to their marine relatives, suggesting a limited function of their olfactory system on land. We conclude that for arthropod lineages that invaded land, evolving aerial olfaction is no trivial task. PMID:26713228

  18. Protecting Yourself from Stinging Insects

    MedlinePlus

    ... at risk of being stung by flying insects (bees, wasps, and hornets) and fire ants. While most ... by several stinging insects, run to get away. (Bees release a chemical when they sting, which attracts ...

  19. Dispersal of forest insects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcmanus, M. L.

    1979-01-01

    Dispersal flights of selected species of forest insects which are associated with periodic outbreaks of pests that occur over large contiguous forested areas are discussed. Gypsy moths, spruce budworms, and forest tent caterpillars were studied for their massive migrations in forested areas. Results indicate that large dispersals into forested areas are due to the females, except in the case of the gypsy moth.

  20. Investigation--Insects!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fay, Janice

    2000-01-01

    Presents activities on insects for second grade students. In the first activity, students build a butterfly garden. In the second activity, students observe stimuli reactions with mealworms in the larval stage. Describes the assessment process and discusses the effects of pollution on living things. (YDS)

  1. Irradiating insect pests

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This is a non-technical article focusing on phytosanitary uses of irradiation. In a series of interview questions, I present information on the scope of the invasive species problem and the contribution of international trade in agricultural products to the movement of invasive insects. This is foll...

  2. Insect mass production technologies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insects provide a very promising alternative for the future production of animal protein. Their nutritional value in conjunction with their food conversion efficiency and low water requirements, make them a more sustainable choice for the production of food and animal origin. However, to realize the...

  3. Corn insect pests

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Historically, the major corn insect pests in South Dakota have been the larvae of corn rootworms (northern and western), European corn borer, and black cutworm. Bt-corn hybrids are effective against most of these pests. However, there are also minor or sporadic pests of corn in South Dakota includin...

  4. Insects. Thematic Unit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gosnell, Kathee

    This book is a captivating whole-language thematic unit about the study of insects, relating it to our understanding of the past and our hopes for using our knowledge in the present to balance the ecosystem in the future. It contains a wide variety of lesson ideas and reproducible pages designed for use with intermediate students. At its core,…

  5. Colour constancy in insects.

    PubMed

    Chittka, Lars; Faruq, Samia; Skorupski, Peter; Werner, Annette

    2014-06-01

    Colour constancy is the perceptual phenomenon that the colour of an object appears largely unchanged, even if the spectral composition of the illuminating light changes. Colour constancy has been found in all insect species so far tested. Especially the pollinating insects offer a remarkable opportunity to study the ecological significance of colour constancy since they spend much of their adult lives identifying and choosing between colour targets (flowers) under continuously changing ambient lighting conditions. In bees, whose colour vision is best studied among the insects, the compensation provided by colour constancy is only partial and its efficiency depends on the area of colour space. There is no evidence for complete 'discounting' of the illuminant in bees, and the spectral composition of the light can itself be used as adaptive information. In patchy illumination, bees adjust their spatial foraging to minimise transitions between variously illuminated zones. Modelling allows the quantification of the adaptive benefits of various colour constancy mechanisms in the economy of nature. We also discuss the neural mechanisms and cognitive operations that might underpin colour constancy in insects.

  6. Recycled Insect Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rule, Audrey C.; Meyer, Mary Ann

    2007-01-01

    This article presents an engaging activity in which high school students use a dichotomous key to guide the creation and classification of model insects from recycled plastic lids and containers. Besides teaching the use of a dichotomous key and the effect of evolutionary descent upon groupings of organisms, this activity focuses on an…

  7. Fluorescence in insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welch, Victoria L.; Van Hooijdonk, Eloise; Intrater, Nurit; Vigneron, Jean-Pol

    2012-10-01

    Fluorescent molecules are much in demand for biosensors, solar cells, LEDs and VCSEL diodes, therefore, considerable efforts have been expended in designing and tailoring fluorescence to specific technical applications. However, naturally occurring fluorescence of diverse types has been reported from a wide array of living organisms: most famously, the jellyfish Aequorea victoria, but also in over 100 species of coral and in the cuticle of scorpions, where it is the rule, rather than the exception. Despite the plethora of known insect species, comparatively few quantitative studies have been made of insect fluorescence. Because of the potential applications of natural fluorescence, studies in this field have relevance to both physics and biology. Therefore, in this paper, we review the literature on insect fluorescence, before documenting its occurrence in the longhorn beetles Sternotomis virescens, Sternotomis variabilis var. semi rufescens, Anoplophora elegans and Stellognatha maculata, the tiger beetles Cicindela maritima and Cicindela germanica and the weevil Pachyrrhynchus gemmatus purpureus. Optical features of insect fluorescence, including emitted wavelength, molecular ageing and naturally occurring combinations of fluorescence with bioluminescence and colour-producing structures are discussed.

  8. Workplace, age, and sex as mediators of olfactory function: data from the National Geographic Smell Survey.

    PubMed

    Corwin, J; Loury, M; Gilbert, A N

    1995-07-01

    Certain medications and environmental agents are known to adversely affect chemosensation. We report data from 712,000 respondents aged 20 to 79 to the National Geographic Smell Survey that suggest that exposure to the factory workplace adversely affects the sense of smell, and that these effects interact with age. Men and women with histories of factory work reported poorer senses of smell relative to other workers. They also demonstrated objective evidence of greater impairment in odor detection. These effects were greater for men. Factory workers of all ages more frequently reported olfactory loss secondary to chemical exposure and head injury than did workers in other environments. The highest relative risk of olfactory problems secondary to head injury was in the oldest women factory workers. Thus, olfaction may behave as other senses do: Age, sex, and exposure to noxious events or agents interact to produce sensory deficits. PMID:7606529

  9. Radar cross section of insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riley, J. R.

    1985-02-01

    X-band measurements of radar cross section as a function of the angle between insect body axis and the plane of polarization are presented. A finding of particular interest is that in larger insects, maximum cross section occurs when the E-vector is perpendicular to the body axis. A new range of measurements on small insects (aphids, and planthoppers) is also described, and a comprehensive summary of insect cross-section data at X-band is given.

  10. Rotating panoramic view: interaction between visual and olfactory cues in ants

    PubMed Central

    Minoura, Mai; Sonoda, Kohei; Sakiyama, Tomoko; Gunji, Yukio-Pegio

    2016-01-01

    Insects use a navigational toolkit consisting of multiple strategies such as path integration, view-dependent recognition methods and olfactory cues. The question arises as to how directional cues afforded by a visual panorama combine with olfactory cues from a pheromone trail to guide ants towards their nest. We positioned a garden ant Lasius niger on a rotating table, whereon a segment of a pheromone trail relative to the stationary panorama was rotated while the ant walked along the trail towards its nest. The rotational speed of the table (3 r.p.m.) was set so that the table would rotate through about 90° by the time that an ant had walked from the start to the centre of the table. The ant completed a U-turn at about this point and so travelled in a nest-ward direction without leaving the trail. These results suggest that the ants persist on the pheromone trail and use visual input to determine their direction of travel along the trail. PMID:26909169

  11. Functional feedback from mushroom bodies to antennal lobes in the Drosophila olfactory pathway

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Aiqun; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Zuoren

    2010-01-01

    Feedback plays important roles in sensory processing. Mushroom bodies are believed to be involved in olfactory learning/memory and multisensory integration in insects. Previous cobalt-labeling studies have suggested the existence of feedback from the mushroom bodies to the antennal lobes in the honey bee. In this study, the existence of functional feedback from Drosophila mushroom bodies to the antennal lobes was investigated through ectopic expression of the ATP receptor P2X2 in the Kenyon cells of mushroom bodies. Activation of Kenyon cells induced depolarization in projection neurons and local interneurons in the antennal lobes in a nicotinic receptor-dependent manner. Activation of Kenyon cell axons in the βγ-lobes in the mushroom body induced more potent responses in the antennal lobe neurons than activation of Kenyon cell somata. Our results indicate that functional feedback from Kenyon cells to projection neurons and local interneurons is present in Drosophila and is likely mediated by the βγ-lobes. The presence of this functional feedback from the mushroom bodies to the antennal lobes suggests top-down modulation of olfactory information processing in Drosophila. PMID:20479249

