Termination of Sex Pheromone Production in Mated Females of the Silkworm Moth

Tetsu Ando, Kie Kasuga, Yohko Yajima, Hiroshi Kataoka, Akinori Suzuki

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56 Citations (Scopus)


A mating duration of more than 6 h was necessary to permanently terminate the production of the sex pheromone (bombykol) in the silkworm moth, Bombyx mori L (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae), although the female formed a bursa copulatrix including a spermatophore and laid fertilized eggs even after mating for only 0.5 h. The 6-h mated female again produced bombykol if given an injection of synthetic pheromonotropic neuropeptide (PBAN), which is known to activate pheromone biosynthesis in a virgin female. Extracts of brain-suboesophageal ganglion (SC) complexes, which were removed from 6- and 24-h mated females, showed strong pheromonotropic activities. These results indicated that the pheromone gland of the mated female maintained its ability to biosynthesize bombykol; however, it could not produce pheromone due to a suppression of PBAN secretion from the SC. Furthermore, bombykol titers did not decrease after mating in females with a transected ventral nerve cord, even after the injection of a spermatophore extract, suggesting that the suppression of PBAN secretion was mediated by a neural signal and not by a substance in the spermatophore. The mated females accumulated (10E, 12Z)-10,12-hexadecadienoic acid, a precursor of bombykol biosynthesis, in their pheromone glands as did decapitated females.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-218
Number of pages12
JournalArchives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Jan 1


  • Bombykol
  • Bombyx mori
  • Mating
  • Neural control
  • Pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide (PBAN)
  • Sex pheromone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Insect Science


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