Canadian Forest Service Publications

Regulation of pheromone inhibition in mated females of Choristoneura fumiferana and C. rosaceana. 2000. Delisle, J.; Picimbon, J.-F.; Simard, J. Journal of Insect Physiology 46: 913-921.

Year: 2000

Available from: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 20449

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)


In the spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana, and the obliquebanded leafroller, C. rosaceana, mating significantly depressed pheromone production after 24 h. On subsequent days, the pheromone titre increased slightly in C. fumiferana, but not in C. rosaceana. No pheromonostatic activity was associated with male accessory sex gland (ASG) extracts, 20-hydroxy-ecdysone or hemolymph taken from mated females. However, pheromone production in mated females was not suppressed when the ventral nerve cord (VNC) was transected prior to mating, indicating that an intact VNC is required to permanently switch off pheromone production after mating. As suggested for other moth species, the presence of sperm in the spermatheca probably triggers the release of a signal, via the VNC, to inhibit pheromone production. The fact that in both species the brain-suboesophageal ganglion (Br-SEG) of mated females contains pheromonotropic activity and that their pheromone glands may be stimulated by the synthetic pheromone-biosynthesis-activating-neuropeptide (PBAN) or a brain extract supports the hypothesis that the neural signal prevents the release of PBAN into the hemolymph rather than inhibiting its biosynthesis. Therefore, we speculate that following the depletion of sperm in the spermatheca, the neural signal declines and is less effective in preventing the release of PBAN, thereby stimulating the resumption of pheromone production, as seen in mated C. fumiferana females. In a previous study, mating was shown to induce a significant rise in the juvenile hormone (JH) titre of both Choristoneura female moths, suggesting that post-mating pheromone inhibition may be under hormonal regulation. However, following topical applications or injections of the juvenile hormone analogue (JHA) and JH II into virgins, the pheromone only declined significantly 48 h after treatment in C. rosaceana. This suggests that the significant rise in the hemolymph JH titre after mating in C. rosaceana females plays a role in keeping the pheromone titre consistently low throughout their reproductive life. These findings will be discussed in relation to the different life histories of the two Choristoneura species.

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