Does PBAN play an alternative role of controlling pheromone emission in the cabbage looper moth, Trichoplusia ni (Hubner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)?

Jing Zhang Zhao, Kenneth F. Haynes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


There is an active process by which sex pheromone reserves of female cabbage looper moths, Trichoplusia ni, are transported to the gland's surface during the nocturnal period of calling. We hypothesized that this mobilization was controlled by a head factor, possibly related to the pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptides (PBAN) that in other species stimulate pheromone synthesis. We evaluated the impact of head extracts of T. ni on pheromone emission and glandular content of pheromone. During the photophase injected head extracts stimulated an increased pheromone emission rate in females, but glandular content of pheromone was not affected. Head extracts of H. virescens, a species with known PBAN activity, and synthetic PBAN stimulated an increased pheromone emission rate in T. ni. There was some specificity of the response of female T. ni to PBAN, in that several other unrelated polypeptides did not stimulate this type of response. Previously it had been determined that brain factors do not play a rule in stimulating pheromone biosynthesis in T. ni. Our results indicate that there may be additional avenues by which PBAN or related neuropeptides control pheromone emission, including transport of pheromone reserves to the surface of the sex pheromone gland.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-700
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1997

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Early discussions with Dr R. E. Hunt helped to stimulate this research. We thank B. Chastain, J. Collins, D. Rehmel and J. Rogers for help with rearing insects. Dr D. L. Dahlman provided us with pupae of H. virescens . We appreciate the comments of Drs R. E. Hunt, Junwei Zhu and D. L. Dahlman on an earlier draft of this manuscript. This research is based in part on work supported by the Cooperative State Research Service, 91-37302-5875 and 94-37302-0613. We acknowledge the support of the University of Kentucky's major equipment program (nos. 7E-8164-11 and 92-MREC-8). This investigation (paper no. 96-08-127) was conducted in connection with a project of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station.


  • Pheromone
  • Pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide (PBAN)
  • Trichoplusia ni

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Insect Science


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