Expressional and functional comparisons of two general odorant binding proteins in Agrotis ipsilon

Guang Zhen Huang, Jing Tao Liu, Jing Jiang Zhou, Qian Wang, Jian Zhen Dong, Yong Jun Zhang, Xian Chun Li, Jing Li, Shao Hua Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Insect general odorant binding proteins (GOBPs) have been long thought to bind and transport host plant volatiles to the olfactory receptors on the dendrite membrane of the olfactory neurons. Recent studies indicate that they can also bind female sex pheromones. In present study, two GOBP genes, AipsGOBP1 and AipsGOBP2 were cloned from the adult antennae of Agrotis ipsilon. Tissue expression profiles indicated that both of them are antennae-specific and more abundant in the female antennae than in the male antennae. Temporal expression profiles showed that both AipsGOBP1 and AipsGOBP2 began to express in antennae 3 days prior to adult emergence from pupae, and reached their highest expression level 3 and 4 days after adult emergence, respectively. Mating increased their expression in the female antennae but reduced their expression in the male antennae. In situ hybridization and immunolocalization demonstrated that both AipsGOBP1 and AipsGOBP2 are expressed and co-localized in sensilla basiconica and sensilla trichodea of both sexes. AipsGOBP2 exhibited a high binding affinity in vitro with the two major sex pheromone components Z7-12:Ac and Z9-14:Ac and the four plant volatiles cis-3-hexen-1-ol, oleic acid, dibutyl phthalate and β-caryophyllene with Ki values less than 5 μM. AipsGOBP1, on the other hand, showed medium binding affinities with the five A. ipsilon sex pheromones and six plant volatiles. AipsGOBP2 also showed a broader ligand-binding spectrum and a greater ligand-binding affinity than AipsGOBP1 with the tested aldehyde and alcohol sex pheromones of Lepidoptera species. Taken together, our results indicate that AipsGOBP2 may play greater roles than AipsGOBP1 does in binding sex pheromones and host plant volatiles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-47
Number of pages14
JournalInsect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • Agrotis ipsilon
  • GOBPs
  • Ligand-binding spectrum
  • Plant volatiles
  • Sensilla basiconica
  • Sensilla trichodea
  • Sex pheromones
  • Spatiotemporal expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


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