  12. Role of Go/i subgroup of G proteins in olfactory signaling of Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Ignatious Raja, Jennifer S; Katanayeva, Natalya; Katanaev, Vladimir L; Galizia, C Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    Intracellular signaling in insect olfactory receptor neurons remains unclear, with both metabotropic and ionotropic components being discussed. Here, we investigated the role of heterotrimeric Go and Gi proteins using a combined behavioral, in vivo and in vitro approach. Specifically, we show that inhibiting Go in sensory neurons by pertussis toxin leads to behavioral deficits. We heterologously expressed the olfactory receptor dOr22a in human embryonic kidney cells (HEK293T). Stimulation with an odor led to calcium influx, which was amplified via calcium release from intracellular stores. Subsequent experiments indicated that the signaling was mediated by the Gβγ subunits of the heterotrimeric Go/i proteins. Finally, using in vivo calcium imaging, we show that Go and Gi contribute to odor responses both for the fast (phasic) as for the slow (tonic) response component. We propose a transduction cascade model involving several parallel processes, in which the metabotropic component is activated by Go and Gi, and uses Gβγ. PMID:24443946

  13. GABAergic feedback signaling into the calyces of the mushroom bodies enables olfactory reversal learning in honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Boitard, Constance; Devaud, Jean-Marc; Isabel, Guillaume; Giurfa, Martin

    2015-01-01

    In reversal learning, subjects first learn to respond to a reinforced stimulus A and not to a non-reinforced stimulus B (A+ vs. B−) and then have to learn the opposite when stimulus contingencies are reversed (A− vs. B+). This change in stimulus valence generates a transitory ambiguity at the level of stimulus outcome that needs to be overcome to solve the second discrimination. Honey bees (Apis mellifera) efficiently master reversal learning in the olfactory domain. The mushroom bodies (MBs), higher-order structures of the insect brain, are required to solve this task. Here we aimed at uncovering the neural circuits facilitating reversal learning in honey bees. We trained bees using the olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension reflex (PER) coupled with localized pharmacological inhibition of Gamma-AminoButyric Acid (GABA)ergic signaling in the MBs. We show that inhibition of ionotropic but not metabotropic GABAergic signaling into the MB calyces impairs reversal learning, but leaves intact the capacity to perform two consecutive elemental olfactory discriminations with ambiguity of stimulus valence. On the contrary, inhibition of ionotropic GABAergic signaling into the MB lobes had no effect on reversal learning. Our results are thus consistent with a specific requirement of the feedback neurons (FNs) providing ionotropic GABAergic signaling from the MB lobes to the calyces for counteracting ambiguity of stimulus valence in reversal learning. PMID:26283938

  14. GABAergic feedback signaling into the calyces of the mushroom bodies enables olfactory reversal learning in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Boitard, Constance; Devaud, Jean-Marc; Isabel, Guillaume; Giurfa, Martin

    2015-01-01

    In reversal learning, subjects first learn to respond to a reinforced stimulus A and not to a non-reinforced stimulus B (A(+) vs. B(-)) and then have to learn the opposite when stimulus contingencies are reversed (A(-) vs. B(+)). This change in stimulus valence generates a transitory ambiguity at the level of stimulus outcome that needs to be overcome to solve the second discrimination. Honey bees (Apis mellifera) efficiently master reversal learning in the olfactory domain. The mushroom bodies (MBs), higher-order structures of the insect brain, are required to solve this task. Here we aimed at uncovering the neural circuits facilitating reversal learning in honey bees. We trained bees using the olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension reflex (PER) coupled with localized pharmacological inhibition of Gamma-AminoButyric Acid (GABA)ergic signaling in the MBs. We show that inhibition of ionotropic but not metabotropic GABAergic signaling into the MB calyces impairs reversal learning, but leaves intact the capacity to perform two consecutive elemental olfactory discriminations with ambiguity of stimulus valence. On the contrary, inhibition of ionotropic GABAergic signaling into the MB lobes had no effect on reversal learning. Our results are thus consistent with a specific requirement of the feedback neurons (FNs) providing ionotropic GABAergic signaling from the MB lobes to the calyces for counteracting ambiguity of stimulus valence in reversal learning. PMID:26283938

  15. Structural differences in the drone olfactory system of two phylogenetically distant Apis species, A. florea and A. mellifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brockmann, Axel; Brückner, Dorothea

    2001-01-01

    Male insects that are attracted by sex pheromones to find their female mates over long distances have specialized olfactory subsystems. Morphologically, these subsystems are characterized by a large number of receptor neurons sensitive to components of the female's pheromones and hypertrophied glomerular subunits ('macroglomeruli' or 'macroglomerular complexes') in the antennal lobes, in which the axons of the receptor neurons converge. The olfactory subsystems are adapted for an increased sensitivity to perceive minute amounts of pheromones. In Apis mellifera, drones have 18,600 olfactory poreplate sensilla per antenna, each equipped with receptor neurons sensitive to the queen's sex pheromone, and four voluminous macroglomeruli (MG1-MG4) in the antennal lobes. In contrast, we show that drones of the phylogenetically distant species, Apis florea, have only 1,200 poreplate sensilla per antenna and only two macroglomeruli in their antennal lobes. These macroglomeruli are homologous in anatomical position to the two most prominent macroglomeruli in A. mellifera, the MG1 and MG2, but they are much smaller in size. The morphological and anatomical differences described here suggest major modifications in the sex-pheromone processing subsystem of both species: (1) less pheromone sensitivity in A. florea and (2) a more complex sex-pheromone processing and thus a more complex sex-pheromone communication in A. mellifera.

  16. Molecular characterization and expression profiles of olfactory receptor genes in the parasitic wasp, Microplitis mediator (Hymenoptera: Braconidae).

    PubMed

    Ma, Long; Gu, Shao-Hua; Liu, Ze-Wen; Wang, Shan-Ning; Guo, Yu-Yuan; Zhou, Jing-Jiang; Zhang, Yong-Jun

    2014-01-01

    Olfactory receptors (OR) are believed to fulfil an indispensable role in insects host-seeking, mating and ovipositing. We obtained 4785 high-quality expressed sequencing tags (EST) from the antennal cDNA library of the parasitic wasp Microplitis mediator, a natural enemy of crop pests. After assembling, 786 contigs and 2130 singletons were generated. Using BLAST searches, a number of olfactory-related genes were identified, including ESTs encoding for 25 ORs. 14 full-length OR genes were cloned and their expression profiles in the wasp olfactory organs were quantified by real-time qRT-PCR. The results indicated a diverse distribution between the tissues and genders, yet the majority of OR genes are highly expressed in antennae. Three OR genes (Or2, Or12 and Or13) are highly expressed in female antennae, eight OR genes (ORco, Or3, Or4, Or5, Or7, Or8, Or9 and Or11) are highly expressed in male antennae. This is the first report on tissue-specific expression of wasp OR genes. Our study provides a foundational knowledge to explore and understand the molecular basis of odorant reception in this parasitic wasp and for the study of trophic interactions of natural enemy. PMID:24291166

  17. Neuropeptide S facilitates mice olfactory function through activation of cognate receptor-expressing neurons in the olfactory cortex.

    PubMed

    Shao, Yu-Feng; Zhao, Peng; Dong, Chao-Yu; Li, Jing; Kong, Xiang-Pan; Wang, Hai-Liang; Dai, Li-Rong; Hou, Yi-Ping

    2013-01-01

    Neuropeptide S (NPS) is a newly identified neuromodulator located in the brainstem and regulates various biological functions by selectively activating the NPS receptors (NPSR). High level expression of NPSR mRNA in the olfactory cortex suggests that NPS-NPSR system might be involved in the regulation of olfactory function. The present study was undertaken to investigate the effects of intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of NPS or co-injection of NPSR antagonist on the olfactory behaviors, food intake, and c-Fos expression in olfactory cortex in mice. In addition, dual-immunofluorescence was employed to identify NPS-induced Fos immunereactive (-ir) neurons that also bear NPSR. NPS (0.1-1 nmol) i.c.v. injection significantly reduced the latency to find the buried food, and increased olfactory differentiation of different odors and the total sniffing time spent in olfactory habituation/dishabituation tasks. NPS facilitated olfactory ability most at the dose of 0.5 nmol, which could be blocked by co-injection of 40 nmol NPSR antagonist [D-Val(5)]NPS. NPS administration dose-dependently inhibited food intake in fasted mice. Ex-vivo c-Fos and NPSR immunohistochemistry in the olfactory cortex revealed that, as compared with vehicle-treated mice, NPS markedly enhanced c-Fos expression in the anterior olfactory nucleus (AON), piriform cortex (Pir), ventral tenia tecta (VTT), the anterior cortical amygdaloid nucleus (ACo) and lateral entorhinal cortex (LEnt). The percentage of Fos-ir neurons that also express NPSR were 88.5% and 98.1% in the AON and Pir, respectively. The present findings demonstrated that NPS, via selective activation of the neurons bearing NPSR in the olfactory cortex, facilitates olfactory function in mice.

