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Iowa State University

  Entomology Department > Faculty

Russ Jurenka Associate Professor;
Ph.D., University of Nevada - Reno (1987)

Dr. Jurenka's research interest and teaching expertise is in the area of insect physiology. He is specifically interested in the physiological and biochemical mode of action of peptide hormones. His recent research has focused on the neuroendocrine control of sex pheromone biosynthesis in moths. Studies in this area include site of synthesis of peptide hormones utilizing immunocytochemical techniques, control of peptide release from neurohemal areas, and the mode of action at target tissue, including determination of the signal transduction cascade and receptor characterization.

His research also focuses on lipid metabolism, especially the characterization of enzymes involved in sex pheromone biosynthetic pathways and the biosynthesis of polyunsaturated fatty acids and prostaglandins in various insects. The knowledge gained in these types of studies is applied to the development of novel biorational control strategies for insect pests.

His primary teaching responsibilities include Insect Physiology (Ent 555) and Insect Biology (Ent 370).


Selected recent publications:

Blomquist, G.J., Jurenka, R., Schal, C., Tittiger, C., 2012. Pheromone production: biochemistry and molecular biology, in: Gilbert, L.I. (Ed.), Insect Endocrinology. Elsevier, Oxford, pp. 523-567.

Jurenka, R., Nusawardani, T., 2011. The pyrokinin/ pheromone biosynthesis-activating neuropeptide (PBAN) family of peptides and their receptors in Insecta: evolutionary trace indicates potential receptor ligand-binding domains. Insect Mol. Biol. 20, 323-334.

Choi, M.-Y., Jurenka, R.A., 2010. Site-directed mutagenesis and PBAN activation of the Helicoverpa zea PBAN-receptor. FEBS Lett. 584, 1212-1216.

Liu, Z., Li, X., Prasifka, J.R., Jurenka, R., Bonning, B.C., 2008. Overexpression of Drosophila juvenile hormone esterase binding protein results in anti-JH effects and reduced pheromone abundance. General and Comparative Endocrinology 156, 164-172.

Stern, P.S., Yu, L., Choi, M.-Y., Jurenka, R.A., Becker, L., Rafaeli, A., 2007. Molecular modeling of the binding of pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide to its receptor. Journal of Insect Physiology 53, 803-818.

Rafaeli, A., Bober, R., Becker, L., Choi, M.Y., Fuerst, E.J., Jurenka, R., 2007. Spatial distribution and differential expression of the PBAN receptor in tissues of adult Helicoverpa spp. (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Insect Molecular Biology 16, 287-293.

Jurenka, R., Terblanche, J.S., Klok, C.J., Chown, S.L., Krafsur, E.S., 2007. Cuticular lipid mass and desiccation rates in Glossina pallidipes : interpopulation variation. Physiological Entomology 32, 287-293.

Choi, M.-Y., Lim, H., Park, K.-C., Adlof, R., Wang, S., Zhang, A., Jurenka, R., 2007. Identification and biosynthetic studies of the hydrocarbon sex pheromone in Utetheisa ornatrix (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae). Journal of Chemical Ecology 33, 1336-1345.

Choi, M.-Y., Fuerst, E.-J., Rafaeli, A., Jurenka, R., 2007. Role of extracellular domains in PBAN/Pyrokinin GPCRs from insects using chimera receptors. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 37, 296-306.

Zhu, J., Zhang, A., Park, K.-c., Baker, T., Lang, B., Jurenka, R., Obrycki, J.J., Graves, W.R., Pickett, J.A., Smiley, D., et al., 2006. Sex pheromone of the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura, and its potential use in semiochemical-based control. Environmental Entomology 35, 249-257.

Choi, M.-Y., Jurenka, R.A., 2006. Role of extracellular Ca2+ and calcium channel activated by a G protein-coupled receptor Regulating Pheromone Production in Helicoverpa zea (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 99, 905-909.

Choi, M.-Y., Jurenka, R., 2006. C75, a fatty acid synthase inhibitor, inhibits feeding activity and pheromone production in a moth, Helicoverpa zea. Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology 9, 43-48.

Groot, A., Fan, Y., Brownie, C., Jurenka, R., Gould, F., Schal, C., 2005. Effect of PBAN on the sex pheromone profile in mated Heliothis virescens and Heliothis subflexa females. Journal of Chemical Ecology 31, 15-28.

Choi, M.-Y., A. Groot, and R. Jurenka. 2005. Pheromone biosynthetic pathways in the moths Heliothis subflexa and Heliothis virescens. Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology 59: 53-58.

Blomquist, G. J., R. Jurenka, C. Schal, and C. Tittiger. 2004. Biochemistry and molecular biology of pheromone production, pp. 705-752. In L. I. Gilbert, K. Iatrou and S. Gill [eds.], Comprehensive Molecular Insect Science. Elsevier, Oxford.

Jurenka, R. A. 2004. Insect pheromone biosynthesis. Topics in Current Chemistry 239: 97-132.

Choi, M.-Y., Jurenka, R., 2004. PBAN stimulation of pheromone biosynthesis by inducing calcium influx in pheromone glands of Helicoverpa zea. Journal of Insect Physiology 50, 555-560.

