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Vomeronasal Receptors in Vertebrates and the Evolution of Pheromone Detection

Vomeronasal Receptors in Vertebrates and the Evolution of Pheromone Detection Pheromones were identified as chemical signals used for intraspecific communication in insects (e.g., sexual attraction) in the 1950s. However, only almost 40 years later the vomeronasal receptors type-1 (V1R) and type-2 (V2R) were identified, usually associated with the presence of a vomeronasal organ (VNO). VRs are widespread in amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, but birds lost the VNO. Similarly, fishes lack VRs and a VNO but can still detect pheromones, instead using the olfactory receptors related to class A and class C G protein–coupled receptors. Here, we review recent evidence on VR repertoire contraction/expansion in vertebrates. We assess the association between VNO development and VR repertoire size. Phylogenetic relationships and selective pressures illuminate the dynamic evolutionary history of the VRs in vertebrates. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Animal Biosciences Annual Reviews

Vomeronasal Receptors in Vertebrates and the Evolution of Pheromone Detection

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Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
ISSN
2165-8102
eISSN
2165-8110
DOI
10.1146/annurev-animal-022516-022801
pmid
27912243
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Pheromones were identified as chemical signals used for intraspecific communication in insects (e.g., sexual attraction) in the 1950s. However, only almost 40 years later the vomeronasal receptors type-1 (V1R) and type-2 (V2R) were identified, usually associated with the presence of a vomeronasal organ (VNO). VRs are widespread in amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, but birds lost the VNO. Similarly, fishes lack VRs and a VNO but can still detect pheromones, instead using the olfactory receptors related to class A and class C G protein–coupled receptors. Here, we review recent evidence on VR repertoire contraction/expansion in vertebrates. We assess the association between VNO development and VR repertoire size. Phylogenetic relationships and selective pressures illuminate the dynamic evolutionary history of the VRs in vertebrates.

Journal

Annual Review of Animal BiosciencesAnnual Reviews

Published: Feb 8, 2017

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