  18. Olfactory lateralization in homing pigeons: a GPS study on birds released with unilateral olfactory inputs.

    PubMed

    Gagliardo, Anna; Filannino, Caterina; Ioalè, Paolo; Pecchia, Tommaso; Wikelski, Martin; Vallortigara, Giorgio

    2011-02-15

    A large body of evidence has shown that pigeons rely on an olfactory-based navigational map when homing from unfamiliar locations. Previous studies on pigeons released with one nostril occluded highlighted an asymmetry in favour of the right nostril, particularly concerning the initial orientation performance of naïve birds. Nevertheless, all pigeons experiencing only unilateral olfactory input showed impaired homing, regardless of the side of the occluded nostril. So far this phenomenon has been documented only by observing the birds' vanishing bearings. In the present work we recorded the flight tracks of pigeons with previous homing experience equipped with a GPS data logger and released from an unfamiliar location with the right or the left nostril occluded. The analysis of the tracks revealed that the flight path of the birds with the right nostril occluded was more tortuous than that of unmanipulated controls. Moreover, the pigeons smelling with the left nostril interrupted their journey significantly more frequently and displayed more exploratory activity than the control birds, e.g. during flights around a stopover site. These data suggest a more important involvement of the right olfactory system in processing the olfactory information needed for the operation of the navigational map.

  19. Recovery of Olfactory Function in Postviral Olfactory Dysfunction Patients after Acupuncture Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Qi; Pang, Zhihui; Yu, Hongmeng

    2016-01-01

    Introduction. The aims of this study were to assess the impact of traditional Chinese acupuncture (TCA) in postviral olfactory dysfunction (PVOD) patients who were refractory to standardized treatment and to compare the results with the impact observed in an observation group. Methods. Fifty patients who presented to the outpatient clinic with PVOD and were refractory to standardized treatment were included: 25 were treated with TCA and 25 patients were simply observed. A subjective olfactory test was performed using the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT). The effects of TCA were compared with the results obtained in the observation group. Results. Improved olfactory function was observed in eleven patients treated with TCA compared with four patients in the observation group. This study revealed significantly improved olfactory function outcomes in patients who underwent acupuncture compared with the observation group. No significant differences in olfaction recovery were found according to age, gender, or duration of disease between the two groups; however, hyposmic patients recovered at a higher rate than anosmic patients. Conclusion. TCA may aid the treatment of PVOD patients who are refractory to drugs or other therapies. PMID:27034689

  20. Neural substrate for higher-order learning in an insect: Mushroom bodies are necessary for configural discriminations.

    PubMed

    Devaud, Jean-Marc; Papouin, Thomas; Carcaud, Julie; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe; Grünewald, Bernd; Giurfa, Martin

    2015-10-27

    Learning theories distinguish elemental from configural learning based on their different complexity. Although the former relies on simple and unambiguous links between the learned events, the latter deals with ambiguous discriminations in which conjunctive representations of events are learned as being different from their elements. In mammals, configural learning is mediated by brain areas that are either dispensable or partially involved in elemental learning. We studied whether the insect brain follows the same principles and addressed this question in the honey bee, the only insect in which configural learning has been demonstrated. We used a combination of conditioning protocols, disruption of neural activity, and optophysiological recording of olfactory circuits in the bee brain to determine whether mushroom bodies (MBs), brain structures that are essential for memory storage and retrieval, are equally necessary for configural and elemental olfactory learning. We show that bees with anesthetized MBs distinguish odors and learn elemental olfactory discriminations but not configural ones, such as positive and negative patterning. Inhibition of GABAergic signaling in the MB calyces, but not in the lobes, impairs patterning discrimination, thus suggesting a requirement of GABAergic feedback neurons from the lobes to the calyces for nonelemental learning. These results uncover a previously unidentified role for MBs besides memory storage and retrieval: namely, their implication in the acquisition of ambiguous discrimination problems. Thus, in insects as in mammals, specific brain regions are recruited when the ambiguity of learning tasks increases, a fact that reveals similarities in the neural processes underlying the elucidation of ambiguous tasks across species.

  1. Dietary sodium protects fish against copper-induced olfactory impairment.

    PubMed

    Azizishirazi, Ali; Dew, William A; Bougas, Berenice; Bernatchez, Louis; Pyle, Greg G

    2015-04-01

    Exposure to low concentrations of copper impairs olfaction in fish. To determine the transcriptional changes in the olfactory epithelium induced by copper exposure, wild yellow perch (Perca flavescens) were exposed to 20 μg/L of copper for 3 and 24h. A novel yellow perch microarray with 1000 candidate genes was used to measure differential gene transcription in the olfactory epithelium. While three hours of exposure to copper changed the transcription of only one gene, the transcriptions of 70 genes were changed after 24h of exposure to copper. Real-time PCR was utilized to determine the effect of exposure duration on two specific genes of interest, two sub-units of Na/K-ATPase. At 24 and 48 h, Na/K-ATPase transcription was down-regulated by copper at olfactory rosettes. As copper-induced impairment of Na/K-ATPase activity in gills can be ameliorated by increased dietary sodium, rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were used to determine if elevated dietary sodium was also protective against copper-induced olfactory impairment. Measurement of the olfactory response of rainbow trout using electro-olfactography demonstrated that sodium was protective of copper-induced olfactory dysfunction. This work demonstrates that the transcriptions of both subunits of Na/K-ATPase in the olfactory epithelium of fish are affected by Cu exposure, and that dietary Na protects against Cu-induced olfactory dysfunction.

  2. Voltage-Dependent Intrinsic Bursting in Olfactory Bulb Golgi Cells

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pressler, R. Todd; Rozman, Peter A.; Strowbridge, Ben W.

    2013-01-01

    In the mammalian olfactory bulb (OB), local synaptic circuits modulate the evolving pattern of activity in mitral and tufted cells following olfactory sensory stimulation. GABAergic granule cells, the most numerous interneuron subtype in this brain region, have been extensively studied. However, classic studies using Golgi staining methods…

  3. 21 CFR 874.1600 - Olfactory test device.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Olfactory test device. 874.1600 Section 874.1600 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES EAR, NOSE, AND THROAT DEVICES Diagnostic Devices § 874.1600 Olfactory test device....

  4. 21 CFR 874.1600 - Olfactory test device.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Olfactory test device. 874.1600 Section 874.1600 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES EAR, NOSE, AND THROAT DEVICES Diagnostic Devices § 874.1600 Olfactory test device....

  5. 21 CFR 874.1600 - Olfactory test device.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Olfactory test device. 874.1600 Section 874.1600 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES EAR, NOSE, AND THROAT DEVICES Diagnostic Devices § 874.1600 Olfactory test device....

  6. Kappe neurons, a novel population of olfactory sensory neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahuja, Gaurav; Nia, Shahrzad Bozorg; Zapilko, Veronika; Shiriagin, Vladimir; Kowatschew, Daniel; Oka, Yuichiro; Korsching, Sigrun I.

    2014-02-01

    Perception of olfactory stimuli is mediated by distinct populations of olfactory sensory neurons, each with a characteristic set of morphological as well as functional parameters. Beyond two large populations of ciliated and microvillous neurons, a third population, crypt neurons, has been identified in teleost and cartilaginous fishes. We report here a novel, fourth olfactory sensory neuron population in zebrafish, which we named kappe neurons for their characteristic shape. Kappe neurons are identified by their Go-like immunoreactivity, and show a distinct spatial distribution within the olfactory epithelium, similar to, but significantly different from that of crypt neurons. Furthermore, kappe neurons project to a single identified target glomerulus within the olfactory bulb, mdg5 of the mediodorsal cluster, whereas crypt neurons are known to project exclusively to the mdg2 glomerulus. Kappe neurons are negative for established markers of ciliated, microvillous and crypt neurons, but appear to have microvilli. Kappe neurons constitute the fourth type of olfactory sensory neurons reported in teleost fishes and their existence suggests that encoding of olfactory stimuli may require a higher complexity than hitherto assumed already in the peripheral olfactory system.

  7. Integrating temperature with odor processing in the olfactory bulb.

    PubMed

    Kludt, Eugen; Okom, Camille; Brinkmann, Alexander; Schild, Detlev

    2015-05-20

    Temperature perception has long been classified as a somesthetic function solely. However, in recent years several studies brought evidence that temperature perception also takes place in the olfactory system of rodents. Temperature has been described as an effective stimulus for sensory neurons of the Grueneberg ganglion located at the entrance of the nose. Here, we investigate whether a neuronal trace of temperature stimulation can be observed in the glomeruli and mitral cells of the olfactory bulb, using calcium imaging and fast line-scanning microscopy. We show in the Xenopus tadpole system that the γ-glomerulus, which receives input from olfactory neurons, is highly sensitive to temperature drops at the olfactory epithelium. We observed that thermo-induced activity in the γ-glomerulus is conveyed to the mitral cells innervating this specific neuropil. Surprisingly, a substantial number of thermosensitive mitral cells were also chemosensitive. Moreover, we report another unique feature of the γ-glomerulus: it receives ipsilateral and contralateral afferents. The latter fibers pass through the contralateral bulb, cross the anterior commissure, and then run to the ipsilateral olfactory bulb, where they target the γ-glomerulus. Temperature drops at the contralateral olfactory epithelium also induced responses in the γ-glomerulus and in mitral cells. Temperature thus appears to be a relevant physiological input to the Xenopus olfactory system. Each olfactory bulb integrates and codes temperature signals originating from receptor neurons of the ipsilateral and contralateral nasal cavities. Finally, temperature and chemical information is processed in shared cellular networks.

  8. Insect endosymbionts: manipulators of insect herbivore trophic interactions?

    PubMed

    Clark, Emily L; Karley, Alison J; Hubbard, Stephen F

    2010-08-01

    Throughout their evolutionary history, insects have formed multiple relationships with bacteria. Although many of these bacteria are pathogenic, with deleterious effects on the fitness of infected insects, there are also numerous examples of symbiotic bacteria that are harmless or even beneficial to their insect host. Symbiotic bacteria that form obligate or facultative associations with insects and that are located intracellularly in the host insect are known as endosymbionts. Endosymbiosis can be a strong driving force for evolution when the acquisition and maintenance of a microorganism by the insect host results in the formation of novel structures or changes in physiology and metabolism. The complex evolutionary dynamics of vertically transmitted symbiotic bacteria have led to distinctive symbiont genome characteristics that have profound effects on the phenotype of the host insect. Symbiotic bacteria are key players in insect-plant interactions influencing many aspects of insect ecology and playing a key role in shaping the diversification of many insect groups. In this review, we discuss the role of endosymbionts in manipulating insect herbivore trophic interactions focussing on their impact on plant utilisation patterns and parasitoid biology.

  9. Ligands Binding and Molecular Simulation: the Potential Investigation of a Biosensor Based on an Insect Odorant Binding Protein

    PubMed Central

    Yi, Xin; Zhang, Yanbo; Wang, Peidan; Qi, Jiangwei; Hu, Meiying; Zhong, Guohua

    2015-01-01

    Based on mimicking biological olfaction, biosensors have been applied for the detection of various ligands in complex environment, which could represent one of the most promising research fields. In this study, the basic characters of one insect odorant binding protein (OBP) as a biosensor were explored. To explore the molecular recognition process, the tertiary structure of the protein was modeled and the protein-ligand interactions with 1,536,550 chemicals were investigated by the molecular docking. The availability of large amount of recombinant SlitOBP1 overcame the difficulty to obtain biological sensing material. After obtained the purified recombinant protein, the result of fluorescence binding assays proved the candidate protein has good affinities with the majority of the tested chemicals. With the aid of simulation docking, the key conserved amino acids within the binding site were identified and then mutated to alanine. After mutation, the protein-ligand binding characteristics were recorded, and the competitive binding assays were carried out to provide experimental verification. The detailed information on its structure and affinities investigated in this study could allow the design of specific mutants with desired characteristics, which provides a solid base for tailoring OBP for biosensor and provides a role model for screening the other elements in olfactory system for different applications. PMID:25552932

  10. Ligands binding and molecular simulation: the potential investigation of a biosensor based on an insect odorant binding protein.

    PubMed

    Yi, Xin; Zhang, Yanbo; Wang, Peidan; Qi, Jiangwei; Hu, Meiying; Zhong, Guohua

    2015-01-01

    Based on mimicking biological olfaction, biosensors have been applied for the detection of various ligands in complex environment, which could represent one of the most promising research fields. In this study, the basic characters of one insect odorant binding protein (OBP) as a biosensor were explored. To explore the molecular recognition process, the tertiary structure of the protein was modeled and the protein-ligand interactions with 1,536,550 chemicals were investigated by the molecular docking. The availability of large amount of recombinant SlitOBP1 overcame the difficulty to obtain biological sensing material. After obtained the purified recombinant protein, the result of fluorescence binding assays proved the candidate protein has good affinities with the majority of the tested chemicals. With the aid of simulation docking, the key conserved amino acids within the binding site were identified and then mutated to alanine. After mutation, the protein-ligand binding characteristics were recorded, and the competitive binding assays were carried out to provide experimental verification. The detailed information on its structure and affinities investigated in this study could allow the design of specific mutants with desired characteristics, which provides a solid base for tailoring OBP for biosensor and provides a role model for screening the other elements in olfactory system for different applications. PMID:25552932

  11. Hidden consequences of olfactory dysfunction: a patient report series

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The negative consequences of olfactory dysfunction for the quality of life are not widely appreciated and the condition is therefore often ignored or trivialized. Methods 1,000 patients with olfactory dysfunction participated in an online study by submitting accounts of their subjective experiences of how they have been affected by their condition. In addition, they were given the chance to answer 43 specific questions about the consequences of their olfactory dysfunction. Results Although there are less practical problems associated with impaired or distorted odor perception than with impairments in visual or auditory perception, many affected individuals report experiencing olfactory dysfunction as a debilitating condition. Smell loss-induced social isolation and smell loss-induced anhedonia can severely affect quality of life. Conclusions Olfactory dysfunction is a serious condition for those affected by it and it deserves more attention from doctors who treat affected patients as well as from scientist who research treatment options. PMID:23875929

  12. Olfactory Mucosa Tissue Based Biosensor for Bioelectronic Nose

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Qingjun; Ye, Weiwei; Yu, Hui; Hu, Ning; Cai, Hua; Wang, Ping

    2009-05-01

    Biological olfactory system can distinguish thousands of odors. In order to realize the biomimetic design of electronic nose on the principle of mammalian olfactory system, we have reported bioelectronic nose based on cultured olfactory cells. In this study, the electrical property of the tissue-semiconductor interface was analyzed by the volume conductor theory and the sheet conductor model. Olfactory mucosa tissue of rat was isolated and fixed on the surface of the light-addressable potentiometric sensor (LAPS), with the natural stations of the neuronal populations and functional receptor unit of the cilia well reserved. By the extracellular potentials of the olfactory receptor cells of the mucosa tissue monitored, both the simulation and the experimental results suggested that this tissue-semiconductor hybrid system was sensitive to odorants stimulation.

  13. Cytological organization of the alpha component of the anterior olfactory nucleus and olfactory limbus

    PubMed Central

    Larriva-Sahd, Jorge

    2012-01-01

    This study describes the microscopic organization of a wedge-shaped area at the intersection of the main (MOB) and accessory olfactory bulbs (AOBs), or olfactory limbus (OL), and an additional component of the anterior olfactory nucleus or alpha AON that lies underneath of the AOB. The OL consists of a modified bulbar cortex bounded anteriorly by the MOB and posteriorly by the AOB. In Nissl-stained specimens the OL differs from the MOB by a progressive, antero-posterior decrease in thickness or absence of the external plexiform, mitral/tufted cell, and granule cell layers. On cytoarchitectual grounds the OL is divided from rostral to caudal into three distinct components: a stripe of glomerular-free cortex or preolfactory area (PA), a second or necklace glomerular area, and a wedge-shaped or interstitial area (INA) crowned by the so-called modified glomeruli that appear to belong to the anterior AOB. The strategic location and interactions with the main and AOBs, together with the previously noted functional and connectional evidence, suggest that the OL may be related to both sensory modalities. The alpha component of the anterior olfactory nucleus, a slender cellular cluster (i.e., 650 × 150 μm) paralleling the base of the AOB, contains two neuron types: a pyramidal-like neuron and an interneuron. Dendrites of pyramidal-like cells (P-L) organize into a single bundle that ascends avoiding the AOB to resolve in a trigone bounded by the edge of the OL, the AOB and the dorsal part of the anterior olfactory nucleus. Utrastructurally, the neuropil of the alpha component contains three types of synaptic terminals; one of them immunoreactive to the enzyme glutamate decarboxylase, isoform 67. PMID:22754506

  14. Understanding smell--the olfactory stimulus problem.

    PubMed

    Auffarth, Benjamin

    2013-09-01

    The main problem with sensory processing is the difficulty in relating sensory input to physiological responses and perception. This is especially problematic at higher levels of processing, where complex cues elicit highly specific responses. In olfaction, this relationship is particularly obfuscated by the difficulty of characterizing stimulus statistics and perception. The core questions in olfaction are hence the so-called stimulus problem, which refers to the understanding of the stimulus, and the structure-activity and structure-odor relationships, which refer to the molecular basis of smell. It is widely accepted that the recognition of odorants by receptors is governed by the detection of physico-chemical properties and that the physical space is highly complex. Not surprisingly, ideas differ about how odor stimuli should be classified and about the very nature of information that the brain extracts from odors. Even though there are many measures for smell, there is none that accurately describes all aspects of it. Here, we summarize recent developments in the understanding of olfaction. We argue that an approach to olfactory function where information processing is emphasized could contribute to a high degree to our understanding of smell as a perceptual phenomenon emerging from neural computations. Further, we argue that combined analysis of the stimulus, biology, physiology, and behavior and perception can provide new insights into olfactory function. We hope that the reader can use this review as a competent guide and overview of research activities in olfactory physiology, psychophysics, computation, and psychology. We propose avenues for research, particularly in the systematic characterization of receptive fields and of perception.

