Navigation Links
The first insects were not yet able to smell well
Date:3/27/2014

This news release is available in German.

An insect's sense of smell is vital to its survival. Only if it can trace even tiny amounts of odor molecules is it is able to find food sources, communicate with conspecifics, or avoid enemies. According to scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, many proteins involved in the highly sensitive odor perception of insects emerged rather late in the evolutionary process. The very complex olfactory system of modern insects is therefore not an adaptation to a terrestrial environment when ancient insects migrated from water to land, but rather an adaptation that appeared when insects developed the ability to fly. The results were published in the Open Access Journal eLife (eLife, March 26, 2014, doi: 10.7554/elife.02115)

Many insect species employ three families of receptor proteins in order to perceive thousands of different environmental odors. Among them are the olfactory receptors. They form a functional complex with another protein, the so-called olfactory receptor co-receptor, which enables insects to smell the tiniest amounts of odor molecules in their environment very rapidly.

Crustaceans and insects share a common ancestor. Since crustaceans do not have olfactory receptors, previously scientists assumed that these receptors evolved as an adaptation of prehistoric insects to a terrestrial life. This hypothesis is also based on the assumption that for the ancestors of recent insects, the ability to detect odor molecules in the air rather than dissolved in water was of vital importance.

Early research on insect olfactory receptors focused entirely on insects with wings. Ewald Groe-Wilde and Bill S. Hansson and their colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, have now taken a closer look at the olfactory system of wingless insects, which − in evolutionary terms − are older than winged insects: the jumping bristletail Lepismachilis y-signata and the firebrat Thermobia domestica, which are both wingless, as well as the leaf insect Phyllium siccifolium, which is winged and was used as a control. As all three studied insect species emerged at different times in insect evolution, the scientists wanted to track the historical development of olfactory receptors.

Christine Mibach, first author of the study, analyzed the active genes in the insect antennae where the olfactory receptors are located and describes her discovery this way: "Astonishingly, the firebrat, which is more closely related to flying insects, employs several co-receptors, while the odorant receptors themselves are absent."

However, the researchers did not find any evidence for an olfactory system which is based on odorant receptors in the most basal insect, the jumping bristletail.

"According to these findings, the receptor family which is important for olfaction in recent insects evolved long after the migration of insects from water to land," Ewald Groe-Wilde summarizes. The researchers are convinced that the main olfactory receptors evolved independently of the co-receptor long after insects had adapted to terrestrial life. They hope that further analyses will reveal why some insect species have only co-receptors, no main receptors, and also clarify the function these co-receptors have on their own. [AO]


'/>"/>
Contact: Ewald Große-Wilde
grosse-wilde@ice.mpg.de
49-364-157-1408
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. First look at breast microbiota raises tantalizing questions
2. Worlds first light-activated antimicrobial surface that also works in the dark
3. First International Agroforestry Congress in the Philippines
4. First evidence of plants evolving weaponry to compete in the struggle for selection
5. UChicago and MBL announce first recipients of Lillie Awards for Collaborative Research
6. First animals oxygenated the ocean, study suggests
7. First look at how Staphylococcus cells adhere to nanostructures could help fight infections
8. Research reveals first glimpse of brain circuit that helps experience to shape perception
9. First-of-its-kind web portal to bolster research and treatment for rare diseases
10. First biological marker for major depression could enable better diagnosis and treatment
11. First-ever book on Mekong rattan species aims to promote sustainable practices
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
The first insects were not yet able to smell well
(Date:3/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Biometric Vehicle Access System ... over the next decade to reach approximately $1,580 million by 2025. ... forecasts for all the given segments on global as well as ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , Mar. 23, 2017 Research and Markets ... Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report ... ... at a CAGR of around 8.8% over the next decade to ... report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the given ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... NEW YORK , March 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... Customer Marketing Cloud used by retailers such as ... in its platform — Product Recommendations and Replenishment. Using ... to give more personalized product and replenishment recommendations ... purchases, but also on predictions of customer intent ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... , ... A colony of healthy honey bees is like a superorganism--individual bees ... nectar containing nutrients necessary for growth and survival. Better nutrition gives the colony a ... to a decline in honey bee health. Sick and weakened bees diminish the colony's ...
(Date:6/16/2017)... ... ... CTNext , Connecticut’s go-to resource for entrepreneurial support, today announced the ... Piers in Stamford. , Nine finalists, all of whom are Connecticut-based companies and entrepreneurs, ... secure $10,000 awards to help support business growth. The winners included:, ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 15, 2017 , ... ... Klein Gallery (EKG) follows an artist’s journey through creative experimentation and interdisciplinary collaboration. ... and runs through July 22nd. An opening reception will be held at EKG, ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... Conn. (PRWEB) , ... June 15, 2017 , ... ... has published a new guide on how to assemble a lab workstation. The ... terminology. Workstation components include Adam’s Nimbus or Eclipse balance, AVT anti-vibration table, OIML/ASTM ...
Breaking Biology Technology: