Date of Award
Master of Science
Joel R. Coats
The use of conventional synthetic insecticides is facing increased scrutiny due to environmental and mammalian health concerns along with resistance to target insects. This has led to an investigation of alternative control measures to combat both economically and medically important arthropods. Octopamine, a biogenic amine, has significant physiological functions in invertebrates, including insects, and signals through G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Co-evolution of plants with insects has led to plants adapting defensive mechanisms to deter herbivore, microbial, or viral attack. This is sometimes accomplished via the production of essential oils that are composed of a variety of compounds, in particular monoterpenoids, sesquiterpenoids and aromatic compounds. Here we report on the functional coupling of a ligand-independent α-adrenergic-like octopamine receptor from the American cockroach and its expression in the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This expression system allows us to screen a large number of compounds to determine efficacy at this octopamine receptor. We have found many monoterpenoids, sesquiterpenoids and aromatic compounds from essential oils that interact with this octopamine receptor and may account for their insecticidal action in this insect.
Aaron Donald Gross
Gross, Aaron Donald, "Expression of the Periplaneta americana's α-adrenergic-like octopamine receptor in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae: A high-throughput screening system in search of biorational insecticides" (2010). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 14080.