Rapid evolution of chemosensory receptor genes in a pair of sibling species of orchid bees (Apidae: Euglossini)

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Authors Philipp Brand, Santiago R. Ramírez, Florian Leese, J. Javier G. Quezada-Euan, Ralph Tollrian & Thomas Eltz
Journal/Conference Name Evolutionary Biology
Paper Category , ,
Paper Abstract Insects rely more on chemical signals (semiochemicals) than on any other sensory modality to find, identify, and choose mates. In most insects, pheromone production is typically regulated through biosynthetic pathways, whereas pheromone sensory detection is controlled by the olfactory system. Orchid bees are exceptional in that their semiochemicals are not produced metabolically, but instead male bees collect odoriferous compounds (perfumes) from the environment and store them in specialized hind-leg pockets to subsequently expose during courtship display. Thus, the olfactory sensory system of orchid bees simultaneously controls male perfume traits (sender components) and female preferences (receiver components). This functional linkage increases the opportunities for parallel evolution of male traits and female preferences, particularly in response to genetic changes of chemosensory detection (e.g. Odorant Receptor genes). To identify whether shifts in pheromone composition among related lineages of orchid bees are associated with divergence in chemosensory genes of the olfactory periphery, we searched for patterns of divergent selection across the antennal transcriptomes of two recently diverged sibling species Euglossa dilemma and E. viridissima.
Date of publication 2015
Code Programming Language Perl
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