Jurenka, R.A., 2003. Biochemistry of female moth sex pheromones. In: Blomquist, G., Vogt, R., (Eds.), Pheromone Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Academic Press, New York, pp. 53-80.

Rafaeli, A., Jurenka, R.A., 2003. PBAN Regulation of Lepidopteran Pheromone Production. In: Blomquist, G., Vogt, R., (Eds.), Pheromone Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Academic Press, New York, pp. 107-136.

Choi, M.-Y., Fuerst, E.-J., Rafaeli, A., Jurenka, R. (2003). Identification of a G protein-coupled receptor for pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide from pheromone glands of the moth, Helicoverpa zea. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences USA 100, 9721-9726.

Jurenka, R.A., Subchev, M., Abad, J.-L., Choi, M.-Y., Fabriàs, G. (2003). Sex pheromone biosynthetic pathway for disparlure in the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences USA 100, 809-814.

Rafaeli, A., Zakharova, T., Lapsker, Z., Jurenka, R.A. (2003). The identification of an age- and female-specific putative PBAN membrane-receptor protein in pheromone glands of Helicoverpa armigera: possible up-regulation by juvenile hormone. Insect Biochemistry Molecular Biology 33, 371-380.

Choi, M.-Y, Han, KS, Boo, KS, Jurenka, RA (2002) Pheromone biosynthetic pathway in Helicoverpa zea and Helicoverpa assulta. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 32, 1353-1359.

Choi, M,-Y., Rafaeli, A, Jurenka RA (2001) Pyrokinin/PBAN-like peptides in the central nervous system of Drosophila melanogaster. Cell and Tissue Research, 306:459-465.

Subchev M, Jurenka RA (2001) Identification of the pheromone in the hemolymph and cuticular hydrocarbons from the moth Scoliopteryx libatrix. Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology 47, 35-43.

Tunaz H, Jurenka RA, Stanley DW. (2001) Prostaglandin biosynthesis by fat body from true armyworms, Pseudaletia unipuncta. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 31, 435-444.

Jurenka, R.A. and Subchev, M. (2000). Identification of cuticular hydrocarbons and the alkene precursor to the pheromone in hemolymph of the female gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar. Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology 43, 108-115.

Jurenka, R.A., Pedibhotla, V. K. and Stanley, D. W. (1999). Prostaglandin production in response to a bacterial infection in true armyworm larvae. Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology 41, 225-232.

Tillman, J. A., Seybold, S.J., Jurenka, R.A. and Blomquist, G.J. (1999). Insect pheromones - an overview of biosynthesis and endocrine regulation. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 29, 481-514.

Jurenka, R.A., D. Holland and E.S. Krafsur. (1998) Hydrocarbon profiles of diapausing and reproductive adult face flies (Musca autumnalis). Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology 37, 206-214.

Elliott, J.T., R.A. Jurenka, G.D. Prestwich and W.L. Roelofs. (1997) Identification of soluble binding proteins for an insect neuropeptide. Biochemical Biophysical Research Communications 238, 925-930.

Jurenka, R.A. (1997) Biosynthetic pathway for producing the sex pheromone component (Z,E)-9,12-tetradecadienyl acetate in moths involves a delta-12 desaturase. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 53, 501-505.

Jurenka R. A., Miller J. S., Pedibhotla V. K., Rana R. L. and Stanley-Samuelson D. (1997) Eicosanoids mediate microaggregation and nodulation responses to bacterial infections in black cutworms, Agrotis ipsilon, and true armyworms, Pseudaletia unipuncta. Journal of Insect Physiology 43, 125-134.

Jurenka R. A. (1996) Signal transduction in the stimulation of sex pheromone biosynthesis in moths. Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology 33, 245-258.

Ma P. W. K., Roelofs W. L. and Jurenka R. A. (1996) Characterization of PBAN and PBAN-encoding gene neuropeptides in the central nervous system of the corn earworm moth, Helicoverpa zea. Journal of Insect Physiology 42, 257-266.

Roelofs W. L. and Jurenka R. A. (1996) Biosynthetic enzymes regulating ratios of sex pheromone components in female redbanded leafroller moths. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters 4, 461-466.

Jurenka R. A., Fabriás G., DeVoe L. and Roelofs W. L. (1994) Action of PBAN and related peptides on pheromone biosynthesis in isolated pheromone glands of the redbanded leafroller moth, Argyrotaenia velutinana. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 108C, 153-160.

Jurenka R. A., Haynes K. F., Adlof R. O., Bengtsson M. and Roelofs W. L. (1994) Sex pheromone component ratio in the cabbage looper moth altered by a mutation affecting the fatty acid chain-shortening reactions in the pheromone biosynthetic pathway. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 24, 373-381.

Jurenka R. A. and Roelofs W. L. (1993) Biosynthesis and endocrine regulation of fatty acid derived sex pheromones in moths. In Insect Lipids: Chemistry, Biochemistry and Biology (Edited by Stanley-Samuelson D. W. and Nelson D. R.), pp. 353-388. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln.

Jurenka R. A., Jacquin E. and Roelofs W. L. (1991) Stimulation of sex pheromone biosynthesis in the moth Helicoverpa zea : Action of a brain hormone on pheromone glands involves Ca2+ and cAMP as second messengers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A. 88, 8621-8625.

© 2004-2011 Iowa State University Entomology Department. Last modified 9/29/11.