  15. An odor stimulator controlling odor temporal pattern applicable in insect olfaction study.

    PubMed

    Okada, Koutaroh; Sakuma, Masayuki

    2009-06-01

    The olfactory system of an insect brain codes for information about odorant quality and quantity using the temporal pattern of neural activity as well as neurons' firing. Although an accurate odor temporal pattern is indispensable for investigations of olfactory systems, it is difficult to control in conventional odor stimulators. To overcome this problem, we fabricated an odor stimulator that can control the odor temporal pattern. The stimulator has 3 major parts: an "odor conditioner," with odor-laden air prepared with known concentrations of odorants; a Pitot tube; and a small wind tunnel of laminar flow. Using this stimulator, we realized not only timing control of the odor stimulation with millisecond order but also constant odor concentrations or intensity of stimulation, with error of 2.4% in replicated trials. PMID:19363088

  16. Quantitative assessment of olfactory experience during pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, A N; Wysocki, C J

    1991-01-01

    Results of the National Geographic Smell Survey were used to investigate the effects of pregnancy on olfactory perception and odor-related behavior. The responses to test odors and survey questions of 13,610 pregnant and 277,228 nonpregnant U.S. women between 20 and 40 years of age were analyzed. In comparison to nonpregnant women, pregnant women rated their own sense of smell lower, more often rated the test odors less pleasant smelling, more often classified the test odors as inedible, were less likely to report odor-evoked memories, and used perfume and cologne less frequently. Differences in odor detection and intensity rating did not favor either group.

  17. Effects of salinity on olfactory toxicity and behavioral responses of juvenile salmonids from copper.

    PubMed

    Sommers, Frank; Mudrock, Emma; Labenia, Jana; Baldwin, David

    2016-06-01

    Dissolved copper is one of the more pervasive and toxic constituents of stormwater runoff and is commonly found in stream, estuary, and coastal marine habitats of juvenile salmon. While stormwater runoff does not usually carry copper concentrations high enough to result in acute lethality, they are of concern because sublethal concentrations of copper exposure have been shown to both impair olfactory function and alter behavior in various species in freshwater. To compare these results to other environments that salmon are likely to encounter, experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of salinity on the impairment of olfactory function and avoidance of copper. Copper concentrations well within the range of those found in urban watersheds, have been shown to diminish or eliminate the olfactory response to the amino acid, l-serine in freshwater using electro-olfactogram (EOG) techniques. The olfactory responses of both freshwater-phase and seawater-phase coho and seawater-phase Chinook salmon, were tested in freshwater or seawater, depending on phase, and freshwater-phase coho at an intermediate salinity of 10‰. Both 10‰ salinity and full strength seawater protected against the effects of 50μg copper/L. In addition to impairing olfactory response, copper has also been shown to alter salmon behavior by causing an avoidance response. To determine whether copper will cause avoidance behavior at different salinities, experiments were conducted using a multi-chambered experimental tank. The circular tank was divided into six segments by water currents so that copper could be contained within one segment yet fish could move freely between them. The presence of individual fish in each of the segments was counted before and after introduction of dissolved copper (<20μg/L) to one of the segments in both freshwater and seawater. To address whether use of preferred habitat is altered by the presence of copper, experiments were also conducted with a submerged

  18. Nasal toxicity, carcinogenicity, and olfactory uptake of metals.

    PubMed

    Sunderman, F W

    2001-01-01

    Occupational exposures to inhalation of certain metal dusts or aerosols can cause loss of olfactory acuity, atrophy of the nasal mucosa, mucosal ulcers, perforated nasal septum, or sinonasal cancer. Anosmia and hyposmia have been observed in workers exposed to Ni- or Cd-containing dusts in alkaline battery factories, nickel refineries, and cadmium industries. Ulcers of the nasal mucosa and perforated nasal septum have been reported in workers exposed to Cr(VI) in chromate production and chrome plating, or to As(III) in arsenic smelters. Atrophy of the olfactory epithelium has been observed in rodents following inhalation of NiSO4 or alphaNi3S2. Cancers of the nose and nasal sinuses have been reported in workers exposed to Ni compounds in nickel refining, cutlery factories, and alkaline battery manufacture, or to Cr(VI) in chromate production and chrome plating. In animals, several metals (eg, Al, Cd, Co, Hg, Mn, Ni, Zn) have been shown to pass via olfactory receptor neurons from the nasal lumen through the cribriform plate to the olfactory bulb. Some metals (eg, Mn, Ni, Zn) can cross synapses in the olfactory bulb and migrate via secondary olfactory neurons to distant nuclei of the brain. After nasal instillation of a metal-containing solution, transport of the metal via olfactory axons can occur rapidly, within hours or a few days (eg, Mn), or slowly over days or weeks (eg, Ni). The olfactory bulb tends to accumulate certain metals (eg, Al, Bi, Cu, Mn, Zn) with greater avidity than other regions of the brain. The molecular mechanisms responsible for metal translocation in olfactory neurons and deposition in the olfactory bulb are unclear, but complexation by metal-binding molecules such as carnosine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine) may be involved. PMID:11314863

  19. Inducible activation of ERK5 MAP kinase enhances adult neurogenesis in the olfactory bulb and improves olfactory function.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wenbin; Lu, Song; Li, Tan; Pan, Yung-Wei; Zou, Junhui; Abel, Glen M; Xu, Lihong; Storm, Daniel R; Xia, Zhengui

    2015-05-20

    Recent discoveries have suggested that adult neurogenesis in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and olfactory bulb (OB) may be required for at least some forms of olfactory behavior in mice. However, it is unclear whether conditional and selective enhancement of adult neurogenesis by genetic approaches is sufficient to improve olfactory function under physiological conditions or after injury. Furthermore, specific signaling mechanisms regulating adult neurogenesis in the SVZ/OB are not fully defined. We previously reported that ERK5, a MAP kinase selectively expressed in the neurogenic regions of the adult brain, plays a critical role in adult neurogenesis in the SVZ/OB. Using a site-specific knock-in mouse model, we report here that inducible and targeted activation of the endogenous ERK5 in adult neural stem/progenitor cells enhances adult neurogenesis in the OB by increasing cell survival and neuronal differentiation. This conditional ERK5 activation also improves short-term olfactory memory and odor-cued associative olfactory learning under normal physiological conditions. Furthermore, these mice show enhanced recovery of olfactory function and have more adult-born neurons after a zinc sulfate-induced lesion of the main olfactory epithelium. We conclude that ERK5 MAP kinase is an important endogenous signaling pathway regulating adult neurogenesis in the SVZ/OB, and that conditional activation of endogenous ERK5 is sufficient to enhance adult neurogenesis in the OB thereby improving olfactory function both under normal conditions and after injury.

  20. Inducible Activation of ERK5 MAP Kinase Enhances Adult Neurogenesis in the Olfactory Bulb and Improves Olfactory Function

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wenbin; Lu, Song; Li, Tan; Pan, Yung-Wei; Zou, Junhui; Abel, Glen M.; Xu, Lihong; Storm, Daniel R.

