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Nocturnal insects such as moths are ideal models to study the molecular bases of olfaction, that they use, among examples, for the detection of mating partners and host plants. Knowing how an odour generates a neuronal signal is crucial for understanding the physiological bases of olfaction, and also could lead to the identification of original targets for the development of olfactory-based control strategies against herbivorous moth pests. Odor recognition relies on a diversity of olfactory genes expressed in the antennae, the olfactory organ, but yet no global gene repertoire is available in a crop pest moth species and only fragmentary information is available on genes encoding chemosensory receptors.
Here, we developed an Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) project to characterize the antennal transcriptome of the noctuid pest model, Spodoptera littoralis, and to identify candidate genes involved in odour/pheromone detection. By targeting cDNAs from male antennae, we biased gene discovery towards genes potentially involved in male olfaction, including pheromone reception.
A total of 20760 ESTs were obtained from a normalized library and were assembled in 9033 unigenes All the data, unigenes, ORFs and their annotation (similarities and domains) generated in this project have been included in Lepido-DB. As a result, one can retrieve the whole sequence (downloads), query with an ID or a keyword, or selecting specifically annotated genes (annotation).