What is it about?

Sex pheromones are vital for reproduction of numerous insects and can be used as biocontrol tools to mitigate pest invasions. In this work, we retraced the evolutionary trajectory of the receptor to the main pheromone compound of two sister species: Spodoptera littoralis and Spodoptera litura.

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Why is it important?

We used a combination of evolutionary analyses, ancestral gene resurrection, protein modeling and site-directed mutagenesis to identify 8 amino acids of major importance for the receptor to be able to specifically bind the main pheromone compound. A better understanding of the molecular basis of ligand binding is an important step towards designing new biocontrol strategies based on olfaction.

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This page is a summary of: A tale of two copies: Evolutionary trajectories of moth pheromone receptors, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2221166120.
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