Effects of fenvalerate on the development of olfactory perception in a beetle

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Abstract

LOW doses of fenvalerate (a Type II pyrethroid) were applied to the beetle Tenebrio molitor at pupation, to ascertain its effects on the developing olfactory system. Doses of fenvalerate that prevent the formation of glomeruli in the primary olfactory neuropil (antennal lobes) also inhibit olfactory orientation behavior for different odors, despite the fact that sensory neurons developed responses to these odors. Even when lower amounts of fenvalerate that allowed glomeruli to develop were applied to pupae, the olfactory behavior was affected. Therefore, the formation of glomerular structures within the antennal lobe is not sufficient to establish olfactory behavior. A possible reason for this developmental effect of fenvalerate is a change in the odotopic arrangement of sensory axons within the glomeruli.

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