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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 1995

Substrate specificity of acetyltransferase and reductase enzyme systems used in pheromone biosynthesis by Asian corn borer,Ostrinia furnacalis

Zhao, Cheng-Hua; Lu, Fang; Bengtsson, Marie; Löfstedt, Christer


The substrate specificity of the acetyltransferase and the reductase enzyme systems used byOstrinia furnacalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in pheromone biosynthesis was studied in vivo by topical application of precursors to pheromone glands. Each of the tetradecenols, varying in double bond position (from 7 to 13) and geometry of the double bond, was converted to the corresponding acetate by the acetyltransferase. The similarity in the conversion rates of all tested fatty alcohols indicated that the acetyltransferase has a low substrate specificity. Most of the corresponding tetradecenoic acids could also be converted to the respective acetates. However, very different conversion rates among the tested fatty acids demonstrated that the reductase system has a higher substrate specificity than the acetyltransferase. The conversion rates of mostE isomers were higher than those of the correspondingZ isomers, except for the (Δ)-11-tetradecenoic acids, in which much moreZ isomer was converted to the product. Saturated tetradecanoic acid was converted to the corresponding acetate at a high rate; the shorter homolog, tridecanoic acid, was converted at a lower rate (56%), and conversion to the respective acetates of the longer homolog, pentadecanoic and hexadecanoic acids, was insignificant (<5%). The results from the present study showed that specificity of pheromone production is to a large extent controlled by the pheromone gland reductase system.

Published in

Journal of Chemical Ecology
1995, Volume: 21, pages: 1495-1510

      SLU Authors

    • Bengtsson, Marie

      • Department of Plant and Forest Protection, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

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