An Antennal Circadian Clock and Circadian Rhythms in Peripheral Pheromone Reception in the Moth Spodoptera littoralis Academic Article uri icon


  • Circadian rhythms are observed in mating behaviors in moths: females emit sex pheromones and males are attracted by these pheromones in rhythmic fashions. In the moth Spodoptera littoralis, we demonstrated the occurrence of a circadian oscillator in the antenna, the peripheral olfactory organ. We identified different clock genes, period (per), cryptochrome1 (cry1) and cryptochrome2 (cry2), in this organ. Using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), we found that their corresponding transcripts cycled circadianly in the antenna as well as in the brain. Electroantennogram (EAG) recordings over 24 h demonstrated for the first time a circadian rhythm in antennal responses of a moth to sex pheromone. qPCR showed that out of one pheromone-binding protein (PBP), one olfactory receptor (OR), and one odorant-degrading enzyme (ODE), all putatively involved in the pheromone reception, only the ODE transcript presented a circadian rhythm that may be related to rhythms in olfactory signal resolution. Peripheral or central circadian clock control of olfaction is then discussed in light of recent data.

author list (cited authors)

  • Merlin, C., Lucas, P., Rochat, D., François, M., Maïbèche-Coisne, M., & Jacquin-Joly, E.

citation count

  • 55

publication date

  • December 2007