Russell A Jurenka

Russell Jurenka image

Regulation of sex pheromone biosynthesis in moths, including study of receptors and signal transduction and biochemical pathways.  Eicosanoid biosynthesis and the immune response in insects. Cuticular hydrocarbon metabolism.  Development of natural product insect antifeedants.

Representative publications:

Krishnan, N., Jurenka, R., Bradbury, S., 2021. Neonicotinoids can cause arrested pupal ecdysis in Lepidoptera. Scientific Reports 11, 15787.

Golov, Y., Liberzon, A., Gurka, R., Soroker, V., Jurenka, R., Harari, A., 2021. Navigation in an odorant-landscape: mate finding and mate choice in a nocturnal moth. Entomologia Generalis doi:10.1127/entomologia/2021/1276.

Gonzalez-Karlsson, A., Golov, Y., Steinitz, H., Goldenberg, I., Gurka, R., Liberzon, A., Soroker, V., Jurenka, R., Harari, A., 2021. Males perceive honest information from female released sex pheromone in a moth. Behavioral Ecology arab073,

Jurenka, R.A. (2020). Lepidoptera: Female Sex Pheromone Biosynthesis and its Hormonal Regulation. In "Insect Pheromone Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2nd edition" (Blomquist, G.,  Vogt, R., Eds.),  Academic Press, New York. pp. 13-88.

Dou, X., Zhang, A., Jurenka, R., 2020. Functional identification of fatty acyl reductases in female pheromone gland and tarsi of the corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.. doi:10.1016/j.ibmb.2019.103260

Dou, X., Liu, S., Soroker, V., Harari, A.R., Jurenka, R., 2019. Pheromone gland transcriptome of the pink bollworm moth, Pectinophora gossypiella: comparison between a laboratory and field population. PLoS One 14, e0220187.

Dou, X., Liu, S., Ahn, S.-J., Choi, M.-Y., Jurenka, R., 2019. Transcriptional comparison between pheromone gland-ovipositor and tarsi in the corn earworm moth Helicoverpa zea. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. Part D Genomics Proteomics 31, 100604. doi:

Blomquist, G.J., Tittiger, C., Jurenka, R., 2018. Cuticular hydrocarbons and pheromones of arthropods, In: Wilkes, H. (Ed.), Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology Series: Hydrocarbons, Oils and Lipids: Diversity, Origin, Chemistry and Fate. Springer, Cham, pp. 1–32. doi:

Jurenka, R., 2017. Regulation of pheromone biosynthesis in moths. Current Opinion in Insect Science 24: 29-35.

Jurenka, R., GJ Blomquist, C Schal, C Tittiger. 2017. Biochemistry and molecular biology of pheromone production. Reference Module in Life Sciences. Elsevier Reference Module

Jurenka, R., K Russell, M O'Neal. 2017. Phytoecdysteroids as antifeedants towards several beetles that include polyphagous and monophagous feeding guilds. Pest Management Science 73: 1633-1637.     

Choi, M.-Y., Ahn, S.-J., Park, K.-C., Meer, R.V., Cardé, R.T., Jurenka, R., 2016. Tarsi of male heliothine moths contain aldehydes and butyrate esters as potential pheromone components. Journal of Chemical Ecology 42, 425-432.

Jurenka, R., 2015. The PRXamide neuropeptide signaling system: conserved in animals. Advances in Insect Physiology 49, 123-170.

Worthington, A.M., Jurenka, R.A., Kelly, C.D., 2015. Mating for male-derived prostaglandin: a functional explanation for the increased fecundity of mated female crickets? Journal of  Experimental Biology 218, 2720-2727.

Hellmich, E., Nusawardani, T., Bartholomay, L., Jurenka, R., 2014. Pyrokinin/PBAN-like peptides in the central nervous system of mosquitoes. Cell and Tissue Research 356, 39-47.

Nusawardani, T., Kroemer, J.A., Choi, M.-Y., Jurenka, R.A., 2013. Identification and characterization of the pyrokinin/ pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide family of G protein-coupled receptors from Ostrinia nubilalis. Insect Molecular Biology 22, 331–340.

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 Molecular Biology 20, 323-334.

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

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 Molecular Biology 37, 296-306.

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

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. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 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. PNAS 100, 809-814.


Area of Expertise: 
Insect Physiology and Biochemistry
Arthropod Management Technologies
B.S., Zoology, Montana State University, 1979
M.S., Entomology, Montana State University, 1982
Ph.D., Biochemistry, University of Nevada-Reno, 1987
+1 515 294 1485
434 Science II