    2015-01-01

    Recent discoveries have suggested that adult neurogenesis in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and olfactory bulb (OB) may be required for at least some forms of olfactory behavior in mice. However, it is unclear whether conditional and selective enhancement of adult neurogenesis by genetic approaches is sufficient to improve olfactory function under physiological conditions or after injury. Furthermore, specific signaling mechanisms regulating adult neurogenesis in the SVZ/OB are not fully defined. We previously reported that ERK5, a MAP kinase selectively expressed in the neurogenic regions of the adult brain, plays a critical role in adult neurogenesis in the SVZ/OB. Using a site-specific knock-in mouse model, we report here that inducible and targeted activation of the endogenous ERK5 in adult neural stem/progenitor cells enhances adult neurogenesis in the OB by increasing cell survival and neuronal differentiation. This conditional ERK5 activation also improves short-term olfactory memory and odor-cued associative olfactory learning under normal physiological conditions. Furthermore, these mice show enhanced recovery of olfactory function and have more adult-born neurons after a zinc sulfate-induced lesion of the main olfactory epithelium. We conclude that ERK5 MAP kinase is an important endogenous signaling pathway regulating adult neurogenesis in the SVZ/OB, and that conditional activation of endogenous ERK5 is sufficient to enhance adult neurogenesis in the OB thereby improving olfactory function both under normal conditions and after injury. PMID:25995470

  1. Measurement and Analysis of Olfactory Responses with the Aim of Establishing an Objective Diagnostic Method for Central Olfactory Disorders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uno, Tominori; Wang, Li-Qun; Miwakeichi, Fumikazu; Tonoike, Mitsuo; Kaneda, Teruo

    In order to establish a new diagnostic method for central olfactory disorders and to identify objective indicators, we measured and analyzed brain activities in the parahippocampal gyrus and uncus, region of responsibility for central olfactory disorders. The relationship between olfactory stimulation and brain response at region of responsibility can be examined in terms of fitted responses (FR). FR in these regions may be individual indicators of changes in brain olfactory responses. In the present study, in order to non-invasively and objectively measure olfactory responses, an odor oddball task was conducted on four healthy volunteers using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a odorant stimulator with blast-method. The results showed favorable FR and activation in the parahippocampal gyrus or uncus in all subjects. In some subjects, both the parahippocampal gyrus and uncus were activated. Furthermore, activation was also confirmed in the cingulate gyrus, middle frontal gyrus, precentral gyrus, postcentral gyrus, superior temporal gyrus and insula. The hippocampus and uncus are known to be involved in the olfactory disorders associated with early-stage Alzheimer's disease and other olfactory disorders. In the future, it will be necessary to further develop the present measurement and analysis method to clarify the relationship between central olfactory disorders and brain activities and establish objective indicators that are useful for diagnosis.

  2. Do Sesamia nonagrioides (Lepidoptera; Noctuidae) Gravid Females Discriminate Between Bt or Multivitamin Corn Varieties? Role of Olfactory and Visual Cues

    PubMed Central

    Cruz, Diego; Eizaguirre, Matilde

    2015-01-01

    The Mediterranean corn borer, Sesamia nonagrioides Lefèbvre, is a key pest of corn and a main target of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) corn in Northeast Spain. Trends for future biotechnology crops indicate that Bt, non-Bt, and stacked corn varieties with metabolic pathways for vitamin-increased traits could coexist in same region. Knowledge of the oviposition response of gravid females of S. nonagrioides to these different varieties could be extremely important for managing strategies aimed for delaying resistance development. In dual-choice assays, we examined the host preference of gravid females of S. nonagrioides for four corn varieties: a new transgenic corn with increased vitamin levels, its near isogenic counterpart (M37W), a Bt corn plant, and its near isogenic counterpart. Olfactory cues were the predominant ones when gravid females looked for a suitable host to lay eggs, and no synergistic effects were observed when both visual and olfactory cues were present. When the plant was visible, the females preferred the odors emitted by the nontransgenic to its multivitamin transgenic counterpart and when they only could detect the volatiles they also preferred the nontransgenic M37W variety to the Bt corn variety. If gravid females are less attracted to corn with an increased level of vitamins, this could impact insect resistance management and the value of refuge plants, if such traits are stacked with an insect resistance trait. PMID:25843586

  3. Do Sesamia nonagrioides (Lepidoptera; Noctuidae) gravid females discriminate between Bt or multivitamin corn varieties? Role of olfactory and visual cues.

    PubMed

    Cruz, Diego; Eizaguirre, Matilde

    2015-01-01

    The Mediterranean corn borer, Sesamia nonagrioides Lefèbvre, is a key pest of corn and a main target of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) corn in Northeast Spain. Trends for future biotechnology crops indicate that Bt, non-Bt, and stacked corn varieties with metabolic pathways for vitamin-increased traits could coexist in same region. Knowledge of the oviposition response of gravid females of S. nonagrioides to these different varieties could be extremely important for managing strategies aimed for delaying resistance development. In dual-choice assays, we examined the host preference of gravid females of S. nonagrioides for four corn varieties: a new transgenic corn with increased vitamin levels, its near isogenic counterpart (M37W), a Bt corn plant, and its near isogenic counterpart. Olfactory cues were the predominant ones when gravid females looked for a suitable host to lay eggs, and no synergistic effects were observed when both visual and olfactory cues were present. When the plant was visible, the females preferred the odors emitted by the nontransgenic to its multivitamin transgenic counterpart and when they only could detect the volatiles they also preferred the nontransgenic M37W variety to the Bt corn variety. If gravid females are less attracted to corn with an increased level of vitamins, this could impact insect resistance management and the value of refuge plants, if such traits are stacked with an insect resistance trait. PMID:25843586

  4. Meniscus-climbing insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, David L.; Kreider, Tim; Bush, John W. M.; Mit Department Of Mathematics Team

    2003-11-01

    Many millimetric water-walking insects are unable to climb the meniscii that border land and emerging vegetation using their traditional means of propulsion. We explore the novel means by which some insects succeed in so doing through a combined experimental and theoretical investigation. The grub Collembola ascends by distorting the free surface in order to generate a net horizontal surface tension force. The water treader Mesovelia climbs the meniscus by exploiting the Coulomb-like attraction between like-signed menisci: by lifting the free surface with its front and rear pairs of feet, it generates a tangential force that draws it up the slope. We examine the required force and torque balances on the body in order to calculate optimal leg configurations for meniscus climbers that are consistent with those observed.

  5. On quantifying insect movements

    SciTech Connect

    Wiens, J.A.; Crist, T.O. ); Milne, B.T. )

    1993-08-01

    We elaborate on methods described by Turchin, Odendaal Rausher for quantifying insect movement pathways. We note the need to scale measurement resolution to the study insects and the questions being asked, and we discuss the use of surveying instrumentation for recording sequential positions of individuals on pathways. We itemize several measures that may be used to characterize movement pathways and illustrate these by comparisons among several Eleodes beetles occurring in shortgrass steppe. The fractal dimension of pathways may provide insights not available from absolute measures of pathway configuration. Finally, we describe a renormalization procedure that may be used to remove sequential interdependence among locations of moving individuals while preserving the basic attributes of the pathway.

  6. Insect maintenance and transmission.

    PubMed

    Kingdom, Heather

    2013-01-01

    Phytoplasmas are plant pathogens of huge economic importance due to responsibility for crop yield losses worldwide. Institutions around the world are trying to understand and control this yield loss at a time when food security is high on government agendas. In order to fully understand the mechanisms of phytoplasma infection and spread, more insect vector and phytoplasma colonies will need to be established for research worldwide. Rearing and study of these colonies is essential in the research and development of phytoplasma control measures. This chapter highlights general materials and methods for raising insect vector colonies and maintenance of phytoplasmas. Specific methods of rearing the maize leafhopper and maize bushy stunt phytoplasma and the aster leafhopper and aster yellows phytoplasma strain witches' broom are also included. PMID:22987405

  7. Learning pattern recognition and decision making in the insect brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huerta, R.

    2013-01-01

    We revise the current model of learning pattern recognition in the Mushroom Bodies of the insects using current experimental knowledge about the location of learning, olfactory coding and connectivity. We show that it is possible to have an efficient pattern recognition device based on the architecture of the Mushroom Bodies, sparse code, mutual inhibition and Hebbian leaning only in the connections from the Kenyon cells to the output neurons. We also show that despite the conventional wisdom that believes that artificial neural networks are the bioinspired model of the brain, the Mushroom Bodies actually resemble very closely Support Vector Machines (SVMs). The derived SVM learning rules are situated in the Mushroom Bodies, are nearly identical to standard Hebbian rules, and require inhibition in the output. A very particular prediction of the model is that random elimination of the Kenyon cells in the Mushroom Bodies do not impair the ability to recognize odorants previously learned.

