Evolution of the sex pheromone communication system in ostrinia moths

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


It remains a conundrum in the evolution of sexual communication how the signals and responses can co-ordinate the changes during speciation. The genus Ostrinia contains several closely related species as well as distinctive strains with pheromone polymorphism and represents an ex-ample of ongoing speciation. Extensive studies in the genus, especially in the species the European corn borer O. nubilalis (ECB), the Asian corn borer O. furnacalis (ACB) and the adzuki bean borer O. scapulalis (ABB), have provided valuable insights into the evolution of sex pheromone communica-tion. This review presents a comprehensive overview of the research on pheromone communication in different Ostrinia species over the past four decades, including pheromone identification and bi-osynthesis, the ligand profiles of pheromone receptor (PR) genes, the physiology of peripheral olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) and the projection pattern to the antennal lobe. By integrating and comparing the closely related Ostrinia species and strains, it provides an evolutionary perspective on the sex pheromone communication in moths in general and also outlines the outstanding ques-tions that await to be elucidated by future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1067
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Zoology


  • Antennal lobe
  • Asymmetric tracking
  • Behavioural antagonists
  • Biosynthetic pathway
  • Broadly tuned receptors
  • Olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs)
  • Pheromone diversification
  • Pheromone receptor (PR) genes


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