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In the present study, host-related and tick pheromone-related chemical compounds were tested by means of the tip-recording technique in order to obtain electrophysiological responses in olfactory sensilla of non-fed Amblyomma cajennense ticks. The following chemicals were tested on the multiporose sensilla DI.1, located anterior to Haller's organ, and the sensillum DII.1, in the anterior pit of this organ: isobutyric acid, butyric acid, valeric acid, trans-2-heptenal, heptanal, benzaldehyde, salicylaldehyde, nonanal, m-, o- and p-tolualdehyde, 2-furaldehyde, 3-pentanone, γ-valerolactone and 1-octen-3-ol (which are all vertebrate-associated volatiles); and 2,6-dichlorophenol (2,6-DCP), 2-nitrophenol, methyl salicylate and nonanoic acid (tick pheromone components). These were used at 10(-3)M and 10(-2)M on at least 10 ticks per substance, and the chemicals that were found to be active at these concentrations were then tested as a series from 10(-6)M to 10(-2)M, in decadic steps, on at least 15 ticks per substance. 2,6-DCP was active on both sensilla, with detection thresholds of 10(-6)M on the DI.1 sensillum and 10(-4)M on the DII.1 sensillum. The olfactory neurons of this sensillum also responded to nonanal at the highest concentration used (10(-2)M), while those of DII.1 responded not only to 2.6 DCP but also to 2-nitrophenol (to the same extent as to 2,6-DCP) and to 1-octen-3-ol. These results confirm the importance of 2,6-DCP in the chemical ecology of A. cajennense and indicate other compounds that may interfere with the behavior of this tick and which should be investigated. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Sara Fernandes Soares, Lígia Miranda Ferreira Borges. Electrophysiological responses of the olfactory receptors of the tick Amblyomma cajennense (Acari: Ixodidae) to host-related and tick pheromone-related synthetic compounds. Acta tropica. 2012 Dec;124(3):192-8

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PMID: 22925715

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