Multi-Functional Desaturases in Two Spodoptera Moths with ∆11 and ∆12 Desaturation Activities

Yi Han Xia, Ya Nan Zhang, Bao Jian Ding, Hong Lei Wang, Christer Löfstedt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua, uses (Z,E)-9,12-tetradecadienyl acetate as the major component of its sex pheromone. Previous isotope-labeling experiments demonstrated an unusual ∆12 desaturase activity involved in the biosynthesis of this compound; however, the putative ∆12 desaturase gene has not been reported to date. In the present study, we confirmed this ∆12 desaturation pathway by in vivo labeling experiments, and characterized candidate desaturase genes in a yeast heterologous expression system. We demonstrated that a pheromone gland-specific desaturase, SexiDes5, uses palmitic acid and the subsequently chain-shortened product (Z)-9-tetradecenoic acid as substrates to produce (Z)-11-hexadecenoic and (Z,E)-9,12-tetradecadienoic acids, respectively. In addition, the homologous desaturase SlitDes5 from the congeneric Spodoptera litura had analogous functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-387
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Free keywords

  • Pheromone biosynthesis
  • Spodoptera exigua
  • Spodoptera litura
  • ∆11 desaturation
  • ∆12 desaturation

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