About this Research Topic
Insects can exploit chemical signals in the environment using their accurate olfactory system, thereby mediating many important behaviors, such as mate-finding, host location, and responding to alarm signals from conspecifics. At the molecular level, several types of proteins are generally considered to be involved in odorant molecule perception in olfactory sensillae, hair-like structures located on insect antennae. First, odorants may diffuse into the sensillar lymph via pores, where odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) recognize and bind them. Second, OBPs act as transporters to transfer odorants across the sensillar lymph to reach olfactory receptors, including odorant receptors (ORs) and ionotropic receptors (IRs), which are located on the dendrites of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs). Finally, distinct odorant-degrading enzymes (ODEs) act as inactivators to degrade odorants and maintain the sensitivity of ORNs. However, the detailed molecular mechanisms of peripheral odor detection remain largely unknown. Characterizing olfactory proteins will help to understand interactions between insects and their environment, as well as provide a scientific basis for the development of a new type of pest behavior blockers.
Keywords: Odorant-binding proteins, Chemosensory proteins, Odorant receptors, Ionotropic receptors, Odorant-degrading enzymes
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