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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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The scientific program of ODORSCAPE

Scientific program
An experimental framework comprised of six tasks to take into account genome to behavior levels

Choosing two mini-ecosystems and analysing the composition of their ODORSCAPES

In the first Task  (CEFE, IPE, Ecotron IdF) a screening procedure will aim at selecting the most suitable plant species/cultivars to be included in two simplified crop- tree-weed plant community systems and to be grown and treated individually or in combination.

Then, the volatile emissions of each simplified system will be collected and analysed quantitatively and qualitatively from plants exposed to high O3 and CO2 alone, or in combination and combined to thermal and hydric stresses.

Culture en écotron et piégeage des volatils

   Volatile emissions of plants grown in controlled conditions are captured and quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed

 Study the changes in metabolic pathways

For Task 2 (IPE, Ecotron IdF and CEFE) the changes in plant metabolic pathways for the production of VPCs will be investigated by transcriptomic and biochemical approaches.

The physiological status of plants will be established through measurements of water and gas exchanges in order to assess the changes in metabolic flux at the plant level, in response to global climate change.

A transcriptomic analyse to trace the physiological changes in response to growth conditions


Reconstitution of representative odorscapes

In Task 3 (CEFE, IPE and Ecosens) collections of natural headspaces of the mini ecosystems will be tested on insect behaviour.

From the results of headspace analyses and bioassays, we will reconstitute two modified odorscapes: Humid Temperate Odorscape (HTO) and Dry Temperate Odorscape (DTO) from synthetic samples of the salient compounds.

COV Michael

Expriments are performed in mini-ecosystems

Analyse the effects on moth olfaction

In Task 4 (Ecosens) the olfactory signal detection and processing for HTO and DTO odorscapes will be studied using neurobiological approaches at two levels of the male and female moth olfactory system: i) olfactory receptor neurons conducting olfactory information from the antennae to the antennal lobe, and ii) antennal lobe neurons.

We will determine how the modified odorscapes are perceived by the moths.

Then, odorscapes will be used as background odors during stimulations with signals involved in reproductive behaviors (pheromone and host-plant odor) to look for changes in encoding quality, intensity, and temporality of olfactory information.

The perception of ecollogically relevant signals (pheromone, host odor) is modulated by the sensory background. Electrophysiology and Calcium Imaging techniques allow to study these modifications and to understand how the moth sensory system analyse signal and background.


Analyse the effect of odorscape on moth behavior

In Task 5 (Ecosens) wind tunnel and 3D trajectometry will be used to measure the orientation performances to odor signals in a VPC environment, modified in intensity and quality according to changes of VPC emission profiles observed in tasks 1 and 2.

By analyzing tracks recorded in different odorant backgrounds, we will evaluate the moth capacity to adapt their orientation strategy to complex odorant environments according to preceding experience.

side view

Ecologicaly relevant odors elicit orientation behavior. 3D trajectometry is used to analyse how the orientation stragegy of a moth is modified under different odorscapes

olfactory receptors

Genomic effects of exposure to modified odorscapes

In Task 6 (Ecosens) we will investigate the effects of exposing adult moths to a VPC-enriched environment (as designed from tasks 1 and 3) on the expression of the insect olfactory transcriptome, for a global view of the molecular effects.

Evaluating modifications in the transcriptome expression via RNAseq analyses will lead to identify candidate genes involved in the modulation of the olfactory sensitivity upon changes. Special attention will be given to odorant-binding proteins and olfactory receptor encoding genes, both involved in detection, and to odorant-degrading enzymes involved in odorant clearance.

Mean term pre-exposure to odorants is known to affect the expression of genes involved in olfaction. Transcriptome analyse is used to identify which genes are affected by changes in odorscapes.