  8. Organization of the olfactory pathway and odor processing in the antennal lobe of the ant Camponotus floridanus.

    PubMed

    Zube, Christina; Kleineidam, Christoph Johannes; Kirschner, Sebastian; Neef, Jakob; Rössler, Wolfgang

    2008-01-20

    Ants rely heavily on olfaction for communication and orientation. Here we provide the first detailed structure-function analyses within an ant's central olfactory system asking whether in the carpenter ant, Camponotus floridanus, the olfactory pathway exhibits adaptations to processing many pheromonal and general odors. Using fluorescent tracing, confocal microscopy, and 3D-analyses we demonstrate that the antennal lobe (AL) contains up to approximately 460 olfactory glomeruli organized in seven distinct clusters innervated via seven antennal sensory tracts. The AL is divided into two hemispheres regarding innervation of glomeruli by either projection neurons (PNs) with axons leaving via the medial (m) or lateral (l) antennocerebral tract (ACT). M- and l-ACT PNs differ in their target areas in the mushroom-body calyx and lateral horn. Three additional ACTs project to the lateral protocerebrum only. We analyzed odor processing in AL glomeruli by retrograde loading of PNs with Fura-2 dextran and fluorimetric calcium imaging. Odor responses were reproducible and comparable across individuals. Calcium responses to pheromonal and nonpheromonal odors were very sensitive (10(-11) dilution) and patterns were partly overlapping, indicating that processing of both odor classes is not spatially segregated within the AL. Response patterns to the main trail-pheromone component nerolic acid remained stable over a wide range of intensities (7-8 log units), while response durations increased indicating that odor quality is maintained by a stable pattern and intensity is mainly encoded in response durations. The structure-function analyses contribute new insights into important aspects of odor processing in a highly advanced insect olfactory system.

  9. Differential expression of olfactory genes in the southern house mosquito and insights into unique odorant receptor gene isoforms

    PubMed Central

    Leal, Walter S.; Choo, Young-Moo; Xu, Pingxi; da Silva, Cherre S. B.; Ueira-Vieira, Carlos

    2013-01-01

    The southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus, has one of the most acute and eclectic olfactory systems of all mosquito species hitherto studied. Here, we used Illumina sequencing to identify olfactory genes expressed predominantly in antenna, mosquito’s main olfactory organ. Less than 50% of the trimmed reads generated by high-quality libraries aligned to a transcript, but approximately 70% of them aligned to the genome. Differential expression analysis, which was validated by quantitative real-time PCR on a subset of genes, showed that approximately half of the 48 odorant-binding protein genes were enriched in antennae, with the other half being predominantly expressed in legs. Similar patterns were observed with chemosensory proteins, “plus-C” odorant-binding proteins, and sensory neuron membrane proteins. Transcripts for as many as 43 ionotropic receptors were enriched in female antennae, thus making the ionotropic receptor family the largest of antennae-rich olfactory genes, second only to odorant receptor (OR) genes. As many as 177 OR genes have been identified, including 36 unique transcripts. The unique OR genes differed from previously annotated ORs in internal sequences, splice variants, and extended N or C terminus. One of the previously unknown transcripts was validated by cloning and functional expression. When challenged with a large panel of physiologically relevant compounds, CquiOR95b responded in a dose-dependent manner to ethyl 2-phenylacteate, which was demonstrated to repel Culex mosquitoes, and secondarily to citronellal, a known insect repellent. This transcriptome study led to identification of key molecular components and a repellent for the southern house mosquito. PMID:24167245

  10. Organization of the olfactory pathway and odor processing in the antennal lobe of the ant Camponotus floridanus.

    PubMed

    Zube, Christina; Kleineidam, Christoph Johannes; Kirschner, Sebastian; Neef, Jakob; Rössler, Wolfgang

    2008-01-20

    Ants rely heavily on olfaction for communication and orientation. Here we provide the first detailed structure-function analyses within an ant's central olfactory system asking whether in the carpenter ant, Camponotus floridanus, the olfactory pathway exhibits adaptations to processing many pheromonal and general odors. Using fluorescent tracing, confocal microscopy, and 3D-analyses we demonstrate that the antennal lobe (AL) contains up to approximately 460 olfactory glomeruli organized in seven distinct clusters innervated via seven antennal sensory tracts. The AL is divided into two hemispheres regarding innervation of glomeruli by either projection neurons (PNs) with axons leaving via the medial (m) or lateral (l) antennocerebral tract (ACT). M- and l-ACT PNs differ in their target areas in the mushroom-body calyx and lateral horn. Three additional ACTs project to the lateral protocerebrum only. We analyzed odor processing in AL glomeruli by retrograde loading of PNs with Fura-2 dextran and fluorimetric calcium imaging. Odor responses were reproducible and comparable across individuals. Calcium responses to pheromonal and nonpheromonal odors were very sensitive (10(-11) dilution) and patterns were partly overlapping, indicating that processing of both odor classes is not spatially segregated within the AL. Response patterns to the main trail-pheromone component nerolic acid remained stable over a wide range of intensities (7-8 log units), while response durations increased indicating that odor quality is maintained by a stable pattern and intensity is mainly encoded in response durations. The structure-function analyses contribute new insights into important aspects of odor processing in a highly advanced insect olfactory system. PMID:18041786

  11. Differential expression of olfactory genes in the southern house mosquito and insights into unique odorant receptor gene isoforms.

    PubMed

    Leal, Walter S; Choo, Young-Moo; Xu, Pingxi; da Silva, Cherre S B; Ueira-Vieira, Carlos

    2013-11-12

    The southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus, has one of the most acute and eclectic olfactory systems of all mosquito species hitherto studied. Here, we used Illumina sequencing to identify olfactory genes expressed predominantly in antenna, mosquito's main olfactory organ. Less than 50% of the trimmed reads generated by high-quality libraries aligned to a transcript, but approximately 70% of them aligned to the genome. Differential expression analysis, which was validated by quantitative real-time PCR on a subset of genes, showed that approximately half of the 48 odorant-binding protein genes were enriched in antennae, with the other half being predominantly expressed in legs. Similar patterns were observed with chemosensory proteins, "plus-C" odorant-binding proteins, and sensory neuron membrane proteins. Transcripts for as many as 43 ionotropic receptors were enriched in female antennae, thus making the ionotropic receptor family the largest of antennae-rich olfactory genes, second only to odorant receptor (OR) genes. As many as 177 OR genes have been identified, including 36 unique transcripts. The unique OR genes differed from previously annotated ORs in internal sequences, splice variants, and extended N or C terminus. One of the previously unknown transcripts was validated by cloning and functional expression. When challenged with a large panel of physiologically relevant compounds, CquiOR95b responded in a dose-dependent manner to ethyl 2-phenylacteate, which was demonstrated to repel Culex mosquitoes, and secondarily to citronellal, a known insect repellent. This transcriptome study led to identification of key molecular components and a repellent for the southern house mosquito.

  12. Fatigue of insect cuticle.

    PubMed

    Dirks, Jan-Henning; Parle, Eoin; Taylor, David

    2013-05-15

    Many parts of the insect exoskeleton experience repeated cyclic loading. Although the cuticle of insects and other arthropods is the second most common natural composite material in the world, so far nothing is known about its fatigue properties, despite the fact that fatigue undoubtedly limits the durability of body parts in vivo. For the first time, we here present experimental fatigue data of insect cuticle. Using force-controlled cyclic loading, we determined the number of cycles to failure for hind legs (tibiae) and hind wings of the locust Schistocerca gregaria, as a function of the applied cyclic stress. Our results show that, although both are made from cuticle, these two body parts behave very differently. Wing samples showed a large fatigue range, failing after 100,000 cycles when we applied 46% of the stress needed for instantaneous failure [the ultimate tensile strength (UTS)]. Legs, in contrast, were able to sustain a stress of 76% of the UTS for the same number of cycles to failure. This can be explained by the difference in the composition and structure of the material, two factors that, amongst others, also affect the well-known behaviour of engineering composites. Final failure of the tibiae occurred via one of two different failure modes--propagation in tension or buckling in compression--indicating that the tibia is 'optimized' by evolution to resist both failure modes equally. These results are further discussed in relation to the evolution and normal use of these two body parts.

