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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)
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)
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)
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)
Chemical communication is fundamental to sexual reproduction, but how sperm search for and find an egg remains enigmatic. For red abalone (Haliotis rufescens), a large marine snail, the relationship between chemical signaling and fluid motion largely determines fertilization success. Egg-derived attractant plumes are dynamic, changing their size and shape(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)
Pollinators exhibit a range of innate and learned behaviors that mediate interactions with flowers, but the olfactory bases of these responses in a naturalistic context remain poorly understood. The hawkmoth Manduca sexta is an important pollinator for many night-blooming flowers but can learn--through olfactory conditioning--to visit other nectar(More)
Odor-mediated insect navigation in airborne chemical plumes is vital to many ecological interactions, including mate finding, flower nectaring, and host locating (where disease transmission or herbivory may begin). After emission, volatile chemicals become rapidly mixed and diluted through physical processes that create a dynamic olfactory environment. This(More)