Neotropical Entomology

, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 538–551 | Cite as

Identification and Expression Profiling of Odorant Receptor Protein Genes in Sitophilus zeamais (Coleoptera: Curculionoidea) Using RT-qPCR

  • Q TangEmail author
  • Y Zhang
  • C Shen
  • D Xia
Ecology, Behavior and Bionomics


This study aimed to identify ORs (odorant receptors) and Orco (odorant receptor coreceptor) genes in Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky (Coleoptera: Curculionoidea), to explore the relative expression levels of these genes in different adult tissues and obtain information on highly expressed receptor proteins. Putative OR and Orco genes were identified from transcriptomic data previously obtained for S. zeamais using bioinformatics methods. Quantitative real-time PCR was used to compare the differences in expression in seven adult tissues (male antennae, female antennae, heads, thoraxes, abdomens, wings, and legs). The candidate OR and Orco gene sequences were analyzed, and the protein physicochemical properties were predicted. We identified 64 OR genes including the Orco gene. Forty-seven OR genes, including Orco, were over expressed in male or female antennae. Seventeen OR genes appeared to be expressed at elevated levels in male antennae. Twenty-nine genes were expressed at significantly elevated levels in female antennae. In total, 11 OR genes were selected for further sequence analysis. The selected proteins were structurally characterized, and bioinformatics analysis was performed. Overall, in this study, candidate ORs of S. zeamais have been identified for the first time, and these ORs could be molecular targets for interference in the insect olfactory system.


Sitophilus zeamais odorant receptors expression profiling identification 


Author Contribution Statement

QFT and YZ conceived and designed the experimental work and analysis; QFT, YZ, and DSX executed experimental work; QFT, YZ, and CS conducted the bioinformatics analysis and performed experimental data analyses; QFT, YZ, and CS wrote the manuscript; QFT and YZ checked the English text and revised the manuscript.

Funding Information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31500313); Key Project for University Excellent Young Talents by Anhui Province, China (Grant No. gxyqZD2016035), Key Project for Academic and Technical Leader Candidate of Anhui Province, China (Grant No. 2017H107); Innovation Program of Anhui Agricultural University, China (Grant No. 2018yjs-6); and Key Program of Natural Science Foundation of the Higher Education Institutions of Anhui Province, China (Grant No. KJ2014A075).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

13744_2019_671_MOESM1_ESM.docx (29 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 29 kb)


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Copyright information

© Sociedade Entomológica do Brasil 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept of EntomologyAnhui Agricultural UnivHefeiPeople’s Republic of China

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