Characterization of MaltOBP1, a Minus-C Odorant-Binding Protein, From the Japanese Pine Sawyer Beetle, Monochamus alternatus Hope (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)

Fangmei Zhang, Austin Merchant, Zhibin Zhao, Yunhui Zhang, Jing Zhang, Qingwen Zhang, Qinghua Wang, Xuguo Zhou, Xiangrui Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Insect Odorant-Binding Proteins (OBPs) play crucial roles in the discrimination, binding and transportation of odorants. Herein, the full-length cDNA sequence of Minus-C OBP1 (MaltOBP1) from the Japanese pine sawyer beetle, Monochamus alternatus, was cloned by 3′ and 5′ RACE-PCR and analyzed. The results showed that MaltOBP1 contains a 435 bp open reading frame (ORF) that encodes 144 amino acids, including a 21-amino acid signal peptide at the N-terminus. The matured MaltOBP1 protein possesses a predicted molecular weight of about 14 kDa and consists of six α-helices, creating an open binding pocket, and two disulfide bridges. Immunoblotting results showed that MaltOBP1 was most highly expressed in antennae in both sexes, followed by wings and legs. Fluorescence assays demonstrated that MaltOBP1 protein exhibited high binding affinity with (R)-(+)-α-pinene, (−)-β-pinene, trans-caryophyllene, (R)-(+)-limonene and (–)-verbenone, which are the main volatile compounds of the pine tree. Our combined results suggest that MaltOBP1 plays a role in host seeking behavior in M. alternatus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number212
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful for the constructive criticism and comments provided by the reviewers and editor to improve this manuscript. Special thanks go to Drs. Yang Liu and Bing Wang (IPP, CAAS) for their suggestions on an earlier draft. Funding. This research was supported by a Special Fund for Forest Scientific Research in the Public Welfare (Grant No. 201504302), a Capacity Building for International Cooperation in Scientific and Technological Innovation (Grant No. CAFYBB2018GB001), the Project of Science and Technology Innovation Team (Grant No. KJCXTD-201903), Xinyang Agriculture and Forestry University, P.R. China, and a Start-up Fund at the University of Kentucky. The funders had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript; or in the decision to publish the results.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2020 Zhang, Merchant, Zhao, Zhang, Zhang, Zhang, Wang, Zhou and Li.


  • Monochamus alternatus
  • fluorescence binding assay
  • odorant binding protein
  • olfactory
  • plant volatile

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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