Jeffrey A Riffell

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Although it has been known for some time that olfactory receptors (ORs) reside in spermatozoa, the function of these ORs is unknown. Here, we identified, cloned, and functionally expressed a previously undescribed human testicular OR, hOR17-4. With the use of ratiofluorometric imaging, Ca2+ signals were induced by a small subset of applied chemical stimuli,(More)
For animals to execute odor-driven behaviors, the olfactory system must process complex odor signals and maintain stimulus identity in the face of constantly changing odor intensities [1-5]. Surprisingly, how the olfactory system maintains identity of complex odors is unclear [6-10]. We took advantage of the plant-pollinator relationship between the Sacred(More)
Human sperm chemotaxis is a critical component of the fertilization process, but the molecular basis for this behavior remains unclear. Recent evidence shows that chemotactic responses depend on activation of the sperm olfactory receptor, hOR17-4. Certain floral scents, including bourgeonal, activate hOR17-4, trigger pronounced Ca(2+) fluxes, and evoke(More)
Spatiotemporal variability in floral resources can have ecological and evolutionary consequences for both plants and the pollinators on which they depend. Seldom, however, can patterns of flower abundance and visitation in the field be linked with the behavioral mechanisms that allow floral visitors to persist when a preferred resource is scarce. To explore(More)
With Manduca sexta as a model system, we analyzed how natural odor mixtures that are most effective in eliciting flight and foraging behaviors are encoded in the primary olfactory center in the brain, the antennal lobe. We used gas chromatography coupled with multiunit neural-ensemble recording to identify key odorants from flowers of two important nectar(More)
BACKGROUND An animal navigating to an unseen odor source must accurately resolve the spatiotemporal distribution of that stimulus in order to express appropriate upwind flight behavior. Intermittency of natural odor plumes, caused by air turbulence, is critically important for many insects, including the hawkmoth, Manduca sexta, for odor-modulated search(More)
In southwestern USA, the jimsonweed Datura wrightii and the nocturnal moth Manduca sexta form a pollinator-plant and herbivore-plant association. Because the floral scent is probably important in mediating this interaction, we investigated the floral volatiles that might attract M. sexta for feeding and oviposition. We found that flower volatiles increase(More)
The simplicity and accessibility of the olfactory systems of insects underlie a body of research essential to understanding not only olfactory function but also general principles of sensory processing. As insect olfactory neurobiology takes advantage of a variety of species separated by millions of years of evolution, the field naturally has yielded some(More)
Fertilization is a complex interaction among biological traits of gametes and physical properties of the fluid environment. At the scale of fertilization (0.01-1 mm), sperm encounter eggs while being transported within a laminar (or viscous) shear flow. Varying laminar-shear in a Taylor-Couette flow tank, our experiments simulated important aspects of(More)
In Southwestern USA, the jimsonweed Datura wrightii and the nocturnal sphinx moth Manduca sexta form a pollinator-plant and herbivore-plant association. While certain plant volatile organic compounds (VOCs) attract moths for oviposition, it is likely that other host-derived olfactory cues, such as herbivore-induced VOCs, repel moths for oviposition. Here,(More)