Unusual degradation pathway of pheromone odorants in gypsy moth

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(Thesis) M.Sc.
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Gypsy moth is a major pest in Europe and North America. The closely related species, nun moth, is also a destructive pest in Europe. Both species use the pheromone cis 7(R), 8(5')-2-methyl-7, 8-epoxyoctadecane, (+)-disparlure, for sexual communication. The alkene precursor of disparlure, 2-methyl-7(Z)-octadecene, and (-)-disparlure are also of biological importance in both species. In this thesis I describe the metabolic fate of 2-methyl-7(Z)-octadecene, (+)- disparlure and (-)-disparlure in the gypsy moth. Unexpectedly, I found that the incubation these odorants with moth extracts stimulates the formation of methyl and ethyl esters of linoleic and oleic acid. I hypothesize that the incubated compounds are degraded into smaller unit s and t hese units a re t hen inc orporated int o t he b iosynthesis o f o leic and linoleic acids. These fatty acids are then mterified into their corresponding fatty esters. The formation of these fatty esters fiom the incubated substrates is NADPH and FAD dependent.
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