Bark beetles oxidize the defensive monoterpenes of their host trees both to detoxify them and convert them into components of their pheromone system. This oxidation is catalyzed by cytochrome P450 enzymes and occurs in different tissues of the insect, including the gut (i.e., the site where the beetle's pheromones are produced and accumulated) and the antennae (i.e., the olfactory organs used for perception of airborne defensive monoterpenes as well as other host-associated compounds and perhomones). We identified ten new CYP genes in the pine beetle Dendroctonus rhizophagus
in either antennae or gut tissue after stimulation with various vapors of major host monoterpenes a-pinene, B-pinene and 3-carene. Five genes belong to the CYP4 family, four to the CYP6 family and one to the CYP9 family. Differential expression of almost all of the CYP
geneswas observed between sexes, and within these significant differences among time, stimuli, anatomical region, and their interactions were found upon exposure to host monoterpenes. Increased expression of cytochrome P450 genes suggests that they play a role in the detoxification of monoterpenes released by this insect's host trees.
Cano-Ramirez, Claudia; Lopez, Maria Fernanda; Cesar-Ayala, Ana K.; Pineda-Martinez, Veronica; Sullivan, Brian T.; and Zuniga, Gerardo. 2013. Isolation and expression of cytochrome P450 genes in the antennae and gut of pine beetle Dendroctonus rhizophagus (Curculionidae: Scolytinae) following exposure to host monoterpenes. Gene 520: 47-63. 17 p. 10.1016/j.gene.2012.11.059