Octopamine and tyramine respectively regulate attractive and repulsive behavior in locust phase changes

Zongyuan Ma, Xiaojiao Guo, Hong Lei, Ting Li, Shuguang Hao, Le Kang

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67 Scopus citations


Aggregative and solitary behaviors are universal phenomena in animals. Interestingly, locusts (Locusta migratoria) can reversibly transit their behavior between gregarious and solitary phase through conspecific attraction and repulsion. However, the regulatory mechanism of neurotransmitters underlying attraction and repulsion among locusts remains unknown. In this study, we found gregarious and solitary locusts were attracted or repulsed respectively by gregarious volatiles. Solitary locusts can transform their preference for gregarious volatiles during crowding, whereas gregarious locusts avoided their volatiles during isolation. During crowding and isolation, the activities of octopamine and tyramine signalings were respectively correlated with attraction- and repulsion-response to gregarious volatiles. RNA interference verified that octopamine receptor α (OARα) signaling in gregarious locusts controlled attraction-response, whereas in solitary ones, tyramine receptor (TAR) signaling mediated repulsion-response. Moreover, the activation of OARα signaling in solitary locusts caused the behavioral shift from repulsion to attraction. Enhancement of TAR signaling in gregarious locusts resulted in the behavioral shift from attraction to repulsion. The olfactory preference of gregarious and solitary locusts co-injected by these two monoamines displayed the same tendency as the olfactory perception in crowding and isolation, respectively. Thus, the invertebrate-specific octopamine-OARα and tyramine-TAR signalings respectively mediate attractive and repulsive behavior in behavioral plasticity in locusts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8036
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalScientific reports
StatePublished - Jan 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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