  13. Long-Term Memory Shapes the Primary Olfactory Center of an Insect Brain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hourcade, Benoit; Perisse, Emmanuel; Devaud, Jean-Marc; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2009-01-01

    The storage of stable memories is generally considered to rely on changes in the functional properties and/or the synaptic connectivity of neural networks. However, these changes are not easily tractable given the complexity of the learning procedures and brain circuits studied. Such a search can be narrowed down by studying memories of specific…

  14. Computational models to understand decision making and pattern recognition in the insect brain

    PubMed Central

    Mosqueiro, Thiago S.; Huerta, Ramón

    2014-01-01

    Odor stimuli reaching olfactory systems of mammals and insects are characterized by remarkable non-stationary and noisy time series. Their brains have evolved to discriminate subtle changes in odor mixtures and find meaningful variations in complex spatio-temporal patterns. Insects with small brains can effectively solve two computational tasks: identify the presence of an odor type and estimate the concentration levels of the odor. Understanding the learning and decision making processes in the insect brain can not only help us to uncover general principles of information processing in the brain, but it can also provide key insights to artificial chemical sensing. Both olfactory learning and memory are dominantly organized in the Antennal Lobe (AL) and the Mushroom Bodies (MBs). Current computational models yet fail to deliver an integrated picture of the joint computational roles of the AL and MBs. This review intends to provide an integrative overview of the computational literature analyzed in the context of the problem of classification (odor discrimination) and regression (odor concentration estimation), particularly identifying key computational ingredients necessary to solve pattern recognition. PMID:25593793

  15. Drosophila TRPA1 channel is required to avoid the naturally occurring insect repellent citronellal.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Young; Kim, Sang Hoon; Ronderos, David S; Lee, Youngseok; Akitake, Bradley; Woodward, Owen M; Guggino, William B; Smith, Dean P; Montell, Craig

    2010-09-28

    Plants produce insect repellents, such as citronellal, which is the main component of citronellal oil. However, the molecular pathways through which insects sense botanical repellents are unknown. Here, we show that Drosophila use two pathways for direct avoidance of citronellal. The olfactory coreceptor OR83b contributes to citronellal repulsion and is essential for citronellal-evoked action potentials. Mutations affecting the Ca(2+)-permeable cation channel TRPA1 result in a comparable defect in avoiding citronellal vapor. The TRPA1-dependent aversion to citronellal relies on a G protein (Gq)/phospholipase C (PLC) signaling cascade rather than direct detection of citronellal by TRPA1. Loss of TRPA1, Gq, or PLC causes an increase in the frequency of citronellal-evoked action potentials in olfactory receptor neurons. Absence of the Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel (BK channel) Slowpoke results in a similar impairment in citronellal avoidance and an increase in the frequency of action potentials. These results suggest that TRPA1 is required for activation of a BK channel to modulate citronellal-evoked action potentials and for aversion to citronellal. In contrast to Drosophila TRPA1, Anopheles gambiae TRPA1 is directly and potently activated by citronellal, thereby raising the possibility that mosquito TRPA1 may be a target for developing improved repellents to reduce insect-borne diseases such as malaria.

  16. Functional architecture of olfactory ionotropic glutamate receptors

    PubMed Central

    Abuin, Liliane; Bargeton, Benoîte; Ulbrich, Maximilian H.; Isacoff, Ehud Y.; Kellenberger, Stephan; Benton, Richard

    2010-01-01

    Ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) are ligand-gated ion channels that mediate chemical communication between neurons at synapses. A variant iGluR subfamily, the Ionotropic Receptors (IRs), was recently proposed to detect environmental volatile chemicals in olfactory cilia. Here we elucidate how these peripheral chemosensors have evolved mechanistically from their iGluR ancestors. Using a Drosophila model, we demonstrate that IRs act in combinations of up to three subunits, comprising individual odor-specific receptors and one or two broadly expressed co-receptors. Heteromeric IR complex formation is necessary and sufficient for trafficking to cilia and mediating odor-evoked electrophysiological responses in vivo and in vitro. IRs display heterogeneous ion conduction specificities related to their variable pore sequences, and divergent ligand-binding domains function in odor recognition and cilia localization. Our results provide insights into the conserved and distinct architecture of these olfactory and synaptic ion channels and offer perspectives into use of IRs as genetically encoded chemical sensors. PMID:21220098

  17. Electrophysiological properties of frog olfactory supporting cells.

    PubMed

    Trotier, D

    1998-06-01

    Cells, identified as supporting cells by Lucifer Yellow injection, were recorded from slices of frog olfactory epithelium using patch-clamp recordings. Cell-attached single-channel recordings indicated that the intracellular potential (IP) was -68 +/- 7 mV (n = 22) with 4 mM K+ in the bath ([K+]o). IP was -67 +/- 4 mV (n = 32) in whole-cell conditions with 100 mM KCl inside the cell, suggesting a low membrane permeability for Cl-. IP depended on [K+]o in a manner described by the Goldman-Hodgkin-Katz equation with a permeability ratio pk+:PNa+ of 40. The input resistance was 32 +/- 14 M omega (n = 15), indicating a high membrane conductance at rest. Odorant stimulations evoked passive membrane depolarizations, probably reflecting an increase in [K+]o due to the neuronal activation. Whole-cell recordings with 100 mM CsCl instead of KCl in the pipette, together with the block of gap-junctions with octanol, indicated the existence of an electrical coupling between supporting cells. The electrical coupling between these glial-like cells could facilitate the clearance of K+ ions released by olfactory receptor neurons during odorant stimulation.

  18. Neuronal chloride accumulation in olfactory epithelium of mice lacking NKCC1

    PubMed Central

    Nickell, William T.; Kleene, Nancy K.; Gesteland, Robert C.; Kleene, Steven J.

    2005-01-01

    When stimulated with odorants, olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) produce a depolarizing receptor current. In isolated ORNs, much of this current is due to an efflux of Cl−. This implies that the neurons have one or more mechanisms for accumulating cytoplasmic Cl− at rest. Whether odors activate an efflux of Cl− in intact olfactory epithelium, where the ionic environment is poorly characterized, has not been previously determined. In mouse olfactory epithelium, we find that >80% of the summated electrical response to odors is blocked by niflumic acid or flufenamic acid, each of which inhibits Ca2+-activated Cl− channels in ORNs. This indicates that ORNs accumulate Cl− in situ. Recent evidence has shown that NKCC1, a Na+-K+-2Cl− cotransporter, contributes to Cl− accumulation in mammalian ORNs. However, we find that the epithelial response to odors is only reduced by 39% in mice carrying a null mutation in Nkcc1. As in the wild type, most of the response is blocked by niflumic acid or flufenamic acid, indicating that the underlying current is carried by Cl−. We conclude that ORNs effectively accumulate Cl− in situ even in the absence of NKCC1. The Cl−-transport mechanism underlying this accumulation has not yet been identified. PMID:16319203

  19. Neuronal chloride accumulation in olfactory epithelium of mice lacking NKCC1.

    PubMed

    Nickell, William T; Kleene, Nancy K; Gesteland, Robert C; Kleene, Steven J

    2006-03-01

    When stimulated with odorants, olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) produce a depolarizing receptor current. In isolated ORNs, much of this current is caused by an efflux of Cl-. This implies that the neurons have one or more mechanisms for accumulating cytoplasmic Cl- at rest. Whether odors activate an efflux of Cl- in intact olfactory epithelium, where the ionic environment is poorly characterized, has not been previously determined. In mouse olfactory epithelium, we found that >80% of the summated electrical response to odors is blocked by niflumic acid or flufenamic acid, each of which inhibits Ca2+-activated Cl- channels in ORNs. This indicates that ORNs accumulate Cl- in situ. Recent evidence has shown that NKCC1, a Na+-K+-2Cl- cotransporter, contributes to Cl- accumulation in mammalian ORNs. However, we find that the epithelial response to odors is only reduced by 39% in mice carrying a null mutation in Nkcc1. As in the wild-type, most of the response is blocked by niflumic acid or flufenamic acid, indicating that the underlying current is carried by Cl-. We conclude that ORNs effectively accumulate Cl- in situ even in the absence of NKCC1. The Cl- -transport mechanism underlying this accumulation has not yet been identified.

  20. Contaminant-specific targeting of olfactory sensory neuron classes: connecting neuron class impairment with behavioural deficits.

    PubMed

    Dew, William A; Azizishirazi, Ali; Pyle, Greg G

    2014-10-01

    The olfactory system of fish comprises several classes of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs). The odourants L-alanine and taurocholic acid (TCA) specifically activate microvillous or ciliated OSNs, respectively, in fish. We recorded electro-olfactograms (EOG) in fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas; a laboratory-reared model species) and wild yellow perch (Perca flavescens) whose olfactory chambers were perfused with either L-alanine or TCA to determine if OSN classes were differentially vulnerable to contaminants, in this case copper or nickel. Results were consistent in both species and demonstrated that nickel targeted and impaired microvillous OSN function, while copper targeted and impaired ciliated OSN function. This result suggests that contaminant-specific effects observed in model laboratory species extrapolate to wild fish populations. Moreover, fathead minnows exposed to copper failed to perceive a conspecific alarm cue in a choice maze, whereas those exposed to nickel could respond to the same conspecific cue. These results demonstrate that fathead minnows perceive conspecific, damage-released alarm cue by ciliated, but not microvillous, OSNs. Fish living in copper-contaminated environments may be more vulnerable to predation than those in clean lakes owing to targeted effects on ciliated OSNs. PMID:24630454