A Subset of Odorant Receptors from the Desert Locust Schistocerca gregaria Is Co-Expressed with the Sensory Neuron Membrane Protein 1. uri icon


  • In the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria (S. gregaria), pheromones are considered to be crucial for governing important behaviors and processes, including phase transition, reproduction, aggregation and swarm formation. The receptors mediating pheromone detection in olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) on the antenna of S. gregaria are unknown. Since pheromone receptors in other insects belong to the odorant receptor (OR) family and are typically co-expressed with the "sensory neuron membrane protein 1" (SNMP1), in our search for putative pheromone receptors of S. gregaria, we have screened the OR repertoire for receptor types that are expressed in SNMP1-positive OSNs. Based on phylogenetic analyses, we categorized the 119 ORs of S. gregaria into three groups (I-III) and analyzed a substantial number of ORs for co-expression with SNMP1 by two-color fluorescence in situ hybridization. We have identified 33 ORs that were co-expressed with SNMP1. In fact, the majority of ORs from group I and II were found to be expressed in SNMP1-positive OSNs, but only very few receptors from group III, which comprises approximately 60% of all ORs from S. gregaria, were co-expressed with SNMP1. These findings indicate that numerous ORs from group I and II could be important for pheromone communication. Collectively, we have identified a broad range of candidate pheromone receptors in S. gregaria that are not randomly distributed throughout the OR family but rather segregate into phylogenetically distinct receptor clades.

publication date

  • October 17, 2019