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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Chemosensory Receptor Expression in the Abdomen Tip of the Female Codling Moth, Cydia pomonella L. (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)

Walker, William B., III; Cattaneo, Alberto M.; Stout, Jennifer L.; Evans, MacKenzie L.; Garczynski, Stephen F.


In insects, the chemical senses influence most vital behaviors, including mate seeking and egg laying; these sensory modalities are predominantly governed by odorant receptors (ORs), ionotropic receptors (IRs), and gustatory receptors (GRs). The codling moth, Cydia pomonella, is a global pest of apple, pear, and walnut, and semiochemically based management strategies limit the economic impacts of this species. The previous report of expression of a candidate pheromone-responsive OR in female codling moth ovipositor and pheromone glands raises further questions about the chemosensory capacity of these organs. With an RNA-sequencing approach, we examined chemoreceptors' expression in the female codling moth abdomen tip, sampling tissues from mated and unmated females and pupae. We report 37 ORs, 22 GRs, and 18 IRs expressed in our transcriptome showing overlap with receptors expressed in adult antennae as well as non-antennal candidate receptors. A quantitative PCR approach was also taken to assess the effect of mating on OR expression in adult female moths, revealing a few genes to be upregulated or downregulating after mating. These results provide a better understanding of the chemosensory role of codling moth female abdomen tip organs in female-specific behaviors. Future research will determine the function of specific receptors to augment current semiochemical-based strategies for codling moth management.


odorant receptors; gustatory receptors; ionotropic receptors; codling moth; RNA-seq; gene expression; transcriptome; ovipositor

Published in

2023, Volume: 14, number: 12, article number: 948Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)