Meeting Abstract

10-4  Thursday, Jan. 5 09:00 - 09:15  Evolution of pheromone communication in lampreys BUCHINGER, TJ*; BUSSY, U; LI, K; WANG, H; BAKER, CF; HUERTAS, M; JIA, L; HAYES, MC; LI, W; JOHNSON, NS; Michigan State University ; Michigan State University ; Michigan State University ; Michigan State University ; bNational Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research ; Michigan State University ; Michigan State University ; United State Geological Survey; Michigan State University ; United State Geological Survey

Pheromone communication is generally considered highly species-specific due to the intricate mechanisms of signal production and detection. While research on pheromone communication in insects supports a role of multi-component pheromones in speciation and reproductive isolation, pheromone communication in vertebrates is rarely considered across a phylogeny and, as a result, the evolution and specificity of vertebrate pheromones remained poorly understood. Here, we present our ongoing effort to describe the species specificity of mating pheromones across the Petromyzontiformes. The sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) uses a multi-component male mating pheromone, comprised of the major component 7α, 12 α, 24-trihydroxy-3-one-5 α -cholan-24-sulfate (3kPZS) and several additional components. Phylogenetic comparisons of the 3kPZS communication indicate that female preference for 3kPZS arose in a non-sexual context, and that 3kPZS is used as a mating pheromone in at least one other species of lamprey. Sea lamprey respond to heterospecific odors that lack 3kPZS, indicating that minor components of the pheromone blend may be conserved and function independently of 3kPZS. Describing species-specificity of lamprey pheromones will not only provide insights into the evolution of vertebrate pheromone communication, but also shed light on the role of pheromone blends in reproductive isolation among sympatric lampreys and pheromone-mediated reproductive interference between the native and invasive lampreys.