Abstract: Pine bark beetles make aggregation pheromones to coordinate mass attacks on their hosts. The enzymes that catalyze late steps in pheromone biosynthesis could be useful targets for future management strategies. In my talk I will present combined genomic, molecular, and biochemical efforts to identify and characterize these enzymes. The data provide insight into the evolution and specialized metabolism of these highly destructive forest pests.

Suggested Readings:

  1. Song M, Delaplain P, Nguyen TT, Liu X, Wickenberg L, Jeffrey C, Blomquist GJ, Tittiger C. exo-Brevicomin biosynthetic pathway enzymes from the Mountain Pine Beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae. Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2014 Oct;53:73-80. doi:10.1016/j.ibmb.2014.08.002. PubMed PMID: 25138711.
  2. Keeling CI, Chiu CC, Aw T, Li M, Henderson H, Tittiger C, Weng HB, Blomquist, GJ, Bohlmann J. Frontalin pheromone biosynthesis in the mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae, and the role of isoprenyl diphosphate synthases. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Nov 19;110(47):18838-43. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1316498110. PubMed PMID: 24167290; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3839684.