Odorant receptors and antennal lobe morphology offer a new approach to understanding olfaction in the Asian longhorned beetle

Robert F. Mitchell, Loyal P. Hall, Peter F. Reagel, Duane D. McKenna, Thomas C. Baker, John G. Hildebrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The Asian longhorned beetle Anoplophora glabripennis (Motchulsky) is an exotic forest pest that has repeatedly invaded North America and Europe from Asia, and has the potential to kill millions of trees and cause billions of dollars in damage. Traps baited with an attractive mixture of volatile organic compounds from hosts have been of limited success in monitoring invasion sites. We propose that lures might be improved through studying the olfactory system of adult beetles, especially the gene family of odorant receptors (ORs) and the structure of the antennal lobes of the brain. Here, we report identification of 132 ORs in the genome of A. glabripennis (inclusive of one Orco gene and 11 pseudogenes), some of which are orthologous to known pheromone receptors of other cerambycid beetles. We also identified three ORs that are strongly biased toward expression in the female transcriptome, and a single OR strongly biased toward males. Three-dimensional reconstruction of the antennal lobes of adults suggested a male-specific macroglomerulus and several enlarged glomeruli in females. We predict that functional characterization of ORs and glomeruli will lead to identification of key odorants in the life history of A. glabripennis that may aid in monitoring and controlling future invasions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-109
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Anoplophora glabripennis
  • Antennal lobe morphology
  • Cerambycidae
  • Olfactory receptor
  • Pheromone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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