The antennae of the dampwood termite detect odor molecules using odorant-binding proteins.
"Here, we report for the first time the isolation and cloning of odorant-binding proteins from a primitive termite species, the dampwood termite, Zootermopsis nevadensis nevadensis (Isoptera: Termopsidae). A major antennae-specific protein was detected by native PAGE along with four other minor proteins, which were also absent in the extract from control tissues (hindlegs). Multiple cDNA cloning led to the full characterization of the major antennae-specific protein (ZnevOBP1) and to the identification of two other antennae-specific cDNAs, encoding putative odorant-binding proteins (ZnevOBP2 and ZnevOBP3). N-terminal amino acid sequencing of the minor antennal bands and cDNA cloning showed that olfaction in Z. n. nevadensis may involve multiple odorant-binding proteins. Database searches suggest that the OBPs from this primitive termite are homologues of the pheromone-binding proteins from scarab beetles and antennal-binding proteins from moths." (Ishida 2002:1887)
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