Antennal lobe neurones were investigated in the pyralid moth Ostrinia nubilalis using intracellular recording and staining techniques. Response characteristics of antennal lobe neurones from males in the so-called E and Z strains, in F1 hybrids and in parental backcrosses were studied. The antennal lobe of a male O. nubilalis comprises approximately 30 ordinary glomeruli and three enlarged glomeruli making up the macroglomerular complex (MGC). Receptor neurones enter the antennal lobe via the antennal nerve and arborize in single glomeruli. Intracellularly stained, pheromone-responding projection neurones in both parental strains arborized in different glomeruli within the MGC, irrespective of their response characteristics. Neurones were grouped according to their specificity to single pheromone components and to pheromone blends. Component-specific, blend-specific and generalist neurones were found. Specificity only occurred at low stimulus concentrations and disappeared as concentrations increased. Although all neuronal types were present in both pheromone strains and crossings, differences in abundance and sensitivity were found. In the parental strains, neurones responding to the major pheromone component and to the respective strain-specific blend were more abundant than neurones responding to the minor component and the blend produced by the other strain. Neurones investigated in ZxE hybrids responded similarly to those of E-strain males, whereas neurones in EZxZ paternal backcrosses responded similarly to those of Z males. In the hybrids and paternal backcrosses, hybrid-blend-specific neurones were present that were not found in parental-strain males.

This content is only available via PDF.