Pheromonotropic and pheromonostatic activity in moths

Sonny B. Ramaswamy, George N. Mbata, Nancy E. Cohen, Alfred Moore, Nancy M. Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Pheromone biosynthesis in many species of moths requires a pheromonotropic neurosecretion, the pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide (PBAN), from the brain‐subesophageal ganglion‐corpora cardiaca complex. Some investigators suggest that PBAN is released into the hemolymph and acts directly on sex pheromone glands (SPG) via a Ca++/calmodulin‐dependent adenylate cyclase. Others suggest, however, that PBAN acts via octopamine that is released by nerves from the terminal abdominal ganglion innervating the SPG. These findings suggest that there are controversies on the mode of action of PBAN and other pheromonotropic factors, sometimes even within the same species. Mating in many insects results in temporary or permanent suppression of pheromone production and/or receptivity. Such a suppression may result from physical blockage of the gonopore or deposition of pheromonostatic factor(s) by the male during copulation that result in suppressed pheromone production and/or receptivity in females either directly or by a primer effect. In several species of insects, including moths, a pheromonostatic factor is transferred in the seminal fluid of males. Similar to the controversies associated with the pheromonotropic activity of PBAN, sometimes even within the same species, there appear to be controversies in pheromonostasis in heliothines as well. This paper reviews these conflicting findings and presents some data on pheromonostatic and pheromonotropic activity in Heliothis virescens that support and conflict with current information, raising further questions. Answers to some of the questions are partly available; however, they remain to be answered unequivocally. © 1994 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-315
Number of pages15
JournalArchives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994


  • PBAN
  • RIA
  • ecdysteroid
  • hormone
  • insects
  • juvenile
  • mating
  • neuropeptide
  • pheromone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Insect Science


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