Functional conservation of an insect odorant receptor gene across 250 million years of evolution

Curr Biol. 2005 Feb 22;15(4):R119-21. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2005.02.007.


Pest insects have a profound negative impact on agriculture and human health. Significant global losses of crops, stored agricultural products, timber and livestock can be attributed to damage and destruction by insects . Blood-feeding insects such as mosquitoes, flies and ticks transmit many of humanity's most devastating infectious diseases. Insect-borne diseases account for more than one million annual fatalities, and insect-associated illnesses surpass 300 million annual reported cases . The medical and economic impact of these animals can be ascribed in part to the sensitivity and selectivity of their olfactory systems, essential for location of their preferred plant and animal hosts.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Conserved Sequence / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Electrophysiology
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Gene Library
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Genetic Variation*
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Insecta / genetics*
  • Insecta / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / metabolism
  • Phylogeny*
  • Receptors, Odorant / genetics*
  • Receptors, Odorant / metabolism
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Homology


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Orco protein, Drosophila
  • Receptors, Odorant